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September 12, 2012

The Uncanny X-Piles 106

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Written by: Jeff
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Welcome to the 106th edition of the Uncanny X-Piles! This week, we get a break from AvX stuff as we have a small stack of books, but that won’t stop us from writing big reviews!

The X-Piles
Numbers next to each title are the cumulative ranking of the latest issue out of a total of 40. Numbers in parentheses indicate the previous issue’s rating. Blue indicates a raise in the chart from last issuered indicates a dropgreen indicates the book stayed put.

1. New Avengers: 34 (33)
2. X-Factor: 30 (25)
3. Avengers Vs. X-Men: 28 (33)
4. Wolverine & the X-Men: 27 (31)
5. X-Men Legacy: 26 (21)
6. Age of Apocalypse: 28 (26)
7. Uncanny X-Force: 25 (29)
8. Avengers: 25 (20)
9. Astonishing X-Men: 24 (20.5)
10. AvX: Vs: 22 (31)
11. Gambit: 22 (21)
12. New Mutants: 16 (25)
13. X-Men: 15 (15)
14. Uncanny X-Men: 14 (24)
15. First X-Men: 13 (20)
16. X-Treme X-Men: 9 (10)
17. Wolverine: 7 (8)

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Age of Apocalypse #7
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Renato Arlem
Here’s a great example of Marvel giving some creators latitude to do some excellent creating. These days, when editors are being scrutinized, this book sits in a quiet corner and continues to deliver entertaining stories with art that fits the tone of the story perfectly. Either editorial is doing their job well, or they’re leaving Lapham alone, or a little of both.
The story continues it’s gloomy and despondent trajectory for these characters. Basically, the humans have no real shot of overthrowing Weapon Omega, but continue to go on missions to gather resources to find a way to defeat him. This issue leads them to Latveria, and a human processing plant which is delightfully evil and twisted. In Doom’s home country, their only hope for survival is Doom himself, who is a freedom fighter. The team also runs into the AoA version of Emma Frost, who bears a deceptive and wicked secret, which is revealed near the end of the issue.
Lapham continues to add layers to every character he touches in this world. No one is who they seem or what you might remember from the original AoA series. He handles the complex relationship between Sabretooth and Graydon really well, and leaves us with a cliffhanger regarding those two troublesome Creeds.
Arlem’s heavy-inked but detailed pencils really compliment this book well. Lee Loughridge also does a great job on colors, creating such a depressing mood in this world. This book needs no brightness, and Arlem and Loughridge excel in keeping Lapham’s script dismal.
The only goof-up I see here is that cover artist Kris Anka doesn’t get recognized for his excellent Doom cover. This book continues to be strong and is an excellent read for those who don’t want to get into the main Marvel stuff. It’s contained and really well-done.  –JJ
Cover: 8/10 Writing: 7/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 5/10 TOTAL: 28/40

First X-Men #2
Writer(s): Christos Gage & Neal Adams
Artist: Neal Adams

There’s a lot of potential for this story to be awesome when you think about it’s set up. A story that reaches back in time and puts Logan in one of his first teaching roles and fighting along side some new faces and one very old and familiar one. However, there’s not much about this issue that reinforces why it’s on the shelves right now. The team that has been introduced these past two issues doesn’t seem too interesting nor does their journey. Even when they attempt to recruit Magneto into their ranks it just seems forced to put a large action scene in the story. Neal’s artwork carries the story pretty well and it was good to see that he toned down Wolverine’s feral look and oversized canine teeth that were a bit annoying in the first issue. The large scale fight we do get in this issue could have been a much better sequence had it been more than Magneto just hurling car parts.

Again, I can’t say that this series has been fun but I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere actually enjoying it. It’s just not me. – IS

Cover: 3/10 Writing: 3/10 Art: 5/10 Relevance: 2/10 TOTAL: 13/40

X-Factor #243
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Leonard Kirk

This issue of X-Factor could prove pivotal in the Polaris mythos.  Her origin has always been clouded in mystery.  Is she Magneto’s daughter? Did Magneto really kill her mother? Peter David addresses this with Breaking Points: Day 3.

Seeing PAD tie-up so many loose ends with his Breaking Points story arc is actually a little unnerving. Part of me fears that he’s working towards a conclusion of his run on this title, although there has been no rumor of this being the case.  The more likely scenario is that he simply feels that it’s time to do some spring cleaning and really get things tidied up and ready to move forward with something new and fresh.  I’m certainly hoping for the latter.

Without spoiling it for you, Polaris faces her secret past with Longshot and Monet and the reveal may change the character forever. The truth is believable in its simplicity.  There’s no intricate, muddled story or scenario.  It’s served straight up and proves viable.

Leonard Kirk’s art felt inconsistent yet again.  While some panels were flawless in their detail, others felt rushed.  Overall, the panel layouts, inks and colors still manage to tell the story with high quality.

Not much else can or should be said about the issue. Polaris fans need to included it in their collection and the cover is absolutely striking. –SG

Cover: 9/10 Writing: 7/10 Art: 6/10 Relevance: 8/10 TOTAL: 30/40

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: AoA was great, but I was so excited that X-Factor #243 finally revealed what happened to Lorna’s parents.
Infinite SpeechAge of Apocalypse #7 was a definite hit his week!
SpidermanGeek: X-Factor #243 for me.

Jeff Jackson
jeff@comicattack.net
@FrJeffJackson

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net
@InfiniteSpeech

SpidermanGeek
spidermangeek@comicattack.net
@SpidermanGeek

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One Comment



  1. What is the freakin’ point of First X-Men??? It’s not even a fun read and comics are supposed to be fun!



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