I'm Jude Terror, and this is X-ual Healing, Bleeding Cool's weekly X-Men recap column, where I read all the X-books, so you don't have to. And it's probably for the best. With the current crossover and weekly saturation of these things, a person could go broke trying to follow all these comics. In stores last week from Marvel: Marauders #15, Excalibur #14, and Wolverine #7, all part of the X of Swords crossover.
There were some interesting developments in the comics world last week. DC Comics laid off even more people as it seems like they've got a real skeleton crew running things over there. Rich Johnston claims DC is abandoning the direct market and will focus on a more mainstream audience, which makes all the sense in the world. Still, of course, comic book retailers (and fans) are a cowardly and superstitious lot, so a lot of them view this as a huge betrayal. The fact is that the industry has been propping up the direct market system for years. The direct market is like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's. Comic book publishers are like Larry and Richard, pretending the system is still working great so they can continue to squeeze higher profit growth out of a shrinking audience even though it's obviously been rotting for decades with no real feeder system to bring new customers into the specialty shop market. Except with comics, it's like Weekend at Bernies 17. The premise has grown really old and tired, the corpse is basically a skeleton at this point, and corporate exploitation has already sucked every molecule of meat off the franchise's bones.
But on the bright side, Marvel announced a new X-Men Legends series that will have stories by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, and more set during their classic runs. Yay! So it all evens out in the end.
Finally, we had some inter-company drama as Tom Brevoort attacked Tom King over the DC firing of Mark Doyle, a conflict where we can all truly say both sides deserve to lose. I wrote it up in a Fanboy Rampage article, but sometime after that, the killing blow came from the Comics Journal's Twitter:
those aren't the only bodies he had a hand in killing!
— THE COMICS JOURNAL (@ComicsJournal) November 13, 2020
Get it? Because Tom King was in the CIA? Okay, moving on…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics for lovers of soap opera drama.
EXCALIBUR #14 XOS
(W) Tini Howard (A) Phil Noto (CA) Mahmud Asrar
Two swords. Two cups. Two must answer.
In Shops: Nov 11, 2020
Excalibur #14 Recap
Before the opening match of the X of Swords tournament, Captain Britain sends a psychic message to Jubilee, who has been helping Shogo recover in the woods of Otherworld, telling her to definitely not under any circumstances come to the Citadel. Then Isca the Unbeaten, Betsy's opponent, comes to see her and offer her a chance to back out, which Betsy doesn't take.
The duel takes place in a small outdoor arena, hosted by Jamie Braddock. Isca beats Betsy by shattering her sword and Betsy herself, who breaks into a bunch of shards. Apparently, Saturnyne was behind this, or at least Brian Braddock thinks so. I think it might have been Jamie, though.
Saturnyne has Cypher and Bei the Blood Moon, the next combatants, ushered off to a tent by attendants. A prose page describes the powers of Bei the Blood Moon, which are that she has something called a Doom Note in her voice. The voice yearns to be understood, but for kayfabe reasons that don't really matter, Doug can't understand her. This forms an attraction between the two of them. It slowly becomes apparent that Doug and Bei aren't fighting. They're getting married.
The ceremony starts right away. Cypher and Bei exchange vows (though Cypher can't understand hers). They're about to kiss when Jubilee shows up riding Shogo, who breathes fire into the ceremony. Storm flies off to try to talk Jubilee down. Bei the Blood Moon puts her helmet back on and is also about to head out. Doug pleads with her not to hurt Shogo. She grabs him and kisses him. Saturnyne casts some kind of spell on Shogo, causing him to come to her, ditching Jubilee. Saturnyne concludes the wedding and awards one point to both the Krakoans and the Arakki, so the score is 2-1 Arakko.
Uh, what? Okay, that took a weird turn, though I'm still not going to get deep into it until after the next recap, so we'll talk about this tone change after Wolverine #7, I promise. For now, though, I will say that Marvel really dropped the ball here by not having a big $7.99 Cypher/Bei the Blood Moon wedding special and having all the comics revolve around the wedding for six months leading up to it. Does Marvel even know how to comic anymore?! What a wasted opportunity.
Read more X-ual Healing here:
This post is part of a multi-part series: X-ual Healing X-Men Recaps for the week of November 11th, 2020.
- As Usual, Wolverine Ruins Everything in Marauders #15 [XH]
- A Surprise Comic Book Wedding in Excalibur #14 [XH]
- A Tale of Two Appendages in Wolverine #7 [XH]