Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 16 Review

Today we bid a not so fond farewell to X-Men The Hidden Years, as well as look at a few of the adventures that too place in other Marvel books while the X-Men were without a book to call their own.

Fantastic Four #102 The Strength of the Sub-Mariner
X-Men: The Hidden Years #20 Worlds Within Worlds
X-Men: The Hidden Years #21 Let Loose the Dogs of War!
Fantastic Four #103 At War with Atlantis!
Fantastic Four #104 Our World – Enslaved!
X-Men: The Hidden Years #22 Friends and Enemies

Wow, this is a big one, and I honestly don’t really think that it’s a good thing. In X-Men: The Hidden Years we see a brief recap and retelling of the events from the Fantastic Four series back in the 70s. It was nice to see an updated version of it and how things such as writing styles have changed over the years but it was something that honestly didn’t need to be done in the X-Men title, especially with only three issues left of the series. It makes for a quick wrap up of the current plots. We see Warren and Lucy try to reconnect with her family only to have that end badly and then they return back to ‘the Promise.’ Now the whole time Lucy had told Warren that she can’t wake Alex and Lorna up without killing them, and then suddenly Charles shows up and pretty much says ‘uhh.. no, she’s wrong.’ Alex wakes up first and then Charles sends him off to try to stop Magneto, only he never gets there. The rest of the X-Men finish their fight with Mole Man; Avia (who has been around since like the third issue) is returned to the Savage Land off panel so there’s no real pay off with that and Charles just up and decides to leave Ashley and Teri again for no real reason other than all the X-Men need to be back at the Xavier Institute by the end of the series, this also explains how the remaining X-Men suddenly get off of Monster Island- they’re just magically back at the mansion. They decided to shoe horn in the whole plot of Magneto tricking Namor into going to war with the US to try to wrap up that particular plot it wasn’t required. We see Charles connecting to Magneto via astral projection and that’s pretty much it; like I said Alex never makes it to the battle, and the X-Men don’t appear at all within the story in the Fantastic Four series so it wasn’t really needed at all. In fact if they had cut out those few events then it might have given them more time and more pages to have everything else make much more sense. All that being said I actually enjoyed the Fantastic Four part of the stories, it was a nice interesting read and honestly I’d probably read it again (without reading the Hidden Years #20-22, which is sad to say since it’s the final issues of that series.)

 Marvel Team-Up #4 And Then, the X-Men

This is one of the X-Men’s many pit stops while remaining bookless and honestly it really isn’t that important to the mythology other than it sets up that something is going on with Hank to explain his absence from this particular adventure… and not to spoil it because it won’t be covered in this review but at this point in Hank’s life he’s feeling a little… blue-. Anyway the X-Men enter a brief battle with Spider-Man when they are led to believe that he kidnapped Hans Jorgenson only to learn that Hans had really been taken by Morbius. Everything here is pretty much a mash up and you don’t expect much of a plot but Spider-Man is suffering side effects of a drug he had to take to stop his mutation (he ended up getting 6 arms for a while) and now the side effects are killing him so he goes to Hans for help. The X-Men fight Morbius and take him back to the Xavier Institute along with Spider-Man and Hans where Spider-Man receives the cure and is no longer in danger of dying. All in all, it was a pretty fun read- and I’m not just saying that because I lean more towards monster/vampire stuff and Morbius is basically a vampire. The one thing I didn’t really like about this though was that all of the X-Men use their real names in front of Spider-Man and that’s a big superhero no-no.

The Amazing Spider-Man #92 When Iceman Attacks!

Alright, this one I don’t really consider too important or honestly even worth reading. I mean okay it’s good by itself so I’m not faulting that but there was no real need for Bobby to meet up with Spider-Man at all. Like I said though it’s a good issue- it’s kind of interesting to see the corrupt Sam Bullit who is running for district attorney try to portray Spider-Man as a villain and then manipulate the situation to make it seem like Iceman had been working for Bullit in an attempt to take down Spider-Man. I’m not really sure how that was a good idea considering how the X-Men and mutants in general aren’t well liked, certainly Spider-Man has to have a better public standing than mutants. Another thing that kind of stuck out was how Sam kept referring to Robbie Robertson as a black man, it’s hard to explain but the way it came off was him being racist, which considering the time period that this story was written in I guess it makes sense, but it’s odd because of how Sam appears to at the very least hate mutants less than he hates Spider-Man and Robbie.

The Incredible Hulk #150 Cry Hulk, Cry Havok!

Okay, lets just get this out of the way… next to Iron-Man The Hulk is quite possibly my least favorite Marvel universe character to ever have existed. That being said… the issue didn’t totally 100% suck, it’s far from the worst X-Men related issue I’ve reviewed so far, but it’s far from the best either. There isn’t much I can talk about here because I’m not too familiar with anything related to the Hulk (my ignorance is by choice though because in general the character just isn’t my cup of tea) so I don’t know if there are any major things going on here or any big mistakes. I know this was meant to fill in the gap with what the X-Men were doing while they were bookless but I would like to have seen Havok leave the X-Men and try to start this new life instead of him taking less than one full page to explain to Lorna why he did it. Lorna on the other hand, she had been dying her hair to hide the fact that it’s naturally green, yet she’s just riding around with her green hair in civilian clothes now, so that kind of didn’t make much sense.

Fantastic Four #102 The Strength of the Sub-Mariner: B
X-Men: The Hidden Years #20 Worlds Within Worlds: C
X-Men: The Hidden Years #21 Let Loose the Dogs of War!: C
Fantastic Four #103 At War with Atlantis!: B
Fantastic Four #104 Our World – Enslaved!: B
X-Men: The Hidden Years #22 Friends and Enemies: D
Marvel Team-Up #4 And Then, the X-Men: A
The Amazing Spider-Man #92 When Iceman Attacks!: C
The Incredible Hulk #150 Cry Hulk, Cry Havok!: D

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