Saturday, December 31, 2016

X-Men VS Inhumans

Sigh.... and yes I know I have the title backwards

I mean- if you are a reader of this blog or listen to us podcast on our Thursday Night Comic Book Chat- you know that we are not fans of what has happened to the X-Men.  This dispute between the Mouse and Fox, has taken our favorite book and characters and turned them into tertiary characters to the InHumans as the InHumans steal and live out their gimmick.  Its sad, its frustrating, and often time vomit inducing to see what has happened to our Merry Mutants.

But alas, the unnecessary push for the InHumans continues at the Mutants expense.  Prior to this Marvel Event between our two combatants, the groundwork was laid by another event- Death of X which pushes the conflict between the two groups to the boiling over point.

To recap.... The InHumans have released the Terrigen Mist, the source of their powers, onto the general population creating new, and unnecessary Inhumans to pop up all over the world.  This is seen as a celebration by the InHumans, but the mist appears to be killing and/or making mutants sterile and the mutant population has dropped significantly.

Enter the mutant who everyone loves to hate and who hates everyone- Cyclops.  Cyclops sees the threat and wants the X-Men to respond.  A trip to Muir Island has disastrous results and without spoiling too much, Cyclops is dead and now Emma Frost is leader of the X-Men.

Xmen VS InHumans picks up at the conclusion of Death of X, as Beast, who had been working on finding a cure for the Terrigen Mist problem is speaking at the grave of his now dead, former friend and leader, Cyclops.  Beast, being ever pragmatic, believes there is no time left and there is no cure to be found for the mist and when he goes to speak to the other X-Men about this,  he finds himself in the middle of a debate on how the X-Men need to respond.

On the kick the InHumans ass side- Magneto, Wolverine, and Emma Frost( duh). On the lets be rational side, Beast, Rogue, and Forge.  Storm is the toss up vote and I'll let this picture explain where Storm stands.

So the plan to defeat the InHumans is in place to take out the Royal Family before they know what hits them.  We get a special appearance from a mutant we have not seen in a long while and the book is the set up for the six issue limited series.

How we get to the end of this is not really important.  We all know that the X-books are not getting cancelled as many( including myself) hypothesized.  X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold will launch shortly after this mini-series ends.

The InHumans are still going to be around after this as well.  We are basically reading to see what happens to the cloud.  I mean basically that's it, right?  I am sure some relationships will be damaged, but overall, what long lasting effect is this series going to have on either group?

As we talked on the Year in Comics review last night, Marvel has married themselves to these event books and its hurting their product for certain long time readers.  Even if you are telling a competent story, it often gets lost in the numerous side off books to get all the extra details and significant moments and which of us has the extra cash to be buying all these side books?

I am sticking with this series only because we have to talk about it on our podcast.  Overall, this was an ok jump on book to the series.  It set up the future books pretty well, but overall, its hard to get too excited about this.

The Producer

Reggie and Me #1

As a long time Archie reader and follower, my relationship with Riverdale's resident brat and prankster has always been complicated.  As a youth, I could not stand Reggie because he constantly was dragging Archie down with his schemes and even tho he always got his comeuppance at the end, I hated the character for what he represented!

As I became a teenager, I began to appreciate the character more because, like Reggie, I had developed a dark side.  I recognized and saw through the bullshit that was/is high school, cliques, and social status and did whatever I could ( legally) to reject and bring down any and all things and people who were more popular than me.  Call it being a rebel, call it embracing your dark side, call it whatever you want, but high school me was way more Reggie than Archie.

With the launch of the New Archie books this past year, our first Reggie appearance was of course in the middle of a scheme to break up Archie and Veronica.  But they also began to flesh out his character in a way that years of comics and digest never had.  Reggie's mom is a mom who is on PTA and every other committee to help children- except her own.  You see the complicated relationship he has with his father and his constant search for approval from a man who refuses to give it to him.  Reggie's Daddy Issues are not uncommon in a society where men often refuse to acknowledge or reciprocate their sons feelings for fear that it will make them soft, weak, or gay.  Its total bullshit, but it exists and Reggie has created a world for himself where to make himself feel better, he needs to put others down! I think we all know THAT kid from middle school and high school and Reggie fits the bill perfectly.

Reggie and Me #1- like the Adam Hughes Betty and Veronica book is told in a narrative style by a dog- yes a dog.  In Betty and Veronica, Jughead's long time canine companion, Hot Dog drives the story.  In Reggie, his dog Vader( yes after Darth) is our narrator.

Vader gives us insight as his pet into what motivates Reggie, his love for Midge, and the catalyst for issue #1- a perceived slight from Archie after everyone receives a text from Archie and leaves his party to attend a party at Veronica's mansion.

The issue focuses on Reggie not acknowledging his feelings about everyone leaving him and his party and focuses on his revenge for those who have slighted him.  Reggie gets to act and live out all our high school revenge fantasies and he does with a wink and a smile without a perceived care in the world.

And even when Archie attempts to right the wrong of submarining his party, Reggie is having none of it- more offended that Archie would pity him than anything else.

If you are a reader of this blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, you know I am quite protective of Archie and characters in the Riverdale universe.  But much like the Archie and Betty and Veronica relaunch, this book is so well written and so true to the core of the characters, its truly one of the best debuts I have read this year.

So Reggie and Me will make it into my monthly pull box permanently.  I would encourage you to embrace your dark side and pick it up, too.

The Producer