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August 29, 2014

All-New Uncanny X-Piles #181

Welcome back ComicAttackers and X-fans to this week’s edition of the All-New Uncanny X-Piles where a handful of our merriest mutant loving reviewers have dropped by once again to regale you with their thoughts on that one X-Title that has impacted them the most, be it good or bad, from last week’s releases. So keep reading, true believers, to discover what The Comic Book Clergyman, Infinite Speech and SpidermanGeek have to say about your favorite Marvel mutants’ adventures of the week and don’t forget to leave a comment to tell us what YOU think!

 

Cover_Deadpool_vs_X-Force_003Deadpool vs. X-Force #3
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Pepe Larraz

Okay. This review is coming at you purely out of gratuitous and mindless enjoyment of this book. Is Deadpool vs. X-Force a necessary series? Absolutely not! Is it fun as hell? Abso-friggin-lutely!

The basic lowdown is that Deadpool has been hired to go back in time and muck up history. Suddenly, he runs into the time-jumping X-Force. Naturally, they clash. Hilarity and gobs of action ensue.

Swierczynski had a pretty decent run on the second volume of Cable, so it’s no surprise that he seems very much at home scribing Nathan in this story. What is surprising, however, is how well he has channeled the 90’s to give us a great representation of that era’s Deadpool. It’s actually more of a blend of the zany Deadpool we know today and the deadly Merc with a Mouth from the good old days of polybagged comics with bonus collectible trading cards.

The other aspect of this book that had me enjoy the hell out of every explosive moment (No, really…it’s like watching a Michael Bay movie) is due to Pepe Larraz’s art. It’s dynamic, in your face and totally gorgeous. I’m in love with every panel of this. Let’s not dismiss Nolan Woodard’s colors though as there’s no way this book would look this good without him. The palette is so reminiscent of the 90’s, I felt a need to go wash my face with Proactiv and learn how to shave.

The bottom line is that this mini-series has little to no substance of any consequence to 616 continuity, but it is so much fun for anyone who remembers a time when comic book artists were acid-washed denim wearing rock stars. Although it almost feels like Deadpool vs. X-Force is an answer to the question of “What would comic books from the 90’s look like if they were actually any good?” –SMG

Rating: An all flash, no substance 8/10

Cover_Storm_002Storm #2
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Victor Ibanez

Don’t be fooled by the cover on this one. What happens here is much deeper than a battle between two old enemies as Pak takes us further into who Storm is as opposed to flashy super powered fights. This is expertly pulled off as Storm is leaving a dinner with Wolverine and she comes across a Missing Persons ad that pulls on her conscience. After a bit of an internal struggle she takes the initiative to find this child which leads her to some familiar foes and a surprise result.

Pak drives this issue with some very strong character moments that expand on a side of Storm we usually only get a glimpse of. Actually it’s several sides, as he magnifies what is likeable about the character as well as showing her flaws. It’s the combination of all of this that makes it a step in the right direction with this character. And just as Pak did great with his introduction to Storm in the first issue he repeats that to familiarize any new reader with the relationship between Callisto and Storm. He gives you just what you need to move this story and not a history lesson about their past. There is also some very good dialogue throughout the issue especially when it comes to Storm and Beast who seems to be her tie to the school while she’s doing her own thing for a while.

As rich as the story is, Ibanez makes sure you get the same with his artwork as well. He gives a level of expression with the characters that really fits and carries the narrative even further. One thing he also does is makes sure that his Beast is consistent and actually looks good.

This issue is once again a safe jumping on point even if you missed the first one because it’s a self contained story. So do yourself a favor and  see what Pak and Ibanez are bringing to the Goddess!

Rating: 7.5/10

Cover_Magneto_008Magneto #8
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Javier Fernandez

It has taken a while for this book to find its stride, but I think Cullen Bunn and Javier Fernandez are now in sync. The beginning of this series had Magneto on a revenge journey, taking out mutant-haters with the utmost violence. This worked for a while, but after a few issues, started to get a bit old. Paired with Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s art, which lacks the visceral nature that Bunn’s scripts demanded, the book started to falter.

Enter Javier Fernandez. His work is both dynamic and visceral. It’s got fluidity to it, while maintaining a sketchier line and harder angles than Walta’s. Finishing the look with Dan Brown’s colors gives a cold, unfeeling tone to the book which is perfect for Magneto and his state of mind. My only complaint art-wise is that Magneto’s helmet seems to be drawn with high arches above the eyes, which doesn’t work as well as the more mysterious helmet he wears elsewhere.

In addition to the art, Bunn has a good trajectory for Magneto moving forward. He is struggling with his broken powers (which I still don’t understand how they got broken) and is in need of a power boost. After surviving a gladiatorial death ring last issue, Magneto finds out who is making and supplying Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH) to humans. He takes these guys out, but decides to rescue the chemist behind the MGH to make some for Magneto himself.

The book has multiple flashbacks to times when Magneto was more powerful. Fernandez does a good job of reimagining these shots without duplicating the panels from those original issues.

Bunn is slowly building Magneto back up to his villainous heights. It’s about time to bring him back to that status quo. Perhaps the upcoming AXIS storyline will return Magneto to these levels. -JJ

Rating: 7.5/10

 

What did you think about this week’s X-books? Let us know below! You can check out more X-Piles right here!

infinitespeech@comicattack.net@InfiniteSpeech
jeff@comicattack.net@FrJeffJackson
spidermangeek@comicattack.net@SpidermanGeek

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