Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Kitty Pryde and Wolverine Review

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine!

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1 – Lies
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2 – Terror

Kitty is still struggling with her recent breakup from her non-relationship with Piotr and has temporarily left the X-Men to spend some time visiting with her parents. I’m not really a fan of the plot device because it’s a little overdone. I do like that she went to visit her father but I’m not exactly glad that they used him. The main plot of the first two issues revolve around Kitty first visiting her father and then finding out that he’s in business with a Japanese crime lord – see that’s a bit odd because it doesn’t seem like something Kitty’s dad would do. Not that we know much about him but it seems odd that Kitty would have been portrayed the way she had been over the previous years and have had her father suddenly be revealed as someone who is willing to bend the rules. Kitty ends up being taken by Ogun as payment for services rendered and he end s up hacking off her hair and after some ceremony she ends up becoming a ninja. Despite the overused ‘my heart is broken let me run home and do soul-searching’ plot the story has been pretty good so far, the art is a little odd – I’m not sure I like the artist’s work but I didn’t really focus on it. There were a few things that I had found odd, first of all Kitty’s haircut I get it, but it is odd that she was sporting short hair when she left the X-Men (I know, I know ‘wig’ but that’s not something Kitty would have done anyway) and I’m not entirely sure why Charles couldn’t have sensed when Kitty got sick, or the fear she felt, or why none of the X-Men noticed when Kitty was caught on camera phasing into an ATM to steal money. You’d think that at least one of those things would have set Charles off and they wouldn’t have had to have resulted to Logan being brought into the plot because of Kitty phoning the mansion.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #3 – Death
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4 – Rebirth

Logan arrives in Japan to help Kitty out and runs into Yukio who agrees to help Logan out and find out what happened to Kitty. I like Yukio but I don’t really get the point of her in this story other than to prove that Logan isn’t as cold-hearted and willing to kill as he used to be – and she is one of Logan’s few allies in Japan so it does make sense that she would show up in the story. Ogun sends Kitty out to kill Logan (his former student) but the two reach a stalemate. I do like the fact that this possession has made Kitty into a fighter because in the long run it will make her less of a target in battles. I was surprised that Yukio let Shumai live, she doesn’t seem like the type to let others think she has mercy. It was interesting to see how Yukio treated Kitty’s father; maybe she has some daddy/betrayal issues of her own? I didn’t really like the time jump between the two issues – it was too big of a gap, first Kitty runs Logan through with her sword and then suddenly Yukio, Carmen, Logan and Kitty are all in Yukio’s car. The big reveal here is James Hudson’s death but it wasn’t really needed for the progression of the story. Logan’s connection to Ogun is something that anyone could see coming a mile away so there’s no real surprise there.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #5 – Courage
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #6 – Honor

Logan struggles to break Ogun’s hold on Kitty by giving her an abridged version of the training he endured only this time leaving the decision to continue or stop all on Kitty instead of having it forced upon her by Ogun. Kitty ends up fully shedding her past and takes a new codename ‘Shadowcat’ because she doesn’t feel like she will ever be the person she used to be. Carmen decides to make things right and goes and spills all of Shingematsu’s secrets to shut him down which might result in Carmen facing major jail time (but we’ll never know because we really don’t see him again for quite some time.) Mariko and Akiko make appearances when Ogun goes after them to flush Logan and Kitty out. I’m a little confused as to how much time has passed because when we saw Akiko the last time she was barely older than a toddler and now she’s old enough to be in school. I did like the sudden switch from Logan trying to save Kitty from becoming like Ogun to Kitty trying to convince Logan that him killing his former teacher that he actually saved himself and Kitty. I would much rather have seen Yukio be involved in the battle between Kitty, Logan and Ogun – it would have better showcased the differences in the paths of all involved – at the very least they should have included a shot of her looking in at Logan, Mariko, Carmen, Akiko and Kitty all eating ice cream.

Marvel Team-Up #149 – The Incandescent Man

This is an odd little team up here Spider-Man and Cannonball but after the heaviness of what happened to Kitty and the whole Demon Bear/Adversary Dire Wraiths thing recently a light hearted little romp is just what I needed. It was a bit random to see Sam in the city going hat shopping though, and how did he have any money for it – I’ve always wondered how the people associated with the X-Men had money if they didn’t have real jobs plus if they started off as kids (like Illyana, she was a kid, aged rapidly and came from a poor family, Kitty’s family is going through financial trouble, and so is Sam’s so how do they afford stuff? Does Charles just give them money?) At least you get to see some of the struggle with Dazzler and also Spider-Man but he’s not a mutant. The Incandescent Man and his sister don’t really fit in with Sam and Peter since they are part of Project Pegasus – it would have made more sense to have Peter re-team up with Dazzler since they’ve worked together more than once (Sam and Peter only teamed up once so far) and she has had quite a few dealings with Project Pegasus in the past. It was a fun little issue and I liked it but I’m not fully partial because Sam is one of my favorite characters and Spider-Man is starting to grow on me with his interactions with the X-Men.

Marvel Team-Up #150 – ‘Tis Better To Give!

It’s Black Tom Cassidy’s birthday and Juggernaut wants to give him a present so he ends up taking the mystical gem that gave him his powers and giving it to Tom in the hopes that it will also give his friend the power of Juggernaut. Things don’t go exactly as planned though and it ends up dividing the power evenly between Cain and Tom. Peter Parker is still trying to earn money for Aunt May’s hat (Sam gave him the idea last issue) so he takes pictures of the two of them fighting and ends up getting involved himself and eventually teams up with Rogue, Rachel, Colossus and Nightcrawler to take down their shared foes. Rachel struggles with her actions because in her timeline Tom and Cain were allies so she wants to give them a chance to do the right thing but ends up realizing that in this reality they are evil. Rogue doesn’t do too well once she absorbs Cain and Tom’s powers – it leaves her very confused because basically she just absorbed the same abilities twice in a row. Overall the issue was good, there wasn’t anything bad about it – but there wasn’t anything spectacular either.

The New Mutants Annual #1 – The Cosmic Cannonball Caper

I almost feel like this doesn’t belong being lumped in with this current storyline because of the fact that it introduces Lila Cheney who is a mutant rock star (unlike Dazzler who is also a mutant singer Lila can teleport on an intergalactic level whereas Alison has the ability to convert sound into light) it feels like it should be lumped in with a storyline a few more issues down the line but I needed to round things out here. The main plot revolves around the New Mutants (Rahne, Sam, Roberto, Dani, Illyana, Doug and Warlock) enjoying a night out on the town at Lila Cheney’s farewell concert. Sam struggles with finding his place on the team and his inability to control his powers, Dani is continuing to go through her physical rehab with Stevie and struggles with the fact that she just can’t hold her own when it comes to the physical aspect of the team, Doug is of course trying to deal with the fact that his ability to understand almost every form of language and communication is pretty useless in the middle of a physical confrontation with a group of aliens who are trying to steal the Earth. Some of these things play into recurring themes in the main book which work well, and there’s this idea of Sam slowly coming out of his shell which is nice – I like the character but I’m kind of over the younger version of Sam’s ‘Beverly Hillbilly-ness.’ I haven’t read too many stories featuring Lila (aside from her run in the A.O.A. line) so it was nice to see her first appearance here I do wonder what she meant by Earth selling her out already so it justifies the fact that she’s willing to sell Earth. Did she mean the world turned against her because she’s a mutant? I doubt that because of her being so popular in the public eye – so now I really want to know what she meant by that.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1 – Lies: B
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2 – Terror: B
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #3 – Death: A
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4 – Rebirth: A
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #5 – Courage: A
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #6 – Honor: A
Marvel Team-Up #149 – The Incandescent Man: A
Marvel Team-Up #150 – ‘Tis Better To Give!: B
The New Mutants Annual #1 – The Cosmic Cannonball Caper: A

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