For those not into comics I introduced the concept of the Annual back with the Uncanny X-Men’s 2012 Annual. I’ve been avoiding the Wolverine Annual double issue entitled Clandestine due to the cover. It has the wacky faux Ancient Egyptian look to the cover. After studying Egyptian hieroglyphs some I just can’t tolerate the ‘Hollywood’ image of it, so built on horrid misunderstandings. Take that and couple it with my severe dislike of magic or aliens in my X-Men and you can imagine my severe disappointment that this year’s annual double issue was based on a blending of both. Yeah, to say I didn’t like it is putting it mildly. Disgusted dislike coupled with taking offense for a now dead for centuries religion/people might get to the heart of my thoughts.
Now for the every present US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
Giving credit where credit is due – Alan Davis, Writer & Penciler – Mark Farmer, Inker – Javier Rodriguez, Colorist – VC’s Clayton Cowles, Letterer – Davis, Farmer, & Rodriguez, Cover Art – John Denning & Jake Thomas, Assistant Editors – Lauren Sankovitch, Associate Editor – Tom Brevoort, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
This annual ties into Daredevil Annual this year. Clandestine opens with a dream memory of Logan/James. As he falls asleep (btw he has a HUGE tv in room perks of being the headmaster I’d guess) there’s a news report about a about a museum fire stopping the plastoid robots murderous rampage. This is noted to have taken place in Daredevil’s issue.
We are then introduced (or reintroduced) to the Destine family. They are descended from Adan Destine (who James knew long ago) and his djinn lover Elalyth. I don’t know much about the Destine family and tend to ignore them. They are too magical for me. In this issue they consist of two kids that want to be superheroes with their powers, a blue furry man with red hair that turns to fire when he’s angry (looks a lot like our beloved Dr. Hank McCoy) some silver woman, a floating computer geek, and a lovely raven haired beauty that used to be one of Logan’s many flings.
It seems that a deceased family member has something to do with the plastoid robot attack on the burning museum. James being Logan, near by, and a family friend gets called into the fray. Except it’s under false pretenses, which seems to be the modus operendi for this family. Then again they are all siblings and half djinn. Dr. Strange shows up because of all the hoo-doo going on set off his alarm bells.
There’s much angsting, magical morphing, magic tripping, magic and regular fighting. Then at one point canopic jars turn into monsters which Logan battles – thus the tacky cover. In the end Logan the new man, protects the kids and makes a noble sacrifice to do it. Then he doesn’t want the kids to see him as heals from the massive damage he took, another sign of growth and caring in the man. He does show some of his headmaster self in doing a mini-Loganesque-lecture to the family about false pretenses being appearing to be the easiest solutions but causing the greatest damage. I mean look at the burned out museum and lost antiquities, the dead brother, those killed by the plastiods, and his own damage. The lessons are good but really made me want to fall back on “knowing is half the battle. GO JOE!” at the end.
Also my stomach turned at how abused the Ancient Egyptian was in this. It’s a personal peeve of mine. In cases like this I just roll my eyes and think “Hollywood!” disdainfully. However the Egyptians left written explanations of what they thought, meant, did, wanted, dreamed about, wished for… I studied hieroglyphs because I felt if a people wrote all over stuff they were a people who wanted to be understood. Our knowledge and understanding of them grows exponentially each year as more and more is translated. We are way past Budge’s bad translations, Victorian moral influence filtered by his mastery of Sumerian first. However as was lamented in StarGate by Dr. Jackson the Egyptologist “You guys are still relying on Budge!” as he erases their bad attempt at translation. I find it frustrating that an ancient peoples who we can know so much about from their own words are so misunderstood and misrepresented. As a writer who attempts to be understood through the written word my heart goes out to them, fellow writers of thousands of years ago.
Now for the art – I did enjoy that. It’s very strong art with origins in the old comics I used to read. No wacky 80s influence of hair flowing every where and odd shaped “fit” people. Sure the people are fit and better than average but that’s what comics do make take the normal and teak it to be a bit more – lovely, grotesque, fit or whatever. This art does that. Can’t complain as a Wolvie fangurl for his nude sleeping scene nor do I take task for the overly endowed women. All are within range for me in comics, not too extreme. As for the coloring there were a few times things looked a bit too ‘shiny’ or over highlighted for me. That’s just being picky, and it wasn’t something that bothered me or kicked me out of the story. So Cudos for the art team if only you’d had a decent story to illustrate.
You know what’s next – a few scans that may be spoilery so you’ve been warned
See I said nothing was wrong with the depection of Logan sleeping in the nude. Just if there’s a fire Headmaster Howlett will be leading the evacuation in the buff.
These are some of the children of a human and djinn. I’ll leave it to you to decide if I described them well enough.
This was the page where the shiny/highlights bothered me the most. As you can see it’s not horrid, I’m just being picky. Oh, and apparently their break-up wasn’t on the best of terms with James there…
So that’s it the issue I wish wasn’t. Until next time!