We’re one week into this year’s NaNoWriMo, and it’s going well for me so far despite the fact that I’ve got a lot less free time thanks to my new job. I’m actually on track to winning tonight. I only need just over 2,000 words more. That’s less than one average chapter, and I tend to write multiple chapters per day, averaging between 5,000 and 6,000 words on days that I’m working. But because it’s NaNoWriMo, I most likely won’t be posting any full reviews. I could use an easy day to give my brain a break.
The comics I picked up this week include X-23 6, Deadpool 6, X-Men Red 10 and Star Wars 56. I intended to also pick up Witchblade 9, but my store ran out of it. Here are my first impressions, and if I post a review, the link will be added below.
X-23 6 is fun, but it feels kind of pointless. It’s a one-off story where Laura and Gabby go undercover in a high school, searching for whoever is ordering a lot of genetic research equipment. Unfortunately we don’t get to see what Gabby is like as a student, since she spends most of this issue following people around. Thankfully, we get to see Laura’s drill sergeant routine while leading the gym class, and it’s probably the best part of this comic. That’s all there is to say about this one really. It’s short, kind of entertaining, and it focuses more on Gabby than it does Laura. It feels writer Mariko Tamaki is trying a bit too hard to write a one-off story like Tom Taylor’s scattered one-off stories within All-New Wolverine, but not doing it as well.
It also feels like Tamaki could have gone a lot further with their undercover roles, like a quick scene of Laura trying to have a normal conversation with the full-time teachers, or Gabby being obnoxiously intelligent in class. Look at X-23: Target X 2 as an example of how to do more with such a setting in much less space. In 6 pages, Laura got sent to the office twice for saying disturbing things in class, had a dramatic moment during lunch, almost got in a fight with jocks, and then stole the Principal’s car after getting her and her cousin expelled. Here, Laura just orders her class to run six laps, drill sergeant style, and Gabby spends the entire comic investigating. Still, it’s at least worth a read if you like these characters.
Deadpool 6 is fun. Deadpool is having a really rough day. It’s not explained exactly why, but he’s really not in a joking mood. In fact, it’s to the point where when an unknown villain shows up and brags that he can kill Deadpool, Deadpool even stands still, welcoming it. What eventually gets him out of this rut is kind of hilarious. Beyond that, the less I say about this comic, the better.
X-Men Red 10 is alright. It’s clearly building up to the finale of X-Men Red. Most of this issue focuses on Cassandra Nova entering her end game, and Jean Grey’s team taking several weeks to plan their response. And that’s just it. This issue gets a lot done, but it somehow feels like it’s dragging anyway. This series as a whole sometimes feels like it’s dragging. While Jean Grey gathering a lot of allies is awesome, this issue continues the trend that if they’re not Jean Grey, Trinary or Gabby, every member of the team is little more than wallpaper. This shouldn’t be a problem with a 12 issue series. It’s getting harder and harder to recommend this series, and I loved the first few issues.
Star Wars 56 is good. With the Rebel Alliance scattered all over the galaxy from an ambush that nearly wiped them out, Luke, Leia and Han hire a familiar smuggler to fly them across the galaxy. On the way, they’re found by a Star Destroyer. Saying anything else about how this comic turns out would be spoiling the surprise, but it’s definitely not what you’d expect. I look forward to seeing where writer Kieron Gillen goes from here. As a whole, the main Star Wars series is really good, bridging the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. If you’re a fan of the Original Trilogy era, you should check this series out.
X-23 is a fun done-in-one. It’s a nice breather issue between arcs, which is always appreciated. Making it a two-parter would’ve been amazing, just to get more of Student Gabby and Coach Laura. Alas.
Deadpool is loads better than that garbage first arc.
X-Men Red is good. It is a shame the rest of the cast never got a chance to shine, but the overall story was good, and I love the book’s acknowledgement that pro-mutant people exist.