Marvel This Week: Nextwave #5, X-Factor #7

What a great week, when my two favorite superhero titles have new issues.

Nextwave #5 cover

Nextwave #5 (by Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen, and Wade von Grawbadger) is a hoot and a half, better than drugs in its ludicrous imagery. It’s all — whether War Gardens, drop bears, pterodactyl suits — just an excuse to have superpeople fight each other and the bad guys in ever more outrageous ways. The visuals more than keep up with the ideas, especially when it comes to the killer koalas, all noses and fangs. Cuddly yet dangerous.

Everybody lies, everyone’s a smart aleck, and it’s all terrific fun.

There’s also a black-and-white “crayon butchery” variant printed on less plastic-y paper, better suited for actual coloring. It’s missing the “story so far” section (substituting “how to color” instructions in keeping with the general attitude-laden style of the book) and the letter page, but it’s also missing the ads, so net win.

X-Factor #7 cover

X-Factor #7 (by Peter David and Ariel Olivetti) continues the various plotlines — a bad guy wants to meet with Madrox, Siryn’s trying to recover from a beating, and Layla Miller is still creepy. Siryn describes her as “Nostradamus reborn as Wednesday Addams”, a wonderful phrase.

New this issue is how Siryn reacts to news of her father Banshee’s death — she refuses to believe it, since this is a world of mutants who constantly come back from beyond. It’s a fannish idea, but it’s executed without any self-referential back-patting, used instead to make a bigger point about the character.

I don’t have much to say about this — it’s just good superheroics with characters I’ve quickly come to care about because they have so much personality. Unfortunately, this may be the last “clean” issue for a while, since next time we’re promised a Civil War tie-in. Given how brilliantly Peter David has incorporated elements of the last big event, I’m trying to have faith I’ll still like the series as much as I do.

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