Friday, November 5, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 15 Review

A series of tales so damn well hidden even the X-Men don’t remember having them.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #12 And Death Alone Shall Know My Name

Okay I made a mistake in saving the files yesterday- Karl feeding off of Bobby and transforming into Sauron, as well as Bobby getting back his memory actually happen in this issue- not number 11. We don’t really get a new character, but we learn the name of one of the members of Kreuger’s group of mutants who calls himself Blunt. The Blob, Mastermind and Unus have taken captive/stolen Jean, Candy and Scott which leads to Candy’s first real battle as an X-Men- it’s kind of funny considering by this point she’s actually seen just about as much action as Lorna and Candy isn’t even a mutant. This issue leads to what we think (yet again) is the death of Magneto and Sauron. One thing I liked, but actually didn’t like at the same time if that’s at all possible is the fact that Sauron hypnotized Bobby, Lorna and Alex’s memories of ever being in the Savage Land which fixes the fact that when Sauron comes back within the regular series all the X-Men are surprised by the fact that he’s still alive. The issue ends with Namor, the Sub-Mariner finding Magneto and taking him away. (Now this plays out in previous issues of other titles back in the 70’s, I haven’t fully decided if I’ll cover them or not, but some important things did happen in a few of the random books the X-Men appeared in back when they were without a title of their own.) One thing I enjoyed was the shock Lorna experienced when Magneto said he had no idea who she was (Lorna and Bobby at this point have no knowledge of the fact that the Magneto they met when Lorna was introduced was actually just a robot)- Lorna, much like Wanda don’t have the best history when it comes to sanity and with Magneto not knowing who Lorna is we get to see the first real crack in Lorna’s psyche.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #13 Blood and Circus
X-Men: The Hidden Years #14 Yet No More Like My Father…
X-Men: The Hidden Years #15 Death Be Not Proud

This issue, thankfully, wraps up a few of the storylines that have been running through the first twelve issues of the book. We see the conclusion of Candy/Scott/Jean/Warren/Avia VS. Blob/Mastermind/Unus and the end of Kreuger’s plot. We learn how Candy learned that Warren was in fact Angel, and that Warren’s father died at the hands of his brother Burtram Worthington who is a wannabe super villain going by the name Dazzler (there is no connection between him and the Dazzler that shows up later in the main books other than the fact that they share the same code name and both can manipulate light.) Candy and Warren thought Burtram dead, until he shows up and begins a relationship with Warren’s mother and now the two of them are about to be married- this is the reason Candy went to the Xavier Institute in the first place. We meet Dr. Stuart, the family doctor of the Worthington’s who has secretly harbored hatred for all mutants, Warren especially and has teamed up with Burtram to destroy Warren. Parts of this story were actually told in one of those adventures back in the 70’s that the X-Men appeared in random books when they didn’t have a title of their own- part of me wants to read the original stories just to see how much was changed for this issue. Anyway… the issue ends with Warren’s mother dying (as a result of being over drugged by Burtram who had been given the drugs by Dr. Stuart) in his arms. As the subplot we get to see a bit of what Lorna and Alex went through when they were left at the mansion and a brief fight between Lorna and Alex when she goes missing for nine hours when she went shopping – in reality she met a man named Tad Carter and simply can’t remember being gone for nine hours, but is still mad at the fact that Alex is being as controlling as he is.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #16 Echoes of a Lost Generation

Wow this issue gives us a whole lot of first appearances – even though like before it’s hard to count these as the actual first appearances of these specific characters within the X-Men universe because of the fact that this entire title was shoehorned into the series so while these are the first appearances of certain characters they are almost not cannon considering their first adventures actually happened much earlier in the main titles (if they appeared in the universe beyond this series at all that is.) Anyway… we meet Black Bolt, Gogon, Karnak, Medusa, Pixie, Yeti, Kraven the Hunter, Effigy, Morph (but not X-Men universe Morph), Oxbow, Rapunzel and the first time (oh you know what I mean…) we see a Skrull. There honestly isn’t much that I can say about this issue because I know absolutely nothing about these characters at all other than I have a vague recollection of one time when I was a child reading an issue of The Fantastic Four and they fought Medusa (I’m assuming they fought the rest of the Inhumans, but all I remember was a chick in light purple with long red hair.) It’s a fun issue though, and we learn that all of those characters being in one place at that time ended up being what had been setting Cerebro off recently.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #17 Hunter & Hunted

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t love this issue. It was basically a stand alone issue that tried not to be. We see more of Charles, Teri and Ashley Martin dealing with the recent Sentinel attack. Charles calls in his old friend Fred Duncan to remove the Sentinel and we learn that there seems to be a bit of a spark developing between Charles and Teri. It’s a trend that has a long history within the main series’ where Charles becomes romantically involved with a non mutant woman who ends up being thrust into the world of the X-Men. The sub plot of Lorna from a few issues ago is picked up when we once again run into Tad Carter who is working with a man named Simon and other mutants for ‘the Messenger’ and Lorna’s plot wraps up this issue with the first time she actually flies (in reality she’s being taken/guided by the Messenger to his HQ.) That’s one more hole in Lorna’s mind- oh the poor girl, Magneto’s daughters don’t do well, Anya is dead, Wanda went bat____ and well, really so does Lorna, but except for Anya I’m getting way too far ahead of myself here. The main plot was for lack of a better word… meh. It almost could have been a ‘what if’ story rather than an issue of a main book.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #18 Promise of a New Tomorrow
X-Men: The Hidden Years #19 Broken Promises

This story has a whole lot happening, but not a lot going on- if that makes any sense. We learn of a few more of Tobias Messenger’s group ‘the Promise:’ Craig, Gene, Grace, Lucy (Tad and Simon but we knew who they were already) and that Tobias was a mutant who once worked with Yellow Claw (also the first time he pops up, but he’s mostly a SHIELD or Captain America villain) eventually Tobias leaves Yellow Claw’s group and gathers a few mutants of his own and they begin their quest to help the planet survive (they give themselves credit for making World War II end a lot sooner than it should have.) They somehow found a way to age only one week for every ten years they live and now they’ve set their sights on Lorna and Alex- because they are the two mutants who have been the least ‘poisoned’ by Magneto and Charles Xavier’s teachings. They end up capturing Warren and freezing the three of them in suspended animation (with the other members of the Promise) Jean, Scott, Hank and Bobby fight The Mole Man, which I guess makes sense because the X-Men did fight him before, but oh well.. moving on… The issue ends with Lucy (a member of the Promise) waking up from the suspended animation and freeing Warren because she wants to take back her life that Tobias Messenger cost her. I felt like this was a good place for a break because of the next few issues overlapping with a few stories that played out in the original run of the Fantastic Four series so I’ll have to start jumping around a bit, so I figure I’ll end this review before I have to start hoping around.

X-Men: The Hidden Years #12 And Death Alone Shall Know My Name: B
X-Men: The Hidden Years #13 Blood and Circus: B
X-Men: The Hidden Years #14 Yet No More Like My Father…: B
X-Men: The Hidden Years #15 Death Be Not Proud: A
X-Men: The Hidden Years #16 Echoes of a Lost Generation: A
X-Men: The Hidden Years #17 Hunter & Hunted: D
X-Men: The Hidden Years #18 Promise of a New Tomorrow: C
X-Men: The Hidden Years #19 Broken Promises: C

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