Only two X-books this week. Which was the best, Excalibur #8 or Marauders #9? Read on for recaps and analysis…
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.
This Week's Issues
I recapped two X-books this week. Here's what I thought of them.
EXCALIBUR #8 DX
(W) Tini Howard (A) Wilton Santos (CA) Mahmud Asrar
HARK! THE HUNT FOR TRUTH
Excalibur emerges from the woods with a journey before them. Their destination: Starlight Citadel.
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020
Was it any good?
It's nice to have stories that aren't decompressed and formatted to be individual chapters of a trade paperback. Not every story needs to be paced the exact same way. It may make for a neat publishing program, but it also results in formulaic and dare I say boring comics.
Excalibur is not like that. Since the start, this book hasn't been afraid to experiment with the pace, and it makes for a more engaging read over the long term. This particular story consisted of a two-issue visit to Cullen Bloodstone's house which accomplished a purpose (getting Warwolf skulls) while at the same time moving a bunch of ongoing plotlines along. You have the general theme of mutants behaving in very objectional ways, exterminating a race of (admittedly evil) sentient creatures in order to supply their skulls to a genocidal villain for use in magical rituals, though Captain Britain does at least stop short of literally killing a puppy. You have Captain Britain continuing to come to terms with the decisions she'll need to make as a leader, both in taking her team's advice and going out to get the rest of the skulls in the middle of the night and in standing up to Apocalypse over the pup. You had the kiss with Rictor, which beyond its immediate tawdry value (which is always appreciated) also helps Rictor move on from his relationship with Shatterstar.
Sure, we're heading into crossover event territory soon, but for now, this is all I want from an ongoing comic.
MARAUDERS #9 DX
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Matteo Lolli (CA) Russell Dauterman
A very small attack on Krakoa grows into something much bigger, thanks to Yellowjacket! Can Captain Kate's crew swat him before his sting pays off?
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020
Was it any good?
Sure, the double inception stuff isn't a brand new idea, but it was fun and well-executed, while also letting characters like Emma Frost, the Cuckoos, and Magneto strut their stuff. The Kate Pryde plot continues to move along very slowly, and though none of us really wants to believe that Kate won't be resurrected eventually, there is doubt and mystery about what makes Kate different. Another solid issue from what often feels like the main X-Men book. It also delivered a complete story in a single issue, which is always appreciated, as I talked about in the Excalibur recap.
Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week
This was a really tough week, which is to be expected when my two favorite books of the X-lineup go head to head. Both issues broke from the traditional written-for-the-trade arc format, with Excalibur delivering the second of a two-part story and Marauders delivering one that worked on its own while still part of a bigger storyline. Both were fun to read. But I have to give the edge to Excalibur here, mainly because I think it moved some of the characters and story along in multiple ways, while Marauders, if you strip away the dream sequence, left us in pretty much the same place as we've been for several issues now, with Kate dead and doubts about whether she can be brought back. But it was close.
Congratulations to the creative team on this honor.
Past weiner winners:
- 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
- 11/27/2019: X-Force #2
- 12/04/2019: Excalibur #3
- 12/11/2019: New Mutants #3
- 12/18/2019: Gwenpool Strikes Back #5
12/25/2019: No X-Books
- 01/1/2020: Marauders #5
- 01/08/2020: Excalibur #5
01/17/2020: No X-Books
- 01/22/2020: Marauders #6
- 01/29/2020: X-Force #6
- 02/05/2020: X-Men/Fantastic Four #1
- 02/12/2020: X-Men #6
- 02/19/2020: Marauders #8
- 02/26/2020: X-Men #7
- 03/04/2020: Excalibur #8
The Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week is an award decided by my whims, not by any rule-based scientific process. It's whichever X-Men comic provides me with the most satisfying feeling, like a tubular cased meat product grilled on a fuzzy Canadian's adamantium claws on a hot Summer day. So you're welcome to disagree and post your opinions in the comments.
Also, before someone asks in the comments again, yes I am aware that the more common spelling is "wiener." But "weiner" is also an accepted spelling according to the dictionary. Who am I going to trust more? Some jackass in the comments section, or the dictionary? Besides, you know who would have spelled it "Wolverine's Wiener" if he were alive today? Hitler. I rest my case.
Is X-Men a Manga?
Gail Simone posted a pretty interesting thread on Twitter this week about the appeal of X-Men comics in the 80s, surmising that X-Men was essentially a manga. Give it a read by clicking through to the tweet below.
Okay, I have a theory, and I'm going to share it with you, even though I haven't fully thought it out and it may have bits that are not fully considered, agreed?
It's about the X-Men, and a couple theories I have.
Again, this is just random supposition, but it seems legit.
— Gail Simone (@GailSimone) March 7, 2020
See you next week to recap more X-Men comics.
Read more X-ual Healing here: