Sunday, October 12, 2008

The X-Axis - 12 October 2008

It's a very quiet week for new comics, and I've already covered X-Men: Original Sin. But here's the rest of this week's X-books, and a couple of other titles.

Emiko Superstar - The Minx imprint limps on, with this book from Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston. And it's very much your archetypal Minx book: vaguely nerdy outsider discovers self-expression through art. It's got a nice angle, exploring the idea that hanging around with a subculture is not necessarily self-expression; and Rolston's art is clean, simple and direct. Still, you have to wonder whether the Minx imprint might not have been a bit too focussed on vaguely nerdy characters discovering the world of art - it's a niche demographic, surely.

The Helm #3 - I had mixed feelings about the first issue of this series, in which a nerd finds a magic helmet that talks to him, and which doesn't much care for him as a chosen warrior. It's a nice enough comedy premise, but it seemed a bit too formula. It's improved, though, with Mathew becoming more sympathetic and less broadly caricatured; and this issue throws in a clever twist which I really should have seen coming, but didn't. There might be more potential in this story than I first thought.

X-Men: Magneto - Testament #2 - Notionally this is an origin series for Magneto, but you'd barely know from the content. In reality, Greg Pak and Carmine di Giandomenico are using Magneto as a vehicle to do a story about the experiences of Jews in the run-up to the Holocaust, and any fantastic elements have virtually been expunged from this story. It's a well-executed piece, which cleverly creates a mounting sense of doom by allowing its characters to remain unaware of just how hopeless their situation is, and having them continue to give rousing speeches as if there was some possibility of the good guys winning here. I'm not sure it's really a Magneto series so much as a historical drama with his name attached, but it does work.

X-Men: Manifest Destiny #2 - This is supposed to be an anthology series about minor characters moving to San Francisco, but the SF location doesn't seem to play much part. What we actually get is a lead story about Mystique stalking Iceman for rather convoluted reasons; Juggernaut holing up in a Nevada bar to choose sides; and a somewhat overwrought story about Emma Frost feeling guilty about her past crimes. The Juggernaut story is strongest, with Dan Panosian - best known as an inker - turning out to be an unexpectedly interesting artist. The Iceman story is just a bit confused, frankly, and as for Emma wailing about her guilt... well, she's the sort of character where that ought to remain strictly subtext.

Labels: ,