Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Part 2 Review

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars!

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 – Berserker!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 – Invasion!

The next part of this story was actually the most entertaining so far. First Lizard goes crazy when he thinks the Wasp died, then Volcana goes crazy when she learns that Wolverine nearly gutted Molecule Man, then She-Hulk goes crazy when the Wrecking Crew throw Wasp’s corpse into the heroes camp. If that weren’t enough Titania really doesn’t take it well when Spider-Man gives her the smack down, Volcana makes a deal with Enchantress and Doom nearly gets himself killed when Galactus finally notices that he is on his homeworld. I don’t really understand the point of introducing the new Spider-Woman if they’re not going to use her, especially after She-Hulk goes to Doom’s base to avenge Wasp’s death only to nearly get killed herself. If the team is loosing powerhouses left and right, you’d want someone strong on your side, especially if they’re practically begging you to join them. I also didn’t really understand why Captain America was so willing to accept Magneto and the X-Men back into the fold just because Charles said he’d promise to help. I also have a hard time buying Volcana and Molecule Man’s feelings for each other – it’s too sudden. Of course the major things here are the heroes capturing most of the villains, Spider-Man gaining his black costume (considering how major of a thing that ends up being in the Spider-Man books it’s odd that they would have introduced it in this miniseries,) Wasp coming back to life and Galactus begins to devour the planet they’re all trapped on.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 – Assault on Galactus!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 – Death to the Beyonder!

The next two parts of this series are possibly the most interesting because of the types of questions they raise – but I’ll get to that in a second. The big thing here is obviously the fact that the Wasp isn’t dead but that’s one of those things that you knew was coming so it isn’t really that big of a deal. I was a little surprised by Doom dissecting Klaw in order to create a device that would allow all of the energy Galactus absorbed from destroying his own homeworld and channel it into Doom rather than the world devourer himself. It does raise an interesting question though, if creating that device was all it took to take the giant out and Klaw doesn’t die from the process why hasn’t anyone used it since to take down Galactus? Of course if it was common knowledge it would have taken away from the dramatic effect when Reed Richards and the rest of the superheroes were trying to decide if it would be best to let Galactus destroy this planet and kill all the heroes was the best thing to do. I understand the logic, if Galactus wins he’ll get his wish and the Beyonder will take away his hunger, if the Beyonder doesn’t make good on his deal than Galactus will attack the Beyonder and get killed as a result of that. I like the idea of how Doom went about fighting the Beyonder, but it felt like a little more of it should have been shownwe get some stuff, and then at the end of this issue Doom shows up and is pretty much all ‘hey, the Beyonder is dead.’

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 – …And Dust To Dust!
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 – …Nothing to Fear

Now the finale here is where I kind of lost interest in the story. I would have much preferred that the story ended with issue 10, but obviously they couldn’t just leave everything with the entire cast trapped on Battleworld and Doom with the power of the Beyonder but for the most part this felt like filler. Now we do need to know how the villains got off of the world, but did we really need to see scenes with the Enchantress locking herself in the bathroom and conjuring up an Elemental? Did Enchantress even serve a real point aside from lounging around saying she wasn’t going to do anything, trying to kiss Thor and that funny scene where she was drunk? Did we need scenes of Spider-Man eating? Or everyone trying to sleep? Did we need at least two pages worth of dialogue from Doom where he was telling Klaw that he can’t ever let him fall asleep? On the other hand the issues do tie into major changes in the Marvel Universe – we get the return of Klaw, new villains in Titania and Volcana, a new hero with Spider-Woman. The Thing decides to stay on Battleworld for a while which moves She-Hulk from The Avengers to the Fantastic Four and of course we get Spider-Man in his black costume – which will lead to the introduction of Venom. There’s the friction between Charles and Ororo, we get a new costume for Rogue (which she debuts in the next issue of Uncanny X-Men) and Piotr falling in love with the alien healer Zasji – before she ultimately dies – leaves him in love and later in mourning long enough to keep him and Kitty from hooking up until she’s over eighteen. Oh and there’s that dragon that teleports back to Earth with the X-Men. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the ending of this story, and it was surprisingly well done considering the series was created specifically to promote a line of action figures but I feel like issue eleven and twelve could have been condensed to one double sized issue instead of there being the regular sized 11 and then a double sized 12 – but at the same time it would have been odd for it to end with number 11, and of course it wouldn’t have been a year long event.

The Uncanny X-Men #181 – Tokyo Story
The Uncanny X-Men #182 – Madness

Well the X-Men are now back on Earth, only instead of returning to New York they end up in Tokyo along with Lockheed’s dragon ‘friend.’ I do find it a little odd that the X-Men claim to have a relationship with the now much larger dragon. In the Secret Wars series Lockheed takes off pretty early on and doesn’t show up until just before the X-Men return to Earth with the dragon in tow. It appears that while the heroes have been gone for a very long time, on Earth only a week has passed. Scott returned with the X-Men but he ended up back at home where Madelyne was waiting for him so it leaves me to wonder did She-Hulk return to where the Avengers vanished from instead of reappearing with the Fantastic Four? And did Spider-Woman go back home, or did she return to the location the Avengers vanished from? Rogue ends up flying home to check on Kitty (I’ll talk about that in a second) while the remaining X-Men try to stop the giant dragon from destroying Tokyo. It was kind of a filler plot and after reading a year long event I’m actually alright with an issue that doesn’t give us a lot of revelations. The major thing is the passing of Senator Kelly’s Mutant Affairs Control Act bill. The other half of the story (which is actually the next issue since it takes place at the same time) is Rogue’s return to the mansion. She begins checking over phone messages, first from a scared Madelyne, and next she receives one from Colonel Rossi who tells Charles that their suspicions were right and then there’s the sound of him being abducted. Rogue ends up taking off to save him before she hears the phone message from Illyana. I do have a little problem with this because Illyana leaves a note saying that Kitty went with Doug to the Massachusetts Academy to check things out – it kind of implies that Charles knew nothing of Kitty going. It’s a problem because not only was it mentioned that all of the X-Men knew this in the last issue, but it was shown both in the New Mutants and Uncanny X-Men issues before the whole Secret Wars saga that Kitty and Charles came up with the plan. To make matters worse both books are written by the same person so you can’t even base it on lack of communication between the writers of the two books. I like the idea of Rogue struggling with what she had done to Carol and how her mind is now massively fractured but I would have liked more of a build up. Rogue suddenly appears on the mansion’s door step claiming that she’s having trouble dealing with the extra mind in her head, but beyond that issue it isn’t touched on again – and when Rogue was hanging out in the Dazzler book before she left the Brotherhood her fractured mind wasn’t an issue. So it was like they dropped the plot and then suddenly remembered that they needed to do something with it. There’s a little bit of an overlap with the scenes where Emma uses astral projection to appear to Sebastian to tell him she has the New Mutants, but if you think about it, and read this in publication order it wouldn’t have been an overlap. I like the idea of The Inner Circle spying on S.H.I.E.L.D. but I’m going to reserve any judgment on it until I know why they’re spying. Oh, I almost forgot – we got the first appearance of Amiko Kobayashi – Logan’s foster daughter.

The Uncanny X-Men #183 – He’ll Never Make Me Cry

When I read this I wasn’t sure what to think about it – I didn’t really care about the main plot at all, but the little sub-plots helped to carry things on a bit. I have decided that when Chris Claremont isn’t writing epic end of the world battles he must be convinced he’s writing a soap opera. The largest chunk of this story revolves around the break up of Piotr and Kitty from a relationship they weren’t even really in to begin with. Kitty needs time on her own so she leaves to spend time with her father, and then Logan and Kurt take Piotr out to teach him what it means to be a member of the team. The side plots are what I really enjoyed here, Rogue still dealing with the fall out of her encounter with Michael Rossi, Valerie Cooper traveling with Raven Darkholme to meet someone named Forge; and it’s revealed that Selene is still alive and now she’s in New York to begin her plan to rule the world. We do get some new info on her, she claims that she is over 2,000 years old, and implies that she was imprisoned (I’m assuming in Nova Roma) and now she is finally free. We also get to see a new way of how she ‘feeds’ which is much more visually disturbing than simply throwing her sacrifices into a volcano. Now there were a lot of mistakes here and that doesn’t help with the overtly soap-y plot. In the issue it states that Kitty has spent almost 2 years at Charles’ school, so she joined when she was 13 ½, so that makes her almost 16 now, yet later on in the issue they specifically state that she is only 14. Now Piotr who started off as over 21 (because the new X-Men were older than the original team) was then de-aged to 18 to take away some of the creepy factor of Piotr/Kitty has now been aged to 19. Make up your mind on their ages already!! Sheesh. The drinking thing isn’t a mistake because it turns out that when this story was written the drinking age was 18 in New York. What happened to Amiko? There’s absolutely no mention of her whatsoever. Also what’s up with Kitty’s hair? It’s suddenly short, yet for an upcoming storyline Kitty’s hair getting cut is a plot point, so to explain this away they claim that Kitty is wearing a wig in Uncanny X-Men 183…umm okay, except Kitty hasn’t ever done anything like that ever before so it seems odd that she would do it suddenly and that no one would mention either the wig or her hacking off her hair assuming that she’s doing it because Piotr broke her heart.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 – Berserker!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 – Invasion!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 – Assault on Galactus!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 – Death to the Beyonder!: A
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 – …And Dust To Dust!: B
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 – …Nothing to Fear: B
The Uncanny X-Men #181 – Tokyo Story: B
The Uncanny X-Men #182 – Madness: A
The Uncanny X-Men #183 – He’ll Never Make Me Cry: C

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I liked X-Men #183 a lot. This is Wolverine, doing his thing, dispensing wisdom tough guy style. Actually, though, I hated the Peter falling in love with girl from Secret Wars World subplot, and I also hated that he broke up with Kitty because of her, especially since she was dead! Do Peter expect to never date anyone again because he fell in love (or so he thinks) with some dead chick thousand of light years away? Stupid. However, annoying as Colossus was in this issue, I give it a B because of Wolverine.