Generation Hope #12: OK, I need to pare down my monthly pull-list, because, honestly, I can barely keep afloat with my reading at this point. I had identified this book and "X-Men" as the ones to go. I never really enjoyed the latter (and am not particularly interested in the current team), and, although I've always thought Gillen has done an amazing job with "Generation Hope," I figured I could skip it because it doesn't tie directly into the core books that closely. But, then Gillen writes an issue like this one, and I'm totally sucked into his world again. I thought this issue was one of the best books I've read all year. The stuff with Velocidad was great. It's actually proof positive that Scott is failing the kids. You've got a teenage boy totally afraid of dying young because his powers are slowly killing him and, because the adults won't level with him, he's starting to act impulsively. I mean, hello, recipe for disaster. But, no one notices. Velocidad tells Kenji, who's not exactly the type to worry, but no one else. As such, no one who can do anything to help him knows, because the adults don't care. Do you need any more proof that Logan was right? The rest of the issue is equally good. Scott and Kitty's conversation at the end is a highlight, not just because it shows the danger everyone knows we're facing with Hope, but because it shows how little control anyone has over the Lights. The next few months -- particularly with the addition of Pixie and the love triangle between her, Hope, and Velocidad -- are going to be interesting. I'm here to stay.
New Mutants #33: Of course it's Dani who's smart enough to reject, to put it in Warlock's words, the binary choice between Cyclops and Wolverine. I accept her argument that she's staying with Cyclops because he believes in her, but I love the fact that she feels the need not to be on Utopia (and under Scott's thumb) to stay true to herself and mission. DnA also do a great job with Nate here. Although I'm a little slightly skeeved by the, um, obvious, um, chemistry between Hope and Nate (even if they're not exactly blood relations), they do seem like a great fit (in a non-sexual way, hopefully). They both come at life from a similar perspective and you can tell they feel relieved to have someone to whom they can talk about their experiences who won't have to get over the time-travel confusion and the bizarre family ties. I'm hoping this iteration of the "New Mutants" is the last one for a while. We've gone through so many new starts over the last 30 or so issues, mainly because of the various events forced on the title. I'd dig it if they actually spent the next 30 or so issues in one place with one mission and one team. Here's hoping.
X-Men #20: OK, so, my plan to drop this title is complicated, yet AGAIN, by Gischler's excellent writing. His Spider-Man arc has been the highlight of this title for me, and he's gotten off this War Machine one to a great start. To be honest, though, I liked this issue not so much because of War Machine, who's mostly just annoyingly obstinate, but for Storm, who we finally see leading a X-Men team again. Moreover, Gischler gives us the sort of international intrigue and high espionage that I've been expecting -- and not really getting -- from "Secret Avengers." He picks up the thread from "X-Men: Schism," with the world suddenly flush with old Sentinels and new ones created by the Hellfire Club. The team is tracking down a shipment of stolen Sentinels (I'm unclear on whether they're old or new ones), who now appear to be this season's must-have accessories for every irredentist and separatist movement in the world. If this team is going to be a moral X-Force, if you will, fighting in the darkest corners of the X-Men's world, it's going to be hard to convince me to drop it. Damn you, Gischler. My wallet isn't talking to you.