Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chronological X-Men - The Brood Part 1 Review


The Uncanny X-Men #153 – Kitty’s Fairy Tale

The X-Men are still recovering from the recent attack from the Hellfire Club and the Sentinels and they’re trying to rebuild the mansion. All of the team has their roles to play, including Kitty who basically gets regulated to babysitting Illyana. There are a few things here that seem odd Carol Danvers is back with the team, the former Ms. Marvel just seems to show up at random ever since she lost her powers. It seems like whenever she could be a central character and benefit from her being included in a situation she’s not there, and when they need someone for filler she is. Also for the life of me I can’t figure out why no one has returned Illyana to her parents, she’s just a little girl (at the point still far younger than Kitty) and no one brings her home? Moira and Sean have returned to Muir Isle – they could have dropper her off, and Amanda works for an airline for crying out loud… there have been ample opportunities to bring her back to Russia. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it since I love Illyana, I just wish they would explain it. Another odd thing is in the story that Kitty is telling Illyana the blackbird (now a living dragon called Lockheed – now I know why she named her pet dragon that in the future) keeps calling Kitty ‘Colleen’ and it’s never really explained why. I like the story, it’s a nice little break from the larger storylines that have been in the book recently (and will start up again with the next issue) but I can’t help but feel cheated. I remember reading in multiple places that this story got a lot of praise, but I just don’t see why. Maybe it was one of those things that you had to read when it was first published to truly understand the uniqueness of it.

The Uncanny X-Men #154 – Reunion

Scott and Ororo remain at the now destroyed mansion while Charles, Kurt, Kitty, Piotr, Logan, Carol and Illyana have traveled  to Magneto’s island in the Bermuda Triangle to use that as a new base of operations so they can learn about Magneto as well as remain hidden from all the people who seem to always attack Charles’ school. I still don’t know why Scott and Ororo stayed behind other than for a plot point so oh well…. Corsair returns to Earth after being hounded by the Shi-ar Empire who now believe him a traitor and responsible for the kidnapping of Lilandra. He arrives at the mansion and along with Scott and Ororo battle the Sidri who are basically contract killers. Corsair admits to Scott that he is his father and tells him about what happened with the plane crash. I’m kind of over the constant name changing of Scott and Alex’s mother. First it’s Katherine Anne, then it’s Katherine, then Kate, then Anne – some times the name changes in the middle of the page. Just pick a name and stick with it already! We do see Carol struggle to put her life back together, which is nice I just wish we’d see more scenes with Carol and Logan – especially since their circumstances are somewhat similar. One thing I found odd was the fact that the X-Men have spent so much time working on repairing the mansion over the past few issues and then all of a sudden they just decide to uproot themselves and live on Magneto’s island. It’s pointless to pick on that though because by the end of this issue the Sidri have completely destroyed the entire mansion anyway.

The Uncanny X-Men #155 – First Blood
The Uncanny X-Men #156 – Pursuit!

The X-Men are all transported to the Shi’ar ship where they are told about Lilandra’s kidnapping and how it all points not only to Corsair but also to Earth, and that the Sh-ar plan on destroying the planet unless Lilandra is returned safely. We get the first appearances of N’Rill’Iree a new member of the Ipmerial Guard, Sikorsky – a member of the Starjammers,The Brood (who have always freaked me out, even now they just look damn creepy) and their ship Acanti; Deathbird and Tigra also make their first appearances in an X-Book. Thanks to Deathbird we get the near death of Piotr. There are a few things that just didn’t add up for me here, I get that the Shi’ar teleported the X-Men to the ship, but why Kitty? She has had little to no interaction with them at all, why did they leave Tigra behind once they saw that she was helping the X-Men fight Deathbird and The Brood? You can kind of excuse Carol being left behind because someone had to take care of Illyana, but why did they leave the two of them also? We get a bit of a retcon here when they announce that Piotr is eighteen – it had previously been stated that the ‘new’ X-Men were all much older than the original team, so it’s hard for him to suddenly be younger than Bobby (who is now 21) but I understand that since they’re going full force with a Kitty/Piotr relationship that they need to lessen the age gap a bit, but she’s still 14, four years isn’t that much of a gap except that Piotr is 18 and that’s a no-no, they should have just made him seventeen if they were going to mess with it at all. Another thing that kind of bugs me is how involved the Shi'ar Empire is becoming. I like them to some extent but it's hard to get attached to any particular character because they introduce us to a few but keep most of the others background characters and some of the background characters seem more interesting than the main ones. The Shi'ar as a whole weren't really needed the story could have been just as well if it was just the X-Men/Starjammers VS. Deathbird/The Brood.

The Uncanny X-Men #157 – Hide ‘n’ Seek!

The X-Men have rescued Lilandra but the Starjammer’s ship has been severely damaged. The team races to repair the ship and contact the Shi-ar ship to call off the destruction of Earth. Chancellor Araki receives a transmission from Lilandra but before he can do anything about it Admiral Lord Samedar kills him. Charles contacts Kitty and Kurt telepathically and they hatch a plan to convince the Imperial Guard who still remain loyal to Lilandra to help them. We get the first appearances of Webwing and Blackthorn members of the Imperial Guard. Kitty uses the clothing device she was given (basically to play with to keep her busy while she was being held by the Shi’ar) to pose as Dark Phoenix to create a large enough distraction for Kurt to teleport out Oracle and convince her that they are telling the truth. In the end the X-Men, Lilandra, the few members of the Imperial Guard who are loyal to the empress and the Starjammers are able to stop Samedar from destroying the Earth. Deathbird and the Brood manage to escape, but their ship is almost killed in the process, and Charles remains mentally crippled after attempting to contact Kitty and Kurt telepathically earlier.

Dazzler #12 – Endless Hate

Okay, honestly it was extremely hard for me to take this issue seriously for several reasons – the main reason being this felt like it was written in the fifties. Alison spends time getting ready for her date with Paul which turns out to be a double date with Paul’s boss and his wife. Alison fails to impress and Paul says that he really didn’t want a promotion anyway, there are little comments about Alison being bored while the men talk about work; and to top that off back at Alison’s apartment we get a very 40-50s sitcom moment where the housewife messes something up and she apologizes for not being the proper woman and the man is all ‘it’s okay I still love you’ between Paul and Alison. The main plot with Techmaster seeking his revenge on Harry and Dazzler is pretty good, but it was hard to get past the things I mentioned earlier. I was all in to the plot because lets face it, the book had been pretty decent recently but then all that seems to be thrown away with this issue. Alison defeats Techmaster BY BEATING HIM WITH HER PURSE! Seriously, I couldn’t make that up if I tried. I really doubt that I’d ever read this issue again even if my life depended on it.

Dazzler #13 – Trial… and Terror!

Alison goes home to dig through her mother’s things and finds a brooch that catches her eyes so she takes it. One thing that kind of confuses me about Alison’s mother is that one minute they make it seem like she died when Alison was a baby and the next they make it seem like she mysteriously vanished and with how much Carter Blaire seems to resent his daughter’s free spirit being so much like her mother’s it kind of seems like she just showed up at Carter’s doorstep one day and dropped off a baby and said ‘here this is yours now.’ The plus side is it is starting to interest me, so hopefully it will have a rather decent payoff. Paul and Alison break up so hopefully I won’t have to deal with another story as bad as last issue. The main plot revolves around Alison being taken to prison to await a trial for the murder of Klaw. I guess it’s to be expected because he was ‘killed’ in self defense by Alison in a Federal facility. We get a new supporting character for the book – Kenneth Barnett who serves as Alison’s attorney. I guess the story overall is alright, I do like the idea of Alison just being taken and charged with murder even though nothing about those events technically exist within public knowledge.. but I think I’m still bitter over the last issue because this thing just feels off. Not good, not bad – just off.

The Uncanny X-Men #153 – Kitty’s Fairy Tale: B
The Uncanny X-Men #154 – Reunion: B
The Uncanny X-Men #155 – First Blood: A
The Uncanny X-Men #156 – Pursuit!: A
The Uncanny X-Men #157 – Hide ‘n’ Seek!:  A
Dazzler #12 – Endless Hate: F
Dazzler #13 – Trial… and Terror!: C

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