Journalists

December 27, 2011
 

The Uncanny X-Piles LXIX

Generation Hope #14
Writer: James Asmus
Artist: Ibraim Roberson

Rudderless Boat

This book continues to flounder as the characters lack direction and purpose. Not one of the characters on Hope’s 5 Lights team is remotely interesting. Worst of all, Hope can’t be the mutant Messiah. At least not at the rate these writers are going. Imagine, a book that features one of my favourite super villains in Sebastian Shaw, and me not liking it. Says something about the quality. I honestly don’t know why I waste my money on this series. –CK

Art: 6/10 Writing: 4/10 Cover: 6/10 Relevance: 1/10

 

 

New Mutants #35
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: David Lopez

Does Any of This Really Matter?

Is it just me, or does it seem as though the New Mutants have battled more than one super powered rock band? This story has its fair share of stupid, but it isn’t horrible. Shortly after their move to mainland San Francisco, the New Mutants find themselves on a mission to track down the mutant Blink. Little do they know, that Blink is on a mission of her own. She has been following a rock band that appears to be causing natural disasters when they play their instruments. The two parties decide to team up to investigate this phenomenon together. This book has some cool moments in it, that remind me a lot of the 1980’s version of the New Mutants. There is a lot of action and the characters seem to be developing a team. My main concern is wondering what the relevance of the this book is. It almost seems as though the writers at Marvel aren’t really sure what to do with these characters so they kind of stick them off in a corner somewhere. This is too bad considering some of the cool personalities on the team. Artist David Lopez struggles at times with human faces, but all-in-all seems to be comfortable in his drawing duties on the book. Cover artists Leandro Fernendez and Andres Mossa do a nice job crafting an attractive cover. Personally, I think this book needs a lot more to be successful . Currently, it is a bit of a non-essential, throw away read. –CK

Art: 6/10 Writing: 6/10 Cover: 7/10 Relevance: 3/10

Uncanny X-Force #19
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Welcome to the JGA Apocalypse, I Mean Genesis

I know that my memory is failing me as a grow older, but is this book coming out 3 times a week now or…. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Nothing wrong with a really strong title shipping on a more regular basis. It is amazing how Remender is able to keep this book relevant and exciting week in and week out, when books like Generation Hope struggle to find one issue worth reading. I was leery about the next step for this title. I mean let’s be honest, Apocalypse sells books. With the conclusion of the previous arc I could be quoted as saying, “We’ll see how this book does without Apocalypse…” Boy did Remender make me eat those words. Not only did they not drop Apocalypse from the title, but they reinvented his character and ultimately his role completely. Add to this that they have placed him on my new favourite X-title, and I am giddy like it is the 1980’s all over again! The greatest strength of this issue has to be the character development. Remender carefully crafts a series of side stories, detailing some of the character changes currently taking place in the Marvel Universe. Characters like Nightcrawler, Apocalypse, Angel and Sabertooth are suddenly thrust into new roles. And each and every one of those roles is highly intriguing! Some critics might belly ache about the art in this issue because it is not very traditional. I for one, think that the artwork is very fitting of the story. Robbi Rodriguez has some very interesting ideas for panel and page layouts, ignoring the classic boundaries created within the panel box. Likewise, his stylized approach to the human form is edgy and perfect for an X-Force story. I have to say that I also really enjoyed the cover by Rafael Grampa. It was a nice blend of a variety of styles and bordered on poster art. I particulary loved the use of negative space on the cover. I hope that this book and it’s team keeps in close contact with the Jean Grey Institute of Higher Learning. There are rich ties that connect the two groups, and I would hate to see that thrown to the wayside. Ultimately, this book continues to make a liar out of me. Just when I think it can’t get any better it does. –CK

Art: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Cover: 8/10 Relevance: 10/10

Wolverine #20
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Renato Guedes

No Rest for the Wicked

Just as Wolverine’s life seems to be settling down, he gets sucked back into a thousand year old Japanese war between the Yakuza and the Hand. Only it turns out that the war on the horizon actually has nothing to do with either of these two groups. Jason Aaron continues to distinguish himself as one of Marvel’s most valuable writers on this book. His handling of Wolverine over the past year has been nothing short of masterful. He has done as excellent job of re-crafting the character in ways that only make sense. Wolverine is now a wiser more responsible version of himself, and in my opinion this suites the character very well. The art duties, including the cover, are fulfilled by Renato Guedes. Guedes utilizes a very “line-rich” style which offers a lot of detail. In this particular issue, I found Guedes work to be a little hit and miss. His representations of Wilson Fisk for instance were a little suspect. Fisk looked like he was melting Guedes gave him so many folds. I personally prefer a blockier Kingpin who doesn’t look like a bald version of the Blob. The story itself was interesting. It will be interesting to see Wolverine’s role in this war. Likewise, it will be interesting to see who is behind all the attacks, trying to start the war. My hope is that the war takes place on American soil. I don’t think this is an appropriate time in the X-verse for Wolverine to be traipsing off to Japan. Not a bad book, just a little light on content. Which I often find Chapter Ones to be. –CK

Art: 6/10 Writing: 7/10 Cover: 9/10 Relevance: 5/10

Wolverine & the X-Men #3
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo

Welcome to the X-Men Krakoa

I think it is safe to say that this is becoming my favourite X-title. And there is one simple reason for that, it reminds me of New X-Men. Like he is on many of his other titles, Jason Aaron really scripts this book well. Unlike some writers over at Marvel, Aaron has little difficulty balancing multiple storylines within one book. You have the main storyline, which involves Wolverine trying to get his new school up and running. There is the current threat of the new Hellfire Club, lead by brat extraordinaire, Kade Kilgore. Finally there is the little problem of Krakoa, the mutant sentient island. On top of all this, you have to understand that all three of my explanations are surface details only. Each story has its own little nuances that make the book a roller coaster of a read! One thing that you have to keep in mind whenever I write a review, is that if Chris Bachalo is handling the art, my view will probably be biased! I think this man is a genius with his understanding of line. I’ve heard some describe his panels as confusing. I consider them detailed, and am treated to an all more enjoyable reading experience for it. It goes without saying that his debris spewn style suites a character like Krakoa very, very well. All this, and his covers are just awesome! This issue really helps solidify a tone for the school. Aaron instantly made me like a handful of characters who are either new or I hated in the past. Take Quentin Quire for instance. I’ve never had too much time for this rebel mutant, but I really learned to love him in this issue. This team/student body that Logan has assembled is very cool and has a great deal of potential for future story telling. One of my favourite moments comes at the end [*spoiler alert*] when the Westchester mutants all stand together with Krakoa Jr. on a splash page mocking the mini Hellfire Club. Only to add insult to injury when Wolverine sends Matt Murdock to the hellfire Club to sue them. I love that resolution. Forget fisticuffs, sue the bad guy! Jason Aaron is a genius! Great book, great characters and great art! –CK

Art: 9/10 Writing: 9/10 Cover: 10/10 Relevance: 10/10

X-Factor #229
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Emmanuela Luppachino

The roller coaster just doesn’t stop with this book! At the end of the last issue, I was shocked that perhaps Peter David had really killed off Jamie Madrox, even though I was hoping that wasn’t the case. I mentioned that I trusted PAD, and this issue proves why I should always trust him. Nothing is ever as simple as death in this book. Somehow, Madrox has arisen from death, but not quite in the way you might expect. This issue goes back to focusing directly on Madrox, which is PAD’s strength. Despite how good the last batch of issues have been, I have missed Madrox being the central point-of-view character. Not only does Madrox find himself in the middle of a murder mystery, but it’s his own murder in an alternate reality. But what makes this reality so great is that it’s very close to the regular Marvel Universe, with little things different like Sean Cassidy being alive, Rahne having a daughter rather than a son, and Madrox not having an “M” on his face. PAD does a great job of slowly revealing this world to the reader, as well as developing the mystery. It’s a complete departure from what’s been going on in the book recently, and that makes it even more fun. Emmanuela Luppachino rejoins as artist on the book, but I think she got a little rusty over the last few months. Some of her figures look a little off from the work she did previously on the book. There is an inconsistency in her work in this issue, but by the end, it gets stronger. The cover art by David Yardin continues to look fantastic, and he proves to be one of the strongest cover artists at Marvel today. This is yet another rip-roaring adventure and I can’t wait to see where PAD takes us, and Madrox, next. –JJ

Art: 7/10 Writing: 8/10 Cover: 9/10 Relevance:  8/10

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: X-Factor #229 was my surprise pick this week, even though there were some other good contenders.
CapekillerWolverine and the X-Men #3–This book was all kinds of awesome!  Quentin Quire as the modest hero, Krakoa Jr., this is turning out to be New X-Men II, and I love it!

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