Things are kinda sorta ramping up in the comic book industry, and there were three X-books in stores last week. Of course, while things are kinda sorta ramping up, they’re also kinda sorta completely imploding, as DC has split with Diamond and retailers are saying the sky is falling. Of course, I’ve been warning about how the short-sighted tactics of the comic book industry have put it in danger of being unable to survive even a minor catastrophe, much less a global pandemic, for about a decade now. Still, everyone told me I was ridiculous, and the direct market was the envy of the publishing world! Hmm. Well, I went into more detail about that… in a wrestling article! Go read it here.
Now it’s time to get down to business and recap us some X-Men comics, which are, at this point in time, the only comics I’m committed to reading for the foreseeable future. As it turns out, shutting down the comic book industry makes for a great jumping-off point for overpriced, overhyped, and overly-decompressed comic book series. Who woulda thunk?
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, 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.
New Mutants #10 Recap
NEW MUTANTS #10
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Flaviano (CA) Michael Del Mundo
BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH!
The NEW MUTANTS know it’s tough to adjust to having powers, especially with the new Krakoan paradigm. They’ve been there – and they’re able to help, no matter how weird, wild, and dangerous the case may be! …Right?
In Shops: Jun 10, 2020
Ed Brisson and Flaviano’s tribute to Bill Sienkiewicz continues after a several-month hiatus with part two of a storyline that sees the New Mutants head to Russia to confront a newly emerged reality-warping mutant. She’s sucked a bunch of the New Mutants into her Sphere of Influence (which is also the title of the issue), and they are totally mentally incapacitated. The sphere represents the Diamond Monopoly and the direct market’s reality-defying hold on the comic book industry, and the X-Men represent the DC Comics who must break the shackles so that the industry can be set free. Who knew this comic was so prescient?!
Chamber, Magma, Karma, and a bunch of Carnelian townspeople (they’re sort of like Russians) are trapped inside. Mirage and Boom Boom are outside the sphere, and their first job is to get all the Russian soldiers to evacuate the area. A second team of New Mutants arrives in the Blackbird: Cypher, Wolfsbane, Armor, Mondo, and Wildside. Boom Boom calls Wildside, formerly of the Mutant Liberation Front, “Clowny McWolverine-Lite,” showing that even with three months off, Brisson still hasn’t been able to come up with a better insult for her.
Elsewhere in Carnelia, the Prime Minister is awoken from his sleep for a late-night briefing. There’s a problem with mutants.
In Krakoa, Magik interrupts Glob Herman playing with his chickens, which is a lot less dirty than it sounds. Magik is looking for the rest of the New Mutants. As he makes some laksa (again, not dirty), Glob tells them they went off on some mission or something. Magik asks about the mutant dox site that led to a drug cartel invading Beak and Angel’s farm in an earlier storyline.
An Hickmographic page gives us the recipe for Glob’s Vegetarian Laksa. To be honest, this is far more useful than the usual nonsense Hickman throws in these things. Good luck getting all these ingredients during the pandemic, though.
In Carnelia, Cypher determines that the big black ball of goo slowing enveloping the town with craziness is actually the dreams of the mutant girl at the center. Or, to be more accurate, the nightmares. Boom Boom says they know that already and accuse him of Dougsplaining. Oh damn! Cypher is gonna get canceled! #CancelCypher
Boom Boom wants to toss one of her time bombs inside the blob to wake the girl up. Cyper tells her you can’t bomb your way into a solution. Oh no? Tell that to the U.S. Government, Cypher!
Cypher explains that everyone inside the blob is connected to a neural network, and bombs could cause them damage. Cypher suggests they go inside and get to the bottom of the girl’s trauma instead of putting a stop to the nightmares and give her good dreams.
Wildside is getting sick of all this touchy-feely crap. He says the MLF would have kicked ass and violated social distancing protocols by going to a bar by now. Mirage tells him to “shut your cakehole.” Brisson, what have you been doing for the past two months?
The prime minister of Carnelia arrives on the scene and goes on television to blame mutants for the event. He’s not too far off base at first, though he takes it to conspiracy theory land when he claims it’s revenge for Carnelia refusing to sign a treaty with Krakoa. He claims the whole thing is a
liberal media mutant hoax.
In the background, while he’s talking, the Wolfsbane and Boom Boom are executing a plan they stole from the movie Poltergeist, basically creating a giant tether so that another team of mutants can enter the nightmare sphere and be pulled out. Ripping off classic horror movies for X-Men plots is a time-honored tradition, so I’m okay with this.
Unfortunately, the prime minister is not okay with it. He orders Wolfsbane and Boom Boom to be arrested. An article from the mutant doxing website interjects here, supporting the prime minister’s take on things. Meanwhile, Armor armors up with Mondo, Wildside, and Cyper inside her bubble, and Mirage stays outside to man the tether.
The mutants enter the sphere. Of course, things immediately go awry. Wildside attempts to drug the girl inside with his claws, but she wakes up and sees him, and she’s not happy. The tether is severed before they can be pulled out, and Armor’s armor gives in. In the final scene, Armor is greeted by her dead mother and brother.
Honestly, this storyline could have easily been done in one, two issues tops. I wasn’t paying attention to the solicits, and I actually figured it was getting wrapped up this issue, because if we’re being real here, what has really changed in this issue from the ending of the last one? More mutants are stuck in the nightmare sphere? In the new status quo of the comic book industry, I think it would behoove Marvel to reconsider its policy on dragging stories out (and about a zillion other tactics that increase profits for Marvel but offer nothing to readers, like constant super-mega-crossover events, excessive variant covers, etc.). It’s a new landscape for comics, and every page counts.
Recaps of Excalibur #10 and Deadpool #5 can be found now or shortly at the link below. See you next time!
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