Pixie and the X-Men’s revenge, Pt. 1

It’s a normal California evening for dear Pixie — a well-deserved night of fun for our teenage X-Man.

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Yeah, welcome to the world of mutants.  As the X-Men symbolize minority discrimination in comic books, we can all probably relate to their struggle for acceptance on some level.  And while we don’t have the ability to lift buildings or summon lightning storms, we can certainly take solace that those who get attacked for being different have the ability to retaliate.  And by retaliate I mean destroy the hopes, dreams, and definitely internal organs of anyone who dares target them.  So yes, these bigots took down a young girl in a surprise attack, but they know she has teammates, right?  Big scary teammates with superpowers and grudges.  Meet the new breed of X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #501-503, written by Matt Fraction & Ed Brubaker and drawn by Greg Land.

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Y’see, while angry humans beating up child mutants certainly exists in the Marvel world, they usually don’t have the equipment or organization that these angry humans do.  Turns out bigotry goes hand-in-hand with self-loathing:

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The glowing eyes dude is named Empath (real name Manuel de la Rocha).  He premiered originally as one of former supervillain Emma Frost’s Hellions — students trained at the Hellfire Club — with his mutant power being able to manipulate the emotions of others.  But despite the X-Men unaware of this secret base, it won’t be hidden for long.  You’ll notice that the X-Men’s interrogation tactics have evolved since the 1960s.

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Spoiler alert: he tells them everything.  While the X-Men have only recently moved to San Francisco, adding to the badly needed superhero population in the West Coast (before currently only Moon Knight, the schizophrenic with no superpowers), it’s important to make sure the city knows that attacks will no longer be permitted.  Not on innocents and definitely not on them.  Y’know, because they have people who can do this:

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This’ll be abrupt, but I have twenty eight pictures to show you and I’ve learned over the past year and a half that readers don’t really want to read through over two dozen images (I know I don’t, and those usually don’t even include paragraphs of text).  So we’ll stop here and I’ll continue tomorrow.  Heads up: motorcycle chase.


8 Comments on “Pixie and the X-Men’s revenge, Pt. 1”

  1. xmenxpert says:

    Ugh. Greg frigging Land. That guy is a pox on comics. He is the biggest hack artist in the industry, and that includes Rob Liefeld. Land doesn’t draw, he traces and he recycles. Take a look at those faces. He uses literally the exact same faces – with literally the exact same expressions – in every comic he does. Every. Single. Damned. One. And what’s worse, because he recycles constantly, because he has such an incredibly limited repertoire of expressions, it often leads to straight-up bad storytelling. He is totally incapable of nuance. The panel on the second page you posted, the one where she’s hit in the back. Land uses that expression for women in clubs, too. He uses it for excitement, and for pain. The guy who’s been strapped down – that’s a happy expression. That’s not fear, it’s a grin. Pretty often, a character’s mood actually has to be guessed at from the dialogue, when it should be immediately apparent from the art. But Land is a terrible, awful artist, so seeing the story told through the art becomes impossible. And, of course, since he’s just tracing photographs, there’s a static feel to it all. There’s seldom a real sense of motion – it’s characters posing, because he’s tracing models posing.

    I hate that Land keeps getting work. He sucks, and he should never get any work as a penciller ever again. Not until he cuts the shit and starts to actually draw things. Until he stops tracing and recycling every damned expression and pose, he should be banned from drawing comics.

    I just seriously hate Greg Land.

    • 100% agree.All of the women he draws look alike because he keeps tracing from the same sources. Liefeld’s work may make my eyes bleed, but at least he doesn’t trace his shit. Even worse, half the time the ladies he draws either have this weird Cheshire Cat-like grin, or they have their mouths wide open like they’re in the middle of a pie-eating contest. How in the world he’s managed to keep getting work in this business astounds me. I guess he must give Axel Alonso and Joey Cheese some awesome blowjobs.

      • xmenxpert says:

        It does take a few viewings for Land’s hackery to become obvious. The first couple times you read comics Land did, it looks great – it’s photo-realistic! Then, when you read a few more comics, you realize it’s because he’s tracing photos, and worse, that he keeps tracing the exact same photos all the time.

        He’s also apparently a nice guy, and he gets his work in on time. Those are both things that will go a long way anywhere.

        Land also, I think, has a lot of luck on his side. He’s regularly attached to fairly high-profile projects, or he gets attached to the start of new titles. In both cases, high sales are expected. But even though they were going to have the sales they had no matter the artist, he gets to take credit when they do well, and he’s always taken off them before the sales drop too low. So there’s this perception that Land sells books. But I don’t think that’s true, because, from what I’ve seen, when he joins a book when it’s already in progress, there doesn’t seem to be any boost in sales.

  2. The K.o.T. says:

    I’d defend Greg Land, but what would be the point? There was a discussion already on my own blog comments-section: http://littlethingsincomics.blogspot.com/2014/02/iwanttogetontopofit.html as there has been on MANY other before me- and will be on many others after me…
    This is NOT a plug. -All I can say is listen to Neal Adams defending working from photographs and tracing on Kevin Smith’s Fatman On Batman podcast that I linked to there… or find it yourself on http://smodcast.com/channels/fatman-on-batman/
    Otherwise, yeah- great post as always!

    • xmenxpert says:

      There’s a world of difference between photo-referencing and tracing. What Land does is the latter. What’s more, the sheer level of recycling he does is simply unacceptable. Greg Land is an awful, awful artist.

  3. Reblogged this on Twilit Dreams Circle and commented:
    This is why I’m not a fan of humans in the Marvel Universe. All the superpowered people around and they target mutants for Hate Crimes.

    • Jimmy says:

      Always wondered that myself. What worries you more, the lady from Kenya who can manipulate the weather and is good at stabbing and picking pockets? Or the hulking guy over there with an even greater power set, a magic hammer, and the ability to argue with the Hulk and win half the time. Oddly this makes me less a fan of mutants as well as humans in the MU.


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