Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Wolverine Part 2 Review

Wolverine! (or Attack of the Bridzilla!)

The Uncanny X-Men #174 – Romances
The Uncanny X-Men #175 – Phoenix

The first half of this story feels very much like filler but I don’t really mind it as much as I normally would. Logan is still in Japan trying to make sense of why Mariko called off the wedding before he returns back home to the X-Men. Scott is up on the Starjammer with Madelyne and his father where he proposes to Madelyne and Corsair makes an offer for Scott to join the Starjammers and remain in space with him. Lilandra is also on board the Starjammer ready to return to the Shi’ar Empire to overthrow her evil sister Deathbird. We find out that Charles is still having difficulty walking and is onboard the Starjammer getting examined. Ororo’s extreme makeover goes past her physical appearance and has decided to get rid of every single one of her plants in her attic/bedroom; Kitty gets bored reading Star Wars comics and ends up practicing phasing another living person with her and makes her big move on Piotr. Kurt takes care of a recovering Rogue and they sort of bond when Kurt tells her all about Jean. Scott asks if Madelyne is the reincarnation of Jean and she decks him right before transforming into Dark Phoenix. The story concludes in a double sized issue where we learn that Mastermind has been pulling everyone’s strings for the past few months. He has slowly recovered from what Jean had done to him and has plotted revenge on all of the X-Men and has used the fact that Madelyne is a dead ringer for Jean for his advantage. Eventually the X-Men manage to defeat Mastermind although it almost costs Madelyne her life but in the end all is good and Scott and Madelyne end up getting married.  There were a few interesting things here Kitty reading the Star Wars comic was kind of funny, but I don’t really find it ‘interesting’ the really odd thing is given everything I know about Madelyne who the heck was it walking her down the aisle? My only real problem with this entire story was how rushed everything with Scott and Madelyne was – and I know it was done that way on purpose but it doesn’t make it any easier for me to swallow.

The Uncanny X-Men #176 – Decisions

I could have done without this particular issue. I didn’t really need to see Scott and Madelyne on their honeymoon. Even the attempt to spice it up by the duo outrunning a massive storm, Scott almost getting eaten by a shark, and Madelyne and Scott fighting against a giant octopus all while their plan can’t start didn’t really make it more interesting. There’s nothing wrong with the story, and usually the first story coming off of a major issue number (1,25,50,75,100…etc) is a slow one so I can’t blame it on that because it’s something that happens with almost every series ever done. The subplots running through it were okay, but also kind of boring. Logan and Mariko came to an understanding that the two of them cannot be together until Markio separates her family from all illegal activities and severs any ties to the Yakuza. There must be something major coming in with the Morlocks because it seemed really random to just have Caliban show up and it be revealed that he’s sort of in love with Kitty and how Callisto is going to use that to her advantage. We do get two new bits of information – Caliban, Callisto, Masque and Sunder were the ones who created the Morlocks and we also get the first appearance of Valerie Cooper. The only thing I really liked about this issue was the start of the plot for the US Government to create a team of mutants to combat any mutant teams that might be created by other governments.

The Uncanny X-Men #177 – Sanction
The Uncanny X-Men #178 – Hell Hath No Fury …
The Uncanny X-Men #179 – What Happened To Kitty?

Okay this next story is good, but it’s kind of all over the place. First we learn that Mystique has hired Arcade so she can train in Murderworld so she’ll be prepared to kill the X-Men and if need be Rogue. Raven has some hesitation about killing Kurt and throughout this storyline Destiny goes out of her way to keep any of the Brotherhood from seriously hurting Kurt. Kitty and Piotr continue their pseudo relationship and Piotr is a little bit too jealous of Kitty’s friendship with Doug Ramsey - he’s already appeared but I just haven’t gotten to reading the issue within the time line yet. The Starjammer returns to space with its crew and Lilandra leaving Scott, Madelyne, Alex and Charles on Earth. Charles continues to be sporadically mind-probed (so I’m guessing it had nothing to do with Mastermind), and Kitty is still really upset by the recent change in Ororo – which this isn’t something I understand either. We get the first appearances of the Morlocks Jo and Leech, and we also get the first time we see Amanda fight with team. Obviously Margali is more experienced than her daughter Amanda but apparently there are spells that can cause someone’s death instantly and Amanda was never taught them. The plot switches between the Brotherhood plotline and the Morlock plotline which is alright I guess but I felt it was odd to have all the action be in the first half of the story and the final part be the slow paced one. Mystique gets into a stand off with the X-Men and makes a deal that if they let the Brotherhood go she won’t kill Xavier (she had already shot him once by this point) all while Kitty breaks into the Baxter Building to steal a device from Reed Richards that can help save Colossus’ life. Ultimately Piotr is saved by Rogue (proving her place on the team to Ororo) and the help of a Morlock healer. Kitty is a little busy now, what with being kidnapped by Callisto and having an exact double of her be found dead at the base of the Baxter Building. Now the odd thing here is that when they go to identify Kitty’s corpse Ororo says that kitty is only fourteen – now the problem with this is that Kitty joined the team when she was 13 ½ and she has had no less than two birthdays since she has joined the team. So she should be fifteen, on top of that Illyana is supposed to be 14 (she was seven when she was abducted and lived seven years in Limbo) and Kitty is supposed to be older than her – plus Piotr is eighteen (he should be older but he had to be gradually de-aged so it would lessen the ick factor of his romance with Kitty. I get that they had to change the ages around for their relationship to work, but what’s the point of rapidly aging Kitty only to suddenly make her younger just to add shock value to her ‘death?’ The next thing isn’t so much odd as it is an overuse of plot. First we get Callisto trying to marry Warren, then Mariko’s marriage to whatshisname, then her non wedding to Logan, then Madelyne and Scott’s wedding and now we get Kitty and Calliban’s almost wedding. That’s a total of 5 and it breaks down to 3 near weddings, 1 badly ended marriage and one actual wedding over the past two storylines. Am I reading a comic about superheroes that everyone hates who randomly travel to space and get possessed by various things and sporadically die multiple times only to come back to life or am I reading a soap opera? Okay the random non-death deaths and suddenly showing up identical doubles to long dead characters is kind of soap opera-y too… but I really don’t want to read a wedding issue every 3 issues.

The Uncanny X-Men Annual #7 – Scavenger Hunt

So this is everything an annual is supposed to be – a story that contains little to no connection to the actual story going on at the time yet gives subtle nods to current events without having the main books ruled by the annual. We do learn that it was Mastermind who had caused Emma’s catatonic state, but I don’t get when if everything he had done was reversed why Emma is still out of it. We also get some mentions of bad blood between Rogue (back in her Brotherhood days) and the Inner Circle. I find this odd because there have always been nods to this big feud between them; first Mastermind tormenting Mystique (and that makes Mastermind’s vendetta with Emma even more odd since she has so far been loyal to the Inner Circle) and now Shaw  talking about how much he hates Rogue. It’s odd knowing that this story never gets told. I know it’s odd that I’m focusing on those things so much but the main plot is just too random and off the wall for me. Basically the X-Men are having yet another baseball game only to be stopped by The Impossible Man (posing as Galactus) who steals the mansion and then the team hunts him running into different characters as they go along (Nick Fury, Ka-Zar, The Inner Circle, The Avengers, etc) because he is collecting things for a scavenger hunt his family is having. But hey… at least there’s no wedding in this one.

Vision and the Scarlet Witch #4 – Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself…!

I skipped out on the first three issues of this mini series simply because Wanda and Pietro are Avengers characters at this point (much like Hank is) and it isn’t really required to get into every single thing that happens to them that isn’t ‘x-book’ related. However I did choose to include the final issue of this series not only because it has Wanda, Pietro and Magneto in it, but it is the first time that the twins become aware of the fact that Magneto is their father. The fact that I didn’t have any idea what was going on with the first three issues didn’t end up taking away from the reading experience. What did detract from the story was the fact that the dialogue seemed too proper. The other thing that might have bothered me was the retcon that Magneto had used his abilities to fight the Nazis during the war, but they’ve already retconned Magneto’s past like three times already so it doesn’t bother me too much.

Daredevil #196 – Enemies

There was a four part story in Daredevil that began with this issue but I’m only covering the first part of the story. I did read the entire story and it was good but for some reason the writer decided to include Wolverine in the first issue and only the first issue – which makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever for two reasons. First Daredevil has followed a crippled Bullseye to Japan in order to keep Dark Wind (his first appearance) from restoring his body and setting him back loose into the world. Now this is odd that Logan exited the storyline before anyone even arrived in Japan. It would have made sense to keep him around, especially after all that’s recently gone down between Logan and Mariko, and it gets even more odd when we find out that Dark Wind does have connections to the Yakuza and Mariko is currently trying to get her family clan out from their connections with the Japanese Mafia. The other odd thing is that Logan states that he is tracking Bullseye because he wants to find out if the person who is going to lace his skeleton with metal is connected to whoever augmented Logan’s own body with adamantium – yet once again Logan leaves the story before Bullseye even undergoes the bonding process.

The Uncanny X-Men #174 – Romances: B
The Uncanny X-Men #175 – Phoenix: A-
The Uncanny X-Men #176 – Decisions: C
The Uncanny X-Men #177 – Sanction: A
The Uncanny X-Men #178 – Hell Hath No Fury …: B
The Uncanny X-Men #179 – What Happened To Kitty?: C
The Uncanny X-Men Annual #7 – Scavenger Hunt: F
Vision and the Scarlet Witch #4 – Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself…!: B
Daredevil #196 – Enemies: B

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