Friday, November 20, 2015

X-Men Vol. IV by Brian Wood issues #3-4

There was nothing really special about the third issue of of this series, which is the conclusion of the first story arc Primer. The so-called villain of the story was Arkea, the alien Subtle's twin sister whom he overpowered and pushed during utero or something (because he's a dickhead, I'm assuming). Due to that homicidal negligence, Arkea piggybacked using an orphan human boy to track down her brother in Earth, and then she proceeded to possess machines (particularly Omega Sentinel Karima) because she's so original, and then she tried to kill the X-Men because they were in her way of vengeance. What a fucking cliche. The only real dramatic thing that got to me was that Karima was able to regain control of her body and offered to sacrifice herself to save them all. And that Storm actually considered that an option, much to Rachel Grey's chagrin. I like Karima back in Claremont's Excalibur Vol. III so I do hope she will be revived. For now, they neutralized Arkea, kept the baby Shogo safe, and still salvaged Karima's body. All in the day's work.

The fourth issue, however, was a very substantial installment that truly took its time focusing on characterizations and relationships. Divided between a rescue mission for the ladies, and Jubilee's lunch date with big-brother mentor Wolverine as they brought Shogo along, this was a wonderful well-written piece that explored how the daily grind must be like for people like the X-Men who take what they can get from a world that never stops trying to bring them down. The flow of the narrative and the transition among scenes were deftly accomplished, and Coipel's illustrations are growing on me especially those that featured Jubilee's panels with Wolverine as they have a great time just catching up and taking care of the baby; which were then heavily contrasted by the more action-oriented scenes featuring Rogue, Kitty and Betsy. Rogue, particularly, is enjoying her siphoning of Psylocke's powers. I have never seen her have such crazy fun like this, and it was a nice change because Anna Marie had always been so cautious and a little resentful of her siphoning abilities especially when certain assholes would force her to absorb powers (and memories) she would rather not. So seeing Rogue goofing around but still saving people put a smile on my face for at least a solid hour after reading about it. She'll always be my childhood favorite after all.

And as I enjoy Kitty, Betsy and Rogue just being awesome superheroine-gal pals together, the same cannot be applied to Storm and Rachel Grey who are definitely butting heads. Rachel was not happy that Storm was taking the reigns in their team, particularly when she believed that Ororo doesn't deserve the leadership role to begin with. After all, Storm did not even hesitate when she considered having Karma killed if that's what it took to stop Arkea. This doesn't sit well with everyone but Rachel was the only one who was willing to speak up about it, and it was great for her to question Storm, and I love this new dimension to Storm where we see her also becoming more brutal and less trusting of the world much like Scott now as the leader of the new mutant revolutions. Both are world-weary veterans who have been through so much to still believe in the best of things. That being said, Rachel did get through Storm and she eventually does accept that she shouldn't just boss them around and must be willing to work with them as a team player. Just like Rogue, Storm is a favorite, so I believe in her.

Meanwhile, Wolverine tries to buy Jubilee's childhood home behind her back as a surprise gift and it was all kinds of sweet and nice especially after he promised to look out after Shogo as well. Now, I'm not really that confident about Jubilee's newfound role as an adoptive mother, mostly because of my own issues about motherhood in general. I trust that she will do her best and that she does have other people who can help her raise the kid, but I'm pretty nervous and dreadful of the potential screw-ups along the way (which is why I WILL NEVER become a mother). In a way, I admire Jubilee for taking on the responsibility, but I'm also worried about her and the child's safety which will never be guaranteed, not as long as he's with the X-Men. But hey, if any group of people can make it and make the most of a bad situation, it's the X-Men. It takes a while but they always adjust. So I sure hope things won't get too worse soon. 

Well, issues #5-6 are the Battle of the Atom crossovers so Shogo's future was pretty much revealed there. I won't be reviewing those two anymore since I've finished them already and my thoughts about them are in the overall review of the collected series itself.


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