Welcome to X-ual Healing, the most popular weekly X-Men recap column on all of Bleeding Cool. If you’re new to the column, the basic idea is that we read and recap every X-Men comic that comes out each week, make some jokes, and complain about how Marvel is mean to Cyclops or won’t let Chris Claremont write something.
This weekend was New York Comic Con, so it seems like a good time to gather all the X-Men comics news that was revealed this weekend in one spot before we get into the recaps.
The week started off great with Marvel Editor Jordan White admitting that, based on scientific evidence, Cyclops is the very best X-Man and everybody wants him back, which set a promising tone for X-news in the days ahead. Also before the convention started, we got a hint of what will happen in Uncanny X-Men after the initial X-Men Disassembled story ends with a poster teasing the Age of X-Man. We got a better look later. Marvel recycled a Joe Quesada X-Men poster from the 90s for one of their Uncanny X-Men #1 Hidden Jem variants. Speaking of Uncanny X-Men #1, we got another brief preview of the book, which launches next month.
Finally, the Diamond Retailer Breakfast kicked off New York Comic Con Thursday, and we received confirmation that Age of X-Man would be the next story arc in Uncanny X-Men, and that it would begin with an Alpha one-shot by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, and Ramon Rosanas. Later in the weekend, we would also get confirmation that Nate Grey will return “in a big way.” We also heard that Marvel is reviving their 3D comics line for their 80th anniversary with a reprint of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s Uncanny X-Men #268. Wolverine will headline a revival of Marvel Comics Presents for that same celebration as well! Meanwhile, Scott Williams weighed in on the ongoing feet vs. no feet battle with his Uncanny X-Men variant (he leans no feet).
On Friday, we learned that Wolverine’s scripted podcast, The Long Night, will be adapted as a comic book, and later we got a look inside. On Saturday, C.B. Cebulski commented on the will-he-won’t-he drama of John Byrne’s return to Marvel, probably to publish that X-Men fanfic comic he’s been posting on his website. Cebulski said that Marvel was open to his return, but Byrne replied a few days later to say that, actually, he was more than willing to make the deal and it could be done already if Cebulski had simply shaken his hand the last time they met. In either case, that seems to be moving along positively.
The big news came out of the X-Men panel on Sunday. And we mean really big, dear readers, if you love Cyclops, and we know you do. That’s right, Cyclops is all over this cover to the newly announced Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 by Ed Brisson and Carlos Gomez. Does this mean Cyclops is finally returning and Marvel will finally admit they were wrong to treat him like a villain and then kill him off in an attempt to get the Inhumans over? We can only hope so.
Some other things happened at the panel as well. Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler said that they’re going to ruin Apocalypse. Ed Brisson is taking the Donald Trump approach to the X-Force relaunch. We got to see the covers to Uncanny X-Men #8-10, teasing another Fall of the Mutants?! In a preview of Iceman #2, Emma Frost referenced a classic Kitty Pryde moment. Marvel fired back at Rob Liefeld’s comments about the X-books having a low budget for the past two decades. (He had previously revealed he’s working on a big X-Men crossover for 2019). Cloak and Dagger is getting relaunched, which is technically X-news, since they’re mutants again.
But the biggest news of the convention was a lack of news. Asked by Bleeding Cool reporter Madeline Ricchiuto in the panel’s very last question about the return of Chris Claremont, not in an anthology story or one-shot, but as the writer of an ongoing series, Marvel’s Jordan White said that they had nothing to announce right now. Way to end things on a downer, White. Look, Marvel is literally paying Claremont not to write comics. He is a Marvel exclusive writer who is paid a retainer but hasn’t written an ongoing since the 2014 Nightcrawler series.
It’s time to go straight to the top. C.B. Cebulski, you know the terms. Put Claremont on an ongoing series and we’ll be so nice to Marvel you won’t know what hit you. We’ll never even bring up the Akira Yoshida thing again.
Well, no Claremont ongoing is a bummer, but Cyclops may be coming back, so at least Marvel is listening to some of our demands. And now, on with the show. Roll the intro…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
X-Men Black: Magneto
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Dalibor Talajic (CA) J. Scott Campbell
MAGNETO IS BACK!
…and so is Chris Claremont! For years, Magneto has done everything he can to achieve his goals for mutant domination. But now Magneto has declared that enough is enough. So what revolutionary plan does Magneto have that will change the face of mutantkind? And will anyone be able to stop him? Will anyone want to? PLUS: Includes Part 1 of X-MEN BLACK: APOCALYPSE the back up story by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, and Geraldo Borge!
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
Magneto is sketching in a notebook in a place called the Gold Star Cafe in Texas where he meets a human girl named Kate, a waitress at the diner, who impresses him with her curiosity, optimism, and open-mindedness. After a discussion with her, we learn from an X-pository news broadcast that mutants children are being separated from their families and put into cages. Hmmm. Sounds familiar. Some of the locals at the cafe are anti-mutant bigots and they spout their bigotry at Magneto, but they ultimately back down rather than fight. As Magneto leaves, Kate startles him and he almost zaps her with his magnet powers. He catches himself and bids her farewell, wishing that she one day makes it out to the stars as an astronaut, which was her mom’s dream before she died.
We get a flashback to Magneto on Asteroid M, 24 hours ago, battling the X-Men in his own version of the Danger Room. Nanny interrupts the simulation after Magneto takes Wolverine’s claws to the guy. Briar Raleigh arrives and tells him about the mutant imprisonment. She wants to send a strike force, but Magneto goes on his own instead, despite the fact that he’s hurt. Magneto heads to the prison in Texas where he’s attacked by a new villain called the warning, wearing advanced sentinel armor. Magneto beats her, but he doesn’t kill her and the guards, perhaps inspired by Kate. Instead, he frees the children and delivers a lecture to the bad guys. The Warden doesn’t seem to have learned her lesson though. Later, Magneto sends Kate a drawing of he and her together in space.
Claremont’s returns are always welcome, and he was in top form in this issue, delivering the personal moments between characters that helped to define the X-Men over his nearly 2-decade original run on the book.
But the story isn’t over yet. In the first part of the backup story running through all the X-Men Black issues, we find Apocalypse, up to his old tricks, making himself an immortal clone body to host his consciousness using Celestial technology. However, after he loans the body his mutant regenerative powers to help, the process goes wrong and Apocalypse is thrown into another dimension. Even worse, he learns that without his regenerative powers, he’s degenerating, turning into a human. Bummer. To be continued.
Chris Claremont is a living legend. He’s the writer of the greatest comic book run of all time. But today might be Chris Claremont’s greatest honor. That’s right, he and everyone else who worked on X-Men Black are today the proud winners of the most prestigious meat-themed award in weekly comics recaps, the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Congratulations, Chris. You earned it.
(W) Tim Seeley (A) Carlos Villa, Gerardo Sandoval (CA) Yasmine Putri
A gladiator, a warrior, a hero…the man called Shatterstar has been many things, but one thing he’s always been is deadly. He’s not a man you want to cross or you’ll learn that fact all too well. Walk back into the darkness with Shatterstar.
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
The first issue of Shatterstar gives us a brief overview of his history before establishing a new status quo. Having broken up with Rictor (they didn’t fight enough), Shatterstar, going by the name Ben Gaveedra, is now the landlord of an apartment building for interdimensional rejects. We meet his tenants in the issue: Pug-Smasher, a former supervillain from Earth-8311 who looks like a dog but talks like a New Yorker, Golden and Grimzor, two brothers described as “former Rajas of the Scorpus Citadel,” who are working on a premium TV fantasy pitch, The End Woman, “a mutant commando from a dark future,” Dwayne Taylor, the Night Thrasher of Earth 90214 who came to this Earth and time period as an old man to find a treatment for Parkinson’s, and Tina Cooke, a normal woman from Earth-1218 where they don’t have any superheroes or villains. We get to know a little more about each of them, but that’s not going to matter much because they’re all about to be kidnapped and, in at least one case… ONE OF THESE CHARACTERS WILL DIE!!!
Shatterstar goes out for a night at the theater when The Death Sponsors, bounty hunters from the Mojoverse, arrive and abduct all of Shatterstar’s tenants. They’re led by Gringrave, a female warrior who Shatterstar used to tag team with in the Mojo world gladiatorial arenas. It seems she may have taught him everything he knows. Now she’s kidnapped his friends. Well, except Night Thrasher, who they didn’t want, though he did manage to kill the Death Sponsors’ teleporter, Timeslot, before becoming mortally wounded himself. Back in the Mojoverse, we learn that it’s The Grandmaster behind all of this. Shatterstar, naturally, will don his warrior gear and seek revenge… starting next issue.
A promising start for what should be a fun story, even if we did spend 1/5 of the entire mini-series just setting up the premise.
(W) Skottie Young (A) Scott Hepburn (CA) Nic Klein
• Ah, Halloween! Trick-or-treating, spooky ghost stories, zombies coming to life and terrorizing your local mall, elaborate jack-o-lanterns…
• Wait a minute…one of those things doesn’t sound good! It doesn’t sound good at all!
• Well, I guess DEADPOOL will have to handle it – if he can survive a walkathon turned zombie-thon!
• All this, and the return of a classic MARVEL VILLAIN that will send chills up your spine!
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
It’s a special Halloween issue of Deadpool, and it starts off with Deadpool and his mall security guard buddy, Kostas, placing bets on an old people mall walkathon. Unfortunately, Deadpool’s pick, Ethel, has a heart attack in the middle of the race, putting Kostas’s pick, Odelia in the lead. Then a bunch of the other old folks start having heart attacks too, which Deadpool figures out is due to their Fitbit watches (the Marvel knockoff version, called a Pepstep). Deadpool manages to throw a knife to cut the watch off a veteran named Mick, and tells Odelia to take hers off too, but the rest are dead. Until Black Talon shows up and raises them all as zombies.
Wacky hijinx and witty banter ensue as a Dawn of the Dead scenario plays out in Deadpool’s mall headquarters. Eventually, we learn that Black Talon is Odelia’s grandson, and she wanted him to curse the smartwatches to help her win the walkathon. She didn’t expect him to kill everyone though. As the issue builds to a final confrontation, Deadpool tells the survivors (Odelia, Kostas, Mick, and some mall food court employees) to leave him behind while he faces Black Talon and his zombies down. They don’t listen, heading upstairs to a gun shop (America!) and coming back to fight by his side… until their ammo runs out. After that, Odelia scolds Black Talon and he kills all his zombies and goes home.
The issues with Mick, who has been trying to tell Deadpool something all issue only to have Deadpool constantly interrupt and tell him to wait until later, revealing that he’s independently wealthy and wants to give Deadpool 23.5 million bucks for being a good guy who didn’t leave him behind, a quality he valued in his time in the military. Unfortunately, before he can transfer the money, he dies of a real heart attack. Bad luck.
This issue was presumably designed to introduce us to Deadpool’s new supporting cast, and it did a fine job of that while also delivering the shenanigans that, presumably, people read a Deadpool comic for. So… well done, we suppose?
Weapon H #8
(W) Greg Pak (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Philip Tan
• Roxxon built a portal to harness the unlimited energy in this magical realm. But in the process they unleashed a horde of monsters – and they’ve set their sights on Earth’s unlimited supply of flesh!
• Weapon H has no choice: To protect his family, he must go to war.
• But one familiar figure has already beat him there: Fans of PLANET HULK and Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, rejoice for the return of the stone man Korg!
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
Weapon H assembles his new team (or rather, Roxxon CEO Dario Agger assembles it for him) to head into Weirdworld and rescue some Roxxon employees under siege by Skrullduggers, a race of monsters from Weirdworld who we are constantly reminded are like murderous animals, but with feelings. In addition to Man-Thing and Blake from previous issues, we’ve got Korg, of Planet Hulk fame, who comes to us having been the one to come across the Roxxon employees in Weirdworld and get them to safety, Titania, hired by Roxxon as a mercenary, and Angel, a ninja working for Roxxon. Weapon H’s wife Sonia negotiates pay ($10 million each) for the team and guaranteed safety for her and her family.
With the team assembled, Sonia gives Weapon H a pep talk, cleverly providing X-position about Weapon H’s past, constantly signing up for the military and then as a mercenary because of some inner need to fight. But now he’s fighting for himself so it’s all good. He also gets to talk via holo-Skype with his children, who are hanging with their grandma. With all that done, the team heads into Weirdworld only to be attacked by locals who are none-too-pleased with Roxxon. Weapon H’s team is laid low and the story will continue next issue.
This issue seemed like one of those fabled “jumping on points,” and featured a new series artist, Guiu Vilanova (who did a good job). As such, it was mostly setup, but it’s definitely established a more interesting dynamic with the team in Weirdworld than just “Hulkverine smashes and stabs stuff.” This book, which by all rights should never even have survived this long, continues to persevere by sheer force of will, and even more shockingly, it continues to get better.
What If? X-Men
(W) Bryan Hill (A) Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis (CA) Rahzzah
From the publisher that gave you OLD MAN LOGAN and HOUSE OF M… The X-Men as you never imagined! Welcome to the EXE/scape, a digital wonderland of business and pleasure accessible to anyone with the social (or monetary) capital for the bio-mods needed to log in… Or you can bypass all of that by being born carrying an .EXE/gene! But circumventing the login regulations is exactly what got the likes of Charles Xavier and his .EXE/men banned and driven underground in the first place… Free-roamers u/Domino and u/Cable have taken every dirty job there is on the ‘scape, but when a simple data scrubbing job turns bad, the life of bio-mod magnate Erik Lehnsherr hangs in the balance, and with it, their very society… It’s a whole new world of X-Men by Bryan Edward Hill (Detective Comics), Neil Edwards (Justice League) and Giannis Milonogiannis (Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network)!
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
What If? X-Men asks the question: what if the X-Men were cyberpunks. Domino and Cable meet with Charles Xavier, who explains that people with the .exe gene — that’s the cyberpunk version of the x-gene, granting those who have it powers to manipulate cyberspace, like in the Matrix — are feared and hated and also outlawed. Magneto, known here as just Erik, is the most famous person in the world with the .exe gene and he’s some kind of tech mogul who created the technology people use to access cyberspace. Because the government wants to wipe out people with the .exe gene, they’ve developed a virus called Nimrod and sent it to kill Magneto, who is holed up in a fortress in cyberspace.
Cable doesn’t want to get involved, but Domino believes in Xavier. Cable agrees once Xavier says that he’s dying, his .exe gene the cause. Cable and Domino grab Erik’s body while Domino goes into cyberspace to save him from Nimrod. When she reaches him in his fortress, he reveals that he’s actually the creator of Nimrod, and it was all a distraction ploy to keep Xavier from stopping him from his real plan, which is to give the .exe gene to everyone in the world. Before he can do that, however, Xavier uses his .exe powers (which are basically telepathy somehow) to transfer his own mind into Erik’s body, both stopping Erik’s evil plan and resolving his whole dying issue. Xavier uses his new status as Erik to begin spreading his dream for peaceful coexistence between… well, you know the rest.
It was an interesting reimagining of the X-Men, and even features profiles in the back for the .exe versions of Rogue and Jubilee, who didn’t really feature in the comic, which was a nice touch. Would we read an ongoing version of it? No. Well, we would, but that’s only because we read every X-book.
Next week, we’ve got Domino, Exiles, Iceman, X-23, and X-Men Black: Mojo. See you then!
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