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CSBG Archive

She Has No Head! – All I Ever Wanted

My birthday was last week and my boyfriend had been asking me what I wanted for weeks. I didn’t know how to tell him that Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel had already given me all I ever wanted.

I know that sounds dramatic, but truly I do not know how to explain to you guys what it feels like to finally (at far too old an age) hold in your hands a comic book that you have dreamed of since you were a kid. A comic book that you wanted to WILL into existence. And now, like magic (plus 20 years) I have it.

Rogue SHNH Header

Some of you know this feeling well because you’re feeling it too. For those of you that don’t, I thought maybe a detailed breakdown of the book and what is so right about it would help. And I actually started writing that post, talking about what makes the book so great – what makes it human and beautiful, smart and funny, pointing out how exceptional the storytelling is, and why the character choices are so pivotal – but halfway through my examination I stopped because, quite simply, I don’t want to dissect this book. It’s not that it won’t stand up to it, I just find myself wanting to let it just be this beautiful thing that it is. And it really is a THING.

Simplicity

It’s that elusive THING that no matter how many words I write or lists I make, I won’t come close to pinning down. That rare thing that you can’t quite put your finger on that makes your heart sing a little. That coveted thing that gives you a moment of chills as you’re reading. That thing I suspect most of us adults that still love comics are forever chasing – that chance to recapture a time in our lives when things made us FEEL on a much more regular basis and with an intensity all but lost to us today.

Kitty Pryde

My brother shared my love of comics growing up, having actually discovered them for us in the mall one day when he recognized a character from the new X-Men cartoon we were obsessed with. The rest was history (history I’m sure my parents wish they could undo). We fell in love with comics, and perhaps more specifically, superheroes. Eventually as we grew up, we both read less, and then he read not at all, but I remember going to see the first X-Men film with him in 2000. That was one of those things. One of those moments where I could recapture my love of superheroes and get the chills that came with it. Sure it wasn’t a feeling that lasted the entire movie, but I will never forget watching that opening scene with a young Magneto tearing up that gate, it was bliss. And it was the same for my brother. I know this because we looked at each other for just a moment, communicating that pure joy of “I can’t believe I’m seeing this! It’s REAL!”

We had, if only for a moment, rediscovered that elusive thing that feels like childhood dreams turned into reality. It’s easily recognizable when you see that joy in someone. We both had it. But it’s been a long time since a movie or comic made me feel that way, even the good ones.

Rachel Summers

In truth, superhero movies and comics disappoint me more regularly than just about anything else, maybe simply because I AM asking them to do the impossible. To be a time machine. To satisfy a lifetime of investment in superheroes, a passion that burned brighter than most other things for me but that like most other things faded as I became an adult. While I feel very strongly (obviously) that Man of Steel is a terrible film, independent of being a superhero film, it is true that I judge it a little more harshly, and that I want a little more from it than just any old film. With superheroes I’ll probably always be searching for more. Hoping I can get just a moment of that elusive bite of happiness.

So far Wood and Coipel have brought me far more than just a little “bite of happiness.”

violent and cool

I loved X-Men comics so much that when I was 16 and not a particularly good driver (what 16 year old is?) I got into a terrible fight with my father because I wanted to drive to the comic book store during a snowstorm to get my new comics. I just knew that X-Men was out (and if I recall correctly it was an issue with something VERY SERIOUS going on with Gambit and Rogue, my teenaged favorites). I could not wait ONE DAY to get that book. I was DYING in my very soul to have it.

It’s been a long time since I felt that way about most my comics (or anything quite frankly). I love a whole lot of comics I read and movies I go to, but they can wait a day. Or more.

I guess what I’m trying to say about this new X-Men is that after many years of faded or flickering passions I would get into a fight with my dad over it. I’d drive through that snowstorm to get it.

It’s just that good and it makes me just that happy. It’s brought back the fire, or at least reminded me what it felt like.

Smart and Beautiful

79 Comments

Ah, it’s so nice to read of someone just honestly passionate about a book that (I believe, at least) deserves it.

Yes, it’s one of the “mainstream” Big Two, and therefore not a cool Indy darling of a book, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome!

In fact it’s really reminded me of the Whedon/Cassaday X-Men run, which I absolutely loved. Really looking forward to seeing where this is going.

they actually acknowledge that Grant Morrions wrote X-Men comics, that was enough for me

Morrison haha :(

I haven’t read X-Men for a long time and this brought me back. The first two issues have been pretty good so far, but to a lapsed (or new) reader, nothing has been done to show me who Karima is or why she’s so important. And because I don’t know anything about her, the scene where Kitty fails to put her down and instead lets her go loose in to the world to endanger a world instead of just one mansion was frustrating. Without the knowledge of who Karima is, (I can only assume Beast has a thing for her?) that scene makes Kitty look weak. (And isn’t she bad-ass now? Thanks to Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, which is the last time I read an x comic.)

Also, I had a problem in issue 2 with that last sequence up there you so handily scanned. Rogue needs help from Kitty to carry Beast? The Rogue who just turned a reinforced steel door in to a pretzel and punched Karima so hard it looked like she melded with the floor? And from a Kitty who could presumably reach out with her intangibility and make Hank lighter than air?

There needs to be more fun and jokes in comics, but not like that. Spock would not approve. ;)

@Andy: Yes, I also love the Whedon run (which is probably obvious) in fact, it’s the book that brought me back to mainstream/superhero comics, however I read it after the fact, so though I love it, I didn’t get to experience it “in real time” as it were, which diminished the effect slightly. Though I’ve heard horror stories about the delays, so perhaps I was lucky! ;)

@Caanan: I’m not intimately familiar with Karima either, but it hasn’t bothered me because I think Wood has done a good job of showing me what she means to these people – i.e. it’s totally clear to me in the Kitty scene that it’s someone she cares for she even says “she’s one of us” – that was more than enough for me. Though I will give you that the shocking ending of the first issue would have been diminished without knowing who/what Karima was/is.

I just assumed Rogue’s borrowed powers were leaving her and so she needed help with Beast. I guess the idea of friends carrying an injured teammate, even if he is heavy, makes sense to me, rather than just making everything easy by floating him with powers. Sometimes you just want to do something the “human” way, no?

See? I’m out of the loop! Rogue doesn’t have the Ms Marvel powers any more? I also know from the recap page that Karima is the Omega Sentinel but that’s about it. I’m assuming we’ll get some more info next issue on who she is and why she’s so important to Kitty. I hope so anyway.

Regardless, It’s nice to read some X-Men again after so long, especially one with so many of my favourite characters in it. Rogue! Jubilee! Kitty! Yay!

@Caanan:

Yeah, Rogue hasn’t had Ms. Marvel’s powers for a VERRRRRRYYYYY long time now. :)

I don’t know that Karima is specifically important to Kitty, I just think she’s a former X-Man (I think she’s been in an induced coma or something?) and so they don’t want to kill one of their own…which makes sense to me.

And yes, regardless, I’m glad you’ve found your way back to the X-Men. Enjoy it!

This article warmed the cockles of my heart. Though the new X-title isn’t my absotiveliest fave, it’s pretty darned good — and I’ll admit that there are a number of Marvel titles (and a few from some other-than-DC houses) right now that have me filled with that giddy I-just-can’t-wait feeling in a way that I haven’t been for some years.

While I do appreciate the effort and storytelling that’s gone into stuff like this new X-title, in the end, the animated series version of the team I’ll take over the ever-changing main comics versions any day.

I guess I prefer what Tom Bondurant calls “ideal aggregations” of characters.

I can relate to the snowstorm story, I couldn’t drive so I walked, it was the day after and there was quite a few inches of snow and my parents thought I was crazy. I’m loving this series, I’m glad Wood is doing a good job with Rogue, continuing with what Carey had been doing in Legacy.

As far as I recall, and it’s been a few years, Kitty and Karima were never part of the same team. But, whatever, shared universe/house.

The last time I remember seeing Karima I’m pretty sure she’d turned against the team that time too! Never trust a Sentinel!

I think the Whedon run will always stay with me for some of the most purely badass Cyclops moments ever written. That, and having some of the best art and writing for all the characters anyway.

heh, i guess having really low standards can be a good thing when it comes to superhero comics…

I don’t understand the deal with Rogue’s powers. Where is she getting super strength anyway? Off the top of my head, everyone at the mansion with super strength would also have a visible transformation as well (ie Armor, Rockslide, Gentle). Captain Marvel lives in the city, so I don’t see how it would be worthwhile to stop by just to borrow her powers, when they’d be gone by they time she got where she was going.

To: Ms. Thompson and Caanan,

If you’re interested in Karima, she played a sizable role in Mike Carey’s opening run on X-Men (before it got rebranded as ‘Legacy’). That’s where I started liking her . . . then again, I consider Carey to be one of the best character writers in comics—the kind who could probably make me enjoy the Hulk—so it’s quite possible I simply enjoy his take on the character rather than the character herself. I suppose we’ll find out if/when Wood restores her (and I’m pretty sure he seeded that particular ‘How’ in Issue 2).

Wish I had something more interesting to say about Wood’s X-Men than: “I’m heels-over-head in love with this series” . . . but there it is. My only concern is that with the opening arc being only three issues long, the conclusion might come across as rushed. A threat like Arkea (who keeps making me think she’s the result of some Swedish furniture store experiment gone wrong) strikes me as deserving a longer arc. Nothing Hickman-esque, just a solid five or six issues. That said, his character work is top notch; everyone feels like they have their own voice—he’s writing an excellent Kitty so far (my ultimate barometer of character-writing success)—and he manages to pack a lot of characterization into the dialogue, so I’m thinking he has better than even odds to pack a satisfying story in these three issues. Besides, it may not be a full resolution; we may get an “I’ll get you next time, Gadget!” ending to be revisited post-crossover.

Thanks, Avarice.

As well as the Swedish thing, Arkea also sounds like how Rogue would have said Ikea on the 90s cartoon. ;)

Rogue could be using Betsy or Rachel’s telekinesis to do a lot of these feats of flight and strength, IMHO.

I agree that the Rogue thing was very poorly handled. By not explaining who she borrowed the super strength and flight from, it just makes it look like Wood forgot that she no longer has Ms. Marvel’s powers. If it were any other power set, or a power with a visible transformation, it wouldn’t be as egregious.

That said, I have no other complaints about this book so far. I love what he’s doing with all of the characters and that he’s using Karima and Sublime (two oft mishandled characters) very well.

I really enjoy the book as an X men fan but I wonder does it get so much love because its good or because it stars a predominately female cast?

Is the wonder of where Rogue’s power set is coming from any worse than wondering where Jubilee’s vampire nature went? Honestly just reading this for the art and I’m gone when Coipel is. I prefer my characters to at least pretend to match up to how they appear elsewhere…

Rogue can grab power from any mutants near her and she is in a house full of mutants. I just assumed she drew power from one of them.

I love the series so far (only 2 issues!), but I think one of the biggest draws for me is Olivier Coipel’s art, which immediately brings to mind the old Marc Silvestri 80′s style (everyone stick-thin, but super attractive). I’m concerned about how short his time on this series will be – four issues tops and then he’s gone for good, right?

This already seems like one of those titles that is bringing in non-comic readers. I know a few people who buy this book because of it being a book that spotlights the female mutants. It’s not always a mans show.

I have read the first 2 issues and while i enjoyed them both i don’t think they are amazing or anything. The best part i would have to say is how self contained it feels while still obviously taking place in the same locations as Wolverine and The X-Men. The entirely female cast is neither a positive or a negative to me. You can tell good stories with any characters male or female as long as they are well written. I am kind of confused about Jubilee though because last time i remember seeing her around she was a vampire and now that doesn’t seem to be the case.

wondercharlie

July 2, 2013 at 9:05 am

Tha’t just what I had said to my friend at wrk. It’s everything I wanted, My Rogue is back. Thanks, Kelly for pointing that out

Stephen Conway

July 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

The Rogue powers thing was definitely explained somewhere else recently. I think it was in the A + X issue, but I don’t have it on hand to check for certain.

I second what Chris D said on the self-containedness of it. As soon as it gets sucked in to the next senses-shattering mega super crossover, I’m done.

Stephen Conway

July 2, 2013 at 10:06 am

Caanan, that’s exactly why I’m so worried about Battle for the Atom. For the first time ever I’m enjoying pretty much every X-book on the stands, so I fear any deviation from their current course.

@Darrell Taylor
I can only speak for myself, but I love this book, and the female cast is merely the icing on the cake. This feels more like my X-Men than anything I’ve read since Whedon.

@Jake
I was actually kindof relieved that Wood decided to cut to the chase with Rogue and have her borrow the necessary powers off-pannel. It’s the same scene over and over again.

So it basically boils down to ‘no boys’?

HellBlazerRaiser

July 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

You do have a head! It’s just up Brian Wood’s ass right now.

So glad this comic exists and that it takes me off the hook for not sending you a birthday present. DOUBLE WIN!

@Kenn
It doesn’t really boil down to no boys. Beast and John Sublime, both feature prominently in the issue. They just aren’t regular members of the cast.

I’ve always been more of an Avengers reader than X-titles, but the truth is that I think that Marvel NOW has turned the Avengers into a colossal mess. I’m not sure what they think they’re doing with the flagship title, but it looks like they think I pick up comics to read an epic. I read epics to read epics. I read comics for fun.

I think that this book looks like it might win me over. I’m considering the merits of this as a book to check out. I have two daughters and I’d like a comic that presents to them women as the heroes, rather than a token presence (which, I have to say is how even Captain Marvel feels lately).

Imraith Nimphais

July 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

For me, wot defines this title and separates from all the others is quite simply this: A family of heroes working alongside each other fighting to save themselves and the world against near impossible odds. No hyperbole. No angst. No family /soap opera melodrama. Just straight-up classic, superheroic, “X-Men” storytelling. With great art. Reminiscent of the good ol’ Outback era days and team.

This incarnation of X-men is absolute Per-fection!

Poor Kelly. All she ever wants is a good comic. I hope Mr. Wood that you read this and do your best! I know you can. Bah, I’m sure you will deliver! Ultimate X-Men is perfect, so you can put some of it into mainstream. Don’t worry, nobody will notice.

Until then, I recommend some Napalm Death, especially Breed to Breathe to listen. Cheers and good summer!

There is something awfully nostalgic about this comic. I think it’s especially the case if you’re a now-grown ’90s reader like me and Kelly seem to be. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve got that “family” vibe again which has mostly been missing since roughly 2001 (nothing against modern X-comics, but they’re a whole different creature than they were in the ’90s).

Personally, I’m just glad Jubilee is back. I have a soft spot for that little firecracker. I remember being front and center reading Uncanny X-Men as she made her transition to Generation X. It’s true that a lot of the weird stuff that’s been done to her since Generation X ended are still standing. She’s still without fireworks. And she’s still a vampire (she’s using something called a “light-bender” that lets her walk around in daylight). But Brian Wood chose to focus on who she is rather than what she is and that’s made all the difference so far.

Kelly, although I usually disagree with a lot of your columns, I think that you did a great job in this one describing the elusive feeling that so many readers try to recapture. For many of us, it’s hard to remember what it felt like early in our comic reading journey, and the excitement of first learning about these characters. There is no substitute for that, and as it fades, we become the grumpy jaded readers who are never satisfied with anything. But for every book that an old reader calls garbage, someone is reading it for the first time and getting hooked. They just don’t know that feeling will become harder to find as they go along. The closest I’ve come to that was being away for 25 years and starting again. I’ve had a great time, but it’s still not the same as when it was all new to me.

@Imraith Nimphais: ” No hyperbole. No angst. No family /soap opera melodrama. Just straight-up classic, superheroic, “X-Men” storytelling.”

I think your memory of the X-Men and mine come from completely opposite places, not that there is anything wrong with that. Having come up in the Claremont era, I adore the soap opera X-Men. It was always a great roller coaster where all of the characters had real human flaws and grew and changed and evolved over time. Avengers had the easy ride: the X-Men had the angst, powers that were as much of a burden as a blessing, and nothing but hard choices.

So, I’m a little lukewarm on this title so far. All of the characters seem so fixed that it feels like it’s lacking depth to me. Perhaps it will grow in time, but right now I’m not seeing any flaws or cracks to really latch on to. I need the edges scuffed up a bit more.

On a minor note, the current incarnation of Rogue just feels wrong to me. Having control of her powers and being able to touch people and then showing up with “random convenient power set of the month” takes a lot of the core fun out of the character for me. I always really liked the bravado-laden nigh-invulnerable and untouchable Rogue who, once you got past all that physical and mental armor, was just as frail and vulnerable as the rest of us (maybe even a little more damaged). Sure, I’m all for character growth, but I just don’t see many compelling character hooks in her current state. I keep hoping that every time she borrows powers from a flying brick, something will go wrong and she’ll end up back in her untouchable and super strong state. I know, I want character growth but I want characters like i remember them. I am a paradox.

@Spidermaniac:

I actually agree with you quite a bit on Rogue. It feels wrong to say that I want Rogue to regress to the bruiser type with power control issues, and I do love a lot of the work that Mike Carey did with her, but I honestly miss the iteration I fell in love with (the tough as nails brawler with Ms. Marvel’s powers, super vulnerable inside and nigh invulnerable on the outside). The untouchable aspects and the complexity that comes from her powers not being in control (or at least not completely) all that stuff is a comics gold mine. As is the dual personas and the layers that come with that. I hate to feel like I’m advocating taking away her agency and all she’s learned, but in Rogue’s current form she’s almost too powerful and perfect and thus a bit unrelatable to me and unfamiliar as “Rogue”…I think that’s why Wood’s version is hitting such a great note for me. He likely is not allowed to “regress” her but he’s at least brought her back to the straight brawler of the team…so it’s a nice compromise and we’ll see what the future holds!

Bit of an odd article…

X-Men is shaping up to be a great title (number 2 on my list), but there’s nothing inherently better about it that All New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, or even Wolverine and the X-Men. The story isn’t breaking new ground and is paced and plotted in a manner very consistent with Bendis’ work on All New X-Men. The art is a little better, but its Coipel so we can assume the art will be better for maybe 3 more issues and then the art will probably be worse (when a fill in takes over). I would go so far as to say, more so than anytime over the last ten years, the X-Books all seem to be hitting consistent notes as opposed to specifically trying to manage unique tones as Quesada made very clear was mandated when he was chief. All in all there’s really nothing so different about it to justify such an outpouring of emotion.

I have to ask, have you just not been reading any of the other titles? If that’s the case then I can’t say I understand the premise of the article, its hard to say X-Men is everything you’ve been looking for in an X-Men title if you haven’t been looking.

@whocares:

Ah, well, since you don’t care…oh wait, you must since you went to the trouble to create a BS anonymous name (along with a BS fake email address! good times!) so that you could leave a comment.

First and foremost, it’s okay that my “outpouring of emotion” didn’t work for you, that’s absolutely okay, but to come in here and act like I’m wrong for loving something is just…so patently absurd, I can’t even. Worse, to argue against something that you rank as #2 on your list…is just flabbergasting.

ANYWAY, again, not that you care, but I read a ton of books every month, many of them X-titles, since this is basically what I do for a living (write about comics).

Here’s just the stuff I have reviewed for CBR independent of everything I’ve reviewed on 3 Chicks and for SHNH and other places throughout the web in case you were really interested – which, we’ve established you’re not…right?

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=author&id=280

Also, bad news for you. Coipel is only on for the first three issues.

Can’t say enough good about this series so far. Love it. “Marvel NOW” is making me care about Marvel again, and “X-Men” is my favorite of the crop right now.

I am sad to hear that Coipel is leaving, though. I know Wood can keep it going writing-wise, but the art has been jaw-droppingly good.

@ Kelly Thompson: “I actually agree with you quite a bit on Rogue. It feels wrong to say that I want Rogue to regress to the bruiser type with power control issues, and I do love a lot of the work that Mike Carey did with her, but I honestly miss the iteration I fell in love with ”

I understand. I’ve been wanting “my Jubilee” back for a while now. Is it strange that I miss those fireworks so much?

So it’s confirmed Coipel’s only on the first 3 issues? Then so am I. Enough with the ‘bait-and-switch’, Marvel. :(

@Paulski: Yes, Coipel was only ever on for the first arc, which is three issue.

It’s not really a bait and switch though when he’s only ever been planned on for three issues. I don’t mind, starting with Coipel because I see it as Marvel trying to give the book the absolute A-list/fan favorite artist to a new title to give it the best and strongest possible release. If you look around you’ll see that Coipel is piloted in to this kind of situation all the time, rarely does he do long arcs. Everyone wants him, so you can only have him for a little while.

It would be great to have him on for longer, he’s wonderful, but I appreciate Marvel trying to put their strongest foot forward on this title. The good news is that for those of us that do stick around, David Lopez is (and always was) intended to be the regular series artist once the book was launched and he and Brian Wood have proved to be an EXCEPTIONAL team. There will also be an arc by the Dodsons, not my first pick for this book, but certainly VERY talented illustrators.

If you can’t have Coipel, these are very good alternatives.

Kelly,
My X-Men experience (Claremont/Byrne through Claremont exiting the first time) makes it tough for me to enjoy anything Marvel has done with the X-Men in aLONG time and I keep saying that I’m going to check this book out but I think of all of the changes to the team that I grew up and loved (Cyclops a terrorist/freedom fighter, Nightcrawler dead, Banshee dead, Jean dead (again), and my favorite, Colossus and his WTF characterization) being handled in ways that I can’t bear to pick up anything with an X on the cover. But your enthusiasm/excitement for this title has me so intrigued that one day I may pick an issue up. I did give Wood’s Conan a second look after reading your reviews (I’m more of a Roy Thomas/John Buscema/Ernie Chan Conan guy) but I’ve really enjoyed it after giving it that second chance.

I don’t understand the complaints about Rogue! She’s portrayed as a tank which is awesome because that’s why everyone fell in love with her originally and she’s in a school full of mutants. If she stopped and explained I borrowed this and this and this power in a 20 page comic it would be wasteful. That is just one humble opinion.

Only two issues in and you folks at CBR really over hyping Wood’s X-Men. Also, you couldn’t resist a jab at DC. Oh CBR, don’t ever change.

Wow.

Conspiracy theories are truly out of hand when even a personal and arguably emotional essay about what the new X-Men comic means to someone that loved X-Men as a teenager and has largely lost that elusive love will bring out the “you’re all in the can for Marvel!” etc. accusations.

If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve been accused of being on Marvel, DC, whatever publisher of the moment’s payroll I’d have…well, a whole lot more money than I’ve ever been paid by some company to talk nice about their books.

Jesus.

Travis Pelkie

July 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Yeah, stop telling me about comics you love love love. WTH, CBR?

Or CSBG, since that’s where we are….

Like AdamYJ says, “There is something awfully nostalgic about this comic. I think it’s especially the case if you’re a now-grown ’90s reader like me and Kelly seem to be.”

Count me in there too.

I kinda like that Wood’s not stopping to explain things. Essentially, the book seems to be written so that if you know the characters and set ups from the ’90s cartoon, or the Morrison or Whedon runs, you can pretty much pick up and run with it. If you’re mired in what’s going on in between then (why is Rogue super-strong? why doesn’t Jubilee seem to be a vampire?), well, *ahem* man up and keep up.

I’m not on board 100% with this comic, but it’s certainly quite cool. I think the bits Kelly highlights here are definitely the best parts.

And really, if you’re caught up in the “ew, they’re icky girls” thing that a few seem to say about this, I say, really? Are these not some of the best X-characters, regardless of whether or not they have boobies? Thank the lord that boring old Cyclops or Wolverine aren’t here.

Travis Pelkie

July 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Oh, and I hate you for getting Depeche Mode stuck in my head! I’ll just pretend it’s the Tori Amos version. :)

@Kelly
I’ll try to ignore the unnecessary hostility in your response.

First, the name whocares is directed at your comment section not your article (as in who cares whether my name is Kelly or Kooblakahn neither one is necessarily any more accurate) and why would I bother to give my email to something I’m not even registering for that’s just basic cyber security. I apologize for any confusion but considering its pretty standard procedure for users on an unregistered board I am surprised by it.

Second I never argued against the book, its a great book, my argument is its not monumentally better than most other X-Books currently. I believe by overvaluing this book your are directly under valuing many more which is a disservice for your readership as it is assumed (since they read the blog) they value your opinion and therefore may avoid some of those titles, consequently it is also a disservice to the other creators.

Finally Lopez is in my opinion one of the most underrated artists in comics today so I’m actually quite pleasantly surprised that he will be stepping in. Be nice to have Copiel back after an arc but marvel could do much worse.

Being a bit dramatic there, Ms Thompson? I suppose that’s your shtick. I enjoy Marvel comics, maybe even more than DC if you take out all the Vertigo titles. While I don’t think CBR is being paid by Marvel like the tin foil hats accusers out there, you can’t ignore that the site tends to lean more towards Marvel than DC nowadays just by reading the reviews, opinion pieces, etc. Now there isn’t wrong with that because reviews are subjective and everyone have their favorites. But to say one can stay neutral and not have a favorite over another whether it’s Marvel, DC, Image, etc. is just fooling themselves.

“Only two issues in and you folks at CBR really over hyping Wood’s X-Men”

About the first sentence of my 1st post, isn’t about favoring Marvel, it’s more like judging the series on just two issues alone seems rather too early, imo. Hawkeye and Daredevil are my choice for best best comic books superheroes titles today, but I waited till the first or second arc is complete to make that judgement. First two issues of X-Men are good, but for me to consider it to be on level of DD and Hawkeye, I have to see the Wood and co. to consistently produce good to great issues.

As a lifelong DC fan, I have to say that Marvel’s just plain putting out better comics right now. Alas.

OMG, buttler! You admit Marvel putting out better comics than DC. So you must be being paid by Marvel!!! Sorry, just playing the part for those people who gets so defensive when someone hints that he/she/they tends to lean towards one publisher over another, not that there’s anything wrong with one favoring one publisher over the other.

@Dave

I judge comics in a lot of ways, including on individual issues, in part simply because it’s my job to write about comics…not just collected trades once everyone has had a chance to make a decision about how great they are. Serial comics in particular really NEED to be judged on what they put out in a single issue – it’s part of the art form – how well you can tell a story in a single issue, what you include and exclude, etc. So I have no problem judging a book on a single issue.

It’s possible that eventually this book will not be great, but right now, at this moment in my life, it’s all I ever wanted in a comic, that’s what the post is about and I am still flabbergasted by the idea that people have an issue with that, especially when they actually really like the comic book themselves. But to each their own.

As for the other issue. Being dramatic is certainly not my “shtick.” But you cannot imagine how freaking exhausting it is to be nitpicked and bitched to death as a writer/reviewer/columnist/what-have-you. My tolerance for it after years is wearing decidedly thin.

As for the whole “shill for Marvel thing” – there was nothing subtle about what you said. It was an accusation at CBR and at me. It’s not appreciated, and I’m not going to politely sidestep it. You weren’t polite or subtle, why should I be? You’re allowed to make that accusation and even to believe it, but I’m allowed to respond to it as well. This is the response. Good times!

I can’t speak for the other reviewers/columnists/etc. at CBR, but for my money there’s a simple reason DC is not getting the positive attention Marvel is right now, because plainly, the bulk of DC’s (non Vertigo) books suck. Since the new 52 my DC reading list went from about 15 titles to 3. What else can I say? You put out a quality interesting product that doesn’t feel mired in the worst of 90′s dark and super violent nostalgia and sometimes the world rewards you.

I had to wiki up both Sublime and Karima after the first issue just to know who the hell they were.
What little I knew of Sublime -cult leader fake mutant weirdo type- is nothing like he really is.

I’m enjoying the book so far, it’s a lot of fun and stands well on its own.
Hopefully it can retain this quality after Coipel leaves.

And it’s probably the first time I’ve not hated Jubilee’s mere presence, so great job Mr Wood!

I don’t really know Jubilee at all, but she gets points from me for nearly messing up the multiverse just to date Tim Drake.

Travis Pelkie

July 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oh, and just because I didn’t come out and say it, it does need to be said that this piece was a beautiful love letter to this comic in particular and generally to that “thing” that makes life magical and is forever worth chasing.

This is the kind of writing we need more of about comics, and it’s wonderful that Kelly is willing to stick through the dick trolls in order to give us something like this. I appreciate it, and I hope plenty of the rest of the people here do too, and boo to the trolls.

Dave gets the crown today for “Most typical BS internet commenter behavior.”

Show up, take a shot and then when called on said shot, try to backtrack and play the victim.

Just own your own shit, Dave. You showed up, took a dumb shot at Kelly and CBR as a whole, then tried to both backtrack AND grab the high ground when called on it. It’d be pathetic if it weren’t so darn common. Actually, I guess that is, in and of itself, pretty pathetic, that it IS so common.

I am a bit hesitant to wade in. I did read a few X-Comics in trade format (Grant Morrison’s run and Whedon’s, as well as a few volumes from Millar’s Ultimate X-Men), but looking at the current Marvel lineup I feel a bit discouraged. How are there so many different X-Men titles? How does one deal with that?

Also, I am a listener of the podcast and a huge fan. Excellent work, that. Can you guys interview Jeff Lemire? :D

@Shig: “I am a bit hesitant to wade in. I did read a few X-Comics in trade format (Grant Morrison’s run and Whedon’s, as well as a few volumes from Millar’s Ultimate X-Men), but looking at the current Marvel lineup I feel a bit discouraged. How are there so many different X-Men titles? How does one deal with that?”

I know the feeling, but less in relation to X-Men titles than all the indy books out there. However, as someone who was there in the heart of it during the ’90s when it was just about as bad with the X-books I can only tell you what worked for me: just dive in! Pick an issue off the stands and give it a read. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t get everything right away.

@Travis Pelkie: “I kinda like that Wood’s not stopping to explain things. Essentially, the book seems to be written so that if you know the characters and set ups from the ’90s cartoon, or the Morrison or Whedon runs, you can pretty much pick up and run with it. If you’re mired in what’s going on in between then (why is Rogue super-strong? why doesn’t Jubilee seem to be a vampire?), well, *ahem* man up and keep up.”

A sure sign of a ’90s X-Men reader. We laugh at the thought of a comic being too confusing or convoluted.

@IAM FeAR: “And it’s probably the first time I’ve not hated Jubilee’s mere presence, so great job Mr Wood!”

How can anyone hate Jubilee? It boggles the mind.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

I’m really enjoying this book. Wood’s storytelling combined with Coipel’s terrific pencils make this a can’t-miss title.

I feel the X-Men line as a whole is better now than it has been in years. Bendis is writing the best stuff he’s done in years in All-New and Uncanny, Aaron’s doing well over in Wolverine & (though it has lost a little steam since its really strong start), an the two X-Force books, while not great, are doing pretty well for themselves (Cable & is a bit better than Uncanny purely because it seems to have more focus about what it’s about and where it wants to go).

But yeah, I love it when I get that utter sense of joy, satisfaction and child-like wonder when reading a comic. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, man, does it feel awesome. I’m glad this book’s doing that for you, Kelly.

*Random Note: whoever said that Mike Carey (who had one of the best X-runs ever, if you ask me) should write the Hulk deserves a MEDAL. That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.*

@AdamYJ

I wouldn’t say I hate Jubilee… I just have never really been able to like her (except maybe for when she was sort-of-dating Tim Drake, which a previous commenter just reminded me of!).

That said my opinion doesn’t hold too much weight amongst many x-fans because Cyclops is my favourite character. I even like what they’re doing with him now (although I was as sceptical and wary as everyone when it was first announced).

x-shite
lol

@ Andy Synn

Everyone’s got their favorites. I suppose I’m attached to Jubilee because she was the viewpoint character in the cartoon and because I started reading just prior to Phalanx Covenant which launched Generation X. She was getting some really intense character focus at that time. I will admit that she’s a hard character to make work in the X-Men unless they’re in “family mode”. She really doesn’t take well to being turned into a teacher and the idea that she’d go along with being one of Cyclops’s mutant soldiers would be pretty laughable. It’s probably why they’ve had such a hard time finding a focus for her for the last 12 years.

I guess everyone’s got their least favorites too. For example, ever since 2001, I’ve wanted to smack Emma Frost every time she’s said anything. But that’s me.

Yessssssss. I think you are my comic soulmate. I have all the same feels. Including the deeply instilled Rogue love and absolute glee over seeing her just rough stuff up.

Wow … (adjective-less) X-Men :-O … REALLY!?

I’m a fan of the animated series *shyness* it was what got me into X-Men & from there Age of Apocalypse (STILL read it like once a year since … IMHO BEST X-over EVA, then Messiah Complex where the fate of our Super-Sentinel was chosen *sadness* … if I remember right, either Messiah Complex or the ‘prelude’ Blinded by the Light arc in previous adjective-less X-Men ±195-200)

Anyway, side tracked … if it brought back that giddy-animated-1st-time-X-lover THING… I’m gettin my copies TODAY (I latched onto the initial launches All-New & Uncanny and most of the Avenger titles, if X-Men wasn’t so late, i’d b with you all right now)

Onto Rogue … I’m kinda half half as well … agreeing with the Ms Marvel persona of past, got really exited during the X-Treme X-Men phase that helped her regain control of her absorbing powers, now tho, she’s just too powerful except Marvel recognises that people can’t be all powerful & introduced the whole time limit thing to her powers … I understand, I do, but it just irritates me really … so yes, I agree, I wish she was her previous Ms Marvel-ous self as well, despite having loved the entire character growth story … although winey-old-can’t-touch-me-Rogue was also a bit much at tines as well … so clearly I don’t know what I want #DOH!!!

(@Kelly your article gave me this insanely stupid smile / makin me feel all warm&fuzzy coz apparently I’M NOT ALONE … that feelin of friend/family thing everyone’s going on about … thanx for sharing)

I am really enjoying this series, and I don’t care where Rogue got her powers. It’s gotten me back into buying a monthly comic after roughly a decade of just getting trades from the library because it’s giving me the same feeling Kelly described. Thanks for a fun and positive column, Kelly!

Mummra the ever living

July 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Yeah…….I’m not getting that feeling.

This is in no way a BAD book- Coipel alone could sell it to me. I’m just not getting “the need”.

The character choices seem to be exactly that- choices. The cast appears far too chosen for me right now, in that there is no “there came a day” moment (other franchise I know) nor any reason given as to why Beast isn’t considered part of this non-team.

I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s enjoyment of the book and I’m honestly a little jealous of the joy it seems to bring others.

Karima was one of the stars of Mike Careys X-Men/ Legacy run and I’m glad she’s been resurrected. I have to say though that one of the more interesting point of this book is the single panel that appears to show Hellion (with arms again?) as he is the one who reportedly killed (but apparently just it into a coma) Karima when she went haywire and tried to kill Hope.

It may be the fact that possessed-Omega-Sentinel has been done more than once before by a writer I love.

Brian, you mad bro? Can’t tell. LOL

Brian, I didn’t backtrack as Jill admitted that CBR seems to favor Marvel comics because a “bulk of DC’s (non Vertigo) books suck” apparently. Also, it’s you people on this website is pathetic censoring me on posting new comments. Anyway, I’ll let you go make top five or whatever list tickles your fancy.

@Da:

I don’t know who Jill is, but it’s not bias or favoring when one product is superior to another. Bias is generally “unfair favor for or against.” If a book/company/line/etc. is superior, I don’t consider that to be “unfair.” I consider that to be “calling it as it is.”

Again, I can’t speak for all of CBR but relative to this column I would have said was more “pro-DC” when it was in its first year (2009/2010). I wrote more about DC, I was reading more DC, and I thought they were doing good stuff, it made it easy to write about them. Now the reverse is true.

I would never call it bias though (as you have repeatedly in other comments that haven’t made it past the filter).

Torn about this article. You can’t really dislike someone being that joyous and passionate about something. On the other hand, reading these various pieces one does get the feeling that objective criticism was thrown out the window here. “Objectivity” of course is always tricky and perhaps not something that anyone can actually accomplish, but it’s something a reviewer should strive for. “I love the shit out of this and love it more than any ongoing comic today, but a huge part of that is my love for the characters, my childhood dreams, my joy about an all-women book etc., objectively it’s probably a 3.5″. Something like that. I’m glad you have something you enjoy so much but…uncomfortable with the ongoing cheerleading. Even great praise could be given while indicating at least a little critical distance.

On the other hand, what a deperessing piece. Thinking about how little you enjoy pretty much any other comic out there. I know you didn’t say they all suck, but inbetween silliness I think Dave above had a good point: you really overhype one book here and short-change so many, many others. Maybe I’m a simpler person and easier to please, we probably won’t be able to determine that in a comic blog comments section. But there is SO MUCH good stuff out there right now and I’d say I get that awesome feeling you describe from about 10-15 different books every month. Comics isn’t even my first love or hobby and i’m not doing anything like blogging on it. Devastating to think that something you engage in daily leaves you so utterly disappointed most of the time. Could explain the tone your articles and comments often have. And I don’t mean that as snark, even if you take it that way, I’m being genuine. Sad to hear how bleak the mainstream comic world must look to you. If I could utter a sentence like “A comic hasn’t made me feel this way in 20 years” or even “I haven’t gotten this elusive feeling from a comic in a year” and mean it…then I probably would quit reading comics. Why bother with anything that doesn’t make your heart sing a little?

@Leuchtfeuer:

I think there’s some confusion about what elusive THING I’m talking about here, which is fair because it’s tough to describe something that is basically undescribable.

I love comics, I adore them. Some of my favorites recently – and that I have even given 5 stars to some on CBR for a more “official review” (and I would not call this a review by the way, but maybe an essay?) – are Hawkeye, Saga, Stumptown, Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics run, Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics run with Batwoman, some of Warren Ellis Secret Avengers run, The Wake, Capt Marvel, Journey Into Mystery, Glory, etc.

And if you took a moment to just click on my name and see what I write about for this site (and have for years) I think my love of comics in general would be obvious to you.

To me, THIS, this book, is something different. Something that I can love and appreciate as a great comic as an adult, something I full enjoy, and something that ALSO taps into that elusive feeling of nostalgia from childhood that I’m always chasing.

All that said, if you get that feeling I describe from 10-15 books a month, man, I wish we could trade places, because that must be AMAZING.

It’s rare for me to get that very specific feeling I’m trying to describe. It happens every once in a while, for just a moment or two – in a great superhero movie, or a great comic, but rarely (never until now?) has it happened for a whole comic book, where I can see female characters I’ve loved since childhood being celebrated so fantastically at the same time.

Yeah, alright, that was me overreaching. 10-15? I think I wanted to counter the negativity I perceived. The number’s a bit high. THAT special feeling…let’s say I get thast from 5 books. But there are at least 10 more out there that are very good to excellent on a monthly basis. Even more, in my opinion, but varying mileage and all that. Quality is just so high right now across the board.

(And if we were to talk about THAT VERY special feeling, we’d have to talk about about books without pictures in them. Non-genre, fiction, real art, something like that. As much as I love superhero comics, let’s be real, they don’t cross that line from “commercial entertainment” to “transgressive art” too often. Whenever someone tells me something like The Avengers is their favourite movie, I tell them they should get familiar with the concept of arthouse, because if The Avengers is your favourite movie, your standards are just all screwed up and you domn’t know anything at all about how much a heart can really sing. But that just as an aside.)

I didn’t doubt your love for comics. Even if you were as negative as I thought for a moment I’d think there was love there. But reading some of your articles and the comments section I had this suspicion that you were maybe like the guys I met at that Iron Maiden concert last month. The ones who paid good money to be there but were constantly telling me how the last good Maiden album came out ca. 1991. I don’t doubt their passion for music either, but as someone who thinks that the last Maiden album was pretty much their best ever/that both New 52 and Marvel Now! are pretty much frickin’ awesome, all I can say at that point is: “Alright, now I know better why we so completely disagree. Sucks to be you, I guess, I’m really enjoying the present here.”

Then again, a rather convincing list of 5-star reviews. Guess comics don’t look as bleak to you after all. So there goes my theory along with my amazing middle-aged metalheads analogy. Oh well. Thanks for the response, cheers! :)

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