Monday, November 8, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Part 18 Review

The road trip ends… for now.

The Incredible Hulk # 172 And Canst Thou Slay… The Juggernaut?

I’m going to be honest folks; I’m really biased here. It’s common knowledge that I hate The Hulk with a passion so it’s hard to be objective here, especially when I know I’ll have a few more issues of his title to read over the course of several storylines yet to come. Just like always I can’t comment on any of the cast of characters because I don’t know enough about them to know who is important and who I can just ignore. Basically the story is Hulk gets captured and the government uses a ray to try to banish him to another dimension and in the process this brings Juggernaut back to Earth and quite a few pages are devoted to catching everyone up on what Cain Marko’s been up to over the years. The issue ends with the X-Men (Charles, Scott and Jean) trying to find out what happened to Warren. I wish I could give this a better rating system because an alphabet grade doesn’t really work for me this time. I’d rank this one some where between ‘meh’ and ‘ehh.’

Captain America #172 Believe It or Not: The Banshee
Captain America #173 The Sins of the Secret Empire
Captain America #174 Its Always Darkest….
Captain America #175 Before the Dawn!

The next pit stop brings us a whole lot of things going on. We learn that while mutants are being hunted down and captured by a mysterious force it turns out that Falcon and Captain America are actually the most wanted men on the block. Banshee shows up for an issue and runs into Cap and Falcon, after a misunderstanding they end up fighting but when Cyclops shows up Banshee takes off. The remaining X-Men and Cap and Falcon team up to go after The Secret Empir who had not only managed to frame Captain America for murder but also kidnap several mutants (Iceman, Havok, Lorna, Beast, Unus, Mastermind, the Blob, Angel and Mesmero and is using them to power a machine that they will end up using to force the United States into either surrendering their power to The Secret Empire or just destroy them outright. We learn that Hank, Bobby, Alex and Lorna were all captured as well which really just serves as an explanation as to why none of them appeared in any of the X-Men’s off book adventures recently. One thing that I couldn’t help but laugh at was the fact that the leader of The secret Empire who calls himself Number One looks an awful lot like Cobra Commander, in reality he’s a ‘high ranking government official’ while his true identity wasn’t revealed it had been later stated that it was intended that his alter ego would end up being Richard Nixon. This whole thing is a big thing in and of itself because of the fact that after Captain learns the true identity of Number One and witnesses his suicide Cap decides to leave the superhero business behind 3for now.

Marvel Team-Up #23 The Night of the Frozen

Bobby and Johnny Storm both get framed for a robbery by the villain Equinox who has both ice and fire based powers. Naturally there is some confusion where Bobby thinks Johnny did the break in and Johnny things Bobby is responsible for it. They end up fighting each other before they figure out who really did it and then team up to go after him. I don’t know what to think of this one, I mean it was a fun little read and I’ve always liked the way Johnny and Bobby play off of each other but I’m not entirely sure that I wanted to read this story. However I think the reason for that is simply a case of bad timing because if I think about it, I would honestly read this story again, and there have been quite a few issues that I’ve reviewed since I started this journey that I will never pick up and read again even if my life depended on it. It was still a pretty good story. I think that I might have read this one a bit out of order because it feels like the X-Men are off looking for the missing mutants and if that's the case this would have had to have happened a lot sooner than the Captain America issues, but at the same time it feels like it could also have taken place after because Hank isn't anywhere to be seen and it's around this time that he joins the Avengers, and that happens after the whole Secret Empire thing.

The Incredible Hulk #180 And the Wind Howls… Wendigo!
The Incredible Hulk #181 And Now… the Wolverine!
The Incredible Hulk #182 Between Hammer and Anvil

Speaking of things I’ll never read again even if my life depended on it this story has to be one of them. I’ll be honest here, I only read this because it’s the first appearance of Wolverine and almost all of the X-Men related stories that I’ll be reading from this point on will heavily feature him so it’s pretty hard to ignore. Maybe I would have enjoyed this story more if I had any idea what the hell was going on half of the time but there isn’t anything that I can do about that. Well there is, but I’m choosing not to. The debut of Wolverine was kind of lackluster but considering he just shows up and fights Hulk and then goes back into Weapon X’s custody there isn’t that much that can be said about it- the story is supposed to be just a violent battle and that’s what it delivers so I guess ultimately it lives up to that promise, but still…. I guess for me the worst part of this is that Logan only appears in the last page of the first issue and the first page of the last issue so it makes me feel like I had to sit through two extra stories that I didn’t have to read just so the middle issue would make sense to me. Not that it made it any better because while I liked the whole plot with the Weendigo, Georges and Marie I had absolutely no investment in what happened to them at all so it didn’t end up being as important as I’m sure it was meant to be.

The Incredible Hulk # 172 And Canst Thou Slay… The Juggernaut?: D
Captain America #172 Believe It or Not: The Banshee: B
Captain America #173 The Sins of the Secret Empire: B
Captain America #174 Its Always Darkest….: A
Captain America #175 Before the Dawn!: A
Marvel Team-Up #23 The Night of the Frozen: C
The Incredible Hulk #180 And the Wind Howls… Wendigo!: D
The Incredible Hulk #181 And Now… the Wolverine!: C
The Incredible Hulk #182 Between Hammer and Anvil: D

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