Monday, August 15, 2016

All-New X-Men #12 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Is "blonding" a thing?

All-New X-Men (vol.2) 012
Writer - Dennis Hopeless
Penciler - Mark Bagley
Inker - Andrew Hennessy
Colorist - Nolan Woodard
Letterer -VC's Cory Petit
Release Date: 08.10.2016
Cover Price: $3.99

I sure hope all three of the X-Books are following the X-Men formula of old wherein their post-crossover issues focus more on quiet character moments.  So far, we're two-for-two.  Don't let me down, Extraordinary team!

I'm happy to report we have a bit of... continuity here!  That's right, in this issue the characters discuss something that happened like two Marvel reboot/launch/imagine-whatevers ago!

We also have... faux hip teenage dialogue that makes me feel like I'm too old to be reading these things!

Let's get right to it!

The Apocalypse Wars are behind us... finally.  Now, we get to read a comic that looks like one of those Valentine's Day cards our parents would make us hand out to all our classmates when we were in grade school!  I kid, I kid... it's a nice enough cover.  We're in for an Angel and New Wolvie story, and that's not a bad thing.

This issue opens with a Laura and Cyclops at the X-Men's mobile headquarters.  Cyclops, still injured is confined to his wheelchair... which is quite the sight.  It's been a little while since a team of mutants were led by a fella in one of those.  He tells Laura, who appears to be suffering something akin to cabin fever that during his time off he's given in to his OCD urges and began compiling a list of solo missions just waiting for a "bad enough dude(tte)" to take care of them.

Before all of this, young Warren heads out dressed to the nines.  Ya see, it's Fashion Week in Milan, and he's a blond blonding blond boy who goes to those kinda things.

A frustrated Laura takes Scott up on his offer and takes on a few "contracts".  Donning her Wolvie-gear and their bamfy bud Pickles, she is off... however, much to her annoyance... it appears that she's been beaten to the punch at every stop!  Somebody has already completed these missions... but who?

It's soon revealed to be our favorite blond buddy Warren Worthington III!  Now, we actually reference a story that occurred a little while back called The Black Vortex.  It was a team-up between the All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy... sometime around when the GotG had like a half-dozen ongoings... which for all I know, they still may.

Anyhoo... during this story Warren's feathery wings were replaced with these flaming wings of light... which give him these violent urges which need to be satiated.  Not too dissimilar to the "real" Warren... but different enough so as to not seem like a total retread.

It's been a little while since I've read a Laura-centric story... and as such, her behavior seems quite a bit different to me than I am accustomed.  I'm not sure if this is an on-panel change, or simply part of that... Secret Wars eight-month span of "what the hell happened?" that has affected so many books this year.  Either way, I think I like this more mature take on the character.  I like that she appears to be concerned and serious in regard to her ability to really "fill the shoes" of the Wolverine we've known and read for the past forty-odd years.

The issue ends with a reveal of potentially our next big bad... who might be Madeline Pryor, the Goblyn Queen... but I'm not entirely sure.  Either way, she talks like a dopey teen texts... and I don't much like that.

Overall, this issue was worlds better than the Apocalypse Wars chapters.  I still do have that problem with some of Hopeless' dialogue choices.  I get that this is the "young" book... but, when I see the Goblyn Queen say "We'll catch'em on the flip" next to a sassy demon who says "Grrrlll!", much of the goodwill I have toward this book takes a hit.  See also: blonding.  Is that a thing?  I feel like I need to spend far more time on social media or watching reality television to get some of these references.

Bits and Pieces:

A nice departure from what has come before.  There's never a bad time for a fun one-off adventure with a couple of the X-Kids.  Enjoyed the story, however at times the dialogue felt a bit too precious in its attempts to be hip.  Bagley's art never fails to impress.  It cannot be stated enough, we need more issues like this... and less that are entwined in endless crossover.

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  1. I don't get how this issue could be rated so highly, as it only proves two things:

    1) Laura and Scott would have been SO much more interesting together than Laura and Warren. They ACTUALLY understand one another, and have had more chemistry in the six panels they talked in this issue than Laura and Warren have had in the entire TWELVE ISSUES Hopeless has written.

    2) Hopeless just plain doesn't get it. Warren does NOT understand Laura. To suggest that there's anything REMOTELY comparable of their situations — Laura was raised from birth, tortured, and abused into being a killer, and never had a say in it. Warren was a privileged spoiled brat who CHOSE the Vortex — is hack writing at best.

    Furthermore, his attempt to explain Laura's behavior since the volume began just makes the presentation of her character even WORSE than it was before the explanation. Laura Kinney, whose ENTIRE JOURNEY from the moment she was introduced has been one of trying to determine who SHE is, is suddenly pretending to be something she's not for the sake of her BOYFRIEND? Never mind the fact that Warren's behavior since the beginning has been downright abusive. He's constantly berating her for her mistakes (which only works because she's so damn OOC to begin with) and yelling at her in front of their friends. That's flat-out emotional abuse. PERIOD.

    It's a hamfisted excuse plot to force a relationship that has no chemistry and just plain doesn't work. Hopeless utterly fails to make the relationship develop naturally.

    1. I'll admit I was probably a bit too generous with the score here... may have just been my joy at not having to read another God-awful Apocalypse Wars chapter. All I know is I enjoyed reading it.

      I've never been a fan of Hopeless, from his time on Avengers Arena all the way to now. I despise his dialogue, and often find his characters devolve into cliche archetypes that move the story rather than the other way around... but still, I had fun reading this.

      It's been a long time (way too long a time) since I've looked to Marvel for anything resembling "in character" writing. I guess I just overlook things like that when I enjoy what I'm reading... I think that's what they WANT us to do, sadly.

      Thanks for reading and commenting though!

    2. I have to agree with ambaryerno, I can't stand the relationship between Warren and Laura. He's a whinny asswhole. I've been reading stories with x-23 in them many years now, and I've watched her character develop from completely anti social, to a person who is almost completely mentally healthy. I'd like to se her in a serious relationship with someone, but Warren is not that person. A couple of suggestions for her are Young Cyclops, Elixer, Hellion, or Skaar. These are all characters that either understand who Laura is, or in Skaars case relates to who she is.

  2. It's Madeline from Hopeless "Inferno" Secret Was series.


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