Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Days of Future Past Part 2 Review

Days of Future Past.

The Uncanny X-Men #143 - Demon

The first part of this issue deals with flashbacks from Uncanny X-Men #96 when the N’garai first appeared and attacked the X-Men. It’s Christmas time at the mansion and everyone has plans but Kitty. Logan is spending time with Mariko Yashida and the rest all have plans of their own – the plans apparently are to surprise Kitty with a visit from her parents as a Chanukah present. Kitty is left at the mansion alone and soon discovers that Storm’s room has been trashed and all of Ororo’s plants are dead. Not long after that she is attacked by one of the N’garai and spends the entire night desperately trying to survive. The demon is smarter than she thinks and can actually keep in step with the young genius; eventually Kitty ends up destroying the demon with the jets from the Blackbird jet – but not after totally destroying the Danger Room, breaking the jet, and leaving the mansion not better off. We do see a little bit of what Scott has been up to, he’s now down in Florida and joins Aleytis “Lee” Forrester (this is the first time she’s in an X-book) and is interested in spending some working with her crew. Personally I liked the issue; it was a nice little stand alone that didn’t really suffer for being a stand alone story. Plus it’s a nice little start to a trial by fire trend of a ‘new’ X-Man having to fight the N’garai.

The Uncanny X-Men #144 – Even In Death …

This issue is a little odd, not so much that it focuses mostly on Scott, but because it just feels odd for me. We see Jock Forrester (Lee’s father) who is having difficulty dealing with the fact that he has cancer and ends up killing himself. It could be just that it struck me as shocking that they showed someone blowing their brains out (not that they showed the bullet entering or exiting, but still) back in the early 80s. This was published before I was born but like other issues of this era I originally read when I was like 5-6, it would have been pretty shocking for me to have seen this then. The rest of the issue is devoted to Lee and Scott battling D’Spayre (first time we see him here) who has assumed the form of Jock and is feeding off of everyone’s tormented mindset. Scott is soon joined by Man-Thing (again, first time we’ve seen him here. Given the fact that D’Spayre can alter people’s perceptions of reality, and that Scott was only a child when it happened it’s hard to tell if they made a mistake by calling Scott and Alex’s mother ‘Anne’ – I don’t know what to make of it because a few panels later they call her ‘Katherine Anne.’

The Uncanny X-Men #145 – Kidnapped!
The Uncanny X-Men #146 – Murderworld!
The Uncanny X-Men #147 – Rogue Storm!

We’ve got a lot going on here so I’ll just start with what we’re dealing with here. Kitty is suffering from a fever which forces her to give her ticket to the ballet to Ororo which forces her to go with Stevie Hunter. I’m still not exactly sure why Ororo doesn’t like Stevie, I’dl ike there to be some real reason and this is all slowly building up to a big reveal but I’m not getting my hopes up – especially since Ororo has been written quite oddly over since around the time that Jean died. Miss Locke ambushes Ororo and Stevie forcing Ororo to use her mutant abilities in front of Stevie. Miss Locke tells them that Arcade has been taken by Dr. Doom and as a result she has kidnapped all of the X-Men’s loved ones to force them into freeing Arcade for her. Between Miss Locke and Mr. Chambers they manage to kidnap Stevie, Moira, John and Elaine Grey, Amanda Sefton, Candy Southern and Illyana Rasputin and are holding them captive in Murderworld. Charles reaches out to former X-Men: Sean, Lorna, Alex and Bobby and recruits them to go to Murderworld to try to free the X-Men’s loved ones while Ororo, Logan, Warren, Kurt and Piotr try to free Arcade from Doom. Charles tries to reach out to Scott but he can’t contact him, Charles suspects that Magneto is somehow involved. Doom captures Kurt, Logan and Piotr and intends to test the limits of their powers and he turns Ororo into a living metallic statue. This doesn’t go over too well with Ororo and her claustrophobia and a massive storm begins to brew outside – the storm is so large that Scott and Lee’s ship gets capsized and the two of them wash up on an island. Scott ends up unable to contain his powers and Lee sees them for the first time. There are a few things about this story which seem a bit off. How was Amanda captured? She would be the hardest to take out of the bunch considering her magical powers. Why is Lorna no longer struggling with her powers? Before the strength level seemed to fluctuate a lot, now she’s having no problems with them… did she learn to use them on her own or does the Shi-ar costume (that she wore when Eric the Red brainwashed her) she is still wearing have anything to do with it? If Scott’s eyebeams are so powerful that only his ruby quartz glasses/visor can contain his powers how the hell does a cloth blindfold keep them at bay? Why does the spelling of Lee’s name change every issue (when they were both written by the same writer) from Aleytys to Aleytis? There are just a lot of unanswered questions and mistakes that make this storyline as a whole a bit odd. I'm sure if you look at these three issues and read them alone that it would be a better story, but it's hard to look at everything else that was going on at that time with the X-Men (and how for example almost at the same time Doom was off battling Dazzler in her own book) without it detracting from the story.

Dazzler #5 – Tell Joey I Love Him!

Alison finally wakes up in the hospital after being injured in her recent battle with Doom. We do see her supporting cast: Harry, Lancelot, Cassandra; we get more ‘guest stars’ with the inclusion of Beast and Johnny Storm (we sort of get Ali’s father Carter, Enchantress, Doom and Nightmare, but this happens when Alison is dreaming so it doesn’t really count;) and finally we get a few new characters: Dr. Paul Jansen – who treats Alison’s injuries and the two end up going out for brunch afterwards, Mrs. Cartelli who is a patient sharing a room with Alison, Joey Cartelli – the Blue Shield (his first appearance), Bo Barrigan and his henchmen. The hard thing about this issue was that it’s both equally good and bad. I loved how they write Alison this issue and the plot in general – but I really didn’t need to have scenes with Nurse Collins judging Alison and looking down on her because she’s an artist, or scenes where she talks about how she disapproves of Alison’s make up, or how at the end of the issue she didn’t approve of Alison dating Paul. It kind of felt like someone was writing Veronica from the Archie comics and she was judging Betty who was trying to be a superhero. It is just odd, but the battle and action scenes, and Alison trying to reconnect Joey with his dying mother were all good.

The Uncanny X-Men #143 – Demon: A
The Uncanny X-Men #144 – Even In Death …: C
The Uncanny X-Men #145 – Kidnapped!: B
The Uncanny X-Men #146 – Murderworld!: A
The Uncanny X-Men #147 – Rogue Storm!: B
Dazzler #5 – Tell Joey I Love Him!: B

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