Hi, and welcome again to The Week in Comics — a new thing we're trying that is, it appears, back for at least one more week. We guess. But don't take this as any kind of commitment to do more of them. In all likelihood, we'll lose interest and scrap this whole thing by next weekend.
The Week in Comics News
These are the comics stories that captured our attention this week.
Biff! Bam! Pow!
The week in comic news kicked off Monday with a Bleeding Cool report that "adult" graphic novel sales expanded in 2020 during the pandemic. Sure, everyone is stuck in the house quarantining, so of course, they're gonna be jacking off more. What kind of adult graphic novels are we talking about here? Zenescope? Boundless? Sticky? Oh, wait, you're telling me these aren't porn comics they're talking about? They mean, like, boring art comics? Well, who gives a shit then?
Spider-Man for Sale
A man is auctioning off what Bleeding Cool Rumormonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston calls "the most comprehensive Spider-Man collection in the world." Steve Levine is selling the collection because he was diagnosed with cancer and wants to sell it to benefit his family. Check out the sale here.
Roses are Red…
Unchecked narcissist and alleged Scottish COVID quarantine protocol breaker Neil Gaiman wrote a poem about Doctor Strange for charity. We'll donate a million dollars not to have to read it.
Both X-Men and X-Factor are taking a break in April, but they return in May, and they're bringing Nimrod, Lila Cheney, and Dazzler with them. Nimrod is believed to be a catalyst that could bring about the destruction of the mutant race, as described during the HoXPoX series. The Quiet Council had the opportunity to bar Nimrod from ever again appearing in an X-Men comic but chickened out and voted to acquit instead, claiming they didn't have constitutional jurisdiction to impeach a private robot, so whatever happens next is their own fault.
DC Comics Goes Viral
The most recent issue of unauthorized Watchmen sequel Rorshcach featured the slogan "Some People Need Masks, Some Don't" on the back cover. The phrase sparked criticism for unintentionally promoting coronavirus denial conspiracy theories and anti-mask attitudes. However, it's impossible to say whether the creative team was aware of the potential unfortunate interpretation when they added the message. It's not like the pandemic has been going on for a year now or anything.
Less ambiguous was a message on the back cover of the latest Immortal Hulk, which read, "Democrats are running a secret pedophilia ring, and George Soros created the coronavirus to steal the election from Donald Trump." Marvel Editor-in-Chief Akira Yoshida referred to the printing as an "unfortunate mistake" that "brought great dishonor upon Marvel's family."
Valiant Fan Forum Posters Scramble to Become Academy Members
Valiant Entertainment, the RC Cola of superhero comic book publishers, bragged in a press release that the movie Bloodshot was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, begging the question: how the @#$% hard is it to paint a red circle on Vin Diesel's chest? "We're just happy anyone is paying attention to us," a Valiant rep said when reached for comment via carrier pigeon.
Two Comic Creators, One Toupee?
Finally, capping off another incredible week of comic book news, comics journalism auteur Ali Jaffery the Hunk published an expose on comic book creators Tom King and Mitch Gerads and what Jaffery claims is a conspiracy to hide the fact that King and Gerads are two different people who share the same toupee. If what Jaffery claims is true, it's a scandal that would rock the comic book industry to its foundations. Bleeding Cool is legally obligated to state that there is absolutely no evidence that anything Jaffery is saying is, in fact, true… but there is no evidence it isn't, either.
You can read the article, which features interactive graphics so readers can explore the conspiracy for themselves, at saliva-themed belligerent comics news outlet Comic Spit. Jaffery has promised The Week in Comics an EX-X-XCLUSIVE interview on the subject next week, so be sure to do your research ahead of time, true believers!
Classics to Read for Valentine's Day
And one from today:
X-ual Healing – The Week in X-Men Comics
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 #18 does as good a job of capturing that old-school X-Men magic as anything possibly can these days, with a relatively quiet issue taking place mostly in Excalibur's living quarters and featuring characters talking about their feelings while high stakes psychic drama plays out in the background.
Betsy Braddock has apparently returned, washing up on the shore near Excalibur's lighthouse, but Rogue suspects it isn't the real Betsy, though Prestige can't figure it out. Brian Braddock agrees, but as they all decide to sleep on it, Betsy plays some kind of mind trick on Brian, sending him back to Avalon while she escapes to Krakoa.
Gambit heads to Avalon to talk to King Jamie Braddock while Rogue heads to Krakoa after Betsy. After Rogue and Rictor discover Apocalypse's will written on a wall (he left it all to Rictor), "Betsy" attacks… but Psylocke makes the run-in to save the day and confirms that it's not Betsy. Meanwhile, in Avalon, Jamie made an empty body for Betsy in case she ever comes back, and it's missing.
In a Quentin Quire focused issue, Quentin investigates the latest of his many recent deaths. He was killed while investigating a cruise ship where most of the passengers were murdered to make it look like mutants did it. This turns out to be the work of Xeno Commander, who, it is heavily hinted but not outright revealed, is building his own cloned X-Force team from the recovered genetic materials of the team, or at the very least, he has a working clone of Quire just about ready. And it might be controlling Jumbo Carnation to attack Quentin and Phoebe Cuckoo at the end of this issue.
Other things that happen in this issue:
- We learn that death and resurrection over and over make Quentin feel like something is missing in his mind.
- Phoebe meets Quentin when he's resurrected and gives him memories of their romantic relationship. But is she manipulating him at all?
- Seemingly not, or at least not for nefarious purposes, as when they go out on a date, she seems to truly like him for who he is inside. That causes Quentin to open up to her and then agree to ditch his 90s punk aesthetic for a modern mutant look.
- Quentin uses the mutant resurrection protocols for manscaping.
Fun issue, and it's always nice to see Quentin Quire experience some happiness (even though it's going to end up ripped away from him in the end, likely due to his own actions). Also, I'm excited to see the Bizarro X-Force team. Me am wolverine! Me have only one dick, used for both f**king and making love!
Manifold is the star of this issue. He's on a mission as part of the plot to the stupid King in Black super-mega-crossover event that no one cares about, and that will have no lasting impact on anything that matters, so let's not worry about that. Manifold visits his family in Australia, an uncle named Baz and an associate named Sammy, as a means of getting readers acquainted with the character, who has spent the majority of his time in the Avengers family of books. Then he talks to someone named Prince Djagyar of the warlike Zn'rx Empire, who is currently embroiled in a power struggle. Djagyar reuses to intervene on behalf of Earth in the stupid crossover because Knull's actions benefit him. Djagyar is murdered after Manifold leaves.
Finally, Manifold discovers that Henry Gyrich, head of Alpha Flight, is working with ORCHIS and reports it to Abigail Brand. Before they can deal with that, she sends him to Krakoa to rescue the team sent there in the previous issue. He arrives to find Cable, who has become a Venom thanks to the dumb crossover, is holding the team prisoner.
King in Black is dumb. Super-mega-crossover events are a waste of time. This issue wasn't bad as a character showcase, but for the principle of the matter, just read the wiki article on Manifold instead of this if you want an introduction to the character.
Wolverine: Black, White, and Blood #3
This issue consists of three stories. In the first one, set in the past, Wolverine and Mariko battle a group of warriors led by the Silver Samurai to save their adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi, a character created way back in the 80s by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr., but also famous for starring in the Wolverine comic by Marvel Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski while he was pretending to be a Japanese man named Akira Yoshida. Anyway, it turns out they were neglectful parents, so Wolverine lets Amiko kill him so they can make up.
In the second story set in the recent past, The Cosmic Ghost Rider travels back in time to watch Wolverine fight the Juggernaut in a story Wolverine told him about in the future. Still, he accidentally messes things up, and so he has to help Wolverine defeat Juggernaut. Kind of cliche. In the third story, set in the Krakoan era, Magik drops Wolverine off on Mars to clear out an AIM splinter group called MAIM, who have a Death's Head robot that Wolverine has to fight while blinded. He uses the MAIM Scientists talking to pinpoint the robot by the lack of sound created by the robot's stealth field.
This anthology is fine for what it is.
Wolverine's Wiener X-Pick of the Week
This week, the X-Book that gave me the feeling most akin to a belly full of tubed meat is Excalibur #18, though X-Force was also quite enjoyable this week. Congratulations to the creative team on this honor.
That's all for this week in The Week in Comics. Will this column return again next weekend? We are making absolutely no promises.