Featured Columns

May 21, 2013

The Uncanny X-Piles 140

More articles by »
Written by: Jeff
Tags: , , ,

wolverineWelcome to the 140th edition of the Uncanny X-Piles, where we give you our thoughts on the week’s worth of X-Men books!

The X-Piles
Numbers next to each title are the cumulative ranking of the latest issue out of a total of 40. Numbers in parentheses indicate the previous issue’s rating. Blue indicates a raise in the chart from last issue; red indicates a drop; green indicates the book stayed put.

1. All-New X-Men: 37 (36)

2. Uncanny Avengers: 32 (27)

3. Uncanny X-Men: 31 (29)

4. Astonishing X-Men: 30 (10)

5. Cable & X-Force: 29 (35)

6. Savage Wolverine: 29 (28)

7. Gambit: 25 (25)

8. X-Factor: 23 (29)

9. Wolverine and the X-Men: 23 (25)

10. X-Men: 21 (23)

11. Uncanny X-Force: 19 (26)

12. Wolverine : 19 (17)

______________________________________________________

astonishing x-men Astonishing X-Men #62
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Cover: Phil Noto

After the “X-Termination” debacle, Liu needed to get this book back on track, and fast! I’m so happy to report that she does.

Many of us here at ComicAttack.net are Iceman fans, and we haven’t had a good Iceman story in a long time. So seeing Liu focus on Bobby is a welcome treat. But is there a way to write a good Iceman story these days without messing with his powers, brainwashing him, or turning him evil? Liu’s strengths have always been the more relational, quieter stories, so she taps into this strength by putting Iceman in the middle of a conundrum with his ex-girlfriends.

After seeing the Age of Apocalypse get sacrificed to those time-displaced monsters last issue, Bobby is having a little PTSD. Or is it PTSD? Something has got Bobby off his game, and it’s also summoning all his past girlfriends including Mystique, Polaris, Opal Tanaka, and Annie (the nurse from Chuck Austen’s run, in case you forgot). Oh, did I forget to mention that he’s dating Kitty Pryde currently? So this puts some tension on that relationship as we start guessing what’s going on with Bobby that made him subconsciously summon his former flames.

My guess is that the AoA Iceman, who was “killed” by AoA Nightcrawler in Uncanny X-Force, is not really dead, but is making life hell for Bobby. If so, this will be a fun story and I hope will finally get rid of him. However, there is a short scene with Thor that suggests that the villains behind this are Frost Giants. The fact that this story kept me guessing is another plus.

This book under Liu will do well if it focuses on the more soap-opera-esque elements of the X-Men. If she aims for the character development like she does here, then I see this book continuing. This book is not without action, though as Mystique and Gambit have a little throw-down. It was just enough to keep the pace of the issue interesting.

Walta is a perfect fit for this book and for Liu. The tone presented in the art is almost like a TV show, rather than the bombastic, big-action art that we typically get. Walta is great with facial expressions and allows the characters to act well. Cris Peter is a great colorist for this book. Perhaps even if art duties change, if Peter can stay on as colorist to keep this color palate, then that would be excellent. And Phil Noto’s covers are nice to look at too.

This is a great new arc to jump back on if you’ve been off the Astonishing train for a while. –JJ

Cover: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 7/10 TOTAL: 30/40 

uncanny avengersUncanny Avengers #8
Writer:
Rick Remender
Artist:
Daniel Acuna

How does it feel to know that you’ve been the instrument of your own destruction, caused the death of a Celestial, and in a way responsible for millions of mutant deaths? Well, no one would know better than Thor as the Apocalypse Twins reveal the ramifications of his actions all those years ago. They also hint at what Wolverine and his X-Force team were up to that he’s kept hidden from his fellow Avengers.

Remender has been on fire since this arc has begun and my opinion of what this title can be has been shifted as well. Never would I have thought that a Sunfire and Thor team up would work but Remender pulls it off and it makes for a great story. The story itself is quite layered but he’s paced it out well enough that the little bits that we do get to see only make you want to know more. From the discussion between Wolverine and Rogue to the hint of a double cross that Cap may play a part in there is nothing but solid writing in this issue!

All of it is wrapped up with some fine artwork from Acuna. His sequences with Thor and Sunfire saving Rio De Janeiro are some of the strongest moments. He brings out the mood of the story and moves it quite well from panel to panel.

The children of Archangel and Pestilence intend to plant seeds of doubt and mistrust and Remender works it all into the story like a slow acting poison. This is the fun I wanted to have when this title started and I’m glad it’s finally here now! -IS

Cover: 7/10 Writing: 9/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 8/10 TOTAL: 32/40

uncanny x-force

Uncanny X-Force #4
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Ron Garney

Storm, Psylocke and Puck go to L.A. to investigate occurrences of mind control where they run into a new mutant girl called Ginny. The girl has an unlikely caretaker in the form of Mojoverse interloper, Spiral. And a possessed Bishop shows up to claim Ginny.

It’s not quite clear what Sam Humphries is trying to accomplish with this story. There is so much going on and this adventure seems like an awkward fit for a team carrying the modern X-Force moniker. There are really only two things that would potentially see me coming back to this book. One, Ron Garney’s art. Two, Puck. (Hey, I’m Canadian. I have a soft spot for the little guy.) Humphries does try to establish Spiral as a sympathetic character in this story though, which should help readers support her inevitable inclusion on this X-Force team. I won’t even touch the Fantomex sub-plot as there isn’t much progression of it in this issue and I’m still unsure what the hell is going on in that regard.

Ron Garney’s art is fan-freakin’-tastic! I don’t think it’s ever looked this polished. Kudos to the inking and coloring folks as they managed to take Garney’s pencils to this level. It’s all very clean and vibrant and will keep your eyes on each page that much longer to savor it all. Kris Anka’s cover is also pretty kick-ass, although it doesn’t have all that much to do with what you’ll find on the inside.

Bottom line is that this story seems awfully convoluted and heavy for this being only the fourth issue in the series. The core team of characters should have been pretty close to fully established by this time and it feels like we’re still a little while away from that happening. Will readers stay interested long enough to get to that point?

This one won’t.-SG

Cover: 6/10 Writing: 4/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 1/10 TOTAL: 19/40

wolverineWolverine #3
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Alan Davis

Last issue, SpidermanGeek didn’t give this book very high marks. While I didn’t hate it like he did, he had some fair criticisms, and this issue confirms them.

The main problem with this story is we don’t know what the heck is going on. Wolverine is chasing this weird alien gun that possesses people? And now Nick Fury, Jr. is on the case with him? I got to the end of this issue and still couldn’t tell you what was going on here. The end of the issue ended with some scientists cutting themselves and bleeding into a big machine. I have no idea why. If we had a sense of where this was going, I think it would help.

The issue isn’t all bad. Logan introduces Fury to another group of folks he’s tied to, which seems strange that after all these years, we’ve never seen these people before. But they are basically a team of researchers who are going to help them (and us) figure out what’s going on. There is a super-hero cataloguer, a comic book writer, the head of Damage Control, and even a granddaughter of Frankenstein (excuse me, “Fronken-schteen”) on the team. It’s an odd grouping but for some reason, I think they’re fun. Despite this, the story really is strange.

Alan Davis’ art is still fun to look at. It’s consistent, dynamic, and clean. No worries there. That alone  makes the book worth checking out if you’re a fan of Davis’ art.

This story needs to settle somehow or I’m afraid it won’t be worth my time, no matter how much I love Davis’ work. –JJ

Cover: 7/10 Writing: 3/10 Art: 7/10 Relevance: 2/10 TOTAL: 19/40

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: I think my surprise pick this week was Astonishing X-Men #62! Way to get it back on course, Marjorie!
Infinite Speech: I can’t believe these two yahoo partners of mine picked that horrible book when Uncanny Avengers #8 was MUCH BETTER!
SpidermanGeekAstonishing X-Men #62 had some moments of intrigue that will have me checking out next issue.

Jeff Jackson
jeff@comicattack.net
@FrJeffJackson

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net
@Infinite Speech

SpidermanGeek
spidermangeek@comicattack.net
@SpidermanGeek

Share/Save





2 Comments



  1. I just didn’t see the appeal for Astonishing X-Men. It did have some really good moments but overall it just wasn’t for me I guess. Plus I really didn’t enjoy the artwork which I think detracted a bit from the story itself.



  2. Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from about the art, Speech, but for some reason, it really appeals to me. I like that the tone of the art is less super-heroey and more relational. Walta’s panels work better when the cast is sitting around the table talking than when Gambit and Mystique are fighting. I think if Liu can keep it to the conversational, dramatic stuff, it will make book better.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *