Recaps of three X-Books as Marvel continues to ramp up its X-Men publishing schedule: Marauders #2, Excalibur #2, and Deadpool #1.
With the holidays and everything, I didn't get a chance to complete last week's X-ual Healing. As a result, I'm publishing it today, along with this week's so there will be exactly as many X-ual Healing columns today as Wolverine has dicks.
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, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
What Happened in Marauders #2?
MARAUDERS #2 DX
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Matteo Lolli (CA) Russell Dauterman
The Hellfire Trading Company has control of Mutant trade on the seas… but that doesn't mean its Inner Circle is done stabbing one another in the back. As Captain Pryde and her Marauders sail on, the real cutthroats are back home…
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
In typical Dawn of X fashion, the issue starts out with a full-page government email about Krakoan nautical ventures, which is as we all know the most exciting way to kick off a comic. After that, Emma Frost meets with the Cuckoos to discuss female solidarity before showing up at Sebastian Shaw's house to taunt him over financial difficulties while revealing she has someone in mind for the role of Red Queen (and the third spot on the Krakoan Quiet Council): Kate Pryde. Kate and her crew of Marauders is currently busy battling Batroc the Leaper and some nameless thugs in order to sink a ship of mutant drugs Shaw was attempting to smuggle to the black market for profit rather than delivering it to people who need it. Kate and her drunken band of mutant pirates (but mostly Kate) kick everyone's ass and sink the ship.
Afterward, they head for shore leave in Tapei, where they meet Bishop, who informs them of Xavier's assassination in X-Force #1. So the Marauders head to a tattoo shop while Kate chugs whiskey, makes out with the tattoo artist, and steals his coat while Pyro gets a face tattoo. Then Gateway shows up and teleports them to their swanky new yacht (bought with comics piracy money?). Kate heads to the Hellfire Club meeting and introduces herself as the new Red Queen, to the shock and dismay of Shaw, who was right in the middle of choking out Emma. The issue ends with an org chart of the Hellfire Club and its three monarchs, with the title of Lord Imperial still vacant.
Was it any good?
Well, Marauders is certainly a different take, whatever you may think of it. I've seen some criticism (as well as some support) of Kate Pryde's ongoing bender, but if nothing else, watching this team of mutants having a running party on a boat while engaging in disruptive super-heroics amidst political intrigue is enjoyable in a way similar to an MTV reality show crossed with Game of Thrones, and I'm down for it as long as Marvel keeps it going. That may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely mine. I love a good, trashy reality show.
What Happened in Excalibur #2?
EXCALIBUR #2 DX
(W) Tini Howard (A) Marcus To (CA) Mahmud Asrar
Betsy Braddock is Captain Britain, but a citizen of Krakoa. With Rogue's condition a mystery, the team heads to the one place that has always been the seat of Excalibur's power – the Lighthouse.
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
The issues opens with a flashback to way back in the day, with Apocalypse allowing some of his followers, Druids, to die on a sea voyage. He doesn't help, but decides to honor their memory by making the location of their departure special. It's the site of Excalibur's old lighthouse. At sea, Kate Pryde is currently giving Captain Britain (the former Psylocke), Jubilee, Gambit, and Rogue (who is currently in a naked Krakoa coma) to that very location. Gambit is worried about Rogue and Jubilee is worried about leaving Shogo behind on Krakoa. But they're attacked by Selkies, who are apparently evil Scottish mermaids, sent by Morgan le Fay. They escape onto land, where the Selkies can't follow. The lighthouse isn't there, but a bunch of druids only Psylocke can see are. They show her a vision of Marianna Stern and decide that Betsy makes a fine Captain Britain, so they let Roguekoa grow a new lighthouse on the sacred spot, with Rogue as the light. Everyone goes to sleep, but Jubilee has a nightmare about Apocalypse babysitting Shogo, so she takes a portal back to Krakoa and brings him to the lighthouse. Betsy also has a dream, where a flaming wolf leads her to a statue of Apocalypse with the words "He will use us. We can use him." engraved on it.
The next morning, the druids come back to officially sanction Betsy as Captain Britain, but Coven Akkaba attacks. Apocalypse shows up and tells the rest of Excalibur that they need to head to Weirdworld to stop Morgan le Fay, and that he will stay behind with Roguehouse and defend the area. The team objects, but before they know it, they're through a portal and Shogo is either missing or turned into a giant dragon – it's not entirely clear.
Was it any good?
I love the pacing of this book. Events progress quickly, things aren't overly-explained, and it feels less formulaic than most superhero comics. This issue had the team feel like they were constantly on the run, starting on a boat, fleeing the boat due to mermaid attack, setting up a new lighthouse, being invaded, jumping to another dimension and ending on a cliffhanger. The characters don't have time to rest and get their wits about them, and neither does the reader.
What Happened in Deadpool #1?
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Wayne Faucher, Al Vey, Jaime Mendoza, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba (A/CA) Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend
Deadpool's newest mercenary job has him going after the King of Monsters, who has claimed a new kingdom for his monstrous subjects…on Staten Island! But you know what they say, when you come at the king, you better not miss! The Merc with a Mouth finds himself neck deep in political intrigue, monster law, and a monster hunter out for blood! It's like The Crown but with even more swords and monsters! Can Deadpool's smooth charisma and deft diplomacy allow him to keep his head, or will he be royally screwed?
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
It's Deadpool's birthday, so he holds a party for himself, eating takeout food and kidnapping his mailman for a party guest. Deadpool is then hired by a man named Blaylock to kill the King of the Monsters, who has made a legal claim to Staten Island and has begun moving all his subjects there. Deadpool reveals of this in a flashback while he heals from getting ripped in half by said King of the Monsters. He's chatting with Bellus, Lord Chamberlain to the King, who doesn't want to stop Deadpool from killing the new King because he doesn't like Staten Island (no one does). Elsa Bloodstone shows up, also there to kill the King of the Monsters (it's her job). Time for a team-up.
It doesn't go well at first, but the King bites off Deadpool's arm, which contained a bunch of grenades, and he blows up. Elsa shields Deadpool from the explosion, causing him to believe she has a thing for him. It might be true. After the dust has settled, Bellus declares Deadpool the new King of the Monsters. He's immediately put to work, holding court and greeting his new knights, whose names I'm not going to bother typing until we see if they stick around for a few issues. Deadpool deals with some kingly business, getting a sea monster to stop attacking ferries lest it attracts the attention of the Avengers. Deadpool is going to have to figure out how to get the economy working for these monsters.
Gwenpool shows up and gives Deadpool her pet from West Coast Avengers, Jeff the Land Shark. Gwen is afraid it's not safe for Jeff to stay with her because her books keep getting canceled. Deadpool, Jeff, and Bellus celebrate Deadpool's belated birthday with some ice cream. Later that night, Bellus is murdered by Kraven the Hunter.
Was it any good?
As far as Deadpool comics though, this was more tolerable than many. Deadpool is a character that annoys everyone around him, but he shouldn't annoy the reader, and that's a fine line to walk. Thus far, this new series is pulling it off, and introducing a pretty drastic status quo change for Deadpool (bigger than the last one, which ostensibly wiped his memories but put him in the same sort of situations as usual and ended up revisiting those lost memories anyway), which helps. My only question is: will it be acknowledged that the original Kraven is dead (see the Hunted arc in Amazing Spider-Man) and the new Kraven is his son? Also: Jeff the Land Shark!
Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week
Never let it be said that I'm incapable of changing my mind. The first round of Dawn of X, I though Excalibur was the best book, but going head to head with Marauders this week, I have to admit I enjoyed it slightly more. Excalibur was still great, don't get me wrong, but the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week award isn't about artistic achievement, it's about providing the reader with the satisfying sensation of a crispy, greasy weiner on a hot Summer day, and that's definitely Marauders this week. Congratulations to the creative team.
- 10/16/2019: X-Men #1
- 10/23/2019: Marauders #1
- 10/30/2019: Excalibur #1
- 11/6/2019: New Mutants #1
- 11/13/2019: X-Men #2
- 11/20/2019: Marauders #2
If you've been following along, I've been advocating for a theory, created back in 2013, that Wolverine has two dicks, one for f**king and one for making love. It makes people very mad for some reason, which of course just makes it funnier for those of you with the discerning taste to appreciate such things. You can read the theory explained in full here, and followed up on here. And I have got a doozy of a follow-up planned for the near future. Gonna blow the lid right off this thing.
Double the dicks, double the price. Seems fair. https://t.co/BpDPfhtOUp
— Jude Terror (@judeterror) December 1, 2019
As noted earlier, a second edition of X-ual Healing will be out later today, so check back until it does. Seriously, keep refreshing the page, we love the clicks.
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