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April 24, 2014

All-New Uncanny X-Piles #164

Welcome back ComicAttackers and X-fans to this week’s edition of The All-New Uncanny X-Piles where a handful of our merriest mutant loving reviewers have dropped by once again to regale you with their thoughts on that one X-Title that has impacted them the most, be it good or bad, from last week’s releases. Infinite Speech took a leave of absence this week to go offworld and defend his innocence of crimes he has yet to commit against the Shi’ar Empire, but keep reading, true believers, to discover what SpidermanGeek, and The Comic Book Clergyman have to say about your favorite Marvel mutants’ adventures and don’t forget to leave a comment to tell us what YOU think!


imageUncanny X-Men #20
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo

Since just about every X-Men book came out this week, I decided to focus on the positive. Uncanny X-Men continues to be one of the only X-Men books that is really working these days.

In Part 2 of “Uncanny X-Men vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Cyclops directly confronts Maria Hill on the continued Sentinel attacks on them. Cyclops is convinced that S.H.I.E.L.D. is behind them, but Hill’s denials are written so well. Bendis knows how to write a well-crafted confrontation scene, and does so with great pacing and some really great character moments.

When it appears that S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be behind it, Cyclops turns to his other current nemesis, Beast. Once again, Cyclops travels to the Jean Grey school and gets into a heated debate with Beast. The issue ends with a great cliff-hanger as the tension between Scott and Hank reaches a fever-pitch.

But the best scene in this issue is where we find out how Blob has regained his powers after M-Day. The way Bendis handles the pages with Mystique, Sabretooth, and Blob is just awesome. He has such a great handle on these characters.

Bachalo’s art continues to “wow.” He is so consistent in his excellence. Nothing is scrimped on in these panels. It’s dynamic, fun, and full of detail.

Bendis’ books are just superior to the other X-Men books on the shelves this week. I’m beginning to consider whether my pull list needs more quality than quantity of X-Men books these days. –JJ

Rating: 8/10

imageX-Force #3
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Rock-He Kim

Hot on the trail of Russian billionaire Yevgeny-Malevitch Volga, X-Force awaits the arrival of Psylocke in Brazil to move forward with their pursuit. Psylocke took a short leave from the team to fulfill her “daytime” duties as a member of the X-Men faction that operates out of the Jean Grey School. At the same time, she takes the opportunity to gather additional intel about Volga’s last known whereabouts by accessing Cerebra.

Simon Spurrier keeps the focus on Psylocke in this issue, while much if not all of the exposition is provided by a conversation between Cable and Marrow. Marrow comes off as brash and obnoxious. So much so that she really got on my nerves, especially with all that cursing. Having Psylocke replace her deleted expletives with comedic gibberish didn’t help matters much. Marrow practically spends the entire issue whining about Psylocke’s refusal to kill her opponents. Spurrier is using this rapidly building tension between the teammates to shoehorn the climax into the issue, but the payoff fell flat. Turns out that Psylocke is an addict and she’s addicted to killing. Wait..wut?

The dialogue throughout the issue is horrendous. It managed to make me queezy and gave me a headache, especially whenever MeMe had something to say. MeMe’s techno-dialect only managed to bring any built up story momentum to a grinding halt while the reader has to devote all of his or her brain power to decipher what the hell she iss talking about. Then we have Fantomex still rockin’ a ridiculous French accent, but something doesn’t seem quite right as Psylocke corrects his French grammar at one point and calls him a “bloody fraud”. Maybe Fantomex isn’t who we think he is?

Rock-He Kim’s art shows little to no improvement over the last issue. Action panels are static and void of any dynamic or kinetic looking art. The artist employed the traditional rectangle and square panel layouts with large white borders which doesn’t help in achieving much fluidity when coupled with the mediocre art found within those panels. The color palette is muted and dull while the costume designs are horrible. Cable just flat out looks ugly with that weird headband/helmet thing on his head.

The bottom line is that after three issues, this creative team should have managed to hook me in by now, but I can’t seem to find anything worth hanging on to that makes me want to come back for a fourth issue. This will officially be my last review of this current volume of X-Force as there is a long list of other, better comic books out there for me to kill time with. I’ll give it a point though solely for the fact that Marvel still had the balls to send this garbage to print. –SMG

Rating: 1/10


What did you think about this week’s X-books? Let us know below! You can check out more X-Piles right here!




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