Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Firestar Review


Firestar #1 – Mark of the Mutant!
Firestar #2 – The Players and the Pawn!

This is a bit odd because this miniseries sort of takes place over the course of at least two years, given the fact that when we first see Kitty in this she has long hair it means that the first issue takes place before Kitty Pryde & Wolverine but then over the course of the first two issues the main character ages two years. Speaking of the main character – in this issue we meet Angelica Jones – Firestar. Now this miniseries isn’t technically her first appearance – it’s actually Uncanny X-Men #193 but certain events in this story lead up to those events. We also meet Angelica’s father Bartholomew and Angelica’s Nana. I actually liked the idea of introducing Angelica since she originally was created for the cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and she was so popular she was later introduced into the mainstream continuity (much like how Harley Quinn was treated in the DC universe years later.) Another high point for me is just how evil Emma is acting in this series, hurting her minions, manipulating Angelica, mindwiping random people, creating a whole series of events that would bring the New Mutants to her school just as Emma is about to push Angelica over the edge by killing her horse and then allowing Angelica to believe tht she did it.  There were a few errors – mostly Emma being colored with white hair and Tarot being shown to have black hair instead of her red/brown color that she’s been shown with so far. It’s easy for me to get over a mistake like that because as a whole the art itself I really good (there are a few weird depth perception problems I found with the first issue but they had moved past that on the second.

The Uncanny X-Men #192 – Fun ‘n’ Games
The Uncanny X-Men #193 – Warhunt 2

Kitty and Logan return from Japan to find that things have changed a bit – Ororo has lost her powers and there’s a new team member in the form of Rachel. Kitty remembers meeting Rachel when she unwillingly visited the future which sets Rachel off onto her own series of flashbacks (which are technically flash forwards) and we learn that Kitty created a plan to fight Nimrod and she had implanted a mental trigger in Rachel that would force her to go into the past so she couldn’t stop Kitty from going off on a suicide mission. Magus, Warlock’s father finally reaches Earth and attacks the X-Men in an attempt to get them to flush out his son. I like the idea behind Warlock and Magus but it’s hard to take Magus seriously with how he’s drawn. There are a few big things here – the first being that Kurt is now the leader of the X-Men. The next big event is the fact that Charles is assaulted at a school he’s lecturing in and beaten and left for dead because his students believe him to be a mutant. We learn that someone murdered the Morlock Annalee’s two children and find out that Nimrod is staying at the home of Jaime Rodriguez (the man he saved recently. There are a few major things happening here the first being Nimrod deciding to kill all mutants to protect humanity, like I said before the murder of the two Morlock children, Thunderbird (II) seeking his revenge for his brother, Thunderbird (II) and Firestar learning that the Hellions aren’t all that they thought they were but both of them decide to stay in order to set things right and finally thanks to Empath’s actions caused a riot that initiated the media coverage that now has left the X-Men branded as criminals. It is a good story and I know that they wanted to act on the anniversary of the new team of X-Men but it felt a bit rushed, the story would have been better served if there was more of a buildup.

Firestar #3 – This Lady Kills
Firestar #4 – Now Strikes the Assassin!

The Firestar limited series ends directly after the events of The Uncanny X-Men #192-193 – Angelica makes references to meeting the X-Men as well as recounts the events of those issues. We learn that the reason why Emma was so desperate to recruit Angelica into the Hellions was because she and Sebastian had decided to train her as the Inner Circle’s personal assassin – the first target Selene. First Emma sets up a meeting with Angelica and her father, which she knows won’t go well and then stages an attack at an airport after Angelica is outted as a mutant to prove that she has instinct enough to defend herself if her life is at stake. The plan originally was for Emma to take Angelica to a party at the Hellfire Club and have her kill Selene, in order to make this happen Emma had to fake an assassination attempt on her own life and then once Angelica’s bodyguard Randall found out about Emma’s plan she then staged his death to make it look like Selene did that as well. Ultimately Angelica learns the truth and turns on Emma and destroys the underground training center below the Massachusetts Academy leaving Emma and Sebastian to start over and Angelica leaves to reunite with her father. My only real complaint here was I don’t understand why Emma didn’t simply kill Randall instead of holding him hostage.

The Uncanny X-Men Annual #8 – The Adventures of Lockheed the Space Dragon and his Pet Girl Kitty

For this annual we take a break from the traditional baseball game interrupted by a major event and instead we are treated to a camp out where Illyana tells a story to the X-Men and the New Mutants that is very similar to the story Kitty once told Illyana before she had been taken to Limbo. The story Illyana tells is a skewed reimagining of how Kitty was introduced and a series of events that followed. Kitty and her parents are part of a crew for the space ship Chicago and are soon attacked by the White Queen and her crew. The White Queen ends up killing Kitty’s parents as well as the entire crew of the Chicago in an attempt to force Kitty to work for her. Kurt and Logan arrive and are led by Lockheed and after temporarily defeating the White Queen they decide to take Kitty in. Eventually Kitty meets Peter, Charles and Lilandra at Charles’ birthday. She quickly falls for Peter and that upsets Lockheed so he storms off. The White Queen attacks the party and kidnaps Logan and another dragon. Kitty meets Ororo in a bar and convinces her to pilot their ship to track down the White Queen and get revenge on her (she believes Lockheed is dead) – but it turns out that Lockheed has actually been teleported to his homeworld because he is the last male dragon left and the females of his planet need him to help repopulate their race. Ultimately they defeat the White Queen but it costs Lockheed his life but Kitty is able to resurrect him through the power of her love for him. It’s a fun story that I really liked and I’m glad that it was used because hopefully now we can move past the whole Kitty/Piotr thing and it shows Ororo exactly how broody she’s been.

Firestar #1 – Mark of the Mutant!: B
Firestar #2 – The Players and the Pawn!: A
The Uncanny X-Men #192 – Fun ‘n’ Games: B
The Uncanny X-Men #193 – Warhunt 2: B
Firestar #3 – This Lady Kills: A
Firestar #4 – Now Strikes the Assassin!: A
The Uncanny X-Men Annual #8 – The Adventures of Lockheed the Space Dragon and his Pet Girl Kitty: A

1 comment:

  1. As in X-Men #189, I thought the art in X-Men Annual #8 was really, really dreadful. The story was OK, though sort of a rehash (I think Claremont had started to run out of good ideas by now) but I can't give this issue more than a D. As far as X-Men #192, Id give that a C+. Decent story but I really don't like Romita jr's art (though better when he'd inked by Dan Green than by Steve Leiahola!). #193 I can only give a C-. I'm really starting to get sick of the Morlocks by now. They say they don't want anything to do with the surface world and surface wolders, and they they keep kidnapping surface worlers and trying to make them live with them!