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Jul 21

The X-Axis – 21 July 2013

Posted on Sunday, July 21, 2013 by Paul in x-axis

Back to a more typical level of X-related output this week…

A+X #10 – Judging from upcoming solicitations, Marvel have finally conceded the commercial limitations of this format and decided to introduce a six-issue serial – which is the equivalent of a three-issue regular story arc, but still suggests a belated recognition that the appeal of a book that’s actively billed as utterly inconsequential is pretty limited.

That’s not to say that decent work can’t be done in the current format, but for the most part, given the apparent lack of interest in doing anything other than throwaway pieces, it works (when it works) largely on the level of a style showcase.  Hence, there’s not much to be said about B Clay Moore and Kris Anka’s Black Widow/Fantomex story, which is an entirely serviceable piece that has a vaguely sensible plot and makes sense for both characters, but inevitably doesn’t get to be anything more than superficial.  It’s pretty but it’s nothing out of the ordinary, unless you really have a big nostalgic passion for seeing largely forgotten Soviet-era villains like Sibercat namechecked.  It’s basically a generic story that hits some key character traits and has some nice art.

Adam Warren, on the other hand, is always a bit more distinctive, and his half of the book features Domino and the Scarlet Witch.  The linking theme with those two characters is probability manipulation – with one much more powerful than the other – and so Warren gives us what’s basically a riff on the idea of really unlikely things happening, with the visual hook of Domino being able to visualise all the possible things that could happen as she tries to cross the room.  In practice that turns out to be a big room full of dead Dominos, ultimately backtracking to the point where the story collapses in on itself as Domino realises that the original plan is literally impossible, and just does something seemingly random instead.

There are, to be sure, some major continuity issues here.  Domino’s currently a member of X-Force, and passing mentions of Forge acknowledge that.  But X-Force’s gimmick is that they’re on the run from the authorities, and specifically on the run from the very Avengers team that features the Scarlet Witch.  So the idea that Wanda could, let alone would, call in Domino to help with this mission is, um, a bit of a strain.  Let’s assume, though, that this takes place at some indeterminate point in the future where all that isn’t a problem.  You’ve still got an issue with Wanda being pretty radically out of character – this story casts her as the stern traditionalist reluctantly paired with what she perceives as Domino’s uncontrollable wild card.  That’s a fine dynamic, but it doesn’t feel like any very recognisable version of Wanda.  (With Domino, it’s less of an issue – but I’ll come back to that shortly.)

Still, it’s a story with a cute idea about how to visualise some not-inherently-visual ideas, and that’s always a nice thing to see.

All-New X-Men #14 – Well, that was a bit of an anticlimax.  Not the fact that Marvel Girl turns out not to be Phoenix after all – that was always pretty obviously an illusion, though I do like the idea that everyone is seeing the illusion because this version of Jean is too inexperienced to cast it selectively.  It’s more that, after all this build-up, we end up with Mystique being beaten in one issue, thus rendering her much-heralded plot pretty much academic, and then escaping prison by the end of the issue, presumably because she’s being used in so many other stories that she just can’t stay there.  Alternatively, if she’s escaping so as to continue this storyline in All-New, then the battle in this story ends up feeling rather inconsequential.  Either way, not a great deal seems to be resolved.

There are a couple of cute moments in here – Iceman chucking a snowball at Thor and then realising he isn’t an illusion after all, and a lovely final page of Jean reflecting on why everyone seems to scared of Phoenix.  In fact, in the bigger picture, that seems to be the real point of this story – it confronts Jean directly with exactly how terrified everyone is of what she could become.  But it’s pretty underwhelming when it comes to the goodies versus baddies side of things.

Cable & X-Force #11 – The set-up for this arc is that Cable’s visions are pointing him towards several potential disasters at once, so the team have to split up to deal with them.  This issue gives us Domino and Boom Boom in New York, and the result is an interesting contrast with A+X.  That issue casts Domino as the wild child whose unpredictability infuriates the Scarlet Witch.  But in this story, Domino is the exasperated professional and Boom Boom is the reckless lunatic.

Marvel are, of course, pretty relaxed about letting different creators interpret the same character in different ways.  Even so, what struck me most on reading this issue is that these don’t feel like two takes on the same character at all – yet neither of them immediately seems to be out of character.  I’m left with the nagging feeling that it’s almost impossible to write an out-of-character Domino because she’s such a cypher that she simply doesn’t have any defining character traits that ought to be coming through in every version.  And for a character who’s been in regular use for over twenty years, that’s pretty bad.

Seriously – what is Domino’s personality?  What would you have to do to write an obviously out-of-character Domino, short of making her a villain or a coward?

Admittedly, these are two pretty extreme takes on her.  Adam Warren’s stories are always gleefully exaggerated, and this story likewise goes crazily over the top with Boom Boom in a way that doesn’t seem to quite work; she’s just screwing about in this story and making life more difficult for everyone because it seems like fun, and given that massive destruction is supposed to be at stake, I don’t really buy that.  There’s a moment when even Domino has to object that she shouldn’t be acting like this given her years of experience, and since that doesn’t come across as setting up a subplot, it has a bit of a canary-in-the-mineshaft effect on the story’s credibility.

If you can get over that hump, the story does a good job of playing up the idea of a reckless Boom Boom nearly ruining everything, and Larroca’s art is lovely – the liquefying bridge at the end is particularly well done.  But I’ve got issues with a lot of stuff in here.

Savage Wolverine #7 – Say, what happened to Spider-Man?  Wasn’t he all over issue #6, as you’d expect given this story’s acknowledged origins as a commission for Avenging Spider-Man?  Well, he’s nowhere to be seen here, which might just be a clue as to how far Joe Madureira had drawn before the retooling started.

With Peter out of the way (and the theme of how Wolverine fits in with the more conventional superheroes in the Avengers out of the window as a result), this story focusses instead on Elektra and the internal machinations of the Hand.  The central idea here goes like this.  A rival faction in the Hand are trying to kill the Kingpin.  The Kingpin enlists Elektra to help.  She agrees because the Hand are reviving Bullseye to use as their assassin, and obviously she cares quite a bit about that.  Wolverine then agrees to help her because of the relationship that was established between them back in the Larry Hama run.  Cue the fighting.  The rather nice twist (which also explains why this story doesn’t clash with Mark Waid’s Daredevil) is that Bullseye’s not actually in this story at all.  Kingpin just thought that would be a useful thing to tell Elektra.

That cute bit of plotting aside, it’s an issue of running around and fighting things. But there are some nice character designs in here, Zeb Wells’ dialogue is pitched just right to sell a rather silly story, and I do like that twist.

Uncanny X-Force #8 – It seems that issue #7 was indeed starting a completely new storyline instead of going on a brief detour – so apparently we’re parking the whole question of what’s up with Bishop, or Spiral, or pretty much anything else that happened in the first arc.  I question that pacing.  Eight issues in, Uncanny X-Force still hasn’t got around to forming an X-Force, and seems to be in no immediate danger of doing so.

This issue continues the pattern of cutting back and forth between Psylocke’s summer romance with Fantomex/Cluster (drawn by Adrian Alphona), and her present-day encounter with Weapon XIII (drawn by Dalibor Talajic).  The art styles are drastically divergent, but if you’re going to have multiple artists, this is the way to do it.  Alphona’s work sells the summer dream aspect of the flashbacks, while Talajic is darker, harsher and more in line with the general tone of the book.  Even if there had been a single artist on the book, a similar shift of styles between those two scenes would have been a good creative choice.

I’m not sure I buy the bottle of champagne as being anywhere near as exciting as the story wants to claim, but Sam Humphries does have some interesting ideas in here about the splitting up of Fantomex into three personalities, which end up crazy enough to be manipulative even to one another.  Weapon XIII also turns out to be a bit more charming and reasonable, at least superficially, than the other two personas have led us to expect.  Even so, the story doesn’t entirely sell me on the idea that Psylocke might genuinely be hooking up with Weapon XIII in order to get revenge on Fantomex (which I assume is what I’m meant to be getting from this) – it feels a bit obvious that she’s stringing him along.

Despite the very questionable pacing of the series’ broader plots, there’s good stuff in here.

Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #2 – Wolverine goes looking for somebody who might be able to explain why he’s being manipulated into being wanted for murder, but nothing really gets resolved – it’s more a development of the theme.  This issue’s a bit less flashy in its use of the Guided View gimmicks, though I suspect that’s more because the creators have chosen to confront the novelty value head on and it get it out of everyone’s system before settling down to the real story.

There’s not a huge amount of plot in this, but I’m not sure that’s a feature of the Infinite format itself.  Comparing these things to ordinary comics is not straightforward – Comixology’s app lists this as a 62-page story, but of course many of those “pages” are slightly varied repeats of the same panel, or extreme close-ups.  One is the title and another is the “to be continued” caption.  On the other hand, quite a few of the pages do feature multiple panels. By my count there probably is about the equivalent of 20 pages of regular comic in this; but in order to take advantage of the opportunities of the Infinite format, you end up doing things that would be pretty “decompressed”, for want of a better word, in regular print.  These are priced like regular comics, and you can certainly defend that call, but I wonder whether it’s a price point that will work.

X-Factor #259 – Finally for this week, Peter David’s string of epilogue stories continues, by checking in on Rictor and Shatterstar in a convoluted time travel story.  The main point of this issue is to finally resolve a subplot that’s been dangling for over twenty years: what exactly is the connection between  Shatterstar and Longshot?  First teased at the tail end of Jim Lee’s short run on the X-Men in the early nineties (apparently because somebody thought it would be a cute thing to throw out there, rather than because anyone had any particular plans for it), this idea has surfaced periodically ever since.  Shatterstar’s back story, however, has been more or less quarantined as toxic sludge ever since the notoriously botched Benjamin Russell arc that linked him somehow or other to a guy in a coma.  As I recall, writer John Francis Moore said the end result had been so heavily revised by editorial that even he didn’t understand the version that had seen print.  Nor, given the lack of follow-up, did anyone else.

Anyway, this issue ignores the Benjamin Russell stuff entirely, and justifies the claimed links between Longshot and Shatterstar with a fiddly time loop that basically means they end up being each other’s father.   It does at least cut through the murk and give them both semi-workable back stories, but it’s not a particularly compelling origin for either of them – I can’t help feeling that this is one of those stories which is so busy unravelling a knotty continuity problem that it’s forgotten to do anything else.

 

Bring on the comments

  1. Gary says:

    So if Longshot is a clone of Shatterstar…

    And Dazzler and Longshot are Shatterstar’s parents…

    Doesn’t that mean Dazzler had a passionate affair, married, and a child with a clone of her son?

  2. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    Two continuity problems, if you think (as I do) that “Oh, Dazzler’s not pregnant any more, she must have miscarried, let us never speak of this again” is a problem.

  3. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    (Although that one is even more long-forgotten than the main one.)

  4. wwk5d says:

    A+X – Is this still going on?

    “with the visual hook of Domino being able to visualise all the possible things that could happen as she tries to cross the room.”

    I believe this is the first time her power has been presented this way, no? It always seemed like her power was like Longshot’s, ie, if she knew something would happen, her power would work, as long as she was aware of the threat.

    “There’s a moment when even Domino has to object that she shouldn’t be acting like this given her years of experience, and since that doesn’t come across as setting up a subplot, it has a bit of a canary-in-the-mineshaft effect on the story’s credibility.”

    Yeah, unless this is a set-up for a future sub-plot, is does seem a bit out of character for her. I remember you had similar complaints back-in-the-day regarding Ellis’ run on X-force, when she and Cannonball didn’t seem to care about hundreds of people being killed as collateral damage.

    As for Domino…I think her personality can be adjusted depending on who she is being written with. Paired with someone more traditional and conservative like Wanda, she can be a wild card. Paired with someone like Boom Boom (as written here), then she can be the voice of reason.

    As for Domino herself…I always saw her as someone who was efficient and professional in her work, but wouldn’t be afraid to bend the rules or do something crazy as needed for that specific scenario.

    As for Longshot/Shatterstar…interesting is all I can say. I’m a bit surprised PAD went down that road, to be honest.

  5. Gary says:

    I quite like the timey wimey Longshot / Star connection but I think editorial should have thought of the impact on Dazzler long term. She has had sex and a child with a clone of her child. This is Dazzler. A c-list character but one that has kept coming back for thirty years.

    It will be retconned away again as soon as Bendis or someone similar gets a chance.

  6. Dave says:

    They could have just gone with Longshot having the strange genetic quirk (and/or put it down to mojoverse weirdness) that his children are clones of him.

    Thinking about 2 of the reviews here together, it seems to me like the characterization of ‘shot and ‘star in X-Factor has never been very much like their 80s and 90s originals (though I’ve still never read that much of Longshot from back then).

    Domino’s always been established as a ‘professional’ merc, but also as being a lot less grimly stoic than Cable. I don’t have a problem with her having fun with some missions, but being more serious when necessary.

  7. Reboot says:

    > The main point of this issue is to finally resolve a subplot that’s been dangling for over twenty years: what exactly is the connection between Rictor and Shatterstar?

    But to paraphrase Madrox from XF 200, is there anyone who doesn’t know about Rictor & Shatterstar? ;)

    [You may want to fix that typo!]

    Seriously, though… this is a mistake. It’s exactly the sort of continuity porn the X-books have often been mocked for in the past – not the fact of resolution, the hugely convoluted way IN WHICH it was resolved. The sort of thing you pick up on in the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook feature.

  8. D. says:

    Doesn’t it feel like X-Factor #259 was meant to be a 3-4 issue arc? It’s refreshing to read a story that’s paced like an issue of Spiderman from 1973, but at the same time, it feels like PAD would have stretched it out a bit more if he had a choice.

  9. Reboot says:

    > Even so, the story doesn’t entirely sell me on the idea that Psylocke might genuinely be hooking up with Weapon XIII in order to get revenge on Fantomex (which I assume is what I’m meant to be getting from this) – it feels a bit obvious that she’s stringing him along.

    I thought she might genuinely be doing it on first reading, but when I looked again, the panel with the belt buckle/lockpick behind his head above “How do I know I can trust you?” seems like a dead giveaway that she’s stringing him.

  10. D. says:

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure Jim Lee would not have put in the “Shatterstar” comment at the end of X-Men #11 if he and Rob Liefeld weren’t about to walk out the door anyhow.

  11. Reboot says:

    > > “with the visual hook of Domino being able to visualise all the possible things that could happen as she tries to cross the room.”
    >
    > I believe this is the first time her power has been presented this way, no? It always seemed like her power was like Longshot’s, ie, if she knew something would happen, her power would work, as long as she was aware of the threat.

    It’s presented as something caused by the Scarlet Witch boosting her powers, rather than her normal status quo.

  12. ZZZ says:

    @wwk5d – In A+X, Domino’s powers are being amplified by the Scarlet Witch. The dialogue does specify that that’s why she’s seeing possible outcomes of her actions.

    And the two different versions of Domino could be interesting if it was clear that it was intentional (say, if both versions appeared in the same book, as opposed to in two different books who don’t seem to agree on Domino’s status quo, much less her personality) as an exploration of the notion that the least mature person in a group can force even only slightly more mature people to become the “grown up” of the relationship – you know, a “being an adult doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time, but it does mean you can’t be silly all the time anymore” moral.

    Speaking of which, isn’t Boom Boom in the same boat as Domino personality-wise? The character was introduced as an abused runaway with suicidal tendencies whose humanity grounded the Beyonder. The last time she was part of the main cast of a book before X-Force, she was portrayed as literally so vacant that mental powers didn’t work on her. At first the whole point of her was there was more to her than immediately met the eye, but for the last couple of decades she seems to only be written according to what the current writer assumes a clichéd ’80s valley girl named “Boom Boom” would be like.

    (On a personal note, while Wanda as voice of authority didn’t feel right to me either, I was tickled by Wanda as person whose plan would get everyone killed if Domino didn’t ignore it. I’m not a big fan of the Scarlet Witch.)

  13. Tdubs says:

    Yeah since NextWave BoomBoom has been a mutant Paris Hilton.
    Weren’t Domino’s powers the reverse of Longshot’s? A mutant bad luck power?
    I really don’t kn

  14. Paul says:

    “[You may want to fix that typo!]”

    Ah yes. Done now. Thanks.

  15. kingderella says:

    i havent read that many stories with domino, but i think her character can be boiled down to “bad girl”. furthermore, id say shes fundamentally reasonable. she can be random and freespirited, but why not act that way if you have mutant powers that pretty much always get you out of trouble.

    ps: theres a mistake in the x-factor review. line 4, it should say “longshot”, not “rictor”.

  16. The X-Factor issue struck me as odd, largely because, as one character lampshaded, it’s more or less exactly what happened in a Heinlein short story, and honestly, if you’re just rehashing a classic sci-fi story without adding anything new, why bother?

    But I don’t think it’s really going to hurt Dazzler’s character, not in the extreme long run, at least. After all, Ms. Marvel did pretty much the same thing, but knowing full well that the man she was running off with was the one she’d given birth to.

  17. (Although just because I think it didn’t damage her character doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge that it was still a pretty creepy thing to have happened.)

  18. Max says:

    I think Jeph Loeb was on X-Force when that Ben Russell story came out. John Francis Moore barely touched the character. JMF basically packed Shatterstar on a bus first chance he got (who can blame him).

  19. Joseph says:

    I’m okay with the X-Factor story. First of all, Longshot isn’t a clone, he’s something else that was created from ‘Stars genetic material. The explanation Ric was given was somewhat vague, and if anything it opens the door to more Mojo stories, which in an age if reality TV is, I think, over due. So we don’t know that much about the process that created Shot. Why dies he have three fingers, for instance. So they say well he’s not a clone exactly since his genetic material is not identical, he’s more like a son (but this itself is just an analogy to make the process intelligible to Ric/us quickly). So at worst Dazzker had a child with her grandson (for whatever it’s worth).

    As for A+X, I’ve really enjoyed this series. It could be so much better, but I think Marveks been missing a fun anthology series.

  20. Paul says:

    “But I don’t think it’s really going to hurt Dazzler’s character, not in the extreme long run, at least. After all, Ms. Marvel did pretty much the same thing, but knowing full well that the man she was running off with was the one she’d given birth to.”

    I’m not sure that’s a very good example. That was a mind control story, and it still did a LOT of damage to the character – to the point where they ended up doing a blank-slate mind-wipe to get her back into circulation at all.

  21. Let me rephrase with so many qualifiers that the original argument is entirely altered–if arguably one of Marvel’s most prominent non-mutant female superhero can come back from a ridiculous pregnancy story in the main Avengers book, then presumably Dazzler can live down something somewhat similar happening in one of Marvel’s C-titles. And especially when she’s about to be prominent in Bendis’ X-Men, where it’s extremely unlikely that Bendis will include, or even give any indication of being aware of, this new facet of her history.

  22. Si says:

    If I may further prove Paul’s point by giving yet another version of Domino’s personality, I think she’s a wild maverick who also has the kind of professionalism that comes with being extremely good at her job, and also having a sense of responsibility.

  23. Joseph says:

    Also I just realized we don’t know where Longshot is, present Longshot I mean.

  24. Andrew says:

    I really liked Domino’s one-off appearence in the New X-men annual from 2001. Morrison wrote her really well and her ultra-professionalism was awesome to see when she and Wolverine worked together.

  25. Reboot says:

    On the Domino debate… A+X #10 really did strike me as out-of-character for her. No, she isn’t as grim as Cable, but she’s showing up for the job either drunk or hungover. That’s definitely going too far.

  26. Tim O'Neil says:

    Well, I think in this instance David can be forgiven for devoting an issue to resolving an outstanding plot thread, since this particular plot thread was not only outstanding since the Bush I administration, but it was actively contributing to keeping two once-popular characters out of the spotlight.

    I’m not trying to say that now that their origins are straight everybody is going to be jumping on the Shatterstar bandwagon again, but when you consider the fact that both characters languished the better part of a decade in obscurity because their backstories had become so toxic in the 90s, this kind of band-aid was definitely overdue.

    Am I alone in thinking that UNCANNY X-FORCE is basically floundering? I’ve developed a good rule of thumb: if a book takes more than two issues to get around to establishing the premise that was already revealed in promotional interviews, there’s trouble. As it is, we’re on issue #8 and it’s pretty obvious to all concerned that the book wants to be a Psylocke solo title, because it could really not give a fuck about any of the other characters who make up the quote-unquote cast.

  27. Tim O'Neil says:

    Oh, one thing I’m surprised no one has mentioned – Domino’s major weakness has been established as extreme OCD, which explains her obsessive planning, but also could be stretched (I guess) to mean that sometimes she is unpredictable as a result of overcompensating (or something). I think it’s one of those defining character traits that comes and goes depending on whether the writer has read the stories in which it is mentioned.

    But as I write this, I realize that the Warren story could be an example of Domino being so methodical that she gets to literally see the outcomes of every possible choice and decides on her course of action based on a deduction of the only action NOT guaranteed to result in failure. This was used to comedic effect during Way’s DEADPOOL, when Wade used her fear of the unpredictable to distract her – i.e., giving her a chicken and watching her freak out about it while he gets away.

  28. D. says:

    “Ms. Marvel did pretty much the same thing, but knowing full well that the man she was running off with was the one she’d given birth to.”

    Ooh boy. That can of worms:

    http://carolastrickland.com/comics/msmarvel/

  29. Jon Dubya says:

    Funny thing is, Boom-Boom disposition actually sounds like it IS in character (damn you, Nextwave!), which makes me wonder why Cable saw fit to include her in the team at all, as well as why Tabitha decided to join. I always got the feeling that they never particularly liked each other anyway and only tolerated each other’s presence during the New-Mutants-to-X-Force transition because she was Sam’s girlfriend.

    Also, moving from vol. 1 of Uncanny X-force to vol. 2 is like eating filet mignon and then being offered a Happy Meal.

  30. The original Matt says:

    Vol1 of uncanny x-force was badass. Remender did such a great job.

  31. Si says:

    I have a question. Did making these two characters each other’s fathers actually resolve anything? It seems an incredibly convoluted way to resolve a fairly straightforward dangling plot point.

  32. Andy Walsh says:

    @Si – well, yes, in the sense that it explicitly answered a question which had previously been subject to speculation. However, since the answer is a convoluted variation on what most people assumed was the answer anyway, I can see where it doesn’t feel like a satisfying answer.

    I would say that while it was hardly essential to resolve the question that way based on the character arcs, it is a very fitting resolution in the context of this X-Factor volume. Thematically it resonates with the time travel paradoxes, closed time loops, and questions of destiny that permeate PAD’s story.

    It also potentially resolves a less obvious open plot thread, namely the identity of Scattershot. It is quite plausible that Scattershot is the clone of Shatterstar created in this issue, the one that Rictor fights in the arena at the beginning of the story. Obviously there is more to the story to explain how he becomes purple and evil, but that’s not a stretch for a denizen of Mojoverse.

  33. Evilgus says:

    I guess Domino lacks a defined personality other than ‘mercenary’ in the way a lot of later x-characters do. It takes a lot of shorthand to sketch a character… Eg, Colossus is an artist regularly seen working at an easel, spouts Russianisms, is fairly quiet, etc. You can quickly tell when he, or Storm, or Kitty say, are out of character or not speaking with their “voice”. Same applies for lots of characters though… Much as I love them, Rachel Grey and Psylocke suffer the same problems as Domino. Just who are they, really?

  34. wwk5d says:

    Up until Loeb, Shatterstar didn’t really have that much of a convoluted back story. It was once he introduced the Benjamin Russell stuff that things got confusing.

    Psylocke did seem to have a more consistent voice when Claremont was writing her.

  35. moose n squirrel says:

    Prior to the Benjamin Russell shenanigans, the Shatterstar/Longshot connection was really pretty simple: as established in the (aggressively mediocre) Shattershot crossover, Shatterstar is Longshot and Dazzler’s son from a possible future. No other weird cloning or double-extra time-travel paradox stuff necessary – one dude is the other dude’s kid, end of story. The complicating factor came when Jeph Loeb came along and pulled an “EVERYTHING YOU KNEW IS WRONG” stunt with Shatterstar and the guy in the coma – but since David decided to ignore that mess anyway, I don’t see why he didn’t just go back to square one and say, “dude one is dude two’s kid.” The cloney stuff just complicates things, and makes the origins of both characters too cute by half.

  36. moose n squirrel says:

    @Evilgus – that’s a great point, with Psylocke especially. I’m betting that long-time readers who remember pre-ninja Psylocke probably have a totally different explanation of who Psylocke “is”; after the Siege Perilous, she’s technically the same character, but a whole other collection of tics is associated with her (and, as much as I love the X-Men, tics are what tend to define these characters). I have a better idea of what Domino is supposed to act like in any given situation than I do Psylocke, sadly enough. Hell, strip away her catchphrases (“by the goddess!” and so on), and I’m not entirely sold on Storm as a consistent character, at least for the last decade or so.

  37. Jon Dubya says:

    “On the Domino debate… A+X #10 really did strike me as out-of-character for her. No, she isn’t as grim as Cable, but she’s showing up for the job either drunk or hungover. That’s definitely going too far.”

    Exactly! Domino may be a bit more fun-loving than Cable, but no matter what, she’s a professional, even at her most fun-loving and snarky.

    That being said, (since by sheer coincidence, a whole bunch of them are featured in this entry), I’d be careful about questioning ANY Liefieldian nightmare as “out-of-character” what with their primary traits being “Look how SUPER-KEWL we are with our BFG/BFS and TOTALLY AWESOME shoulder-pads and pouches galore!” (incidently, I wonder if ol’ Rob’s head exploded yet, considering how he felt the LAST time someone tinkered with ‘star.)

    Finally what is UP with PAD (and comics in general, come to think of it) making people forget their own children (ok with Lorna it happened in reverse, but still…)

  38. kingderella says:

    hey guys… i know this is not what everybody is talking about, but… why did mystique intentionally attract the attention of the x-men while doing her thing? wouldnt she have gotten away with it if she hadnt involved the x-men for no reason? unless im missing something, her “plan” is not just boring, but outright stupid.

  39. D. says:

    Psylocke was the “overshadowed twin who wanted to be an adventurer but was held back by being weaker and a girl while her brother got the glory he never wanted.”

    Rachel was the “traumatized, PTSD girl with too much power and without the maturity or mental stability to handle it responsibly.”

    But then Psylocke became a Ninja, and Rachel got over her PTSD and became more mature, and now their core characteristics don’t apply anymore.

  40. Matt C. says:

    “Am I alone in thinking that UNCANNY X-FORCE is basically floundering?”

    Not at all. As Paul says, 8 issues is far too long considering we’ve just barely gotten glimpses of the plot. Is this a story about Spiral? About the White Owl? About Bishop and his bear? About Psylocke and her Fantomex love cube? Hey, remember when Storm and Puck were involved? The book needs to pick a damn plotline and stick with it.

  41. Chaos McKenzie says:

    I always thought the contradictions in Domino where her character… ie she’s the hardened professional with the younger characters, but always playful and silly when working with characters with similar backstories.

    And as for All Old X-Men, it will seem very odd if they shuffle off Mystique for good, otherwise why waste time with the sub plot set-up at all… I can’t see Bendis missing out on more teen melodrama with all the villain stuff, if it wasn’t going somewhere more, even if nowhere huge.

    I want to love Psylocke’s X-Force way more than I do. I was determined to love it from the first cover, but so far… no. Puck and Spiral in particular don’t ring any bells with me, despite being huge favorites.

    And I think the whacky twist on Longshot and Shatterstar was perfect considering the nature of the Mojoverse and characters… I found it oddly satisfying, though I always assumed that Benjamin Russel was the human Arize borrowed DNA from to create the biped slaves for Mojo’s manipulations. Whatever it ended up being, for Longshot it needed to be over the top and with a warp twist of good feeling at the end.

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