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[ Marvel / DC Comics / Image / Indie ] 08-21-19
Powers Of X 03 & Batman 77
Powers Of X #3
We spend this entire issue the timeline that is one hundred years in the future. The story begins in a church that turns humans into cyborgs or something. The head priest or whatever turns a baby into a cyborg or whatever as he spouts a bunch of stuff about humans being “flawed” and how they need to become machines. Then there’s a big explosion and we see our future “X-men”: green “Magneto” guy, blue “Xorn” guy, “Magik/ Colossus” chick, and red “Nightcrawler” guy. They stand there ready to fight. They’re pissed. Shit about to get real… Then there’s three informational pages instead of the fight we’ve been waiting for.
The information pages tell us that “Apocalypse” (the leader of these future “X-men”) still has his Four Horsemen who are:
- War – “Wolverine” (who is actually just “Wolverine”)
- Death – “Xorn” (who actually just seems to be “Xorn”)
- Pestilence – Green “Magneto” guy AKA “North” (who actually a mix of “Polaris” and “Emma Frost”)
- Famine – The “Groot”-looking guy who’s actually a mix of “Krakoa” and “Cypher” (a guy who can read any language)
Then there’s another page that tells us stuff about “Rasputin” and red “Nightcrawler” guy that we already knew. None of this is relevant because the Horsemen don’t act or get treated any differently than the others. Anyways, let’s get back to that fight!
No wait, we have a “Nimrod” scene. “Nimrod’s” cyborg (or whatever) minion chick is concerned about what’s going on at the church. “Nimrod” doesn’t care. Minion chick goes to investigate it. With that out of the way, let’s get back to that fight! Remember, red “Nightcrawler” guy and how he’s a pacifist and a coward, and how that was one of the few character traits any character in this whole story has? (The other being that “Xorn” is a nihilist. Pretty much every interaction works like this. Someone: “Xorn”, you’re a nihilist. “Xorn”: Yes I am. I want to die.) Well, he took a “terminal apocalypse seed” to make him not that, and he stabs the priest guy with a sword. Someone gets blasted by something and gets killed. Because he doesn’t say or do anything in this comic, I’ll guess it’s “North” but it is not at all clear. Then cyborg minion chick comes with a bunch of sentinels.
Instead of continuing that fight we jump to “Apocalypse”, “Wolverine”, and “Famine” as they get the information they are looking for. For some reason, this information is in the form of a crystal. “Nimrod” discovers them and attacks them. We then cut back to the others and see that red “Nightcrawler” guy is dead, and “Xorn” seems to be wounded. “Rasputin” is the last one standing… Are you telling me we missed everything that would’ve been cool about this fight?! Goddammit! Anyways, then “Rasputin” threaten to remove “Xorn’s” mask because he has “a singularity” in his head. This has never made any sense in any version of “Xorn”. This would have destroyed the Earth the second he first got his powers. Just say his face emits a crazy amount of energy or something. “Rasputin” end up removing “Xorn’s” mask and I guess that kills all of them.
Back with “Apocalypse”, he sends “Wolverine” off with the crystal of information and “Famine” teleports “Wolverine” away. “Nimrod” makes copies of himself and “Apocalypse” fights them. We then follow “Wolverine” and he awakens “Moira MacTaggart” from some kind of tomb. He puts the information crystal in “Moira” somehow and we learn that this information is about the creation of “Nimrod”. “Wolverine” then kills her and we learn that this was “Moira’s” last life before her current one. One bright side to all this is that hopefully we’re now done with this stupid timeline.
I think I made it clear that this was supposed to be the “big fight” issue. Unfortunately, this comic skips all the parts that would have been interesting. The art is great and there are moments that are clever but this whole storyline (and to reiterate once again “Powers Of X” and “House Of X” is one story, not two) is well crafted but hollow. There’s no “heart” and there’s little to no personality to the characters. Does “Rasputin” look cool? Yes, but what’s her personality?… Um… She likes to fight. Is it interesting that red “Nightcrawler” guy is a pacifist? Not really, but he takes a pill to fight anyway so what does it matter? “Xorn” says nihilist things. That’s something. Finally, “North” maybe had a few lines of dialog in this entire story. He doesn’t do or say anything of any significance. He’s just “palette swap” “Magneto” until he’s dead. Can we get this art in a comic with full-fledged characters that have full-fledged fights where we don’t skip the good parts? That can’t be too much to ask… Again C+ for the art.
Recommendation : One You Should Put In The Maybe Pile
NOTE: HUGE SPOILER! This is a book I haven’t been reading but I’ve been following through other people’s reviews. I’m reviewing this issue only because of the “big event” in this that the spoiler warning is about. Somewhat ironically, this event was spoiled for me by some guy on “IG” posting a picture of it. *Grumble*!
Note that there’s no recap page for this issue. Okay, everyone in comics listen up. Recap pages are MANDATORY. They also need to be concise, give ALL the information you need, and if possible be entertaining in any of themselves. With that short rant done, here’s the basic setup:
- “Bane” controls “Gotham City” now.
- All the “Gotham” villains work for him now.
- The “Batman” from the “Flashpoint” reality (who in that world is “Thomas Wayne”, “Batman’s” father) works for him. I honestly don’t know why and this issue doesn’t reveal that either.
- “Gotham Girl” works for him. (She has “Superman”-esque powers that come from a drug and she blames “Batman” for the death of her brother, “Gotham”)
- The “Bat-family” is now kicked out of “Gotham City” with the threat that “Alfred” will be killed if any of them re-enter the city.
- “Robin” has entered the city
The issue begins with “Gotham Girl” catching “Robin” and attacking him. “Gotham Girl’s” dialog is bad and annoying. Many people try to ape the dialog of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon and fail miserably. This is yet another example of that. Eventually “Robin” evades her and tricks her into getting close enough to use “the wand of “Klarion” to cast a spell that binds “Gotham Girl” to that spot.
We’re then taken to a scene where “Bruce Wayne” is resting in “Catwoman’s” apartment. “Batman” has a bandage on his throat. This seems to the result from him losing a fight with “Bane” in the previous issue. “Catwoman” is cooking food and singing some French song. We return to “Batman” and “Catwoman” several times and these sections are drawn really well but are very different from the art for the rest of the issue. Unfortunately, these sections are the parts with no action and “Batman” is pathetic in them.
We return to “Robin” as he takes down “Zsasz” and “Scarecrow” (who are “detectives” in ““Bane’s” Gotham”) as they are about to kill some guy and his dog. There’s then another page with “Bruce” and “Catwoman” where all that happens is “Bruce” saying “I lost”. Weak.
Back with “Robin”, we see him confront “Flashpoint Batman”. “Robin” calls him “old” and “pathetic” and punches him then threatens to “beat him into the damn ground”. We return to “Bruce” and “Catwoman” for a page and they are at a French cafe. It’s reminiscent of the end of “The Dark Knight Rises”. Nice touch. “Bruce” then tell her he has to go back to “Gotham”. “Catwoman,” tells him he’ll die. “Bruce” agrees but says it’ll be “a good death”. Nice “The Dark Knight Returns” reference. “Bruce” is still being pathetic, but those were cool references. We then go back to “Robin” and “Flashpoint Batman” kicks his ass.
We move on to another page with “Bruce” and “Catwoman” as they walk down a street. “Catwoman” tell him she “won’t watch him die” and says “there’s a way”. “Bruce” responds that “he can see every scenario and plan” and that “this is the way”. She then tells him “he doesn’t see everything” and that he “still can’t see her”. The scene seems to be misleading you into thinking “Batman” plans to die when he has some other plan and or that “Catwoman” has some plan that will save the day… Could be wrong though…
Next, we see a beaten “Robin” tied to a chair. He’s unconscious but as he comes to there are two voices. One begs “not to do it in front of the boy”. The other talks to “Robin” and tells him he wishes he didn’t have to do this but “Bane” is in charge. Last chance SPOILER ALERT!
The first voice is “Alfred” and the second is “Flashpoint Batman”. There is then a full page of “Bane” snapping “Alfred’s” neck just as he promised. Some people feel this was done poorly and some feel the opposite. I’m somewhere in the middle. It could have been done better, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying this was done badly. There is a “we’re not playing around” aspect of “Alfred’s” death that I think was effective. It’s comics so you know “Alfred” will be back, eventually. “Flashpoint Batman” then tells “Robin” that he hopes that now that he is their hostage the “Bat-family” will know they are serious and stay out of “Gotham”. We then end with a full page of “Batman” and “Catwoman” in costume. “Catwoman” then tell “Batman” that if “Batman” wants to take back “our city” that she’ll show him the way.
Depending on the agenda of who’s reviewing the comic, the writer, Tom King’s run on “Batman” is great or terrible. I can’t speak on most of it, but even with my complaints, this issue was okay. I’d give it a B-.
Recommendation : One You Should Put In The Maybe Pile