I won't be reviewing issues #5-6 anymore which were the crossover issues for Battle of the Atom because I'm not really in the mood to re-visit what happened there because I can't honestly remember anything about those issues and I don't feel compelled to find out again. I remember enjoying that story arc very much, though, and that Shogo, Jubilee's adopted son, will grow up to become another superhero which is relevant, I suppose. So let's jump to the second volume for X-Men Vol IV featuring a brand new though not so new as well, villainess named Lady Deathstrike whom some of you may already know. She had a cinematic counterpart in the second X-Men film of the original franchise (played by Kelly Hu) so that hopefully jogs your memory. For those who read the comics, they know that she's Yuriko Oyama, and probably Wolverine's arch-nemesis of the sort. She's got the adamantium steel in her as well as other genetic enhancements and has worked her way as a mercenary for hire. On her last encounter with the X-Men, her body was destroyed, and now her consciousness was somewhat transferred into the unsuspecting body of one Ana Cortes, who also turned out to be the heiress to a crime family-empire so not too shabby, Yuriko-san, not too shabby at all. With a new body and some face paint, Lady Deathstrike set her eyes on a new prize; acquiring both the previous villainess Arkea and former Omega Sentinel Karima. To accomplish this, she employs the help of Typhoid Mary and Echantress.
For this particular story arc, we have artists Terry Dodson and Barry Kitson working on the visuals and I definitely enjoy the color and composition of their panels. Bendis' focal narrative on Lady Deathstrike was interesting enough. It's great to see that everything about this title remains female-centric, including the bad guys (girls?). I don't really think it's pandering especially to someone like me who barely take notice of gender in my comics unless it's either excellently front-runned or abysmally upsetting. For Brian Wood's run, the jury is still out, although I'm immensely enjoying myself for this current story arc. It was great to see Karima again, now fully conscious and eager to get her life back after it was infected by Arkea, the alien parasite who came to Earth to murder her twin brother John Sublime in revenge because she's a cliché that way. Lady Deathstrike, however, had other plans, and that involved using Arkea for her own means, ignoring the loud protests of John Sublime himself. Lady Deathstrike may prove to be trying to tame forces that are beyond her ken, but I'm eager to see what kind of clusterfuck will that lead to, and how the X-women will fix the mess. I think it's worth mentioning that Kitty Pryde has officially left after the events in Battle of the Atom. She now has to train the OCF who just traveled from the past in Bendis' other title All-New X-Men. She will be missed.
There's a side story here regarding the mutant students where Jubilee was involved in. A female student Bling/ Roxy just asked out a fellow female student was totally insensitive about it and punched Bling in the face. Jesus fuck, that wasn't very nice of her. Being a mutant is hard enough. Try being gay at that too. Anyway, Bling kisses Jubilee which was quite nice. It was all very Degrassi High or something which I can live with as I read this because a nice commercial break from all the deadly action so readers can check out the daily lives of teenage mutants is...necessary? I don't know. I wasn't upset by it. I thought it was pretty cute.
I do find it odd that Wolverine has yet to take part in all this drama. Lady Deathstrike is his foe. Do we keep him busy while all of this is happening since, after all, this title is about the ladies taking over cases and challenges as they find a way to be a unit? How is that accomplished exactly? Not the ladies fighting as a unit because I know they are more than competent to do that. But the one about Wolverine being out of the loop here as Lady Deathstrike wreaks havoc. Well, Wolverine is assigned to handle the delinquents of their school in the other title Wolverine and the X-Men. What's the matter then? Is Quentin Quire enough in keeping Wolverine far too busy for him to notice?