Monday, 12 May 2014

The Comics Ramble

You know what I forgot to buy last week? Miles Morales, Ultimate Spider-Man #1 and Original Sin #1! Because I am an idiot. Otherwise it was a pretty light week, just these two:

Everyone stinks at being sixteen (Cyclops #1)
I never pegged All-New X-Men as a spin-off-y kind of title. Naive of me in retrospect but I'm rarely this glad to be wrong.

So, situation: at the end of The Trial Of Jean Grey crossover young, time-lost teen Scott Summers decides to swan off to outer space with his space pirate, missing presumed dead Dad. He does this mainly because he finds out about his and Jean's future of marriage, multiple-bereavement and general misery at a stage when he's still only just about crushing on her. As excuses to bail out on uncomfortable social situations goes it's pretty much the best one ever. Also, if there was ever an ancillary X-character I felt could do with some extra fleshing out its Major Chris “Corsair” Summers.

Previous Cyclops/Corsair meetings have dwelt on their incompatibility: a professional soldier and a pirate, a down-to-earth civil rights activist and a freewheeling space jockey. I'm thinking in particular about a just-pre-Grant Morrison issue of Uncanny X-Men where they have a camp out and really, really get on one another's tits.

Time-lost teenage Cyclops is just glad to have his Dad back, he's happy to be in space and he sort of fancies his stepmother which is conflicting for him on multiple levels because she's his stepmother and she's a catgirl... or possibly a skunk girl... maybe an albino squirrel, I'm really not sure.

But this is what the X-Men franchise is for: taking something relatable and making it really bloody weird. Talk away the spaceship, the aliens, the sultry cat-skunk-squirrel woman and what you've got is a young man who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life going on a road trip with his Dad.

I don't know if this is an ongoing or a limited series but I am onboard for this like you wouldn't believe.

Cheap, penny-ante slight-of-hand (Loki: Agent of Asgard #4)
It has to be said, after the covert long games of Gillen's Journey Into Mystery and Young Avengers this series is surprisingly direct. Here we are, four issues in and the third wasn't even about “our” Loki, and we're already getting to the point. When Loki revealed in #2 that he was planning something I expected him to spend the better part of the year assembling his team but #4 and it's done, caper incoming next month.

I'm not complaining. Dear God, am I not complaining! I'm not an enemy of decompressed storytelling, I've been reading Ultimate Spider-Man since day one but it is nice to to see a few series championing brevity. Hawkeye has this quality as well, being mainly done-in-ones that build the ongoing storyline quietly in the background.

It was also great to see Verity Willis the human lie detector make a return because I really liked her in #2. I was less enthused by Sigurd turning up but since Ewing clearly agrees with me that Sigurd is a sleazy bastard I was won over by the idea of bringing him back.

If I have one criticism I think this Loki's origin is now established enough that Ewing could drop the flashbacks to “I am the crime that will not be forgiven.”. Not that “flashback” is actually the right word, that wasn't how Journey Into Mystery ended it was, if you'll pardon the phrase, considerably more low key and better for it.

I also admit, with zero shame, to laughing out loud at the illustration of Thor wearing an A-Ha t-shirt. 


SallyP said...

I am enjoying the heck out of Loki. And it IS nice to have a book where the plot actually...advances.

I haven't been reading the X books lately, but having Cyclops together in space with Corsair, sounds like a pretty great idea.

James Ashelford said...

It is pretty sweet, especially as this is a Scott very, very new to superheroing so he doesn't have any of his adult self's cynicism.