Warning, Spider-Man is not in this issue. Instead we have a sort-of one-shot about the villain Doctor Octopus and his Sinister Six. If that doesn’t interest you, don’t read this issue. That said, I feel sorry for you because this issue is awesome.
Doctor Octopus’s health isn’t that great. In fact, he now needs a special suit to survive – even then he has mere months to live. This issue features his sinister six attacking another group of villains lead by MODOK. As their followers are fighting, Doc Oc and MODOK play a super villain game of “chess.”
That’s all there is to say about this issue without spoiling the fun. It’s entertaining, it’s funny, and the art is great. I can’t think of any complaints. If you like the idea of villains beating each other up for an issue, check it out.
This issue is a lead up of sorts for an upcoming Spider-Man event, called “End of the Earth.” Since Doctor Octopus’s days are numbered, he plans to go out with a bang.
I’m going to take a slightly different approach to this review because of what happens in it – spoiler alert!
X-23 and Hellion have been interested in each other for a very long time, but they’ve never actually been together. This issue’s cover teases that they might finally become a couple, while the exact opposite happens inside. I’ve already read loads of comments on Comicvine and Comicbookresources arguing whether this was a good or bad move. Personally I like it, let me explain why.
When the two first met, Wolverine was introducing his clone to the New X-Men. He came in a bad time, Hellion’s then girlfriend broke up with him moments earlier and he was about to fight Surge, a teenage mutant with electricity powers. The first thing he said to Laura/X-23 was “What are you looking at, clone?”
She was immediately attracted to him, and overtime he started to have feelings for her as well. Why? Hellion was always a controlling jerk, right from his first appearance. At the time, that’s all X-23 really knew. She still hadn’t been out of the facility for very long, and was used on the streets for half of that time. She didn’t know there was a better way to get treated, so she clung to what she knew. Even in X-Force she was often yelled at and ordered around.
Since leaving the X-Men with Gambit, she’s learned that people can be nice. While travelling the world, she was treated well by Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, Tyger Tiger and the Future Foundation. Beyond that, she’s changed. She now has a better understanding of choice, what she wants in life and concepts like mercy. On the other hand, Hellion has lost his hands and grown bitter since. He killed Omega Sentinel in a fit of rage and nobody trusts him. He blows off everyone that tries to approach him and the X-men are ready to give up on him.
All throughout this storyline, Hellion did little but judge X-23, insult her friends and talk about how much he missed her. He did save her during this issue, but he’d do that for any member of the X-Men. The way I see it, X-23 knows she deserves better and doesn’t want an abusive boyfriend anymore. She doesn’t understand emotions enough to realize that, but deep down inside she’s disgusted by who Hellion has become. While yes, she was blunt and somewhat harsh when she says “I just do not want you,” would anything else make sense for an ex-child assassin who is still learning about the world make any sense? Simply put, neither of these troubled teenagers are ready for a relationship, especially with another troubled teenager. Not to mention that being harsh might be the only way to get rid of this boy who was kind of stalking her throughout this storyline.
I just don’t understand why people are having trouble with this non-relationship ending. Even normal teenagers change their mind about their cruses all the time. High School romances very rarely last and it’s about time a comic writer realized that. If you have trouble letting go of a fictional relationship that never truly happened outside of fan fiction, maybe you need to re-evaluate your life a little. And yes, this is coming from someone who enjoyed their moments during the New X-Men series.
Anyway, this issue was great as always. Sana Tanaka’s artwork is bright, colourful and pleasing to look at. The dialogue is tight with touches of humour to lighten the mood. The deceptive villain provided for some good action. Gambit isn’t in this issue for long, but continues to prove that Marjorie Liu is the best Gambit writer in a long time. If I have any complaints, it’s that the collector fell too easily and his line “you’ve ruined everything,” felt out of place. Otherwise, great issue and highly recommended for anyone who is interested in a homage to “Adventures in babysitting,” a child soldier character who is trying to become more human, or just want a fun story with a bit of teenage drama.
Other comics I read this week include Uncanny X-Force 19, Wolverine 20, Justice League 4, Supergirl 4, Venom 11, Generation Hope 14, New Mutants 35 and Fantastic Four 301. I read so many that I thought this was worth an extra post.
Uncanny X-Force 19 is an epilogue to issue 18. It was good to sum up the previous issue because so much happened. There wasn’t any action at all, just a bunch of conversations that will help set up the future for this franchise and maybe Wolverine and the X-Men’s as well. Good comic, but won’t be good unless you’ve read the entire series so far.
Wolverine 20 was a fun setup to the Canucklehead’s next big storyline. It’s somewhat zany like the last three issues but in a good way. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
Justice League 4 was better than 3, but I’m still not fully convinced of this series. It still feels slow, but Aquaman showing up Green Lantern was awesome. This was the first comic I’ve read with Darkseid in it and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.
Supergirl 4 was pretty good. The villain wasn’t all that special but Kara’s escape from the space station was well done. It’s definitely better than the “Superman” series.
Venom 11 was great. It really dove into the mind of a psychotic killer and it was fun seeing the killer helping people in his own twisted. Flash seems to have control of the Venom suit for now, but how long will that last?
Generation Hope 14 was better than I expected. I really don’t get people’s hatred for the Hope character. Sure, she’s not the most likable X-Men character, and she looks a lot like Jean Grey, but she still wants to save mutant kind.
New Mutants 35 was better than I thought it would be. The series hasn’t been as good since Zeb Wells left, but I can’t deny how entertaining it is to watch a rock band causing natural disasters through a yet to be revealed power source.
Fantastic Four 301 was just amazing. Hickman’s entire FF run has been building up toward the full scale war that’s happening in this issue. As it is right now, Earth is in very real danger. I’m still not fully caught up on the series; otherwise I’d give this a full review. Hickman is a genius and his run has been amazing so far.
That’s all for this week, and next week should be much shorter and simpler, whew.