Sunday Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 04 Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier and Kev Walker

Some spoilers ahead.

This is the most conflicted I’ve been when it comes to poor, tortured Chelli Aphra. On one hand, some of the dialogue in the second and third issues of this volume make for a downright gag-inducing reaction. Some of the jokes are bad, owed to the kind of self-referential humour you’d get from someone who is all too-aware of the Star Wars franchise, rather than from someone who lives and breathes in the universe.

On the other hand…in the later issues, some ridiculous awesomeness transpires, courtesy of everyone’s favourite Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader!

What I expected to be little more than a cameo turned into a full-blown appearance which, as always, had lasting consequences for our favourite evil archeaologist. He’s such an enormous part of Aphra’s identity in the Star Wars universe and whether by his absence or his presence, Vader’s shadow defines Aphra’s status quo and shapes her actions.

Speaking of, Aphra’s voice remains consistent with what the ever-brilliant Kieron Gillen set out in the first edition of Darth Vader and again in the first two volumes of this run of Doctor Aphra. The moments when Aphra goes to absolute insane degrees of singular purpose just to enrich herself and satisfy her curiosity…these are when this volume and run both are at its finest.

‘Sir’ knows Aphra so well.

Despite my complaints, some of the issues click and come together exactly because of Aphra’s personality, as well as thanks to the drama some of her supporting characters (Magna, in the picture above) bring to the table. The conflict is solid and the emotional highs are quite high.

I saw one of the two final twists coming a mile away, and I really wish the author hadn’t gone with what he did — but I’ll admit to being morbidly curious as to how Aphra will get out of her latest gauntlet.

I find that I’ve gotten exhausted by evil C-3PO-alike, Triple Zero, as well as by his little astromech helper. Though that problem is somewhat addressed, I’d gladly see the once-amusing droid come to an unfortunate end in the next volume. He’s overstayed his welcome as is.

My score for this is a very tentative 3.5 out of 5 stars – I wanted to go higher, I wanted to go lower. I hope the next volume doesn’t suffer from some of the problems of this one. If you’ve stuck around for this long…Catastrophe Con still makes for an engaging Doctor Aphra story, despite some issues.

I read this through Comixology’s Unlimited Subscription – sweet!

Sunday Star Wars: Kanan First Blood – Comic Book Review

Somehow I managed to miss out on talking about the final issue of the previous volume, The Last Padawan, reviewed last week here. All the more power to me, as it was very open-ended – I’m lucky to be able to read both volumes practically in bulk, I’d have chewed my leg off if I had to wait for months at an end for the resolution of the Rebels side-plot at play.

First Blood reads like two of my favourite types of Star Wars stories – a typical Clone Wars TV series adventure wrapped up in a shorter, Kanan-centric Rebels episode script. The Clone Wars portion of this one is a direct prequel to the events of The Last Padawan, and sees the young Caleb strike a connection with Jedi Master DEPA BILLABA after her recovery from severe injuries at the robotic hands of GENERAL GREVIOUS*.

If this Clone Wars-era story were animated, it would most likely be a two-parter, the first one taking place on the Jedi Temple at Coruscant, the second seeing Caleb and Billaba battle against Separatist forces in the Outer Rim. The culmination here is a battle between Billaba and Grevious happening at the same time as Caleb faces off a Kabe Warrior, one of a race of grey-skinned humanoids encountered over one of Asajj Ventress’ arcs in the Clone Wars series. The Kobe warriors are proficient in the martial arts, and this one makes for an acceptable secondary antagonist.

Looks a bit like a some kind of a fallen Jedi, I thought upon seeing him first.

I continued enjoying every panel that showed Master Billaba – she’s at once vulnerable and resolute, and her connection with Caleb was fun to explore. Caleb himself – the young padawan boy, as opposed to Kanan, wasn’t anywhere near as interesting as in The Last Padawan, but that’s understandable. He goes through such a fascinating transformation

As for the Rebels sections, I enjoyed those well enough – seeing Kanan come to terms with what he went through over that first volume made for several excellent character moments, and I never say no to time spent with that delightful group of rebellious kiddos that is the Rebels cast.

What more is there to say? If you enjoy Star Wars, if you like Rebels and Clone Wars, this is a fun story with characters you already love. If you don’t…this isn’t going to win you over in any way. My score is a hint lower than the previous volume’s, at 3.75/5 stars.

*I don’t know why I suddenly began to mimic the opening crawl of a Star Wars movie but by Jim I like it!

Giant Days Vol. 02 by John Allison – Graphic Novel Review

If you missed out on my joyful review of the first volume of Giant Days, you can click here.

I barely began my reading of the second volume of the brilliant slice-of-life when already I found myself transformed by it! How, you ask – and I won’t just tell you, I’ll show you!

You see here how one Esther de Groot (my two-dimensional female self) denounces the monstrous injustices of modern, post-industrialist society, a system that seeps away anything and everything unique about human beings! RISE UP MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TO BLOODY REVOLUTION. It’s a funny pictury, is wot it is.

What happens in this second volume, then? The girls go to a Christmas prom before leaving for Christmas Break – for those of you unaware, before the corona, we had a little something called trah-veh-ling, I think, it’s been a long time – and off they go, enjoying their break; only, Susan gets in trouble with someone who has a grudge against her. Issue 06 is about the girls finding out just wot has happened to fierce, angry Susan, and, would you know it? Before too long, Esther has to use her drama field, the one we spoke about in the previous review.

Oh, and mustachio man threatens some guys with the most worker class threat I’ve ever read, and I love it.

Did I mention that he and Susan smoosh booties?

Meanwhile, the third one – wot’s her name again? She has a crisis of personality. Or is it a crisis of consistency?

Oh, I got it! It’s Petal.

…No, that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, I have to give it to Tulip here, she steals the show throughout the volume, especially when she transforms into a weird Texan who wants to smoke meats – don’t try that at home, kids, you can’t handle it – after watching plenty of Friday Night Lights. But Daisy’s greatest trait has to be her absolute commitment to whatever metaphor she makes use of:

All is well with Susan and Daisy, even as the two of them face myriad difficulties. At the core, they remain true to themselves.

Esther, however – she gets into a bit of a toxic relationship with a guy in his late 20’s, a TA in her English Lit class. I’ll not get into it, but by the end of it, our goth princess of doom’s got herself sorted, I’d say:

This manic grin’s wot I live for. It was entertaining to see lovey-dovey Esther, quite unhinged, though:

Well, then. This second volume’s got everything the first one had – the cheeky humour, the brilliant characters, the art that never fails to express said characters in ways thrilling and hilarious; in a word, the heart. This is another 5/5 read for me. Get it, read it, laugh your heart out. It’s therapy, and it works wonders.

And now, having pronounced this graphic novel fit to read, I go to my rest.

That’s right, it is!

Giant Days Vol. 01 by John Allison – Graphic Novel Review

This is my new comic book addiction, I just know it.

In this slice-of-life, first-year university friends and roommates Susan Ptolemy, Esther de Groot and Daisy Wooton have plenty to teach us about friendship, relationships and comedic timing. Also, holding grudges against moustachioed men.

In this story of doom and wonderful drama, Esther de Groot teaches us how to be goth as fuck.

In this adorable comic book by acclaimed comics creator, reality is rendered in a chortle-inducing way, thanks to likable leads whose vastly different personalities give birth to no end of misadventures. I am 99% sure that Esther is my long-lost, two-dimensional twin sister, with all the doom and gloom I’ve ever had at my disposal, and then some.

Esther is so much fun.

Italian doctors sure haven’t.

SO.

MUCH.

FUN! …And did I mention that she can also infiltrate the middle classes when she’s not busy melodramatically dying of some virus?

Esther is brilliant. Every single panel with her is gold. Ohyesitis! But! And this is real important — Susan and the other one are just as cool!

Okay, almost. I like wotshername, flower girl–Daisy, that’s it!– I like her drug-seeking behaviour. Strong role-models are important in these difficult, divisive times!

I love Polish medicine, too, Daisy. But be careful, once you run out of them–oh, no. Oh, it’s too late, innit?

At least the penguin ain’t talking back, is it?

And Susan?

Susan’s got that sly wit I’m crazy about. She’s the one with her feet firmly parted on the ground, the realist who looks out for her baby girls like a mama pigeon – hah, topical! – and she does a wonderful job of it.

…Most of the time.

It’s remarkably difficult not to fall in love with these three friends – and I, for one, have fallen head over heels for them and their whacky adventures. I’ll be digging into the next several volumes of Gone Days, and with everything else John Allison has done.

Also, the art is ace. Every panel is gorgeous.

I might be using Giant Days to work through some coronavirus-related ennui. Thanks for bearing with me.

Monstress, Volume 01: Some Good #%@!ing Art

There, I said it. That’s all there is to it.

What’s this? I should probably give you a little more than that? Persuade you, you say. Alright, don’t get your feathers ruffled like so, I’ll do it. I’ve taken the initiative now.

Volume 01: Awakening has a unique art style, slick and gorgeous, showcasing the full skill of Sana Takeda. Obviously inspired by Manga, it’s also informed by Takeda’s work on Marvel series such as X-23 and Ms. Marvel, resulting in an amalgamation that’s unlike most art I’ve personally come across:

Gold and brown and grey are often the colours that dominate the many panels of the first issues of Monstress in particular, creating a human world that looks luxurious but feels cold and metallic. Dominated by science and religious fanaticism alike, the human side of the world of Monstress is nothing short of disturbing. The upper echelons of human society are unnerving, to say the least — humans auction off arcanics (we’ll get to those in a minute) for pleasure, experimentation or …a meal. Disturbing how easily it would be to see this happening; all we need is a comfy distinction of human versus ‘other’ and what ammounts to cannibalism is suddenly acceptable.

Arcanics are half-human and half-ancient. That is to say, they’ll often look like humans, only they’ll usually have a fluffy fox tail, or cat ears or angelic wings; something giving away the fact they’ve got a bit of magical, immortal biped animal-like grandpa/grandma genetic material in them from several generations ago. Arcanics will always be mortal…I think. There’s a lot of them though. Part of the beef arcanics have with humans is that the power behind the human government. the religious Cumaea sect, has been chopping arcanics for their bones, producing a magical resource called lilium for a little while. Lilium has all kinds of wonderful properties — enhancing life duration, healing those at the very edge of death, and only Marjorie M. Liu knows what else.

Knowing this, it’s understandable how humans and arcanics traded some serious blows a while back, a war that ended in tragedy and death, and a tentative peace hobbled by mistrust and downright hatred. I mean, humans hunt cats and put them in cages because they are in fact an arcanist-allied race of hyperintellectual, many-tailed…well, cats. Nothing unusual about that, actually.

The tone of this graphic novel is dark, as you might’ve guessed by now. But it needs to be said and underlined: this is a dark story, a story of death and brutal violence, much of it perpetuated by our own heroine, Maika.

Maika

Maika is dangerous. Possessing power that no arcanic should, Maika’s ignorance of that same power makes her both horrifying and sympathetic. A tragic backstory plays up the sympathy but the power slumbering inside of her is hungry; and whenever that hunger manifests, we get treated to some pretty dark shit. As for who she is as a character? Determined, angry, looking for answers. There is an underlying softness to her, a caring that she seems intent of not showing but which nevertheless comes to display every once in a while, in particular towards the later issues of this volume, whenever we see supporting character and adorable girl-fox-who-is-scared-shitless Kippa.

Kippa is kutta! And by that I mean, cute. I don’t know what phonetic
nonsense I was going for there. She’s loyal despite being afraid most of time
— but she’s got a really good reason so don’t think any less of her.

See? She IS adorable!

What else, what else? There’s a cat! His name is Ren, he’s a nekomancer,
which I’m pretty sure sounds intentionally like a necromancer and that fucks with my head in several ways, mostly because I want to see a cat raise the dead, oh how I want that. New short story idea? You bet! But also, this cat is way too much like me, it’s uncanny.

If you know me, you’ll see the resemblance.

I am in love with this, and it’s no surprise how successful, popular and
critically acclaimed it has become. The writing is on point, offering dramatic tension, character development and plenty of conflict. The art, as you have seen, is a wonder. This truly is a praiseworthy graphic novel, an example of the heights that this mode of storytelling can reach, up there with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Kieron Gillen/Jamie Mckelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine. I’ve already ordered the next two volumes and can’t wait for the fourth, releasing in October of this year. I wish I hadn’t waited this long to get my hands on it, Monstress truly is that kind of story. No wonder it’s won a bunch of Hugo and Eisner(Nominee) Awards!

Oh, and the antagonists? Some of them are pretty fucking scary, and you just can’t put them in the ground, no matter how hard you try. Besides, no matter how hard you try, you won’t do as well as Maika Halfwolf will so you might as well take a seat, open up this volume, and enjoy the ride!

Sunday ComiX: Bone, Volume 01–Out from Bonetown

For as long as I’ve read superhero comic books, I have less experience with non-Marvel/DC titles than I’d like. I recently listened to the excellent “The View from the Cheap Seats” audiobook, written and performed by Neil Gaiman, who is one of the most talented writers I’ve read, dead or alive. He is also a constant source of inspiration, and this non-fiction novel has inspired me to read comic books a lot more broadly. I thought to start off with Eisner award-winning comics and I what’s a better start than…Bone, a series that took the 90s by storm!

A bit of backstory on Bone. It came out between 1991 and 2004. The complete run is 55 issues, and, as you’ve probably reasoned by now, these issues were released irregularly over the 13-year period. Bone was both drawn and written by one man, Jeff Smith. The art is reminiscent of a Looney Tunes cartoon in the very best of ways.

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The first volume presents us to our main cast of characters. First among our heroes if Fone Bone, a kind-hearted inhabitant of Bone Town who has the ill luck of being cousins with the most conniving man in town, Phoney Bone, a millionaire who’s been kicked out of town for the umpteenth time due to his constant scheming. This time, Phoney was kicked from Bone Town due to a scheme involving a statue of himself, a 50 ft. tall balloon, and bad prunes. To make up for Phoney Bone’s generally negative attitude, we’ve Smiley Bone, a tall, cigar-smoking empty-headed bone with a blissful smile permanently stuck on his face.

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Those are our Bones. But…there’s more! Take the dragon below. He too is a smoker, in fact. He also seems either very bored most of the time, or generally droopy. He’s introduced pretty early on in the first volume but his reasons for protecting Fone Bone don’t come into play until much later.

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All you need know is, the dragon is not to be trifled with.

One thing every colourful fairy-tale-leaning-towards-dark-fantasy comic book needs is a love interest! Enter Thorn.

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Now, I may have called her a love interest but she is so much more than that. Thorn is the first human we come upon, a gentle teenage girl living with her kindly old grandmother in the woods.

Did I say kindly? I meant to describe her as a cow-racing badass gramma, who fought the rats back in the BIG war! The name’s Gran’ma Ben, better not forget it, or she’ll make you regret it! The rats, naturally, are our bad guy goons; fluffy but monstrous, just as good children’s villains should be.

And this is the perfect graphic novel for a kid — it will never talk down to anyone, nor will it underestimate children’s intelligence. You’ll gain a lot from reading it regardless of age. This first volume serves as a nice introduction to the colourful world of Bone, some very entertaining characters and a mystery that gets a lot darker in the subsequent two volumes. (I just finished the third volume recently; expect my Bone vol. 3 post to be a lot more specific, with a number of panels and thoughts on specific issues.)

P.S. This once again proves that Neil Gaiman has spectacular taste in literature.

Next up, in Bone Vol. 02: The Cow Race! In it, a grandma races cows, a Phoney Bone is phoney, and a Smiley Bone is the most charming fake cow you’ll ever meet. Also, a honey boy comes between Fone Bone and Thorn! Oh, the horror.

Sunday ComiX: X-Men Madness and the Time-Travelling Summers/Grey Spawn!

Time travel is the status quo when it comes to comic books, but the X-Men are on a whole other level. The team’s roster is filled with mutants from past, alternate and future timelines; it’s a hot mess of clones, identical-but-different individuals from identical-but-different worlds ruled by Apocalypse, or by Sentinels, and even occasionally by Magneto.

But which are the X-Men who’ve made Earth-616 their home?

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Nathan Summers, aka ‘Cable’: Ah, the life that Cable has had…infected by the Technovirus at a very early age, he had to be taken into the far-off future in order to be cured; ultimately, that didn’t quite happen. What happened instead is that Cable made it his life’s goal to stop Apocalypse from ruling in his usual fashion in that same future, which is the purpose he had in mind when he returned to the proper timeline. He’s the one who kept Very Special Mutant Hope Summers alive through a pretty horrifying ordeal that involved X-Man-turned-traitor Bishop. Speaking of Bishop…

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Ah, Lucas Bishop. He grew up in a mutant concentration camp, 80 years in the future, after the Summers Uprising, which didn’t work out for our guys at all too well. He came back to the future, and was alright for a while; people liked him, he liked himself, I even  think that Storm liked him a bit too much! …And then Hope Summers was born, and he decided that if he were to kill her, all his problems, or his future’s problems at least, would magically go away!
That was a conscious decision he made after…what, over fifteen years among the X-Men? Twenty? No matter what you do in the mainstream continuity, you ain’t changing nothing about yours, man. Sorry to spoil that for you…

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Hope Summers was the first mutant to be born after M-Day, the day when the Scarlet Witch took away 99% of the mutants in the world’s power. Pretty big deal…not as big a deal as being hunted by a demented Bishop, going further and further in time and suffering through constant hunger, thirst and near-complete isolation. On the bright side, she’s amazing at kicking things’ asses!

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Rachel Summers is yet another amazing telepathic X-Man from a future timeline; yet another daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey(as Cable is; although he is actually the son of Jean Grey’s clone, Madelynne Pryor…yeah, I know…), and another host of the Phoenix Force. I…got nuthin’. She’s a badass, who’s been through an awful lot in life, and I love her to death. Rachel’s also got these tattoo-like things that appear whenever she uses her abilities; they give her a very unique look, which is plain awesome.

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Nate Grey, aka…X-Man. Confused yet? Nate Grey was created by Mr. Sinnister in the Age of Apocalypse(AoA) timeline–not the timeline from which Nathan Summers (Cable) comes from, mind; just one with a somewhat similar premise. Now, Nate Grey isn’t actually the son of Jean Grey; he’s a gene-spliced baby, created by the DNA of Jean and of Scott Summers, who’s not a particularly nice guy in AoA. X-Man, for his part, was a near-omnipotent mutant, whose powers at their height were comparable to a Phoenix Force-imbued Jean Grey (or anyone, really). I haven’t seen much of him lately, but I opened Wikipedia to check out what’s been going on; he apparently burned his powers out while opening a portal to..Sugar Man’s home reality. I’m not sure what that means, or why Nate was so in need for some sugah, but I suppose this song fits perfectly.
I should really catch up with his latest adventures, I’ve always been fond of Nate.

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Last but not least…Young Jean Grey! Marvel recently announced that the real Jean Grey is finally coming back from the dead, after years upon years of denying the possibility. Woo-hoo! However, over the last couple of years, a hip new(or old, depending on your view) version of Jean has been running over the wonderfully contrite mainstream Marvel universe. That’s right, everybody! It’s teenage Jean Grey, enjoying the benefits of being a female character written in the 2010’s as opposed to the 1960’s! No longer in X-Men comics just as decoration, Teen Jean’s been a fun character to explore for a number of authors; mostly Brian M. Bendis, who ran the X-Men parade and came up with the idea of bringing the original Five X-Men to the future. Praise Bendis!
Oh, you were expecting me to say something about Jean? Well, she’s quite horrifying at times, having mind-controlled a number of teammates –okay, Angel, and it’s not like anyone cares about him, but still– over a number of times. Her powers developed quite a bit faster, as did her desire to make out with three out of four of her teammates.
Thank the X-Gods that Bobby is gay now.

On a serious note, she’s great; Bendis did a lot of solid stuff with her over his course as main X-Writer, and she’s currently got herself a nice little ongoing which has Hope and Rachel and Quentin Quire guest starring in its very first arc. I haven’t read it yet, but I will.

 

Gosh, what a post! This has been all about pesky Summers-Grey family members, clones, adopted daughters and granddaughters and all sorts of other madness, hasn’t it? I decided not to add the rest of the Young Original Five that’re currently kicking around in the present, but their time will come soon enough…don’t you worry ’bout that!

Damn, I forgot to mention Stryfe. Stryfe is Cable’s clone. Cool, huh?

Cable and Stryfe! Hah!

#madnessliveshere

 

Sunday Comix Special: Marvel’s The Defenders– A Spoiler-Free Discussion! …Mostly

Sundays are for…gushing about how awesome Marvel’s The Defenders is!

I’ve been following the Netflix Marvel shows with great interest ever since the first season of Daredevil came out three years ago. Daredevil was amazing, and so was Jessica Jones, while both Luke Cage and Iron Fist stumbled and struggled with several issues, respectively.

The Defenders sees the title characters of these show unite to take on the Hand, the organization of ninjas, whose different clans have given both Matt Murdock and Danny Rand a run for their money. Now, the five fingers of the Hand are closing around New York and its protectors, and they’re led by the queen of science fiction…Sigourney Weaver!

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This enchanting badass takes on the role of Alexandra, a completely original character, not affiliated with anyone from the comic books. The role was written with Weaver in mind, and–boy!–does she deliver. Her performance is nothing short of beautiful, hued with class, power and the occasional unintentional hilarity. The humor  I speak of is intentional in terms of making the audience of the show grin, of course; what I mean is that Alexandra dines in Istanbul and calls it Constantinople, she speaks of Beethoven with familiarity, and it’s hilarious.

Alexandra is easily on par with D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and Tennant’s Kilgrave, and while she has less screen time than either, because the 8 episode order, instead of the usual 13, she shines just as bright; if not even more so. It’s such a rush, seeing Sigourney Weaver play a villain who steals the spotlight in every scene she’s in, who dominates every room with such natural ease that it’s…nothing short of brilliant.

There is much more to like to the Defenders, but if I were to go in any greater detail, I would be spoiling a great show; and we can’t have that, can we? Instead, let me assure you that the Defenders manages to create a show that plays to each of its core characters’ strengths while leaving very little space for their weaknesses. If you’ve grown attached to Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny’s stories, this is a wonderful culmination of the individual paths these four have taken…and it sets Phase 2 of the Netflix/Marvel project in a wonderful way.

Expect a spoiler-filled post later down the line, once a little bit of time has passed and more people have seen the series. Thanks for reading!

Sunday ComiX – The Uncanny X-Villains: Difficult to Kill Edition

Sundays are for…taking the reins of the Dwarven faction in Warhammer: Total War, and breaking Orkish skulls with…well, warhammers. Obviously.

Sundays are also for discussing the sinister, the apocalyptic, the downright vile villains of the X-Men comic books!

Now that I’ve used my three-pun limit for the day, we can dispense with the pleasantries and get down to it!

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En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse: One of the world’s first mutants, and the only one who takes the whole ‘Survival of the fittest’ theory way too serious, Apocalypse is as nasty as he looks — and he looks like…gosh, I don’t even know; at any rate, no one is quite certain of what it is that Apocalypse does; other than survive, that is; the guy’s been mulched, squished, disintegrated, thrown off buildings, shot with a variety of futuristic guns and optic blasts, as well as a virtually endless list of superpowers…and yet he’s still ruler of a ridiculous number of future timelines!

Neat!

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Nathaniel Essex, aka Mr. Sinister: The single greatest threat to X-Men continuity…if we discount about a dozen other characters, Nathaniel Essex is a brilliant Victorian scientist, sworn to help mutants in their hour of grea–just kidding! Mr. Sinister is a twisted psychopath, who’s unlocked the secret to immortality and can basically control and rearrange his body in whatever ways he desires– oh, and he uses clones on a basis that makes even Doctor Doom and his Doombots groan; how unfortunate for the X-Men that he’s got a hobby of prodding them like cattle, and then experimenting on them without any moral quandary!

He’s also got a thing for Scott Summers, having manipulated him for most of Cyclops’ life.

Sweet!

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Sebastian Gilberti, aka Bastion: The love-baby of mutant-hunting robot “Master Mold” and advanced killer robot “Nimrod,” Bastion is all about killing mutants; surprise, surprise, that didn’t win him any popularity with the X-Men, and he was eventually disintegrated by Hope Summers, a very special mutant that’s fallen out of focus after being the center of half a dozen events; but, surprise-surprise again, he didn’t actually die–he teleported into the future, severely damaged!

Who needs Deus Ex Machina when you’ve got a time Machina, eh?!

Y’know what? I think that I’ll be preparing a special robot-centered issue of Sunday ComiX, to familiarize you all with the numerous murder-robots that occasionally duke it out with the loveable X-People!

 

Sunday ComiX: Kitty Pryde and the Scary X-Lady!

Sundays are for–What do you mean, they’re not for poking fun at everyone’s favorite team of mutant misfits, the X-Men? Of Course They Are!

Today’s focus is — you guessed it! — set on one of my most favorite X-Women, Kitty Pryde.

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Kitty Pryde, aka Spryte, aka Shadowcat, aka about fifty other code names: This one, she’s got loads of things going for her — Kitty started out as the clever smaller sister of the X-Men, and particularly of a newly grown-up Illyana Rasputin;  she was the youngest X-Men at the time of her introduction by Chris Cleremont in the 70’s; Kitty rose to be one of the best and brightest graduates of Xavier’s, and currently leads nearly all the X-Men (!); her greatest feats include saving the entire planet from a gigantic planet-killing space bullet (look upwards…yeah), and is an absolute joy to read about in nearly every comic book you pick up.

She was also Star-Lord’s girlfriend, and Star-Lord.

Yeah.

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Lockheed, aka Lockheed, aka…wait, I’m just doing this by force of habit now;

Lockheed is the dragon companion to Kitty Pryde; he once imagined Kitty as a female dragon, and she imagined him as a human male so make of it what you will — what makes the situation even slightly more complicated is that Kitty was 14-15 at the time; kinky!

He will become a full-grown and intimidating draconic horror someday, but is currently a mixture of cute and downright sociopathic!

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Emma Frost, aka The White Queen: Started out as one of the more persistent and powerful enemies of the X-Men, on account of being telepathic — the diamond form you see in the picture above is a secondary mutation, triggered about the time she joined the X-Men, some 20(~ish) years ago; Kitty loathed her and still is very antagonistic towards Emma, and for good reason; Frost used to run an evil version of the Xavier Institute and Kitty was to be one of the first students there…unfortunately, things didn’t quite go according to the plan, and Kitty joined the X-Men, thus cementing a powerful grudge between two scary powerful mutants!

Also, the picture above actually shows Emma clothed a bit too properly for her tastes. This is how she started off looking:

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I wish my schoolteachers dressed like that.

On second thought — better that they didn’t!