While I promised myself that I would never by another Deadpool title again, I had to break that promise in the spirit of Christmas! You have to understand, I am a huge fan of the holiday season. For instance, we decorate our house for Christmas in November. Keep in mind that I am Canadian, so we are not handcuffed by the American Thanksgiving benchmark as many Americans are. That being said, I will be the first to admit that I go a little over the top during the holiday season. This includes getting excited over stupid Christmas specials in comics. In this one-shot, Deadpool takes Hydra Bob on a trip down memory lane a la the Ghosts of Christmas style. Bob is feeling very down on himself and believes that he is better off dead. Deadpool makes it his mission to show Bob, that the world would be a horrible place without it. To do this Deadpool stages Bob’s death! In their first visit, Deadpool takes Bob to CIA headquarters to determine Bob’s boss’s reaction to his death. Bob gets to hear firsthand how he was only selected because he was such an imbecile. Strike one! Second, they travel to see his ex-girlfriend. Turns out she is shacked up with Cable in Afghanistan. Bob isn’t sure what to think after seeing her involved in a bizarre internet porn venture showcasing some of the freakiest sex things ever seen. This part is hilarious, because any time they walk by a computer in the book, there are videos of his ex and Cable doing the nasty. Finally Deadpool visits his own ex-wife and drags Bob along with him to see her. In typical Deadpool fashion, this makes no sense and is not really intended to help Bob whatsoever. Once here they discover that Deadpool’s ex has taken over the insane asylum and converted into a twisted version of Santa’s workshop in which the inmates are forced to be elves who make automatic weapons for children. In the end Bob learns a valuable lesson, albeit completely different from the one Deadpool set out to show him. This book is good holiday fun and strangely enough perfect for a Deadpool one-shot. I find Lapham’s style tedious in a monthly format. In this one-shot though, it is a quirky, welcome departure from the mainstream Marvel Universe. –CK
Art: 5/10 Writing: 6/10 Cover:7/10 Relevance: N/A
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, considering that most of these X-related spin-off titles suck beyond belief! I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. The three X-scientists known as the X-club are incredibly eccentric and interesting characters. I for one, love seeing them have their own book. We have had glimpses of Dr. Nemesis in other x-books, as he tends to get the spotlight out of all of these characters. No coincidence there either, considering he is the cantankerous member of the team, who is always good for a sound bite or quote. One of his best this book was when he referred to Cyclops as Laforge; a Star Trek reference comparing the visor wearing X-Men leader to the visor wearing chief engineer of the USS Enterprise. Nemesis had many memorable quips and his ongoing battle with Dr. Rao was hilarious. The biggest short coming of this issue would have to be the art which is pretty raw. I recognize that this is Paul Davidson’s style, but it can be a little much to look at at times. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring doesn’t help either, as I find she is a little heavy on the blacks and shadows in many panels. The premise of the story revolves around an endeavour the X-Men are participating in to try and help restore their reputation with humanity. Together with the backing a stereotypical Texas tycoon they create a space station that has an elevator to Earth. Everything sounds great with the idea until Atlanteans begin to complain about problems in the sea due to this space elevator. Personally, I find the idea of a space elevator really intriguing. Far-fetched, but curious nonetheless! Could this be a case were reality eventually mirrors fiction? The story delves deeper into some of the intricate relationships within this seldom discussed X-Club. Whether it is Madison Jefferies taboo love for the machine Danger, or Rao’s constant feeling of inadequacies compared to the other two, it is a constant triangle of egos and discovery! I am looking forward to following this series, as it seems like a nice departure from the standard X stuff being released lately, which between you and me has been pretty crappy lately. –CK
Art: 5/10 Writing: 8/10 Cover: 6/10 Relevance: 7/10
Peter David is good at a lot of things. I have continually praised him on this book, as he continues to develop interesting characters, engage them in exciting adventures, all the while screwing with our expectations. This issue is no different. At the end of last issue, the main protagonist of the book, Jamie Madrox, gets stabbed in the back by the new villain Bloodbath. Bloodbath is turning out to be a great villain that you just love to hate. He’s evil to the core, narrates everything he does like he’s in a movie, has a pretty killer costume, and his power set is awesome. He’s been fighting the whole team of X-Factor non-stop, and every time they think they kill him, he jumps into another body. But the other thing that Peter David is good at is tying up a plot thread. For a while now, there has been a question about Guido being raised from the dead soulless by Layla Miller. Here, the team finds out about Guido, and Layla’s secret power. However, we’re left hanging on whether or not Layla can use this power on Jamie. One thing I’m concerned about in this book is that with Havok and Polaris rejoining the team, Madrox might get a back seat. He is one of my top Marvel characters, so if this issue does what it looks like, then I will be extremely disappointed. However, I trust Peter David. Even if he has gone in a questionable direction, he always yanks the wheel and gets back on track. I have to trust that he knows what he’s doing here. Leonard Kirk continues to be a good fit for this book. He gives the characters the right emotions on their faces and can choreograph a heck of a fight scene. David Yardin also draws one heck of a cover, and the emotion on Madrox’s bloody face on the cover is absolutely chilling. If you’re not reading X-Factor regularly, you might not like this issue, but I would encourage you to jump onto the next arc and ride all the way. –JJ
Art: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Cover: 9/10 Relevance: 8/10
I can’t believe this is another excellent issue! 3 in a row! Gischler is starting to make me believe that he might possibly have hit his stride on this book. Thus far, his run has been very hit-or-miss, but he’s doing really well with this arc. Perhaps it’s because he’s focusing on characters that haven’t seen much spotlight lately. For me, Jubilee really shines in this issue. I was on the fence regarding her vampire change, but this issue shows that her vampirism has made her a deeply sympathetic and more dynamic character. When one of the scientists they are fighting is bleeding out, Jubilee’s bloodlust kicks in, and while she curbs her desire to drain the guy, she quickly takes her stress out on some Sentinels. I have never been a fan of War Machine, but Gischler does a good job of including him in the cast here. With the twist of the Sentinels responding to Domino’s bio-signature, and thus targeting anyone and not just mutants, War Machine becomes a good addition to the X-Men and pulls off some neat tricks. Will Conrad kicks so much ass on the art side of things. He needs to be on a more top-tiered book. Overall, this story has been incredibly pleasing and if this is the result of Regenesis, than I have to say that they helped this book out tremendously. –JJ
Art: 8/10 Writing: 7/10 Cover: 6/10 Relevance: 8/10
Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Capekiller: X-Club #1 (of 5) – This book was witty and personal. Everything the X-books have been lacking lately.
Jeff: It’s close, but my pick is X-Factor #228!