The first issue of Marvel’s new X-Force series was a massive test for the paradigm set by this summer’s House of X/Powers of X event. A human strike team broke into Kraoka, the corner of Earth where mutants have holed up. Before the nation’s defenses could stop them, the genetically engineered soldiers executed dozens of mutants, including Professor Xavier, and destroyed Cerebro. The fledgling mutant nation was left to pick up the pieces — and to respond.
But in the new status quo of the X-Men, the question wasn’t “How do we carry on without Professor Xavier?” which has been asked quite frequently over the decades. It was “Can we resurrect him and all the others fast enough to avoid a dip in morale or the appearance of weakness?” It was “How do we improve Krakoa’s defenses?” And it was “How do we respond publicly on the political scale, and covertly with our own newly formed mutant CIA, the X-Force?”
X-Force has always been the X-Men team dedicated to covert operations, and now they’re officially the espionage wing of a sovereign nation.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. Let’s start get started!
Charles Xavier, doing his best “Bet you thought you’d seen the last of me, bitch” for the international press.
This week, Superman voluntarily revealed to the world that he is Clark Kent and was also the victim of a brutal murder in this scene where Jimmy Olsen pretended that Lois Lane hadn’t already told him the news.
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #6
Doom Patrol did its Reboot issue and I just... I don’t have any words. “His name is Wild Ass.” I love this comic.
Harley Quinn’s Villain of the Year #1
Harley Quinn’s Villain of the Year #1 is the first Year of the Villain one-shot I’ve really gotten into. Naturally, it is a parody, in which Harley hosts the villain awards which, among other things, has an In Memoriam segment despite some of the featured villains having already come back from the dead. It is an extremely satisfying read.
The Batman’s Grave #3
I said it on Twitter, but Warren Ellis is setting a new gold standard for Alfred quips in his Batman book.
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #4
Two villains! On a road trip! On the run from some bigger bad guys! And they’re girlfriends! This book continues to be just a pleasure.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #14
I’m disappointed that this is Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’s final issue. The series was a wonderful, warm place for homey Spider-Man stories, and it still made lots of room for action and weird science — like this one where Spider-Man stops a teen hacker from tanking New York’s power grid by just being real human and then hooks him up with some of his smart tech superhero friends so he can have a more productive outlet for this kind of thing. Grab it in trade.
New Mutants #3
MY SON BEAK IS BACK.
Far Sector #2
The second issue of Far Sector, DC’s new Green Lantern title, is even better than the first, now that Jemisin and Campbell have room to dig further into the story without so much expository lifting to do. (And yes, that alien species does have thumbs on both sides of the hand, it’s not mis-drawn.)