Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chronological X-Men - (Part 19) Second Genesis Review

Second Genesis baby.

Giant-Size X-Men #1 Second Genesis!
Giant-Size X-Men #3 Teamwork
Classic X-Men #1 First Night

Well ladies and gents we now come to the second major chapter within the X-Men’s history and this brings some drastic changes. With this story alone we see Jean, Warren, Lorna, Bobby and Alex officially leave the X-Men; Hank has already left and is now an active member of the Avengers; Scott’s powers get a jumpstart and we see the recruitment of Storm, Banshee, Thunderbird, Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler, and finally we see the first appearances of (aside from Kurt, Piotr, Ororo and John) Ilyana (Piotr’s sister) and Nicolaj and Alexandra his parents and the mutant island Krakoa. The other stories show us Logan trying to bring the new x-Men together as a team by pitting them against each other in the Danger Room to see who will be the first to ‘die,’ we see that Lorna has finally chosen between Alex and Bobby, and we see Jean struggle with her place in a team that she no longer wants to be a part of, but is too afraid to leave. Bobby struggles like the youngest child of a family when a new baby comes along, Logan and Jean start off down the whole Scott/Jean/Logan triangle. One thing that I didn’t really like, and that was mostly because of the later retcon was the fact that we had already seen Ororo and there’s no mention of her knowing anyone – another thing was the fact that in the retocon a conversation between Charles and Moira we learn that Kurt, Piotr and Ororo are all younger than the current X-Men, but in the first actual appearances we see that they’re all older than the first team. I know they’ll probably get into it later down the line but I’m sick of them always mentioning Lorna’s weakening magnetic powers, yet they never explain why her power level is slowly decreasing- but that’s kind of a nit pick. Oh it should be noted that the back up features in Giant-Size #1 are reprints of the stories from the original series where the X-Men explain to ‘us’ how their respective powers work. There is no need to cover Giant-Size #2 since it’s just a straight reprint of the storyline that introduced Alex to us with only a few pages edited out, but no additional content.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #94 The Doomsmith Scenario!
Classic X-Men #2 First Friends
Giant-Size X-Men #4 Finding Home
(The Uncanny)X-Men #95 Warhunt!
Classic X-Men #3 Mourning

Well the X-Men title is back, and that’s a good thing. We get a few characters new to the universe ehre by way of Count Nefaria’s Ani-Men team consisting of Bird-Man, Cat-Man, Croaker, Dragonfly and Gort. Beast makes a brief cameo as an excuse to justify why the Avengers can’t fight Nefaria and he learns of the team of new X-Men- it is a little odd that Hank is shocked by this because it almost seems like everyone of the original team is going out of their way to ignore him. Sunfire is the first of the new members to officially leave the team, which kind of works for me because I feel like he should still be in jail after murdering his uncle in front of multiple witnesses. Additional pages show us the first appearances of Rahne Sinclair and her foster father Reverend Craig, but yeah that’s a whole hell of a lot of stories for another time. The side stories from the other books give us a little bit more insight to the timeline, Ororo and Jean try to become friends and we learn of Ororo’s claustrophobia (but this is a side story so it hasn’t actually happened within the main storyline yet) and we see the first appearance of Misty Knight but much like other retcons this hasn’t actually happened yet so it doesn’t really count. The next side story shows John trying to find his place in the team and Ororo trying to put down roots and start a budding friendship with him (although that won’t last long.) The X-Men fight Nefaria and as an unfortunate price John ends up dying, so this is the first time an X-Men dies (Charles doesn’t count because it wasn’t ‘Charles’ and Calvin doesn’t count because.. uhh well he just doesn’t okay?) and he is far from the last. The story is bookended with the X-Men, Charles and Jean returning John’s body to his family only to have it get stolen by James Proudstar, John’s younger brother who gives him a warrior’s sendoff and vows revenge on the X-Men (among others.) So yet again we have a first appearance that isn’t really a first appearance because it’s still a long while before James actually shows up in any ‘real’ X-book.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #96 Night of the Demon!
 Classic X-Men #4 The Big Dare

This is some good stuff right here. Scott is taking the death of John badly and starts shooting off his powers outside of the mansion and ends up breaking open ‘the Cairn’ and the mansion is soon under siege by a demon calling himself Kierrok who is part of the N’Garai race of demons. This is pretty big considering the N’Garai do show up quite a few times over the course of the years (it sort of becomes a right of passage for new teams) we see the first actual appearance of Moira MacTaggert who has come to the states in order to take care of the Xavier Institute while Charles goes on ‘vacation;’ and we see the start of Moira/Sean which becomes a large factor in quite a few plots down the line. We also see Dr. Steven Lang who also factors in to be a major player down the line and Colonel Mike Rossi, who eventually ends up migrating to the Ms. Marvel universe. Additional pages show us hints at a relationship between Moira and Charles (which will be established later, but already has been due to future retcons – man I’ll be happy when I’m done reading these ‘flashback’ stories.) Ororo is still struggling with the fact that she has to wear clothing while doing things; and Kurt’s reaction to the whole thing is quite funny. The back up story gives us a new character Harry Morrell who runs a bar near the Xavier Institute that the X-Men frequent. We see the first appearance of the ‘image inducer’ although again, side story; not a main story, so it doesn’t really count. Logan and Kurt go to the bar and Logan sort of guilt trips him into turning it off and walking around town as his blue fur-clad self.

Giant-Size X-Men #1 Second Genesis!: A
Classic X-Men #1 Second Genesis/First Night: A
Giant-Size X-Men #4 Finding Home: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #94 The Doomsmith Scenario!: B
Classic X-Men #2 First Friends: B
Giant-Size X-Men # Finding Home: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #95 Warhunt!: B
Classic X-Men #3 Mourning: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #96 Night of the Demon!: A
 Classic X-Men #4 The Big Dare: C

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