Thursday, May 03, 2007

Grant Morrison's New X-Men 143

[This post is part of a series of posts looking at Grant Morrison's New X-Men run issue by issue; for more of the same click the New X-Men label at the bottom of this post].

As I said last time, much of what I have to say about this arc I said in an online essay -- the post for issue 142 will give you the link; only part six of the essay is about issues 142-145. Here I will give only stray notes.

In the headquarters of The World there is a place called the Euthanasium, where old experiments are killed. Grant Morrison is always very good at naming things.

Weapon 15 is a religious monster prone to monologuing: "What if there is no joyful reward in the fire," a mode Morrison also writes very well.

Some of Bachalo's most beautiful layouts are in this issue -- a full page panel of a building with smaller panels superimposed to show guys climbing, for example. Bachalo gives some amazing glamour shots of the three leads, including a Wolverine Attacks image in which the background has been removed -- only white remains -- to make it uber-iconic.

a series of identical small panels, like film reel, of Fantomex just shooting his gun over and over; in one of my favorite Morrison lines he says, in the first panel "I come in peace" then says in the last panel "Did I say peace?" -- this is why Fantomex is my favorite comic book character of all time. One of my other favorite New X-Men lines is in the issue: Fantomex remarks of shooting a guy with an old fashioned AIM uniform "AIM helmet. Design classic. I could clean up on eBay. But now I'm thinking... Would bullet holes make it more collectible or less?"

And Bachalo always has a sense of humor -- one guy is so freaked out his hair has turned white. Bachalo makes a point of giving him dramatic orange glasses so when his hair color changes, you know it is the same guy. Bachalo is cluttered and chaotic -- along with Geof Darrow, Bachalo is great at drawing debris -- but he always puts these little details in to make his art clear if you take the time to look past the mess, if you take the time to figure it out. Whether he should be asking the audience to take that time is up for debate, but I have always found it rewarding, especially on Steampunk.


david brothers said...

Whether he should be asking the audience to take that time is up for debate, but I have always found it rewarding, especially on Steampunk.

I totally agree. Bachalo on Carey's X-Men has been the same way from the first issue onward. I think it was a three page series of Rogue absorbing Cyclops and Emma's power and then the aftermath was one of those scenes that makes you say "Whoa."

My favorite Fantomex line is "You and whose knees?", but "Did I say peace?" comes in a close second!

nicholas reed said...

Steampunk was (and still might be) my favorite comic not written by Morrison or Alan Moore, and the fact that it remains unfinished is the bane of my existence.

Geoff Klock said...

David: "you and whose knees" is a line I also love.

NR: me too. It is in my top five of all time. plus it was supposed to end with the hero getting BOTH girls, which is a great ending.

Mitch said...

Hey guys-- The AIM Helmet line is good, but I have a question... Doesn't Fantomex ask Wolverine something like, "Tell me more about this AIM" in the beginning of the issue? How is he such an expert on their helmets later on?

Geoff Klock said...

mitch: i did not catch that, that looks like a mistake.ouch.

david brothers said...

You talked before about Fantomex being big on misdirection and, well, faking hardcore. That's how I read it, if only because making an error like that seems unbelievable. Sure, he just found out about them, but the AIM guys don't know that.

Fantomex is that guy who, after you tell him a little bit about something, will act like he knows everything about it.

Geoff Klock said...

david: good point!