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May 11, 2013

The Uncanny X-Piles 139

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Written by: Jeff
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all new x-menWelcome to the 139th edition of the Uncanny X-Piles, where we give you our thoughts on the week’s worth of X-Men books!

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 issue; red indicates a drop; green indicates the book stayed put.

1. All-New X-Men: 37 (36)

2. Uncanny X-Men: 31 (29)

3. Cable & X-Force: 29 (35)

4. Savage Wolverine: 29 (28)

5. Uncanny Avengers: 27 (32)

6. Uncanny X-Force 26 (20)

7. Gambit: 25 (25)

8. X-Factor: 23 (29)

9. Wolverine and the X-Men: 23 (25)

10. X-Men: 21 (23)

11. Wolverine : 17 (32)

12. Astonishing X-Men: 10 (13)


all new x-menAll-New X-Men #11
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen

The cover of this issue asks, “Which of the All-New X-Men will join Cyclops’ mutant revolution?” I’m not sure who dropped the ball on this, but since it was already revealed in Uncanny X-Men #4 that Angel is the answer to that question, the wind seemed to be sucked out of the sails.

But for a moment, let’s pretend that this issue came out before UXM #4. If you can suspend your disbelief momentarily, then you’ll find that this is yet again a stellar issue of this book.

The first page is perhaps one of my favorite pages of the year. This issue picks up right where last issue left off, with a voice saying s/he was going to join Cyclops’ team. Immonen provides five horizontal panels, each panel drawing the camera back to get the reactions of Jean Grey, old and young Beast, young Iceman, young Cyclops, and Kitty and Logan. It was a masterful page that carried all the various reactions perfectly.

The rest of the issue deals with the fall out, particularly Jean Grey’s struggle with her powers and her inclination to make Angel stay despite his wishes. There are so many great interactions here from Magneto taking out Wolverine to the Stepford Cuckoos laying in to Jean at Emma’s request.

I’m really enjoying the Kitty Pryde/Jean Grey relationship. This is the kind of thing that makes the X-Men unique. Great action, great social commentary, but also great characters. Bendis continues to nail each voice.

My only nitpick is at the end, when Logan tells the young team who is attacking them, he refers to Havok’s team as his “Uncanny Avengers.” I hate that kind of meta-reference. But besides that small detail, this book totally rocks! -JJ

Cover: 9/10 Writing: 10/10 Art: 9/10 Relevance: 9/10 TOTAL: 37/40


X-Factor #255
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Leonard Kirk

Hell on Earth War: Part 6. Ok, so I guess this thing isn’t quite over just yet.  It looks like we still have one more issue to go. While X-Factor do their best to keep the Hell on Earth War collateral damage to a minimum, Mephisto went ahead and won that war without telling anyone. This forces Tier to rethink his decision to be a neutral player.  Meanwhile, Strong Guy and Monet duke it out in a battle that can shake the Earth core.

Although this arc has been somewhat enjoyable, it’s kind of difficult to try and figure out what Peter David is trying to accomplish with it. None of it seemed terribly focused on character progression.  Tier is not very a very interesting character; he’s there just to give Wolfsbane something to do, in my opinion. PAD doesn’t really manage to make me care any more for Mephista as well. The real stars of this issue were Monet and Strong Guy.  There has been a lot of tension between them and they really cut loose in these pages. The outcome of that battle will affect X-Factor more than the entire Hell on Earth War.

Leonard Kirk’s art seemed extremely rushed here except for whenever Strong Guy or Demon Madrox showed up.  Those guys looked fantastic throughout. Jay Leisten’s inks and Matt Milla’s colors really helped this book keep to a certain standard.

Bottom line is that I am so happy to report that next issue will see the Hell on Earth War come to an end because honestly, I don’t think I can handle writing another review past that.  Let’s move on. –SG

Cover: 7/10 Writing: 6/10 Art: 6/10 Relevance: 4/10 TOTAL: 23/40

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: All-New X-Men #11 makes me want to slap my grandma it’s so good!
SpidermanGeek: All-New X-Men #11 was an emotionally riveting issue.

Jeff Jackson




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