Review: X-Women No. 1 by Chris Claremont, Milo Manara (artist)

X-Women No. 1 (One Shot)X-Women No. 1 by Chris Claremont

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Who let this shit slide through?!

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Go on a high-flying, death-defying, globetrotting adventure with your favorite X-Ladies. Storm, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Marvel Girl and Rogue save the world and look great doing it.

When I read the ‘and look great doing it’ part of the blurb, I thought this might be a little campy, but I never thought it would be downright insulting. After all, this was written in 2010. How bad could it be?

Well, bad enough that by the end of this, I looked a bit green…

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I’m not sure I can adequately explain the rage monster, so I’ll let the pictures help me tell the story.

The X-Gals go on vacation together for a little Girl Time.
Poor Kitty didn’t have a bathing suit, so she just used dental floss to cover her ass.

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After a night of drinking, Rachel gets kidnapped. As per usual.
But the X-Babes roll in to save her in the sexiest way possible.
Except she can’t leave, because they’ve got Emma Frost locked up, too!

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Oh no! They’ve lost their powers!
But Storm still has the power to get her ass in Rachel’s face.
Tee-Hee!

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Well at least something good came out of them losing their powers.
I mean, at least now Rogue can…touch the other women.

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Oh, and they can all lounge around in their panties making pouty lips.
Bonus!

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More unrealistic things happen, and all the ladies end up as extras in a soft-core cable porn movie.
Hapless Prisoners on the Island!
Isn’t the bamboo gag a nice touch?
My Rage Monster thought so, too!

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The smarmy guy with the goggles on his head is the leader of this island, and he take a shine to our fair Storm. He’s married to an equally over-sexualized woman who makes lots of angry/jealous faces while her husband paws at Ororo.

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She resists him at first, but eventually offers to stop struggling if he will free her friends.
But, no. He says he likes the struggle…

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Don’t worry! With the help of their new island buddy, Mr. McRapey, they take out the bad guys and rescue their friends.
Oh, look! That darn McRapey just can’t seem to leave Storm alone, can he?
*giggle*

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I’m so angry. So, so angry.
Even though I’ve always thought his dialogue was dry, crunchy, and stuck in the 80’s, I still used to have a modicum of respect of Chris Claremont.
He’s Mr. X-man, and his stories were responsible for changing things in the mutant universe. And he’s The Guy who changed a lot of things about the way comics were made, as well.
But you know what?
That shit will only carry you so far in my book. He pretty much has one more chance to redeem himself, before I totally write him off as an author. I get that he wasn’t responsible for the artwork, but that whole storyline with Storm was unacceptable.
Unacceptable! Do you hear me?!

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As for the artist, Milo Manara?
Well, this isn’t the first time he’s managed to Porn-up a female superhero.
He may have talent, but he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a mainstream comic book. His artwork is laughably erotic. And to be honest, I was laughing while I was reading this shit.
Well, right up till my daughter asked me what was so funny.
Shockingly, I didn’t find it nearly as funny anymore.
The thought that my daughters could read this, and perhaps even think that this degrading, offensive, and hypersexualized version of women was something to aspire to?

I. Don’t. Think. So.

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Review: Age of Ulton Companion, by Various Artists (including Rick Remender and Mark Waid)

Age of Ultron CompanionAge of Ultron Companion by Marvel Comics
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another book where I have like no context, except that I know who Ultron is, and what he likes to do.

This book is like one of those packs of 10 mini boxes of cereal you used to eat on vacation as a kid; there’s a lot of Corn Flakes and Bran Flakes and Rice Krispies, but not enough Fruit Loops or Corn Pops, and Frosted Flakes taste shitty after the first few bites.

That’s what this is, a grab bag, some good, some not, and some meh-ish.

The Uncanny Avengers one (Remender of course) is interesting, the FF is a rehash for me (Matt Fraction, but still powerful in its own way) and then theres some Superior Spider Man, Wolvie and the X, and Mark Waid closes the volume with a story about Ultron’s daddy; Hank Pym.

The Waid story might have the most lasting value; pretty much it explains how his parents weren’t all that supportive, wanting practicality, and it was his grandma Pym who encouraged him to think outside the norms…so far in fact, that it was a Catch-22, because Ultron happens, and he reveals how he solved that, but also the last panel is a truly terrifying vision of what Pym’s renewed confidence will lead to.

Waid uses the book to paint the layers of Pym’s psyche, and reveal why he might be the most dangerous man in the Marvel U.

Other high points: Ultron outthinking Otto-Spidey; Captain Marvel going out in a blaze of glory, and alternative reality Havok being martyred.

It was interesting, and for each bite that tasted like filler and horse-meat byproduct, there was just enough tasty gluctose-fructose corn syrup-y Red #6 goodness.


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Marvel Knights: X-Men – Haunted; by some hack.

Marvel Knights: X-Men: HauntedMarvel Knights: X-Men: Haunted by Brahm Revel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The art here is the saving grace. Without it, I think this is a 1-star book.

At the end of the story, the author thanks Marvel for letting him into the Big Leagues so to speak, and then says he’s going back to the minors…I think if fate is kind, he’ll land on the DL and retire from baseball altogether…please.

Rachel Gray has a dream about a mutant being murdered…cue road trip to West Virginia/Kentucky Coal land. Banjos start a twanging. (West Virginia, the only state my American father ever told me to keep my head down and out of sight of the windows when we drove through..)

Wolverine, Kitty and Rogue go investigate…but if they’re running a school, why do you send the headmaster AND the #2 (Kitty)? Isn’t that a bad idea?
Also, don’t you send the person who had the vision (because it wasn’t a dream, it was real, says Beast).

Anyhoo, hillbilly central: 1 Mutant dead/murdered. Survivalists hopped up on drugs trade them for guns with a local biker gang, all deals brokered by the Sheriff. Of course, he also happens to be the uncle of one of the other mutants…who uses her powers to help him because he’s such a winner…

The powers are re-DICK-you-lose. Mutant one: is pretty much Obi Wan Kenobi, and can Jedi Mind trick you into believing whatever she wants.

The other: can manifest anyone’s memories into living breathing reality, so that your past can come back to kill you.

so somehow, out of nowhere, podunk nowhere ends up housing not 1, but 2 Omega Level crazy powerful mutants…RIGHT. And they don’t even know about each other…they’re just both hillbilly white trash chicks, who are only linked by the fact that both their moms killed themselves due to their daughters’ weirdness.

Super fun so far eh?

Well the powers get unleashed against the X peeps, yet only Rogue and Wolverine seem affected negatively. They fight their past (Brotherhood of Mutants, Carol Danvers, etc. and Logan and Rogue talk shit about how bad each other was in the past, and how they’re no good.

Meanwhile, Kitty has her past visit her, and of course, it’s Prof X. He’s manifested as real, and leads his students to victory.

What do we learn? 1 – The X-Men are stupid.
2 – Wolverine is one dimensional and angry…and stupid.
3- Rogue is powerful…and stupid.
4 – apparently Kitty has not a single negative memory at all.
5- each of them takes a long time to realize they can just remember other X-Men to help them fight…and so Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus show up manifested from the past and fight the baddies (who are the Bikers and Cult members of course).

Then the young muties must befriend and trust each other to stop the madness…

Something something something…my brain hurts more than if I drank a whole bottle of Bourbon last night.

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Review: X-Men – Primer; by Brian Wood

X-Men, Vol. 1: PrimerX-Men, Vol. 1: Primer by Brian Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What a HUGE disappointment.

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Brian Wood! YAY! (DMZ, Northlanders!) with an all-ladies X-(wo)Men team!

So excited by the all ladies all the time, they forgot about plot, or good writing, or character interactions that make sense.

Oh and they also decided to include a bunch of characters no one knows/remembers, which is the fastest way to get new reader and others (ie. ME) to stop caring.

John Sublime (some uber-badass, now seemingly in need of the X-(wo)Men to help him, says that his twin sister’s…spirit? Aura? Being? Hard Drive? USB Stick? Or some shit is alive and has tricked it’s way into the Jean Grey School.

All thanks to:

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Yes that’s right, all thanks to: MALLRAT GIRL! (her given name is Jubilee, and she’s a vampire too apparently, but only needs sunglasses…at night…so she could be called Corey Hart)

Anyhow, Jubes (as someone decided to call her, which makes sense, as she’s about as substantial as a Ju-Jube) randomly takes a baby from the ruins of a Bulgarian hospital; because ya. But do any of these normally rational women make a single mention of baby napping a foreign child who may have parents waiting for it? (actually, no. Jubes is about the only one who feels bad about it, and when Mallrat feels bad about something it usually involves Orange Julius being out of slurpees)

So, cue up evil sister “entity” which possesses some chiquita banana who’s been in a coma while Beast tries to figure out how to save her…

In the midst of it, Storm is ready to make the decision to take her out in order to stop the entity. Apparently Mz. Rachel Grey doesn’t care for this. Funny enough, they decide to make this into a high school popularity bitch fest contest. Instead of saying um…I was Queen of Wakanda, I have been to the future, I survived getting busy with Wolverine, and I’ve had the Black Panther inside of me (No euphemism actually), oh and I’ve been an X-Man since before you were a dirty thought in your dad’s brain; they go to a full out leadership debate.

Hint: if you want a cool new team of ladies, then don’t try and make them just like the men (we DO NOT need you fighting like X and Magneto, Cyclops and Wolvie or anyone else. Just show you’re better than that by getting along). It just feels awkward and forced, like someone said “better have a leadership crisis”. Not “OK Storm is OBV. the boss, since she’s the boss of everything else too. Oh and MOHAWK. Shiver me timbers that’s hot. White hair and everything…mmmmmm.

OK so blah blah, more shit; I think we’ve got Storm; Grey not Jean; Rogue; Betsy Braddock mmm nice new costume fit for the modesty era; Jubes, and I think Kitty was in there too.

Oh and by the way; wouldn’t Kitty be a natural choice for leader behind Storm anyhow? Seriously. I guess they just tried to make Rachel less appealing? Also, it looks like she was on a month long bender….the artwork makes her look exhausted and sorta manga styles.

Evil thingy is defeated; baby is kept; Rogue saves people on a plane by absorbing more powers but somehow this drains her, and she can’t even fly anymore? Also, where the FUCK did she go for the next installments??? She’s not even in Battle of the Atom FFS.

There’s a side story with Jubes taking the baby on a road trip around Cali with Logan, who ends up buying the house she grew up in for her, just cause. Right. Everyone loves Logan, he’s always had a soft spot for vampires mallrats idiotic children who pretend to be X-Men.

You might also have noticed, this is only 4 issues…

So we get Jubes’ “CLASSIC” first appearance, when she is saved by the X-Girls circa 1989 when Storm was still hot, Rogue was Carol Danvers, Dazzler was…really? Dazzler? Isn’t she just Jubilee without the soft Asian vampiric overtones? The one who used her fireworks for making money and disco dancing, not just walking around the mall all day?, oh, and Psylocke who looks like she’s straight outta 1896.

They save her from a…MALL. Yup.

So in all, this is a big disappointment, like forced on me somehow, and I didn’t like it. I really WANTED to like this, truly, I did, but really.

Malls, babynapping, possessed evil entities, and someone thinking they can talk shit about the Goddess of Thunder? Fuck that noise. She’s like Thor without the hammer…(double entendre here…see what I did?).

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