October 12, 2010

The Uncanny X-Piles XII

We’re back with another spectacular installment of The Uncanny X-Piles, where resident X-geeks Andy and Jeff review last week’s shipment of X-books. Sadly, New Mutants Forever didn’t make the cut this week because Andy’s store sold out of it (a.k.a. They didn’t stock it on the shelf). After this week’s batch of reviews, the guys give their two cents on all the X-related news announced at New York Comic Con this past weekend! Onward!

Chaos War #1
Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Artist: Khoi Pham

Hercules is back ladies and gentlemen, ready to lead the major players in the Marvel Universe in battle against King Chaos! Chaos wishes to destroy reality as we know it, and only Herc has what it takes to bring’em down. This first issue was loads of fun; great art, witty dialogue, and Hercules punches Balder in the face! So how does the Chaos War involve our merry band of mutants? Well for starters, in December 2010 and January 2011, the X-Men will have a two issue tie-in to this event, but here we only see a handful of X-Men in cameo roles. Emma gets a blast of telekinetic feedback once Herc returns, due to his powers being amped ten-fold (or more?) since Amadeus Cho transferred all of his “omnipotent god” mojo into Herc. Then we get a panel of Archangel (longtime friend of Herc since their Champions days) who shows concern about his returned buddy. Everyone doubts Herc’s ability to lead them against Amatsu-Mikaboshi (a.k.a. King Chaos), the man who killed Zeus, but when Herc uses his power to zap everyone into one place and delivers a powerful speech, his allies can’t help but realize this isn’t the drunkard, slapstick dude they knew before. Oh, and he grants them all a piece of his power, allowing everyone to fly! Other X-Men who appeared, but didn’t talk, were Madrox, Storm, and Colossus. The best line in the book was delivered by a female bystander to Herc’s return: “How can you say you’re God? That’s offensive! I’m offended! I’m Tweeting about this right now!” -AL

Deadpool MAX #1
David Lapham
Artist: Kyle Baker

I dunno about this one X-fans. It’s weird, and not at all what I was expecting from a MAX book. I mean, sure, it’s Deadpool so a certain amount of “off the wall bizarre” is to be expected, but this was just really over the top. And not like, circus clowns firing kazoo bazookas over the top, more like Eyes Wide Shut meets Dick Tracy over the top. Just…uncomfortable. Like when you really have to pee and your pants shrink a few sizes. Yeah, like that. I mean, a dude makes a key using poop as the mold, there’s some implied prison-esque butt sex, and the main character isn’t even Deadpool. There was a funny moment where we saw a photo of Deadpool apprehending Osama Bin Laden, but other than that…meh. The story is alright, nothing special, but the art is what threw me. Baker’s work is stylized and I’m not really into it. Although, I couldn’t tolerate Kaare Andrews’ art on Astonishing X-Men Xenogensis until the 3rd issue, so it may grow on me here. But it’s got a lot of growing to do until that point. So yeah, there was this Deadpool book, and then there was… -AL

Deadpool Pulp #2
Writers: Mike Benson & Adam Glass
Artist: Laurence Campbell

This series is great. It’s Deadpool but with a serious edge. No corny jokes, no awkward nude scenes, just straight up noir, and it works! His inner voice is a little off the wall, but nowhere near the wackiness we’re accustomed to. Plus, we also have two other ‘Pool/X characters in this series: Cable as a member of the CIA, and Stryfe as an FBI Chief. Both are on the same side as Wade, and both are characterized well. The best scene is where Deadpool meets the rogue agent he’s been instructed to kill, Outlaw, for a fancy dinner. The banter is witty and the tension thick- it’s exactly what you would expect from a Deadpool on the opposite side of the spectrum to what we’re accustomed to; an intelligent killing machine, as opposed to a buffoon. There was this great exchange between the two: Outlaw: “You used to be so much fun Wade, what ever happened to you? When did you become such a fuddy-duddy?” Wade: “When I grew a conscience.” Yes, you read that correctly, “When I grew a conscience.” When have you ever heard Deadpool utter those words before? Probably never, right? Which is why this series works so well. It truly is an alternate take on Deadpool and it’s awesome. Considering how Deadpool mania is in full swing right now, Deadpool Pulp is a refreshing take on the character; a must read for any ‘Pool/noir fan, and a series worth checking out for anyone else. -AL

Uncanny X-Force #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opena

I’m not a big fan of Marvel constantly stopping and starting series over and over. I’m one of the few that probably likes when they return things to “original numbering.” I understand it’s to increase sales and all, and give newbies a chance to jump on without feeling like they have to read 3 long boxes full of issues to know what’s going on. So needless to say, I was rolling my eyes when they cancelled X-Force and announced Uncanny X-Force. When the team was revealed, I was a bit concerned as well. More Wolverine, more Deadpool, and three X-Men I don’t really care about. I thought the ragtag group that Kyle & Yost pulled together was great. So you can see, my expectations were really low. I’ve heard that Remender and Opena were quite the powerhouse team, but wasn’t holding my breath. So today, I sat in a parking lot waiting for a friend to get her driver’s license with my copy of Uncanny X-Force #1, and all I can say is “WHOO-HOO!” From the first page we are knee-deep in X-Men awesomeness. The action was intense, the team actually works well, and I’m completely sold on Remender and Opena. I think my favorite thing about this book is that it’s limited to the five characters. This means that there is room for some character development, which the X-Men books have been seriously lacking. I’ve been waiting for the Warren/Betsy scene for well over 10 years. The Wolverine/Fantomex playoffs are excellent as well. Throw in some hilarious Deadpool lines, some credible villain threats with an interesting last-page twist, and you have a really good start to a new X-book. Who cares if it’s a reboot?  -JJ

Wolverine #2
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Renado Guedes

In the over-exposure of Wolverine in the last 20 years, one would wonder when do the ideas run out with this character. And you could argue that with some of the past Wolverine titles, they were reaching the breaking point. But ever since Jason Aaron got his hands on the furry mutant, Wolverine has been great. What if you want to completely deconstruct the character, his supporting cast, and status quo? What would you do? Aaron sends him to Hell! With Logan’s soul in Hell and his body still on Earth wrecking all kinds of havoc, Aaron once again puts Wolverine in a new place and pushes him to the envelope. This issue balances all-out action with Yukio fighting off the demon-possessed Logan, and downright disturbing scenes with Logan being tortured by the soul of his dead fiancee Mariko. Too cruel! This issue also turns the crystal a bit more with Mystique and Melita calling upon some “hellacious” backup, and Logan getting some support in Hell with former Alpha Flighter Puck and a mystery ally. This is a perfect romp for Wolverine and one I am enjoying thoroughly. The art in this issue seemed weaker than last month’s. Renado Guedes isn’t quite doing it for me on this arc. I’ve never really liked when people draw Wolverine’s claws curved, and Guedes makes them into half-circles that curve around Logan’s fists. It’s just not a style I prefer. But other than that, this book is really good. To top it all off, Aaron provides another really nice back-up featuring Wolverine’s foster daughter Amiko saving Yukio’s life. I’ve longed to see Amiko take a bigger role in the Wolverine story, and it looks like I’m going to be pleased. -JJ

Young Allies #5
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artist: David Baldeon

Once again, I am extremely impressed with this book that I knew virtually nothing about. I’m almost wondering why this book is being published since there is absolutely no buzz about it at all. But Young Allies might be the best book you’re not reading. Continuing McKeever’s Not Tomorrow, Now storyline, the not-yet Young Allies are battling the Bastards of Evil, specifically, their “leader” Superior (not related to the upcoming Mark Millar book), who is the diabolical son of the Hulk villain, the Leader. We learn about Superior’s ultimate plan, and when it looks like it’s over for our heroes, they fight back with the team’s power hitter, and the real reason I love this book, Firestar. I won’t spoil what happens, but the end of the book has the New Avengers popping up which includes some cool moments between Gravity & the Thing, Spider-Woman & Arana, Nomad & Captain Ameribucky, and Luke Cage & Firestar. However, the twist at the end of the book, which I loved, I am going to spoil. You know when a new team gets together and they have that moment when they realize they work well together and someone suggests the team name? This book has that. Only when Nomad suggests they become a team, everyone walks away! It was a perfect ending to a pretty underrated book. Baldeon is a perfect fit for this series, art wise. Next issue features Emma Frost, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pike for this non-team. -JJ

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: Uncanny X-Force all the way! Jump on now because you’re just gonna end up buying the back issue later anyway!
Andy: Uncanny X-Force #1 without a doubt. Wolverine #2 was cool, and Chaos War was fun, but they’ve got nothing on UXF!

This week, we’re including a new feature in the X-Piles, and that is our reactions to the X-News coming out of New York Comic Con 2010. Much like our Chirpin’ Tuesday Reviews, we’ll give you some brief insight into our thoughts on what’s coming up in the world of X!

Uncanny X-Men/Steve Rogers, Super Soldier/Namor Annuals Crossover
Jeff: Putting Namor on the X-Men certainly does a good job with connecting the X-Men to the Marvel Universe. I missed the Marvel Annuals, so this looks intriguing.
Anytime Steve Rogers wants to hang out with the X-Men, I’m up for it.

Wolverine & Jubiliee mini-series
Jeff: I’m not a big fan of Kathryn Immonen’s work thus far on Runaways and Pixie, so I’m not particularly excited about this.
Well, I am! I’m 1 of 1,000,000 who’s actually a fan of Jubilee, but I agree with you- I’m on the fence with Kathryn’s writing.

X-Men “Serve & Protect” arc with Chris Bachalo
Jeff: Adjectiveless is the best X-Men proper book going right now, and putting Bachalo back on is AWESOME!!!!
As long as I can understand what the hell I’m looking at with Bachalo’s art, this is fine by me.

Wolverine/Hercules mini-series
Jeff: I’m not a Herc fan, so I could care less about this.
Well again, I am! As long as we get funny, goofy, party guy Herc and not some other version, I’m down.

X-Factor & J. Jonah Jameson
JJJ bossing the X-Factor crew around? This just sounds like a lot of fun.
Andy: I agree. Every personality involved is a Type A. Should be a great ride.

Rise of the New Mutants
Jeff: Sounds like Wells is deconstructing this team and taking them in really cool directions.
Zebb Wells can finally do what he wants with this team, without being handcuffed by crossover events? Finally!

Age of X
Jeff: Not much info here, but if it’s tied to the Age of Apocalypse in any way, then I’m excited.
Yeah, still in the dark about this one, but I can never poo-poo another X-book…unless it’s of the “Forever” line.

Astonishing X-Men Monstrous arc
Jeff: I was wondering what was going to happen to Astonishing. Glad to see Ellis taking a break, but will need to be convinced by Way.
Yeah, I agree. Way is hit or miss with me…the cast will be important with this one.

For past installments of The Uncanny X-Piles, click here! Visit this link for all things X-Men!

Andy Liegl

Jeff Jackson



  1. The only book I actually have here is Uncanny X-Force and I have yet to read it but I think some was spoiled for me at NYCC when I heard a few announcements about the current direction of the book. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone else so I won’t repeat what was said.

    I dropped all of my Deadpool titles assuming that I would get enough of him in the new X-Force book lol I’ll probably pick up the pulp one in trade.

  2. Jeff Jackson

    From the interviews about Way’s Astonishing, the cast is going to be rather small with only Cyclops, Emma, Armor, and Wolverine.

  3. @Speech Yeah, don’t skip on Deadpool Pulp, at least not yet. So far its been solid.

    @Jeff Ok, I like that cast. They should add Iceman, though. (…no, seriously)

    As for Uncanny X-Force and Wolverine, I thought they were both great! I didn’t have a problem with Guedes’ art in Wolvie, and I LOVE that Remender is bringing Warren and Betsy back together.

  4. @Andy – Iceman?! Hell no!

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