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 issue; red indicates a drop; green indicates the book stayed put.
1. Uncanny X-Men: 39 (31)
2. All-New X-Men: 35 (37)
3. Cable & X-Force: 31 (28)
4. Wolverine : 30 (24)
5. Astonishing X-Men: 27 (27)
6. Age of Apocalypse: 26 (20)
7. X-Factor: 25 (30)
8. Gambit: 25 (23)
9. Savage Wolverine: 25 (17)
10. Uncanny X-Force: 23 (29)
11. Uncanny Avengers: 21 (29)
12. X-Men: 21 (23)
13. X-Men: Legacy: 20 (19)
14. Wolverine & the X-Men: 19 (32)
15. A + X: 16 (18)
After a lackluster first issue, I was wondering which direction this issue might go. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it got much better this time.
Shanna the She-Devil and Wolverine are still stuck on this mysterious Savage Land island. Not much happens to progress that piece of the story, however Frank Cho decides to play with these two characters in a way that is actually really fun. Shanna proves that she is more than just a piece of eye-candy. She’s strategic and knows how to handle herself in a scrap. She doesn’t need adamantium claws or a healing factor either. Cho does a good job of making her a much more well-rounded character, no pun intended.
This issue also introduces a new character into the mix: Amadeus Cho. My only real complaint about this issue was that I thought Amadeus was a kid, and Frank Cho drew him like a man in a suit. Granted, I haven’t read much about Amadeus Cho, so for all I know, he could have been aged-up. But I enjoyed his presence in the book and especially his power set. I hope to see more of him as the series progresses.
Cho’s art is just nice to look at. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy his cheesecakey Shanna. But I find that his real strength is detail. He knows how to add just enough without bogging down the panels. The progression of action and character acting is a nice touch, and I like seeing how he’s developing the visuals in the book.
I wasn’t expecting much with this issue, so I ended up enjoying it. I think perhaps that might be the best stance when approaching this title. –JJ
Cover: 7/10 Writing: 7/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 3/10 TOTAL: 25/40
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Leonard Kirk
The “Hell on Earth War” story arc continues in this issue as the Six Hell Lords of the Marvel Universe come down on X-Factor, determined to kill Tier, the seven billionth person on Earth and Wolfsbane’s son.
Half of the issue shows X-Factor battling Pluto as he is the first of the Hell Lords to locate the team and Tier. The outcome of that fight prompts one of the more prominent Hell Lord to declare that it’s every man for himself, effectively initiating and all-out war between them.
Peter David continues to up the stakes for X-Factor as the situation looks pretty dire at this point. PAD also made a good choice of having Tier face Pluto first as he is probably the most physically imposing and the less “mystic” of the Hell Lords. This really helps the reader gage where Tier stands power wise compared to the rest of X-Factor. Of course, I’m sure PAD has a few more surprises up his sleeve for the next parts of this arc, so you shouldn’t feel like you’ve seen all of what every character has to offer just yet.
The art has taken a nose dive from last issue. As the story ramps up to its conclusion, Leonard Kirk really needs to step up his game and polish off his pencils. The guy can tell a story, no doubt about that. The narrative didn’t suffer much from the rushed art since it was consistent throughout. Not sure if it’s because of tight deadlines or maybe he just has too much on his plate, but there’s a lack of detail and it just looks like the colorist had to do a lot of guesswork.
David Yardin delivers another stellar cover. Nothing more to say here.
Bottom Line is that Hell on Earth War, as a whole, is a story arc that the X-Factor title has been begging for for quite some time. If you want to witness this team of mutants showcase their awesome abilities, make sure to not miss this story arc. As long as you can stand the so-so artwork of this particular issue.
Cover: 8/10 Writing: 7/10 Art: 5/10 Relevance: 5/10 TOTAL: 25/40
Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: This week has to go to Savage Wolverine #2 since I thought X-Factor was really boring.
SpidermanGeek: I wasn’t overly impressed by these two books, so I’ll give it to “Savage Wolverine” #2 for Frank Cho’s offering of eye candy.