Friday, October 29, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 10 Review

Part ten – Supersize me!

(The Uncanny)X-Men #43 The Torch is Passed…!/Call him…Cyclops-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #44 Red Raven…!/The Iceman Cometh!-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #45 Mutants Clash!/And The Mob Cried… Vengeance!-
The Avengers #53 In Battle Joined!-

There’s a lot going on here with this four-part multi-book crossover. First let me talk about the back up features. We get a brief little one-shot about how Scott’s powers work – there’s nothing too special there. There was a little mistake though because the previous issue said that the next back up story would be Bobby’s origin yet they give us a science lesson in Scott’s powers. We doo get Bobby’s origin in the next few issues and that’s pretty good, one thing needs to be ignored – the specific date given for the story is 1963, given the fact that Bobby is 18 in the current time line if you don’t ignore the date that would make Bobby at least 65 today. The other thing that was odd was seeing Bobby’s father (we meet William and Madeleine Drake for the first time with this story) is accepting and approving of his son, yet as the years progress Bobby’s father is far from being depicted as being supportive and accepting of Bobby being a mutant.

The main story brings us the return of Magneto (I think his escape from The Stranger should have been covered in an issue of X-Men instead of some other book like it was, maybe they would have been time if they hadn’t spent so many of the recent issues dealing with the foes and characters from other books) and Toad, Pietro and Wanda are back with Magneto and the Brotherhood now because Wanda has lost her powers and Magneto has promised to help them help her recover them (but it turns out he let her get shot in the head which caused the loss of her powers.) In addition to the return of those characters we get a few new ones along the way in the form of Red Raven and the return of the Avengers with Black Panther as a new member. The story is good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot going on and a lot of name and reference dropping to events that have happened/are happening outside of the X-Men title. There is a mistake in the final two parts of the story with Wanda though, first she’s freaking out because Pietro is fighting Scott, yet in the recap in part four shows Wanda worried because she doesn’t know where Pietro is – this error can almost be explained by the brain damage Wanda is suffering from as a result of being shot in the head recently; however the same can’t be said for the mistake in the first half of this story where Scott tells Warren to go find the Avengers and ask for their help and then like three pages later Warren decides that he should go look for them and see if they’ll help out the X-Men. I wish that they would have dealt with Magneto’s return in the X-Men books instead of suddenly opening up an issue to see him back but with everything going on I can understand why there wasn’t room for that. The issue ends with what appears to be Magneto’s death. I guess that would be shocking except for knowing for a fact that he’s still alive and kicking in the Marvel universe as I type this.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #46 The End of the X-Men!/…And Then There Were Two-

This issue introduces us to Foggy Nelson, a lawyer who works with Matt Murdock (Daredevil); and the return of Fred Duncan and Cain Marko/Juggernaut. For some reason Fred introduces himself as ‘Amos’ which I found pretty weird, maybe it’s his middle name, maybe somewhere in the time line Charles wiped either the X-Men or Fred’s minds to make them forget that they know each other. Who knows? But that doesn’t even seem likely because Scott recognizes him almost instantly. It is kind of odd that Jean said that Charles was ‘so young,’ I know it’s the standard line people say when someone dies, but Jean is in her late teens (possibly early 20s because over the next few issues they drop the ‘teen’ tagline in the opening page. This issue doesn’t actually have a title so I just went with the tagline that was written on the cover, assuming that’s what it was supposed to be. Juggernaut pops in and seeks revenge on Charles and the X-Men and has a very difficult time, to say the least, dealing with the fact that his step-brother died at the hands of someone other than his. He vanishes almost as suddenly as he appears which kind of bugged me but I guess it isn’t that important. The back up story wraps up Bobby’s origin and officially establishes him as the second person to join the X-Men. Charles tells Bobby that he’s going to erase the town’s memory of Bobby being a mutant (including his parents)- I guess Charles went a little overboard with it because Bobby’s father’s acceptance of his son being a mutant also seem to have been wiped from his memory.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #47 The Warlock Wears Three Faces/I, the Iceman -

This is the first issue since the team has disbanded so the focus shifts for a few issues to the pairing off of characters. This issue focuses on Beast and Iceman so Jean, Scott and Warren don’t show up except for the thought bubble/recap on the first page. The issue might be light on X-Men but it’s made up for with the return of Vera, Zelda and Warlock who is now going by ‘Maha Yogi.’ Warlock has been traveling from city to city performing in sold out shows under the name of ‘The Maha Yogi’ and secretly hypnotizing everyone at the show into doing his bidding. For a stand alone issue focusing on just two characters it wasn’t that bad of an issue, the only thing that I didn’t really like about it was the fact that the sound of an alarm was enough to defeat Warlock when last time he fought the X-Men it took the entire team’s combined efforts to do it. The back up feature isn’t really anything to write home about either, it’s like the Scott feature a few issues ago where they explain how a character’s powers work and this time we get a scientific glimpse at how Bobby’s powers work.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #48 Beware Computo – Commander of the Robot Hive/The Beast -

This issue focuses on Jean and Scott. They have both been placed in New York where Scott is working at a radio station and Jean has become a model. The model thing, I think is kind of cliché to begin with, but it’s only made worse when years later it gets revealed that Psylocke was also a model – but I’m getting ahead of myself talking about Betsy here. There is a ‘Candy’ in the issue, but it’s unclear if she’s the same Candy who has been dating Warren over the past few issues. It’s possible that they’re the same character because over the past few issues Vera’s appearance has changed somewhat and Zelda’s hair color and style has been changed as the issues progress as well. There’s a smarmy studio owner Mr. Dane -  I guess that looking back on it, it’s sort of a retroactive inside joke considering there is a Lorna Dane and a Zaladane (later changed to Zala Dane, Lorna’s sister) but given that he’s introduced before Lorna it’s doubtful that he’s connected to either Lorna or Zala, especially since there is questionability when it comes to Candy being ‘Warren’s’ Candy, or another Candy. The backup feature is alright, but kind of a waste, I mean do we really need to know that Hank can write his name with his feet?

(The Uncanny)X-Men #49 Who Dares Defy… the Demi-Men?/A Beast is Born-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #50 Hail, Queen of Mutants!/This Boy - This Bombshell!-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #51 The Devil Had A Daughter!/The Lure of the Beast-Nappers!-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #52 Twilight of the Mutants!/The Crimes of the Conquistador!-

First I'm going to talk about the back up story mostly just to get it out of the way, and secondly because since it doesn't conclude when the main storyline does I know I'll have to speak about it later (and rather quickly.) We get Beast origin this time out which introduces us to Hank's parents Edna (Andrews) McCoy and Norton as well as Hank's uncle Bob and the villain The Conquistador. By default we get Angel as well but that's an editing error because we haven't even gotten his origin storyline yet (obviously these two stories were switched in publication order) that's an editing mistake though so it's nothing personal. On the personal aspect though we get yet another mutant who in addition to their mutant powers they are also smart and a great athlete - granted with Hank that's not so big of a deal because it's always been a part of his character but I'm getting kind of sick of every single mutant that's appeared so far been a great student and athlete.

Now onto the main story, much like the back up feature we get a few introductions most of which are characters that stick around for quite some time. Mesmero the hypnotic mutant servant of Magneto first appears (with his own army of servants- that also give us yet another editing mistake because they call Mesmero 'Magneto') as well as Lorna Dane who Mesmero gives the name M2 (granted that won't stick around long because eventually Lorna becomes Polaris) and Erik the Red shows up, only to have it turn out that he's really Scott in disguise - but years later there is a 'real' character introduced who goes by that name also. Magneto returns and it's revealed that Lorna was adopted after her parents died in a plane crash - only Magneto tries to convince her that he was really her father all along. It's hard to talk about anything Lorna/Wanda/Pietro/Magneto at this point because of all of the future events surrounding those characters that take place that I'm well aware of. Lorna's introduction was a good story with larger than life consequences - Magneto wants to use Lorna's latent mutant abilities to trigger the mutant gene in everyone on the planet so he can have an army of mutants. One thing I didn't like was how the issue with Lorna's parentage was (briefly) dealt with. I mean.. okay Lorna accepts way too easily that Magneto is her father and when Bobby comes in on his ice sled telling Lorna that he has a sworn statement from her adoptive parents that her biological father isn't Magneto she believes him just as readily.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #53 The Rage of Blastarr!/Welcome to the Club, Beast!-

 The only new character in this one is Blastarr, but he's not really new, he's yet another character on loan from another Marvel book (this time Fantastic Four.) Since this issue doesn't really try to be anything other than a filler issue a lot can be forgiven here - but if you look at it as a whole it doesn't stand up that well. Jean's guilt over her actions supposedly leading to the death of Blastarr are good foreshadowing for things that happen to her character in the future, but that's not really enough to sink your teeth into. The conclusion of Beast's origin in the back up feature doesn't help things either. Like I said before, it's not bad, but it's not great either - it just is. In addition to the mistake of Angel being around when we haven't had his origin story told yet we have an added mistake of Charles mentioning that he has telekinetic powers. It's getting boring, anytime anything happens when a member of the team's physical powers don't cut it Charles can do it mentally - wiping the minds of the entire city, firing off mental bolts, reading minds, manipulating minds, telekinetic powers, reading the 'minds' of machines... etc.. it's getting to be way too much.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #43 The Torch is Passed…!/Call him…Cyclops: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #44 Red Raven…!/The Iceman Cometh!: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #45 Mutants Clash!/And The Mob Cried… Vengeance!: A
The Avengers #53 In Battle Joined!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #46 The End of the X-Men!/…And Then There Were Two: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #47 The Warlock Wears Three Faces/I, the Iceman: B-
(The Uncanny)X-Men #48 Beware Computo – Commander of the Robot Hive/The Beast: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #49 Who Dares Defy… the Demi-Men?/A Beast is Born: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #50 Hail, Queen of Mutants!/This Boy - This Bombshell!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #51 The Devil Had A Daughter!/The Lure of the Beast-Nappers!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #52 Twilight of the Mutants!/The Crimes of the Conquistador!: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #53 The Rage of Blastarr!/Welcome to the Club, Beast!: D


  1. Yeah, I do plan on reviewing Charmed #3, I just haven't gotten around to picking it up yet, it's in my pull file at my comic book store, so it's just a matter of me making it out there to pick it up. :)