No Atomo! I am not a gu -- kkkkk"
12/05/05 page 2
X-Men #178 is another example
of the dour mess we’ve come to expect of the X-franchise.
Mutants come, mutants go. A hate crime parable one month,
a group of evil Nazi survivalists the next. Cyclops and
Havok slap each other around a little then burn with quiet
resent. Same old, same old.
In these days
of Decimation, the X-men have had a colorful group of Sentinels
added to their lawn (personally, I’d prefer Bamf garden
gnomes), but that terror and dread is quickly reined in
when we learn that they were sent by Val Cooper to protect
the mansion from the Sapien League.
throwaway anti-mutant group. They’re like potato chips,
Most of the issue
is just a lot of screaming and muttering as the various
characters go through their own little problems: Polaris
doesn’t want anyone to know she’s no longer
magnetic, somebody in Egypt finds something spooky, somebody
in a space station sees something perplexing, Wolverine
manages to fit into yet another team without adding anything...
The only big
development is with Iceman, but I won’t spoil it for
you. Suffice it to say, this whole post “House of
M” is already fading away and not leaving anything
memorable in its wake. Dead characters have come back, some
de-powered mutants are seeing their trials coming to an
end, and it’s starting to feel a lot like the usual
we DID lose the one sign of progress in these books: the
rapidly growing mutant population which could no longer
be ignored. Comics like Grant Morrison’s New X-Men
and the recently destroyed District X were running
in new directions with the notion of neighborhoods filled
with mutants, and it made for some good reading.
now, we’re back to the status quo. It might as well
be the sixties again, for all the progress the X-books haven’t
made. Until they can start moving forward again, I just
don’t see any reason to recommend X-Men.
the Marvel Universe may have suffered a drop in the super-powered
population, the Ultimate Universe continues to build up
it’s community of super-humans with Namor in Ultimate
Fantastic Four #25.
Yeah, you heard
those kids from Jimmy Neutron sure done
back, winged feet and all, but his first meeting with the
modern world doesn’t go so well. Once released from
his underwater tomb, he immediately gets in a fight with
Human Torch and pretty solidly beats him. Together, the
team manage to restrain the ancient Atlantean, but they
soon learn that nothing they have can stand against Namor’s
strength. They also learn that he’s a hyper-intelligent,
pompous ass out to bed Sue Storm, but nothing new there.
This issue is
really just the middle chapter in Millar’s “Tomb
of Namor”, so we don’t really know quite where
he’s going. But, unless they manage to kill off Namor,
they may have made him way too powerful. Exponentially stronger
than the Hulk, smarter than Reed Richards, hunkier than
Thor... this boy’s trouble.
artist Greg Land managed to tone that down a bit by giving
him an ultra-Ed Grimly cowlick, but that’s not much
of a tradeoff for being able to learn the entire English
language (and sound very egomaniacal after doing so) within
a couple of hours.
Land’s artwork still has that tendency to reek of
photo-referencing. The more action-oriented work feels right,
but you can just imagine the models posing for certain shots,
and you’ll swear some shots of Sue Storm were taken
from magazine ads.
the introduction and characterization of Sue and Johnny’s
wayward mother has made this arc a nice addition to the
series, Namor himself just isn’t up to snuff for me.
Too powerful, not adding much to the story – you get
the feeling he ain’t gonna last.
then this book also gives us the Ultimate Vision
#2 back-up story, which, at four pages, only
goes so far. Vision tells us a bit about how she was designed
to record the worlds Galactus destroyed as she warned them
about their fate, and this capability is what gave her the
name. It also does well to flesh-out the beginning of Ultimate
Nightmare, but we still have yet to see what else the
character has to offer. Like Namor, she may just be another
player destined to disappear from the scene in short order.
this issue is a nice quick read for Ultimate Universe fans,
even if it doesn’t add much to the Fantastic Four.
3: Legion of Super-Heroes #12, Batman #647...