Friday, October 22, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 05 Review

Part five!
(The Uncanny)X-Men #20 I, Lucifer-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #21 From Whence Comes… Dominus?-

This storyline brings us a few returns: Lucifer, The Blob and Unus are all back, and we receive a new character in ‘The Supreme One’ who is Lucifer’s boss and a mind control machine called Dominus that the two of them are trying to set up on Earth in order to control the planet. We get the flashbacks once again, but it seems to be a mixed bag here, especially when it comes to flashbacks in relation to Charles. This time he gets blasted by Lucifer and has basically lost control over his body and can barely speak telepathically, so instead of trying to explain to Jean how to stop Lucifer he takes the time to explain to Jean his first battle with the space alien. It didn’t seem like it was integrated too well into the story, it almost would have been better if it were a separate issue instead of worked into this plot. There are a few mistakes but that’s more on the part of the editor than the actual plot (Charles calls Hank Warren and in the ‘voice over’ box Bobby is called Bobby Blake instead of Bobby Drake) and two mistakes that aren’t exactly mistakes and are easily forgiven. The last time we saw Unus and Blob they both swore off the mutant battle and vowed not to fight again, yet now they’re both here pretending to be X-Men in order to lure the real X-Men out. This isn’t really an issue considering it’s revealed pretty early on that Lucifer has been controlling them mentally for some time now. The story was good, and it seems to resolve the Lucifer plot line (at least I assume so since in all the time I’ve been reading Marvel comics I never ran across the character before, even though I knew he existed) but even though he’s dead it doesn’t mean that he can’t pop up again. I think my problem with this storyline is that I don’t get Lucifer being as big of a threat as he’s made out to be, maybe back when the story was first done over forty years ago it was more nail biting, but reading it now it’s like ‘oh… okay.’

(The Uncanny)X-Men #22 Divided We Fall-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #23 To Save A City-

Next up we have another two part storyline and boy is this one jam packed. It’s almost too packed. We get a whole slew of new characters, actually a total of technically 7. We get Count Nefaria, Eel, Plantman, Porcupine, Scarecrow, Unicorn the criminal group The Maggia, and General Fredericks, who appeared back in the Sentinels storyline, but wasn’t named until this issue. Zelda and Vera (Bobby and Hank’s respective girlfriends) are both back but like usual they don’t serve any real point to the plot at all. Now on to the plot…. We’re getting a whole lot here and it really doesn’t work well. The X-Men fight Colosso in the Danger Room. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal but Charles built him specifically to help the X-Men learn to battle robots, but over the past ten or so issues we’ve had the X-Men fight the Sentinels, Master Mold and Lucifer’s robots – so this has been going on for a while. We get Nefaria using his abilities to create false X-Men in order to lure out the real ones. Again this is a problem, not because it’s been over used, but because this had just happened in the last story with Unus and Blob pretending to be X-Men. And finally we get the X-Men going on yet another vacation only having it to end abruptly because of the current danger. We’re 23 issues in and this has happened THREE times already. There is just way too many plots all being reused especially since they’re reusing things that have just happened, and you can’t even use the bi-monthly excuse because starting with the Sentinels storyline the title went monthly, so for some of the plot points they were used directly before now. There’s so much going on here that I couldn’t have cared less about any of the new characters (and not even because Nefaria is an Iron-Man based character, and you all know how I feel about that universe) and honestly I don’t want to see anything more about them than what I got in these two issues. It was hard, I kept staring at the page numbers at the bottom of each page and couldn’t help but think ‘wow, the issue is almost over.’ I was actually counting down until the end of the story because that was the only way I could get through it.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #24 The Plague of… Locust!-

This overall was a better read than the previous two issues so that’s a big improvement right there. We get two new characters in Dr. August Hopper (aka Locust) and Ted Roberts. Jean officially leaves the X-Men to enroll in a normal college since she had officially ‘graduated’ the school Charles runs. The issue itself is sort of an easy read because with the exception of Jean leaving the X-Men it is very much a stand alone issue. We get more of the Scott/Jean/Warren non existent love triangle that sort of becomes a love square when Jean meets Ted. Like I said, there’s not much to say about this issue and I’m not too big on stand alone stories, but after a real stinker that was two issues it was a nice bridge to the next plotline. One thing that I didn't really enjoy too much about this issue is that the X-Men don't even consider the idea of using Locust's armor. I know with some X-Men in the future protective covering is required, but you would think that they would want to study his armor, especially when it could stand up to the X-Men's individual powers.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #25 The Power and the Pendant!
(The Uncanny)X-Men #26 Holocaust! 

The next storyline is a two parter that very much feels like you’re watching an old 60s horror movies. Ancient curses, raided tombs that lead to the transformation/possession of one of the characters, an epic battle for the fate of the world (even though it doesn’t really involve more than 6 people), the local college containing the exact information needed to stop the evil demigod. The museum heist – the whole nine yards. Three new characters this time, Juan Meroz (aka El Tigre) who once possessed becomes Kukulan and Ramon and Toloc (Juan’s ‘servants’) and the return of Ted Roberts and Calvin Rankin (The Mimic.) Charles mechanical leg braces that allowed Charles to walk get damaged, possibly beyond repair because they’re never used again.

Fantastic Four #28 We Have To Fight The X-Men!

Finally for today we have another crossover of sorts, this is actually the third major crossover we’ve had so far which is kind of funny because this is also the third time Johnny Storm has interacted with The X-Men. It’s a pretty good story; I’m not up on any thing Fantastic Four so I can’t comment too much on anything outside of the X-Men involvement. There appeared to be two mistakes here, the first being that the X-Men have never even fought the Space Phantom so it’s impossible for them to have defeated him. The other mistake here is that Cyclops seems to know that The Mad Thinker has been the one pulling all the strings even before he reveals himself to the X-Men. Another thing that could almost be counted as a mistake is Jean appears to be back with the X-Men for this little brawl- it’s excusable though because while she has currently left the team she still is a part of the book and participates in missions with the team.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #20 I, Lucifer: C
(The Uncanny)X-Men #21 From Whence Comes… Dominus?: C
(The Uncanny)X-Men #22 Divided We Fall: D+
(The Uncanny)X-Men #23 To Save A City: C-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #24 The Plague of… Locust!: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #25 The Power and the Pendant!: B+
(The Uncanny)X-Men #26 Holocaust! A-
Fantastic Four #28 We Have To Fight The X-Men! B-

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