Welcome, one and all, to the number one sex-pun-based weekly X-Men recap column on the internet! In the past, I’ve published this column on Sunday, but I’m starting to like the idea of releasing it on Monday more, mostly because I order my comics from DCBS, they don’t get here until Thursday or sometimes Friday, and since Marvel publishes 20+ X-Men comics a month, that means I’ve got to read 5 comics, recap them, do some minimal analysis, add a bunch of links and images, and recap the whole thing in just two days. Publishing on Monday lets me do all that, let it sit overnight, and then proofread and tighten it up in the morning. So I think that’s what we’re doing from now on.
Plus, you know, it’s X-Men Monday, after all.
Now, let’s get right to the recaps.
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.
Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #2
(W) Leah Williams (A) Georges Jeanty (CA) Rahzzah
THE AGE OF X-MAN CONTINUES!
As Department X continues its work of purging and revising the ill-fitting elements of society, an encounter with a pregnant rebel begins eating away at the team from within. Cleaning up the minds of the world can be a dirty job…
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
The issue opens with Psylocke and Iceman helping a young boy who fell off his bike. When his caretakers (remember, children are created in labs in the Age of X-Man and there are no familial relationships) carry him off, Psylocke laments the loss of her childhood: “At some point we were picked up and then set back down, never to be picked up again.” So Bobby hoists her up and carries her into the Department X offices. This will come up again later. Soon, Department X heads off to save a bunch of animals and contain a wildfire, and for a moment during this mission, Blob and Psylocke exchange a look. Later, back at the office, Psylocke confronts Blob, telling him she could sense his romantic attraction to her and also his efforts to keep it buried, and she offers to psychically remove it from him. Blob runs off and stops coming into work over the next few days. He leaves Psylocke a note: “I don’t want to forget. Forgive me.”
Jubilee and Monetta head to the basement to check on Nezumi, the pregnant mutant they arrested and detained in their basement last issue. Jubilee is shocked to find Monetta has been keeping Nezumi under very poor conditions, chained to a sink in a file room, sleeping on the floor. Nezumi and Monetta exchange words, with Monetta calling her a “retrograde” and Nezumi basically accusing her of being a fascist. Jubilee sends Monetta off and tries to make nice with Nezumi, but Nezumi scolds her. Nezumi hoped Jubilee, as a fellow Asian woman, might have been different than the others, but Jubilee is actually worse than Monetta for accepting the way things are even while claiming to care that Nezumi is treated well as a prisoner. Jubilee leaves to tell the others about Nezumi’s conditions.
Later that night, Psylocke pays a call to Blob at his home. Inside, he pours his heart out, explaining that he would never expect her to reciprocate his feelings, but he needs them as a part of himself. In an unexpected twist, Psylocke crawls seductively across the table toward him while saying that she can’t recall the last time her mother held her, gets up close to his face, and tells him she’ll let him keep his romantic attraction to her if he’ll answer one question: “does it still hurt?” The issue ends there.
In a world where emotional connections are outlawed, these mutants whose job is to hunt down people who break that law are themselves desperately seeking any kind of connection. The overall concept of Age of X-Man feels cliche, but a few of the books are using that concept to explore the characters, and those character pieces redeem the event. NextGen and Amazing Nightcrawler are amongst those books, but X-Tremists is the truest deconstruction of it’s characters, really digging into what makes them tick by putting them in roles so contrary to their nature.
Age of X-Man: X-Tremists is the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week.
Congratulations to the creative team.
Mr. and Mrs. X #9
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Oscar Bazaldua (CA) Terry Dodson
• Gambit must use all his thieving skills to steal a precious object.
• Spiral must single-handedly (or is that multi-handedly?) fight off Mojo’s minions.
• And Rogue is on a mental trip reliving all her defining mutant memories. Not a great time for self-reflection, Rogue!
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
Gambit, sent on a mission by Spiral to steal an important “object,” breaks into a facility in Mojoworld to find it. It turns out the object is actually a baby. A six-armed baby, in fact. Is this Spiral’s daughter? Meanwhile, Spiral tries to psychically help Rogue regain control of her powers so she can stop killing Gambit. The baby was being kept by slaves of Mojo, and they beg Gambit to help them. Gambit agrees.
While inside Rogue’s mind, Spiral is also defending Rogue’s physical body from attack by Mojo’s forces in the real world. Rogue recounts the past times she’s felt out of control of her powers. During her first kiss as a teenager with Cody Robbins. When she completely absorbed the personality of Ms. Marvel (See Avengers Annual #10). Her long love affair (and avoidance of commitment) with Gambit comes up, of course. And then the time she absorbed Wonder Man’s powers in Uncanny Avengers #5, and the time she absorbed the Hetacomb in X-Men #199. What all of these things have in common is fear, Rogue realizes. Next, she flashes back to Uncanny X-Men #236, where Rogue was captured and imprisoned in Genosha, her powers stolen by Wipeout, and there she was helpless.
She realizes that it was always impossible to control her powers, but by abandoning that control, it kept her untouchable and therefore safe from emotional harm. To regain control, all she needs to do is conquer her fear.
Back in Mojorworld, Gambit arrives on the scene to help the physical Spiral defend Rogue. Gambit informs Spiral that the “object” was a girl. Spiral seems surprised — because she didn’t know it was a baby, or because she didn’t know it was a girl, is unclear at this time. Gambit frees Rogue from the machine that was keeping her powers in check and she doesn’t vaporize him immediately when they kiss, which means maybe she’s got control of her powers again. Unfortunately, Mojo shows up to spoil the moment, and this will be continued next issue.
This book is only going to continue for a few more issues, it seems. These days, a comic has barely just gotten going by its 10th issue. Subplots are seeded, characters are established, and it has momentum. And then, it’s canceled. Marvel editorial has fully subscribed to the notion that you need to constantly reboot every series so that the sales can spike with a new number one issue, and then they just wait it out for 1 to 3 trade paperbacks worth of material and do it again. It belies a complete lack of confidence in their own creators and material that Marvel won’t give a series a chance to find an audience. By the time the second trade paperback of this series is in stores for people to read, it’s already gone. That’s just nuts. Hopefully, this creative team gets to launch a new series that serves as a spiritual successor to this one, but I will die on the hill that Marvel ought to just let series run to double and triple digits and that, over time, sales would be healthier across the line. Sadly, Marvel sales strategies are driven by a desperate fear that they must grab as much cash as possible as quickly as possible, as if the whole thing could come crashing down at any moment. No long term planning. No commitment. Marvel publishing is weaponized myopia. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Mr. and Mrs. X is awesome and we’ll be sad to see it go.
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Damian Couceiro (CA) Pepe Larraz
• Spotlight on the kid called Cable!
• Before EXTERMINATION and before X-FORCE…young Nathan Summers was a mutant messiah warrior fighting against an apocalyptic future.
• But he wasn’t supposed to arrive in our time until well into adulthood…so what happened?
• Find out in this issue!
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
Picking up where we left off last issue, Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Army (which includes the mutant traitor Alexei) enter the Transian Federal Building through their time portal, intent on capturing Kid Cable. X-Force tries to stop them, but Stryfe and the MLA are confused as to why they’re helping a terrorist. That’s all we get of that for this issue, however, as the rest is a flashback (or is it flash forward) to Cable’s life in the future. Cable and his band of freedom fighters (Kore, Aliya, Tetherblood, Flintshaard, Bava, and Spheeris) are battling the New Canaanites. Hopelessly outmatched, they retreat, with Cable, Aliya, and Kore holding the line while the others run, and Kore sacrifices himself so the rest of the team can escape. As they run through the woods, Flintshard, Bava, and Spheeris morph and disintegrate and a new character, Dorna, appears.
When Cable arrives back at their base, Tetherblood explains what happened. Dorna believes she’s always been a member of the team, and Cable reads her mind to find she seems to be who she says she is, even though it’s impossible (look, he’s young, he’s not used to the X-books yet). Later, Blaquesmith shows up at the camp and explains that Dorna is a ripple in time, the result of an alternate timeline infecting this one. The cause: the original five time-displaced teenage X-Men who Beast brought into the present, 2045 years ago. He tells Cable he’ll need to go to the past and fix this (which we saw happen in Extermination), and he implants a time core (allowing Cable to timeslide) and the Greymalkin program into his metal arm. Cable gathers his remaining three comrades and prepares to head back to the past, but before they can leave, all three get wiped out by the approaching temporal tornado. Heartbroken, Cable heads back to the past himself.
But in the future, the world is still being ripped apart, and this makes Stryfe very angry. Stryfe prepares to head back to the past (which we saw at the beginning of this issue).
This issue explained a few things. Why Cable’s future is slightly different than it has been in the past (sorry, time travel). Why Stryfe is so mad at Cable (this time). Why Cable was so mad at his older version and had no issues killing him. It’s the best issue of this series yet, and features actual plot development (as the first four issues seemed to meander and could have probably been condensed to a single issue if not for the need to “write for the trade”).
(W) Greg Pak (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Greg Land, D’Armata, Frank, Jay Leisten
SLASH AND GRAB!
The Hulk is already on Weapon H’s tail – but now Wolverine is involved. And he’s got an Adamantium-laced bone to pick with Weapon H. But they’re not the only monsters coming for Clay. The Leader and Dr. Alba meet at last – and the result will transform the course of Clay’s entire life. Weapon H veteran Guiu Vilanova returns with the second installment of a classic clash in the making!
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
The issue opens with Weapon H’s wife, Sonia, driving their kids in an SUV to their hideout, a secret place that Weapon H doesn’t know about which the family set up in case he ever came under the control of others (as seemingly began happening last issue). The SUV can drive underwater, apparently, because that’s where the safe house is, in a dome under the sea. What’s that sound?
When they arrive, Sonia’s mom gives her a big fat “I told you so.”
Meanwhile, in the woods a few miles Northeast of this location, Weapon H battles Wolverine, who is pissed off about gimmick infringement. After they exchange blows for a suitable amount of time to make good on the concept of this book, Weapon H says he doesn’t have time for this because he needs to protect his family, and he runs off. Wolverine begins to realize he may be fighting the wrong guy. Weapon H locates The Leader, who is still working with Agent Ng of Shadow Base. Weapon H is about to Smash when the Hulk appears again and smashes Weapon H instead. He says smashing Shadow Base goons is his job.Wolverine shows up, helps Weapon H up, and loads him on his motorcycle. They ride off as The Leader watches, annoyed that his plans are falling apart.
Leader calls forth some Humanoids to send after Wolverine and Weapon H, but more Humanoids appear and trash his Humanoids. These come from Weapon X scientist Doctor Alba, who created Weapon H. They battle to a standstill, ending up impressed with (and maybe sexually attracted to) each other.
When they realize that Leader was following Hulk and Alba was following Wolverine, they realize they should team up to kill three birds with one stone. Or rather, capture them and perform sexy science experiments.
Meanwhile, Hulk catches up with Agent Ng and demands to know the location of Weapon H’s family. Soon, Wolverine and Weapon H are hanging out and bonding at a gas station when they see Hulk run by. They give chase and find Banner at the lake where Weapon H’s family is hidden (though Weapon H doesn’t know that). Hulk leaps into the water, but the virus Leader infected him with to kill his gamma powers takes effect and Hulk falls into the lake as Bruce Banner and promptly sinks. Unsure if he can swim Wolverine and Weapon H dive in, and as they rescue banner, the find the dome, with Sonia waving at Weapon H. All three head inside and finally agree to a three-way team-up. And just in time, too! There’s only one issue left.
At a nearby Shadow Base facility, Leader, Doctor Alba, and a reluctant Agent Ng plot to turn both Wolverine and Hulk into Hulkverines just like Weapon H.
Hulkverines. Truth in advertising. It’s so dumb, but inexplicably entertaining at the same time.
Marvel Comics Presents #3
(W) Charles Soule, Andrew Aydin, More (A) Paulo Siqueira, Daniel Acuna, More (CA) Arthur Adams
“THE VIGIL” featuring Wolverine continues with part 3 in this ongoing series! Three tales with echoes of the decade that began the Heroic Age-the swingin’ 1960s! First up, Wolverine continues his vigil, bringing him to the worst places on Earth. Then, the co-writer of the award-winning March trilogy, Andrew Aydin, pens a tale of Captain America during the Civil Rights movement. Finally, an all-new story of Marvel’s most famous son of the ’60s — Spider-Man! Brought to you by Tony Award-winner James Monroe Iglehart (Hamilton, Aladdin on Broadway) and Ray-Anthony Height (Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur)!
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
Continuing the Wolverine tale in which Wolverine must team up once a decade with a young witch named Sylvie to stop a demon called The Truth from destroying reality, The Truth makes its 1960s appearance right in the heart of a nuclear test explosion in the Nevada desert. The Truth knew that Sylvie and Wolverine would be there to stop it, so it chose this place hoping it would kill them both instantly. That didn’t work out, and they dispatch the demon, thanks to Sylvie’s magic. Afterward, Sylvie takes Wolverine on a date in Paris, and after a nice dinner, they sleep together, which, yuck. Didn’t Logan meet her when she was a young child?
In any case, this was part of some kind of plot, as after Sylvie leaves in the morning, leaving Wolverine with a note that says “thanks for the small pleasure” (small pleasure ooooh burn!), she meets back up with her clan, where it’s revealed this tryst was part of a mission.
Why? We’ll find out next issue, but could this be the origin of another secret child of Wolverine? That’s where I’d put my money, if I were a betting man.
The issue also contains a story in which Captain America learns he can’t solve racism with his fists and one in which Spider-Man faces Crusher Hogan in a dream championship wrestling match where Crusher claims Spider-Man ruined his life by secretly recording him having sex with the wife of Bubba the Love Sponge where he went on a racist rant (or something like that), but as neither of those are X-Men stories, we’re not going to recap them here. This was, however, probably the best issue of Marvel Comics Presents so far.
And that’s all for this week, folks. Over at Adventures in Poor Taste, Jordan White will answer questions about Hixmen later today. Will he also answer when Chris Claremont will write a new series? Probably not, because my arch nemesis, Chris Hassan, won’t ask the question to spite me. But it’s still worth checking out. We’ll probably post a clickbait article about it if White reveals anything substantial.
Read more X-ual Healing here: