Marvel Spinner Rack: Cyclops, Iron Man 2.0 #2, Generation Hope #5

Generation Hope #5

Generation Hope #5 cover

written by Kieron Gillen
art by Jamie McKelvie

I don’t care much about the whole “future of the mutants” background behind the character of Hope Summers, but I’m liking the team of young mutants she’s assembled around her. My favorite kind of superhero book is the teen team, anyway, and these characters are fresh and interesting and funny. Especially in the case of Teon, who’s kind of a willfully animalistic/primitive human. His focus on the basics — eating, sleeping, um… companionship — is particularly entertaining in comparison to the often-too-tortured other mutant kids.

McKelvie’s clean art is always a pleasure for me to read, but the real appeal is Gillen’s dialogue for these young people, making them sound individual while still conveying conflict and drama. They’re different personalities, with unusual abilities, and I enjoy reading their interaction while training. Especially when Hope faces off with Emma Frost. Hope is a firecracker, a woman who isn’t afraid to do what she thinks is right, which makes her a real hero, and I don’t get to read about enough of those. This issue concludes the “forming the team” arc, so if you’re interested, check out #1-5 — or next issue should be their first “adventure”.

Iron Man 2.0 #2

Iron Man 2.0 #2 cover

written by Nick Spencer
art by Barry Kitson, Kano, and Carmine Di Giandomenico

If I was going to pick an Iron Man title I liked best, I wouldn’t have guessed it would be this one. But I’m beginning to see why Nick Spencer is considered a writer to follow.

First, he uses a modern-day setting — a bomb at a military base in Iraq — to make the story timely. Then he introduces a high-tech (as required by the premise) character I am instantly fascinated by. Suzi Endo is ultimately another knowledgeable female source of exposition (think Oracle in the Marvel Universe), but she’s also got presence, attitude, and a feeling that she’s not just a male hero’s accessory, all things I welcome. Her use of floating translucent screens both gives her a visual hook — this is comics, after all — and makes her seem a one-step-beyond inventor in her own right, a tech-savvy forward-thinker with a global point of view capable of hanging out with Stark’s buddies.

But the star here is James Rhodes, the next-gen Iron Man of the title. I’m less interested in his part of it, the flying and the shooting and the tough-guy stuff, but I did like that it was pointed out that the armor can be as much a liability as an asset when facing a smart villain.

Cyclops #1

Cyclops #1 cover

written by Lee Black
art by Dean Haspiel

The self-described uptight big brother of the X-Men gets his own spotlight, facing off against Batroc the Leaper and the Circus of Crime. The art is old-school, colorful and packed with outrageous images. The open look keeps it very readable and allows the exaggerated characters to take center stage.

Also of interest: if kids still read comics, I’d be wondering if this would be some young one’s first exposure to Sun Tzu’s Art of War, since Cyclops uses the lessons he’s learned from reading the military classic to win out, all on his own. In the meantime, the bad guys are touring the city, taking in movies and museums, in an odd little voyage that reminded me of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, only with sillier costumes.

It’s a nice little self-contained story that gives the lead character some welcome nuances beyond his usual vanilla team leader role.


One Response to “Marvel Spinner Rack: Cyclops, Iron Man 2.0 #2, Generation Hope #5”

  1. Grant Says:

    I’ve never been a big X fan, but I did get that issue of GH as well as the Uncanny Xmen Annual which was a lot of fun.

    Not a fan of any Iron Man stuff. Civil War really put me off of that character.

    Marvel has been doing some interesting one-shots lately. I enjoy good continuity, but once you’ve made the decision that you don’t like a particular event, that’s really the only avenue left open.

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