Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Murderworld Review

Murderworld – or just how deadly a game of extreme pinball can be.

The Uncanny X-Men #122 Cry For The Children
Classic X-Men #28 Who Am I?

I’ll start yet again with the back up feature because it doesn’t fit within the main storyline at all. Jean and the X-Men are interacting so it’s at a point where they all know each other are actually alive so that places it in the future. It doesn’t help that a few issues ago it was Christmas Eve and now suddenly its Halloween so almost an entire year has passed over just a handful of issues. I like the idea of Kurt being into Halloween because he can actually be himself for once, but other than that the whole thing was a mess. It just threw together as many Halloween clichés as possible and that really hurt it; still though it wasn’t anywhere nearly as bad as most of the recent back up features have been though. The main issue shows us the first X-Book appearances of Arcade, Miss Locke and Luke Cage. Logan begins to court Mariko Yashida so we see the start of that relationship. Jean, Moira, Lorna, Alex and Jamie are one step closer to Muir Isle. Jean runs into Jason Wyngarde (who is really Mastermind) as he begins his subtle manipulation of her. He doesn’t really ‘begin’ seeing as how this started in the additional pages and back up features of previous ‘Classics’ issues. Scott and Colleen are sort of dating I guess and Ororo goes back to her parents home in Harlem only to find that it has been turned into a crack house and is attacked by the teens there and is saved by Luke Cage and Misty Knight. One thing I don’t like is the fact that Misty used to live with Jean and she is really tight with Colleen, doesn’t either of them know that Jean is actually alive? If they do shouldn’t they tell Scott, or if they don’t know shouldn’t Misty be affected by the death of her friend? The issue ends with Black Tom and Juggernaut hiring Arcade to take down the X-Men. I think I’d like this issue more if they actually idd something with the drugged teens instead of just using them to shock Ororo with how drasticly different things are from what she is used to.

The Uncanny X-Men #123 Listen – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before, But This One Will Kill You!
Classic X-Men #29 Motherland

Well this issue we see the return of Colleen Wing (although she’s been around a lot lately, so it’s almost like she’s a part of the book), Mariko Yashida, Amanda Sefton, Betsy Wilford, Arcade, Spider-Man and Miss Locke. Mr. Chambers and Colonel Alexei Vazhin appear for the first time, for Chambers it is the first time in the book, for Vazhin it’s the first time at all.  This issue shows Mr. Chambers, Miss Locke and Arcade picking off the X-Men one by one – and in the process kidnapping Colleen, Amanda and Betsy. Spider-Man tries to help, but that doesn’t end well and Arcade manages to brainwash Piotr into thinking he has betrayed his homeland and is a traitor because he works with the X-Men, which causes Colossus to temporarily take on the name ‘The Proletariat’ while he is brainwashed. The back up feature actually works best if you look at it as how Arcade brainwashed Piotr instead of a seprate trip to Russia where his entire town considers him to be a traitor.

The Uncanny X-Men #124 He Only laughs When I Hurt
Classic X-Men #30 Play With Me

This issue concludes the main Murderworld arch. The X-Men help Piotr overcome his brainwashing and make him realize that he is truly among his family with the X-Men. It’s clear that Amanda knows about Kurt before this point, but now we know for sure that Betsy knows about Kurt and Piotr being mutants as well. I don’t know if it is just because there was so much going on with this story that they couldn’t devote the time to showing Betsy freak out about learning the truth or if she actually knew about this before hand. We see in a brief flashback the first X-Book appearance of Captain Britain and a little recap of when he and Spider-Man were in Murderworld. One thing I found out was Miss Locke’s comment about having ‘taken care’ of the girls. I mean at the end of them they are clearly alive, so did Miss Locke set them free and lie to Arcade- are we seeing the beginning of a rift here- or did she put them in a place that would lead to their deaths and lived up to her partner’s game rules by giving them a chance to escape on their own? The back up feature could be before this storyline, during or even after but we do gain some insight into how Arcade’s mind works because the whole issue is about his nightmares and what it was like growing up with his father. We see how Arcade killed his father and ultimately we learn that he himself is trapped in Murderworld, and to make matters even worse he programmed this game himself, so on some level he’s either fighting or punishing himself for his actions.

The Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 A Fire In The Sky

This was a fun little story even though the current events spin out of something that happened previously in another book, but I think that added with the fact that there are a bunch of characters and things happening made me pay closer attention to the story. Basically Arkon arrives on Earth yet again to seek the Avenger’s help save his world from being destroyed. By this point though Thor has left the Avengers and the rest of the active team aren’t around so that leads him to the X-Men and in particular Ororo. A huge battle happens ending with Storm being zapped by one of Arkon’s bolts which transports her to his homeworld. The X-Men overpower Arkon and use his bolts to transport all of them, except for Sean to wherever Storm ended up. We see more battles, this time it’s the X-Men against an entire army. Kurt looks for Storm who is more than willing to give her life in order to save an entire world. We learn exactly why the world is being plunged into darkness and this leads the X-Men to come up with a plan that won’t involve Ororo basically committing suicide. Colossus is going to act as a grounding material to amplify Storm’s powers that she is building up and then shoots Scott to power up his optic charge and he then uses his powers to repower the machine that keeps the planet going. I could actually see myself reading this issue again, not just once, but multiple times.

The Uncanny X-Men #122 Cry For The Children: B
Classic X-Men #28 Who Am I?: D
The Uncanny X-Men #123 Listen – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before, But This One Will Kill You!: A
Classic X-Men #29 Motherland: B
The Uncanny X-Men #124 He Only laughs When I Hurt: A
Classic X-Men #30 Play With Me: B
The Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 A Fire In The Sky: A

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