A+X #6: [Untitled]
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Letterer: VC's Clayton Cowles
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Editor: Nick Lowe
The Guest Star:
the Yancy Street Gang
There's a tiny cameo mention of Thundra in passing.
The Set Up:
The Thing is paying poker with several members of the Yancy Street Gang. They bring a ringer into the game, and Ben and Gambit reminisce angrily about a recent meeting in New Orleans, which soon impacts the game in progress.
Page 5, Panel 1. In a flashback to their earlier New Orleans meeting, Gambit uses his powers to explode the Thing's Mardi Gras beads, which earns an "Okay then... it's Clobberin' Time!" response.
Things of Interest:
Once again, there's no title on this issue.
This issue is dated May, 2013, long after MTIO ended, but it's a team-up title (A+X is a series of two-to-an-issue team-up stories) featuring the Thing, so it goes onto the website as a related story.
This issue deals with Ben and poker, always a plus in my book. The other team-up story in this book also revolves around a poker game, this one at the Avengers' hq and involving Wolverine, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman (the latter two pretty much in cameo). While that non-Thing story doesn't figure into my ratings, reappearances of the poker game are almost always welcome.
The story is so short that there's almost not a lot you could say about it. With no villain, it's just a character story, and it revolves around Ben hustling the young teen Yancy Streeters, which just seems odd and awkward... why would he bother hussling them, and why would they play cards with him? I think that the story really needs a reason for the game to have happened for it to seem believable, but that ten page limit probably made that hard to incorporate and we were left with a slightly awkward premise. The meet-cute with Gambit in the flashback is fun, and there's some potential in that pairing's chemistry, but again the story lacks time to develop it.
The story does have some gorgeous art, particularly in the flashbacks, but there's a lettering technique used to give Ben's words a font that is slightly larger, bolded, and somewhat non-standard, and while I can see what the letterer was going for it was a bit overdone. When a technique distracts from the story, it might be too much.
In addition to the points for using the poker game, I do also have to give points for bringing back the sky cycle. Very nice use of those classic MTIO elements!