Every Wednesday I pop into Whatever Store on Castro Street in San Francisco to pick up my haul of new comics. Because I like to hear my own voice (in written, non-auditory form), I toss up a few brief thoughts; if it’s a heavy week, the five that left the biggest impact (good or bad) get a full review treatment while the rest get quick hits. Minor spoilers always possible.
X-Men ’92 #2
Book of the Week
How can you not enjoy revisiting the excess of ‘90s comic books? With the absurd super hero costumes and ridiculous hair, and the overly talky thought bubbles and omniscient narrators. This issue is long on dialogue as Casandra Nova examines the captured X-Men and provides her own quirky therapy. In an interesting nod to Secret Wars’ internal continuity, Nova justifies her mental sanitizing as a way to prevent her world from turning into the harsh X-worlds that exist elsewhere on Battleworld. The thread of self-conscious over-censorship that appeared when the X-Men arrived at Clear Mountain last issue continues when Nova shuts down Gambit and Rogue just as they’re about to have that great love connection they never got; Nova sanitizes it to a daytime Nickelodeon level in a fun moment where she literally has Rogue and Gambit on puppet strings. I don’t know what Sims’ and Bowers’ intent is, but the Nova sanitization is a fun tongue in cheek reminder of our culture’s occasional tendency to go to great lengths to not offend each other. Koblish’s art continue to make the nostalgia factor the highlight as his work recalls not just the X-Men series that started in the 90s, but also the cartoon series that ran at that time. Of all the revisited X-Men pasts getting a Secret Wars treatment, this might be the most fun—and simultaneously the campiest. But then then anyone who read X-Men in the 90s had to have appreciated some camp.