Monday, October 18, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 02 Review

Okay, part two of lord only knows how many it will end up being.

Tales of Suspense #49 The New Iron Man Meets the Angel-

This one was interesting, I’m not a big fan of crossovers because they’ve devolved into nothing but random characters meeting up fighting, realizing that they’re really on the same side; making up and finally fighting the real bad guy. Things were a bit different back in the sixties though. This still has random characters meeting up, but it isn’t all about massive fights on a large scale. Since this is sort of a mixture of a crossover and a ‘what if’ type scenario I’m not going to include any of the characters as being ‘introduced’ into the X-Men universe (but if you care this is the first time Iron-Man, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan (all Iron-Man characters), Bruce Banner, Thor, Henry Pym (Ant-Man) and Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) show up. The ‘what if’ aspect is simple, Angel gets caught in a radioactive blast and turns evil and tries to join the evil mutants. Iron-Man eventually helps Angel work through the poisoning and back to normal. It’s not a meeting I remember ever being referenced before so I don’t think it had that much of an impact on anything.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #4 The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants-

This is the first time we see Toad, Mastermind, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and we see how Magneto saved Wanda from angry townspeople who tried to attack her because of her powers. Once again it’s hard knowing the things I do know yet having to accept that I’m not supposed to know them yet; of course I’m talking about the fact that Pietro and Wanda are Magneto’s children. This is sort of a step up for Magneto; he went from trying to take over an army base to taking over and ruling San Marco until the X-Men stop him. The one thing that sort of bothered me about this issue was the ending: an explosion causes Charles to lose his telepathy. No matter how I look at it, I don’t see how that would have happened, there wasn’t even a single scratch on Charles so how was the explosion forceful enough to alter his mental capacity?

(The Uncanny)X-Men #5 Trapped: One X-Man-

Finally a non self-contained story! The X-Men are still trying to cope with the loss of Charles’ mutant powers all while fighting Magneto after he kidnaps Angel (but the X-Men sort of have Toad too) on Asteroid M (not a person but still the first time we’ve seen this, and it does come into play in some other storylines in the future.) On top of that the X-Men have to hide what their school really is from John and Elaine Grey; Jean’s parents, when they stop by for a visit. The story is pretty good but it’s still hard for me to get past the end of last issue, and I’m sorry, I know things were written differently back then but they’re acting like Charles losing his powers is the end of the world. I mean sure it’s bad, but these guys are walking around like they’re watching Magneto murder puppies and babies on live TV or something.

Strange Tales #120 The Torch Meets Iceman!-

Next is another crossover, this time it’s Iceman and The Human Torch; this isn’t a throw-away like Iron-Man meets Angel, because Iceman and Torch end up developing a large history over the years. Johnny is here so of course that means there’s a cameo by the rest of the Fantastic Four and there’s Dorrie Evans who appears off and on through various titles over the years and the villain is Captain Barracuda, but he doesn’t show up as often as Dorrie does in the future. The plot is simple, Bobby gets depressed because all the other guys ask Jean out so he goes on a teen cruise to meet a girl, of course she ends up being Johnny’s date so there’s a bit of friction there and naturally the cruise ship gets raided by Barracuda. Torch and Iceman end up saving the day and going their separate ways and all is said and done. Like I said, this is important because of the future history the two will share, but as a story itself it was alright, better than Iron-Man meets Angel, but still not really anything spectacular. The backup feature involved Doctor Strange, but it had nothing to do with the X-Men so I skipped it for now.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #6 Sub-Mariner Joins the Evil Mutants!-

We meet Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Both Charles and Magneto think he’s a mutant, and both want him working for them. Everybody goes searching for him but magneto gets a hold of him first. This issue just felt funky to me, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t memorable either. There were a two things that absolutely ruined it for me, first off Magneto searches for Namor using telepathy and communicates with it, now the problem here is Magneto ISN’T a telepath, he shouldn’t be able to do it at all, let alone as well as he does. Secondly while Namor had decided not to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the final straw is how Magneto speaks to Wanda? I know, I know, things were different then but still… I mean come on, you’re going to leave a (terrorist) group of people who are bent on controlling the world because the leader yelled at a woman? Um… okay…

Tales of Suspense #49 – The New Iron Man Meets the Angel: B-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #4 – The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #5 – Trapped: One X-Man: A-
Strange Tales #120 – The Torch Meets Iceman! : A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #6 – Sub-Mariner Joins the Evil Mutants!: C

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