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June 4, 2013

The Uncanny X-Piles 142

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Written by: Jeff
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uncannyWelcome to the 142nd 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 X-Men: 35 (31)

3. Cable & X-Force: 30 (29)

4. Wolverine and the X-Men: 30 (23)

5. Astonishing X-Men: 30 (10)

6. Savage Wolverine: 29 (28)

7. Uncanny Avengers: 28 (32)

8. Gambit: 25 (25)

9. X-Men: 21 (23)

10. Uncanny X-Force: 19 (26)

11. Wolverine : 19 (17)

12. X-Factor: 18 (23)
______________________________________________________

uncanny avengersUncanny Avengers #8AU
Writers:  Rick Remender and Gerry Duggan
Artist: Adam KubertThe only reason to pick this issue up as opposed to all of the other Age of Ultron tie-ins is that Uncanny Avengers #8AU has nothing to do with the Age of Ultron.  It really is much more relevant to the Kang the Conqueror/Apocalypse Twins storyline that is currently running in Uncanny Avengers.  The only real reference to Age of Ultron here is the passing mention that Wolverine went back in time to kill Hank Pym before he could create Ultron & Vision.

Rick Remender and Gerry Duggan focus all of the story’s attention on the Apocalypse Twins and Kang’s molding of them. We all know that Kang is a time traveler, so it makes perfect sense that he would use the timeline as a training ground for his reluctant wards. The when and where is irrelevant. Kang just needed a timeline where mutants and humans lived in segregation to each other (for the most part). The twins’ task is to kill Colonel America (the Age of Ultron version of Captain America) since Steve Rogers is the one human, according to Kang, that opposes and helps defeat the twins in every possible reality.

The writing is very compelling.  You really don’t have to have followed any of the Age of Ultron story to get drawn into this book. We get to learn a lot about the core of the twins’ character and personality. Uriel is the more compassionate of the duo while Eimin is less hesitant in killing; all while showing unbending loyalty toward her brother. You can bet that those traits will play into what’s to come in later issues of Uncanny Avengers. I especially enjoyed Steve Rogers’ assessment of his foes. I’m not sure which of the two writers scripted most of Steve’s interior monologue, but it was truly well done and very fitting to the character.

Adam Kubert’s artwork is as good as ever. I’ve always enjoyed the way he draws faces and everybody just looks great in this issue; Havok, Rogue, Colonel America and especially Kang. The scene in the sewers where Colonel America comes out of the water is especially chilling. The cover by Cheung, Morales and Ponsor shows some great detail and relevant to the story inside. That’s my kind of cover! –SG

Cover: 8/10 Writing: 7/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 5/10 TOTAL: 28/40

uncannyUncanny X-Men #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Frazer Irving
These days, it’s hard to come up with an artistic look for an X-Men book that hasn’t already been done before. Most artists today are derivatives of Jim Lee, John Byrne, or Chris Bachalo. In all my years of reading X-Men books, I don’t believe I’ve seen an artist’s work like Frazer Irving’s.
I first saw Irving’s work on DC’s Xombi, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s realistic and painterly, but with distinct color hues that convey a tremendous amount of emotion. Almost every panel feels like it’s covered with a colored lens, which is highly effective. The faces he draws are well-rendered and easy to view. His panel layout uses double-page spreads and grid-patterns really well. This is simply a gorgeous book.
What more can we say about Bendis? In this issue, he does more of that which he excels. He introduces yet another new character, who can talk to cars (or maybe all machines). The first four pages are devoted to this, and I didn’t even mind! Meanwhile the team and their new students get sucked into Limbo and are dealing with that. Bendis kills it on the dialogue, balancing the severity of the situation with hilarious banter. There’s a great scene where the Cuckoos have to mess with the new students’ minds to make them courageous…a great use of their power. My only question about these scene was that I didn’t realize the Cuckoos could turn diamond. Is this the first time? Since they are clones of Emma, it makes sense, but I wasn’t sure if it had happened before.
The last piece of this issue deals with Maria Hill realizing that she needs a mutant specialist to serve on SHIELD to help her handle the X-Men. Fresh from the X-Termination debacle, she finds Dazzler, who is drawn better than I’ve ever seen her. I never thought that Dazzler’s powers would cause her to glow, but it makes sense. Another win for Irving.
This book just makes me happy in every possible way. Thank you Bendis and Irving! –JJ
Cover: 8/10 Writing: 9/10 Art: 9/10 Relevance: 9/10 TOTAL: 35/40
Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: The AU tie-ins are just sad, so it makes it easy to pick Uncanny X-Men #6.
SpidermanGeek: Uncanny Avengers #8AU was far more interesting than yet another romp in Limbo with Doucheclops and the Gang.

Jeff Jackson
jeff@comicattack.net
@FrJeffJackson

SpidermanGeek
spidermangeek@comicattack.net
@SpidermanGeek

 

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