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Strong Guy Watch: Everybody’s Partying!

When it comes to comic books, one of my favorite things to do is watch for cameos from my favorite obscure characters. It’s one of the ways I built up my fandom in the 90s: searching out back issues where my favorite characters randomly showed up and had a line or two.

This is the entire basis behind my ongoing Strong Guy Watch series. I’m a big fan of the Strong Guy character, and for the past several years, he’s been making random cameos here and there. It’s fun to keep an eye out for the big lug.

Strong Guy Crucible 01

Here he is at the recent Crucible

With Dawn of X bringing back every single mutant character who ever lived, the Watch has quadrupled to include every favorite mutant I’ve ever had! Multiple Man, Maggott, Stacy X, Abyss, Blob, Mimic and so many more! None of them are starring characters in any of the Dawn of X comics, so I’ve got to stay eagle-eyed for when any of them might pop up at any time!

This week’s X-Force #9 features the best yet showcase of a bunch of my favorite characters! Everybody’s hanging out at The Green Lagoon!

Green Lagoon 01

Click to enlarge

Obviously we’ve got Strong Guy, who seems to be macking with Selene at the top middle of the picture. We’ve also got a couple Multiple Men hanging out on the bottom. He’s still wearing his classic costume, so the ongoing debate of a new Multiple Man costume remains ongoing. Writer Benjamin Percy continues to be the only Dawn of X creator to use Multiple Man, even if it’s only for quick, wordless cameos. Also, of note: this is the first comic book panel in literal years that features Multiple Man, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane…even though none of them are hanging out together.

This image is also the first reveal of what Blob is doing in Dawn of X: bartending!

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the Blob since his star turn in Age of X-Man last year. Bartending is a fairly good use of the character and I hope to see him get some attention soon.

We’ve also got Maggott canoodling with M at the bar, so that’s neat! And the rest of the scene in the actual comic features quick appearances from Avalanche and Toad!

I love panels like this in Dawn of X. This is a smorgasbord of mutant cameos in a way we’ve never seen in comics before! I hope they keep it up every now and then.

Still no sign of Mimic…

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Leah Williams is Bringing Back the Blob (Sort of) For a New X-Factor!

Look, I’m a friendly guy. I like people. I like getting along with people. I write this blog for fun and don’t have a mean bone in my body when it comes to comics. But apparently I’ve done something to anger the comic book gods, because now it seems that Dawn of X is going out of its way to target me and everything I specifically love about the X-Men.

A new X-Factor comic has been announced for April, written by Leah Williams, with art by David Baldeon.

XFactor Dawn of X 01

You’ll notice that lineup on the front cover…and you’ll notice there’s no Multiple Man. The one character who is most closely connected to the X-Factor brand and he doesn’t get to be involved. Sigh. I can’t help but take that personally.

Instead of Multiple Man, this series will focus on this new team — Northstar, Polaris, Daken, Eye-Boy, Prodigy and Prestige — assisting The Five, the resurrection mutants. This new X-Factor will investigate and confirm mutant deaths and all the various rules around the resurrection protocols…which sounds good. I am fully in favor of comics that actually explore the new Krakoan status quo.

There is one really hopeful thing that I didn’t see at first until I finally read through the actual announcement article on Polygon. I was worried that Leah Williams’ arrival in Dawn of X wasn’t going to feature the Blob after her stellar turn with the character in Age of X-Man.

Williams told Polygon that the Blob will indeed be a part of this new X-Factor!

“His new role (thanks to Ben Percy and Josh Cassara!) is perfect,” Williams said, “and gives Freddy a bigger path threading through all our books.”

OK, I can accept that. I will gladly trade a Multiple Man appearance for Williams continuing her work on rehabilitating the Blob.

Williams also mentioned that her series will focus a lot on Northstar and his human husband Kyle, and what life is like for Kyle on Krakoa. She said they’re going to explore more about humans on Krakoa. That could include the Mimic! I’ll get my hopes up about that.

But for now, I’m just excited that Leah Williams is indeed returning to the Blob! Even if just as a subplot!

X-Factor #1 arrives in April.

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Blob Does Not Get Much of an Age of X-Man Send-Off

I didn’t really read Age of X-Man. That’s on me. I’m in no real position to judge it. But I have been closely following the journey of the Blob through the X-Tremists comic, because he’s one of my favorite mutants and he had a pretty incredible story. For the first time in probably decades, if not ever, Blob was given more to do than just be a fat joke and a bully. All credit to writer Leah Williams for that.

But in the final issue, as the Age of X-Man wraps up, Blob doesn’t get much closure to his story.

Blob AoX 03

Speak for yourself, Psylocke

That’s it. That’s the one panel Blob gets. He and Psylocke, his love interest in this story, face the unknown future of returning to the real world, where he’s an asshole villain and she’s a heroic X-Woman.

What’s to become of them? How does the Blob go forward? How does Psylocke go forward? Does this amazing bit of Blob character work only get to exist as a whisper, a short, singular story that doesn’t matter in the long run?

I don’t have answers to any of those questions, because the X-Men as a whole are getting a major relaunch/revamp next week with the big Jonathan Hickman takeover. I’m actually all in favor of whatever Hickman has in store. I wrote two years ago that I wanted the X-Men to get a big slate-clearing relaunch. X-Men comics had become too complicated, and a clean break/new beginning is just what they need.

Of course, it makes sense when you think about my luck with getting what I want from the X-Men. I get to have my big, linewide relaunch…but before Marvel does it, they’re going to give me the sweetest of treats with this Blob storyline, then leave it dangling, never to be finished or explored further.

Yeah, that makes sense. I’m just cursed.

But yeah, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the Blob will somehow get a story going forward. With Strong Guy currently dead, maybe I’ll start a Blob Watch…

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The Blob-assaince Was Good Enough

The Age of X-Man is almost at an end. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the big Omega finale. I don’t know if the Blob is even going to appear. But Leah William’s final issue of X-Tremists is out, and she lets our boy go on a really strong moment that I wanted to share.

Blob Indestructible 02

He’s being set up for a rude awakening!

This moment is good, but the really great moment I’m going to put after the jump in case you didn’t want to get spoiled by simply opening my blog today.

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 6/1/19

This was the week that DC Comics upended their entire comics line with a bunch of stuff! Doomsday Clock! The Last Knight on Earth! Leviathan Rising! And I read none of it. I wonder if that makes me a bad comic book fan…

I did read a bunch of other relatively enjoyable comics — though the latest and last issue of X-23 has made an enemy for life. Beyond that, the Comic Book of the Week was the new issue of Giant-Man! Leah Williams is doing everything right in my eyes in all of her comics.

Giants Mission Sucks 01

Not all superheroics are glamorous

Meanwhile, speaking of Leah Williams, X-Tremists had another strong issue as it starts to delve into the erasure of homosexual feelings in the Age of X-Man…Except that I guess the whole overall world starts to fall apart at the end of the issue, so this whole crossover is coming to an end before Leah Williams will get much of a chance to really play in the space. I know Jonathan Hickman is coming back to remake the X-Men from top to bottom, but surely Marvel can make room for a Leah Williams’ solo Blob comic…

Comic Reviews: Giant-Man #2, Heroes in Crisis #9, Magnificent Ms. Marvel #3 and X-23 #12. 

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