It’s time for another edition of X-Piles! This week saw some highs and lows in terms of X-books. Read on, if you dare, to see what SpidermanGeek & the Comic Book Clergyman thought!
All-New X-Men #31
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
If you’re going to read this issue, you need to be really up on Bendis books. If you are, then you will love this issue. If you haven’t read Spider-Men or any Miles Morales stuff, then you might be a bit confused.
This issue starts in the Ultimate Universe without much explanation. There is no caption that explains that the Tony Stark or Amadeus Cho who are exploring an inter-dimensional portal are not the 616 versions until Tony starts talking about a “giant, cosmic, purple entity” (Galactus) who just about destroyed everything in the Ultimate Universe. Again, if you read Cataclysm, you might know what’s going on, but if not, you’ll be lost. I did read Cataclysm, and for a minute, I was wondering which book I was reading.
But that’s all set up because we jump back to the 616 (again with no explanation) where the original X-Men decide to go find a newly emerging mutant, who’s powers just happen to be the end of the inter-dimensional portal that goes to the Ultimate Universe, as well as House of M, Asgard, and more. Sure, it’s a pretty clear plot device, but it works. The X-Men find this new mutant and when she freaks out, it sends them all over the multiverse. This should be fun. Just being in the present-616 universe is complicated enough, having the original X-Men strewn throughout other worlds (or maybe it’s just the Ultimate Universe) will be good for some adventure. The last page has Jean Grey meeting Miles Morales for the first time.
This issue hearkens back to the days when writers regularly wrote multiple books and had them cross over. Claremont would have Iron Fist and the X-Men meet one another, the Simonsons would have X-Factor and Power Pack team-up. I love these kinds of things, especially when they are done well. I trust Bendis to know what he’s doing, and it appears more and more that it’s only a matter of time before the Ultimate Universe gets swallowed into the regular Marvel U.
Sara Pichelli steps aside this issue for Mahmud Asrar, who has done good work on Wolverine & the X-Men previously. He has a very familiar “Marvel house style,” so it’s not too much of a departure from Pichelli or Immonen. In fact, I think Asrar has even stepped up his game in this issue so that he doesn’t feel like he’s second string. This is solid superhero art.
Perhaps the best panels of the issue is when Goldballs confesses he is going to marry Jean Grey and one of the Stepfords says, “You have a better chance of marrying Nate Grey.” A silent panel, then she adds, “If you guys knew anything you’d know that reference was hilarious.” I don’t usually laugh out loud at comics, but that one got a guffaw from me.
This still continues to be my favorite X-Men book. I also love Miles Morales so I can’t wait to see what happens next! -JJ
Uncanny Avengers #23
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sanford Greene
Finally, this whole Planet X thing is over with, now we get to enjoy the fallout. So here’s the lowdown on what remains:
- Sunfire is now solely made up of cosmic fire
- half of Havok’s face is burned and disfigured
- Wasp is married to Havok
- Banshee is back, but still has the Death seed bonded to him
- Wonder Man’s conscience is stuck inside of Rogue’s mind
- Rogue’s powers have devolved to what they once were
That should just about bring you up to speed which means you can do yourself a favor and skip this issue entirely.
Honestly, the only action sequence in here is when Rogue goes batshit crazy and wrecks the place. Other than that, you have Immortus telling Havok and Wasp when they should be doing the nasty to reconceive their lost daughter and the Red Skull decides it’s time for a World War II reenactment. Trust me, that’s everything you need to know.
The main reason I seem so hell bent on keeping you away from this book is due to Sanford Greene’s God awful looking artwork. It’s made worse by the fact that it looks like Dean White tried his best to color the book as Acuna would have, but ultimately fails at that. Greene’s rough pencils and inks coupled with White’s “loose” paint brush just make this book look carelessly rushed.
The bottom line is that Remender’s Planet X arc had some truly shining moments, but after the climax it seems like what’s left over just isn’t enough to hold any interest. I’m just curious to see exactly how any of this will play into the upcoming AXIS event. –SG
What did you think about this week’s X-books? Let us know below! You can check out more X-Piles right here!