January 28, 2011

The Uncanny X-Piles XXVII

Here we are X-gener’s, all caught up with The Uncanny X-Piles! Andy and Jeff have been working overtime to bring you reviews of all the Marvel comics that have an ‘X’ in the title or which spotlight at least one or more of our merry mutants. So read on for reviews of all of last week’s X-books. Oh, and just wait until you check out next week’s edition- it’s an X-Plosion of mutant goodness!

Deadpool MAX #4
David Lapham
Artist: Kyle Baker

Lapham dials down the wackiness a little in this one and instead shows us that he has an actual plot in store for what happens next in this series. Oh, there’s still plenty of nutso action that only a Deadpool title can provide, but whereas the previous issues featured butt sex, slutty nurses, and swearing Klansmen, this issue is just straight up violence with a little bit of toilet humor tossed into the mix. Oh, and Bob finally gets his bone…uh, de-boned. In a good way. Anyway, I really liked the incorporation of Cable here. It’s no secret that he and ‘Pool have a history in the 616 Universe, and in this issue Cable totally plays the “I’m from the future, come with me if you want to live,” dude and it’s cool as hell. Plus, he’s wearing a monocle for most of the issue. A monocle! I’ve finally realized that Kyle Baker’s art really fits this book. I wasn’t very familiar with his work prior to this series, and at first I didn’t take to it, but the way he portrays violence is perfect here, and his story telling abilities are definitely seasoned. So what’s the underlying plot Lapham has brewing? Lets just say that as much as Bob may play the patsy, it would appear as if he’s more in control of his relationship with Deadpool than he lets on. -AL

Wolverine #5
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Renato Guedes & Jason Latour

The last chapter of the Wolverine Goes To Hell story ends fairly satisfactorily. Jason Aaron has crafted a very solid and epic Wolverine tale here. Wolverine not only goes to Hell, but he kicks ass and takes over the whole place! This didn’t end quite the way I expected, however; I was thinking that this was going to be the perfect way to bring back some of Logan’s greatest enemies and friends who have been long dead, but it appears that Aaron decided not to use that easy resurrection card, at least not yet. Logan and his conversation with his father was perfect, and one that I’ve been waiting for since Origin. I like how Jason isn’t stopping with this story. While Wolverine is out of Hell, he still has some things to deal with, and next month, Aaron’s telling a story called Wolverine Vs. The X-Men, which sounds pretty great. Overall, Jason Aaron is the perfect fit for this book, and I’m glad he’s got Logan on an interesting trajectory. That opening page of expository description of Hell is going to give me nightmares! However, this arc has been plagued by the art of Renato Guedes. As good as the story has been, Guedes’ art has been an albatross. His hideously lined faces, his poor rendition of both Ghost Riders, and his awkward anatomy took me out of the story way too many times. Perhaps the biggest fail is that Soulcutter sword. Is it a sword or a giant tree trunk? It doesn’t even look sharp! So when Logan starts cutting Sabretooth up, it took me a second to figure out what was going on. I am so glad to see that Daniel Acuna is jumping on next issue. Anyone is better than Guedes. Once again, the art in the back-up story proves much more appealing. Jason Latour has a gritty, yet cartoony style that was perfect. He even drew Logan small and pug-ugly which is what he’s supposed to be. The story focuses on how Wolverine gets into the mess he’s in to begin with, which might have been a good place to start the whole story. If you can hold your breath and swim through Guedes art, go for it, because everything else in this book works! -JJ

Wolverine and Jubilee #1
Writer: Kathryn Immonen
Artist: Phil Noto

X-fans, if you wrote this one off “just because” shame on you. For real, yo: This issue KICKED ASS! And I’m not saying that just because I’m a Jubilee fan (go ahead, laugh), but because the art by Phil Noto was sexier than the mental image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Kathryn Immonen’s dialogue and story telling was the best I’ve seen her put out in recent memory. This mini is the direct sequel to the Curse of the Mutants story line which wrapped up in X-Men #6. In that story, Jubilee turned into a Vampire, which seemed odd at first, but now it’s just awesome. Jubes now has Vampire abilities, but she lost her firecracker powers on M Day, and has since faded into X-obscurity. Sure, she had a brief stint as second in command of the New Warriors (Don’t remember it? I doubt you’re alone.), and had a few cameos here and there, but only now has Jubilation Lee been brought back to being a prominent cast member of the X-Men. And I, for one, am geeking the hell out on it! Immonen really captures the relationship between Wolvie and Jubes. Remember back in the 90s when Jubilee basically replaced Shadowcat as Wolverine’s charge, as he trained her in hand to hand combat and basically played Robin to his Batman? Well, Immonen definitely remembers, as she makes it pretty damn clear that Wolverine cares about this girl, and it’s so cool to watch unfold. The addition of Rockslide to the main cast is a fun choice too, as his humor balances out the somewhat dark overtones surrounding Jubilee’s transformation. I was a little skeptical going into this book as I wasn’t a huge fan of Immonen’s run on Marvel Divas and Pixie Strikes Back (her indie book Moving Pictures, however, was a beautiful story), but she totally redeems herself in the X-world with this one issue. Add to it Phil Noto’s hot artwork and superb skill in capturing facial expressions, and this book promises to be one of the best X-minis to hit the shelves in awhile. If you passed on it, pull a 180 and pick this issue up, or else you suck! -AL

X-Factor #214
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

Every few issues or so, Peter David will focus on one or two characters for some great character development. Last time he did this was with Rictor and Rahne as they tried to figure out what to do about Rahne’s baby. This month, he focuses on the recently departing Darwin. One thing I love is that when a character leaves X-Factor the team, David doesn’t make them leave the book. Instead, he uses it as an opportunity to explore the character more. For months, Darwin has been a relatively background character. But with his recent defeat of Hela, Darwin has gotten a lot more interesting. So David decides to follow him around a bit. While I expected him to do that with Darwin, I wasn’t expecting this crazy direction he takes him. Let me see if I can explain it: Darwin drinks from a cactus, saves an Old West barmaid from a dragon, heads into an abandoned movie set, gets shot multiple times by a sheriff who says he’s the beast of the apocalypse, and finds out that said beast/sheriff is Rahne’s future child. What the factor?!?!? This issue wasn’t bad, just super crazy. Lupacchino’s art is really fantastic this issue, and she has really improved since the Las Vegas art. I’d have to check, but maybe the colorist or inker is different here than before, but either way, it really works. The other great thing is that we get to see more of what Darwin can do with his amazing powers. He grows super-dense skin, gains super-strength, moves his head to his stomach, and eats a whole lot of bullets. There really is no end to his abilities, which is fun to watch. While this issue felt way out of left field, I still really enjoyed it and once again am intrigued to see where David take us. –JJ

X-Men Legacy #244
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Harvey Tolibao

If we had a cover-of-the-week portion in the X-Piles, this one would definitely win! I don’t know who Joy Ang is, but she needs to do some interior work, and quick! I have found myself poring over the details of that cover. For that alone, you should get this book. Sadly, the interior work of Harvey Tolibao pales in comparison. In fact, Tolibao’s art is just plain awful, period. His anatomy is not appealing and did he give Cyclops a mustache? Good grief! This issue is the lead-in to Carey’s upcoming Age of X storyline, focusing on Blindfold who is predicting some nasty things ahead. I liked the way that Carey had us guessing about which threat this issue was going to be about with powder kegs like Legion, Hellion, and Gambit all around. Unfortunately, those guys aren’t really touched on in favor of a loose end from the Emplate dimension from an earlier arc. Rogue gets to shine a little more since this is her book, really. It’s good to see Xavier back in this book (or any X-book) since he’s been conspicuously absent. Are the writers forgetting that Xavier is the founder of the X-Men? But I digress. We never really get to see what is causing the bright light at the end of the book, which doesn’t really make me care too much about whatever is coming in Age of X. Honestly, the Clay Mann art alone is enough to make me yawn in anticipation. I want to like Legacy, but with continually bad art, I am wondering what happened to Carey’s X-Men. Hopefully Age of X will get this book back on track, but frankly, I’m not getting my hopes up.  -JJ

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Andy: Wolverine and Jubilee #1. It was awesome!
Out of my books, I think X-Factor #214 was my pick because of the wacky story and the great art.

For previous editions of The Uncanny X-Piles, click here!

Andy Liegl

Jeff Jackson



  1. Billy

    @Andy- **laughter ensues**
    @Jeff- Wolvie sounds like a good story for sure!

  2. For the record, I think Guedes art on Wolverine is fuckin’ awesome. I’m loving it and it’s a perfect fit for the book- his monsters look kick ass!

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