Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Not-Very-Deep Thoughts: The February 8 Edition (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

IvX #4:  As I've previously mentioned, this series got better when the authors started focusing less on the dubious science driving it.  Unfortunately, we exchange one problem for another in this issue as the X-Men continue to underestimate the NuHumans...despite the NuHumans frequently kicking their assThe X-Men are so unconcerned about the NuHumans they don't even bother to learn anything about them, allowing Mosaic to waltz onto Muir Island, hack into Magneto's brain, and figure out the mutants' plans.  The only good news at this point for the X-Men is that Mosaic learns the truth about the their plight and tells the other NuHumans, forcing them to question which side is the right one.  In other words, despite the X-Men's disdain for the NuHumans, they may be the ones who save them.

All-New X-Men #18:  This issue unexpectedly reveals Emma's role in destroying the first cloud of Terrigen Mists to young Scott.  After Mosaic possesses him, Scott's consciousness -- trapped inside Mosaic's -- encounters of an echo of Magneto's consciousness (who Mosaic had earlier possessed, as mentioned above).  As Scott learns older him had nothing to do with destroying the cloud, Hopeless gives us a front row seat to his indignation and rage.  After all, the X-Men's fight against the Inhumans has reminded the world of "older Scott's" "crime," stoking people's distrust of young Scott.  Unfortunately, this issue also reminds us how ridiculous the world's outrage at "Scott" for "his" "crime" was in the first place.  After all, it wasn't genocide in the way Medusa's genocide would be:  the existing Inhumans would survive the destruction of the cloud, unlike the existing mutants.  Moreover, the X-Men who were all so outraged by "older Scott's" actions have essentially decided maybe "he" had a point.  But, no one ever acknowledges that, of course
.  (Storm couldn't possibly compare herself to such a villain.)  On the plus side, this issue sets up younger Scott's all-out war on Emma.  On the down side, though, it's a reminder of how Marvel managed to fuck up an event it spent years planning.

Detective Comics #950:  One of the challenges of the DCnU -- even now -- is that it's hard sometimes to remember what we "know" from the DCU and what we "know" now.  Currently, the "League of Shadows" is a myth perpetrated by Ra's al Ghul.  He really runs the League of Assassins, but uses the League of Shadows as a bogeyman to scare people (for reasons that aren't clear to me, to be honest).  Was that also true of the DCU?  I feel like it wasn't.  The Colony has questioned Bruce's certainty in embracing this "truth," believing the League of Shadows to be a threat he's ignoring.  Shiva's appearance at the end of this issue complicates this "truth" further.  Is she working for Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins?  Or, is the League of Shadows a splinter group she started?  Or, is it something else entirely?  I was an intermittent reader of the DCU, so Shiva really only means something to me because she was one of Jason's possible mothers in "Death of the Family" and Tim's tutor in "Robin."  I'm excited to see her here and learn more about her.  The opportunity to learn about a character without going through 70 years of comics is the part of the DCnU that works for me as a new reader.  But, as I said, it's still hard to know exactly what I'm supposed to "know."

Meanwhile, Tynion uses this over-sized issue to shore up the team, by first confirming the series' team concept isn't ending:  Kate still seems to be on the team, Azrael has taken Spoiler's place, and Luke has taken Tim's spot.  He also uses the extra space to take stock of the characters who haven't been the focus of the series lately:  he delves into Cass' struggle to express herself, shows us Luke's desire to prove himself, and conveys Clayface's devastation at being able to spend no more than 12 hours a day as Basil.  Moreover, he hints at future storylines.  Most immediately, we have an artificial-intelligence Azrael lurking out there.  But, we see a flashback where Tim brilliantly realizes Bruce is preparing for some sort of war as he uses his network of former Robins to keep tabs on all his major opponents and build up his alliances:  Nightwing (at the time) was involved with Spyral and the Parliament of Owls, Jason was deep in Gotham's underworld, Damian was sent to form his own team, Duke was making his way through the Wheel for reasons Tim can't yet explain, and Bruce put together the Belfry team.  We learn "Dark Days" are coming, and I couldn't be more excited.  This series continues to be one of my favorites.

Star Wars:  Dr. Aphra #4:  This issue flies by pretty quickly, as it's mostly just Aphra and her gang's flight from Imperial troops.  But, it gets interesting at the end.  First, we learn Aphra's father wasn't as crazy as everyone thought, as the device he activated last issue sends them to the Citadel of Rur, seemingly proving the existence of the Ordu Aspectu.  But, Gillen gives us the back story on Captain Tolvan, who Aphra narrowly escapes here.  She's previously failed the Empire, and she's looking to avoid that fate in her search for Aphra.  In other words, everyone's looking to prove herself or himself, but not everyone is going to succeed at that.

Unworthy Thor #4:  On the letters page, the editors observes that she was holding her breath by the time she got to the last page of this issue, and I couldn't agree more.  Aaron, Coipel, and company rocket us to the conclusion - of Thor finally getting a hand on the hammer - with a speed that would make even Toothgnasher jealous.  Aaron does a great job of using the narrative to get us to this point.  We learn Thor has often worried about his worthiness over the years, making it all the clearer why he feels Mjolnir's loss so deeply here, as it's his greatest fear realized.  But, Aaron also makes clear Thor isn't going to have an easy path to redemption:  Thor tells us he can hear Ultimate Thor's hammer asking where his Thor is.  Trouble ahead.

Also Read:  Black Widow #11; Ms. Marvel #15; Titans #8

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