With Brian Wood making headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, it’s easy to forget that, ya know, he’s a pretty good comics writer, and he proves that with the best issue of this title so far. It is a bit odd to read something from a man who, in the past week, been labelled as a misogynist harasser that has an all-female cast and even female villains, but that’s the odd thing about this whole story. How can his work be so ‘feminist’, yet the man himself apparently not be? Anyways, I’m not reviewing the person, I’m reviewing his work, and as I said, this was the best issue of this title so far, especially in how Wood expanded his cast of characters.
You get the feeling that his plans for this book have been stymied a little by Kitty Pryde defecting to Cyclops’ side, but he makes up for the loss of Shadowcat by making Karima (Omega Sentinel) and M from X-Factor part of the team. I’m liking these additions a lot. Karima was obviously a big part of the first arc, with Arkea possessing her, so I liked that she hadn’t been forgotten, especially because I thought the first arc was wrapped up too abruptly. M is just a great character, she’s such a seemingly vapid bitch, but she has depth too, and it’s going to be fun to see her abrasive personality clash with the other X-Ladies. We’re already seeing that she and Jubilee don’t get along, which I’m guessing comes from their time in Generation X, which I’m not familiar with, but makes sense.
The issue begins with the reintroduction of Lady Deathstrike as the villain. I didn’t even know she was dead, but her new role is interesting. She has downloaded herself into the body of Ana Cortes, the daughter of a Colombian crime-lord. She is able to take over this body, give Ana the same powers, but also have a cool, ‘Day Of The Dead’ new look. I found it funny how Psylocke made fun of this, like you can talk about changing ethnicities Betsy! I think Wood did a good job of getting across how this is a body being shared by two consciousnesses (is that a word) and how weird that was. Deathstrike’s plan is to steal the Omega Sentinel technology, but she’s got out of date information. She thinks Karima is still comatose in the X-Men’s basement, but nope, on her way, she drives past a very alert Karima, out for a jog with M. Deathstrike attacks, and in the melee, Karima is shot, but M is able to use her powers to blast away the attackers, and also to discover that, even though this is a different body, it’s Deathstrike. I kind of think it would have been better for the X-Men not to know who the real villain is until later, but this is a team with like, 3 telepaths, so best to get it out of the way.
Deathstrike escapes, but gets some new intel, and discovers about the existence of Arkea, which she now wants instead of Omega Sentinel. I guess my problems with the first story ending too quickly are pretty much gone now, as it’s not over at all. Deathstrike has hired another familiar villain to help, none other than Typhoid Mary! I think this is a cool idea, and not just because having all-female villains up against an all-female team is cool, but because Mary is a mutant character that actually doesn’t have much of a history with the X-Men, so it’s going to be cool to see her in this setting, and not just fight Daredevil again.
Wood also continues some subplots, Jubilee is able to adopt Shogo, and Bling has a crush on someone else, not Mercury. I’m guessing it’s Jubilee, but who knows.
This was a good comic, the art from the Dodsons was excellent as always, and they do specialise in good looking female characters for sure. The new characters on the team are good picks, and the villains are interesting. Question Brian Wood’s morality, but don’t question his comics, this book got off to a shaky start, and there’s still no real reason for why this team is all women, but it’s well worth reading still.