Super Types

July 26, 2012

The Uncanny X-Piles XCIX

Avengers Academy #33
Christos Gage
Artist: Timothy Green II
Christos Gage really ended this arc better than some of the other tie ins that have come out. Emma is still trying to kill Justin’s Sentinel while the team tries to stop her. Her morality is called into question from several members and Gage keeps it from getting a bit too preachy but stays in the confines of the story. As the battle shifts more towards Emma’s favor you can’t help but feel sorry for Justin and what seems to be a no win situation for the students.
If you’ve ever seen the film Iron Giant then you can’t help but draw some comparisons. This isn’t a bad thing because Gage does put  a lot of heart in this story amidst all of the action. Gage also poses some thought provoking questions through the team as Hazmat asks if Emma will kill her because she’s capable of wiping out city. The dialogue is strong and he makes this a pretty strong read as he prepares us for the end of the Academy. Though the best part was the twist from a very unexpected character which puts an exclamation point on the issue’s story. Green’s artwork definitely helped with the emotional aspect of the story. When Emma explodes the Sentinel and rips it apart bolt by bolt, he shows you the progression of Justin’s pain over several panels. The one question that’s pretty evident is why didn’t X-23’s adamantium claws slince clean through Emma? Even in diamond form adamantium should be able to cut through her but I guess since she’s powered by the Phoenix Force this doesn’t matter anymore. All in all this was a strong issue with plenty of heart and was actually a nice break from all of the seriousness in the other issues. –IS
Cover: 6/10  Writing: 7/10  Art: 7/10  Relevance: 7/10

Avengers vs X-Men #8
Brian Michael Bendis
Aritist: Adam Kubert
Namor has decided to take things into his own hands and retrieve Hope on his own. After finding out she is being held in Wakanda he declares war on T’Challa’s home as well as the Avengers. The fight is an intense one with some very unexpected results when the dust settles and the fires dwindle out. Professor X has called out Scott and the Phoenix Five is down a member, making this actually feel like a story worth reading again.
So, Bendis has delivered another solid issue and helps keep this series treading water if not anything. He built off of the intensity of last issue’s cliffhanger and delivered on the anticipation one hundred percent. We get a battle that was intense and actually no holds barred especially when you see the result of the Namor/Red Hulk confrontation. The amount of damage to the character was unexpected and Kubert’s art clearly displayed the pain and graphic nature of their fight. Not just theirs actually but when he shows each Avenger heavy hitter getting their shots in on Namor you felt the impact of every hit. From the devastation of Wakanda to the way he illustrated Professor X giving The Phoenix Five that ultimatum the book is pretty impressive. Aside from a couple weird looks for characters this is one of the stronger looking issues.
The last few issue of New Avengers have had Hope training in K’Un – Lun and yet in this issue she reacts like she’s never seen it before. This is either a result of really bad timing of the issues’ release or a huge editorial mistake. I’m hoping it’s the former because the latter just screams incompetance. There seems to have been a shift in the story’s focus other than what this started off as. This can’t be blamed on Bendis since the core title is being written by comitte but it seems as if Hope has also taken a back seat in all of this. The one thing that I’d like to see come out of this issue is T’Challa make good on his threat to Namor for destroying Wakanda. This is something that just can’t be skimmed over and forgotten so it would be great if it’s not treated as such. –IS

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

Uncanny X-Men #16
Writers: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Daniel Acuña

This Strange, Unpleasant Land: part 2.  The Phoenix Five are on the offensive and are gunning to impale Mister Sinister head on the proverbial stick in his own secret underground city called Sinister London.  Krakoa shows up and Colossus decides to make his codename literal.

Gillen provides Mister Sinister fan service here. If you’ve ever wanted to see Mister Sinister really throw all he’s got at the X-Men, than this issue might be for you. Gillen has Sinister using clones in a very imaginative, sadistic and effective ways. He really gives the Phoenix Five a run for their money and by the time you hit the last few pages; you just might end up rooting for the bad guy.

My opinion of Acuña ‘s art pretty much remains as it did in my review of Uncanny X-Men #15. His character poses look natural and correct, but the facial expressions and features are a bit of a miss. On the whole though, this style of art isn’t as well suited for the heavy action sequences found in this second act. It’s not horrible, but it could have been better. –SG

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

Wolverine #309
Writer: Ivan Brandon
Artists: Rafael Albuquerque & Jason Latour

Where on earth did they dig up this issue? It’s like it was buried on an editors desk 6 years ago and then someone said, “Oh! Look what I found! A half-finished Wolverine story!”

Coming off an excellent arc by Cullen Bunn and Paul Pelletier, and jumping backwards in terms of numbering for Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi’s Return of Sabretooth story, I’m wondering why they felt the need to publish this. Continuity-wise, it takes place well before Schism, during the days of Kyle and Yost’s X-Force. The fact that the numbering and the continuity is all jacked up actually fits with this story as well.

The issue starts off strong with Albuquerque’s really nice artwork. Even the story seems like it has a nice beginning, with Brandon using a metaphor of a underlying smell beneath something that already stinks. This is the metaphor of the story as we see mutants who are being poisoned by long-forgotten Wolverine villain Meltdown, but it ends up being the metaphor for the issue.

What obscures this issue is that it has no coherent flow. Is it about Logan and Elixir’s relationship? It jumps from the two in a bar, to Logan sleeping with another redhead, to Logan talking to Cyclops for some reason, to Logan and Elixir playing detective. There are so many tired Wolverine tropes in this issue, it’s ridiculous. The story is choppy and has a hard time making linear sense. The story is further obscured by the switch between Albuquerque’s art and Latour’s work. It’s just a jumbled mess.

It’s issues like these which make me lose real faith in the editors at Marvel. I know they want to make a quick buck, and this issue couldn’t quite stand on it’s own as a one-shot or annual, so they published it the way they did. But it’s a real shame that they are putting out this kind of garbage. –JJ

Cover: 4/10 Writing: 1/10 Art: 3/10 Relevance: -29/100

X-Factor #240
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Neil Edwards

If you were wondering exactly why Layla Miller’s decision to bring Strong Guy back from the dead has weighed so heavily on her conscious, this issue should provide you with some answers.  However, it might not be for the same reasons you possibly anticipated.

You have to appreciate the time and thought that Peter David puts behind his Layla Miller character.  I get the sense that she’s probably his favorite creation.  She first appeared as a key player in the House of M storyline and has since won over many hearts as the little girl who “knows stuff” on the X-Factor team.  As years have gone by, PAD has dropped hints and revelations about how exactly her powers of clairvoyance work. The butterfly effect theory has always been closely associated with the character and we delve deeper into that with X-Factor #240, although her recent resurrection of Guido has had a big impact on her powers, or more specifically, the “stuff” she knows.  Only devoted X-Factor fans will get the most out of what this particular book has to offer though.

The recent and constant rotation of penciling duties has ultimately been hurting this title as of late, but Neil Edwards’ work on #240 has put him near the top of that roster. In other words, if Alex Alonso contracted Edwards for a 12 issue run, I wouldn’t be against the idea. His highly detailed backgrounds are a good fit for a title like X-Factor and this particular story lends itself well to that style of art. Backgrounds aside though, the rest is kind of hit or miss, but there’s a lot of potential for improvement in the future.

And of course, we also get another excellent cover by David Yardin. This guy manages to hit the nail on the head every time and his covers always correlate with the story found within. Great job. –SG

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

X-Men #32
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: David Lopez

This is the week of mediocre stories with art that pushes it over the edge to crap. Seriously, every title this week, even if the story was intriguing, had art that seriously hindered it. This book is no exception.

First of all, there’s a werewolf on the cover of this issue. There is no werewolf anywhere in this book, just so you know what you’re buying.

I think Wood’s recent X-Men work has been hamstrung by the artistic choices. I don’t know who is choosing these artist for these books, maybe one of the 4 (!!!!!) editors on this book. Lopez, like Leandro Fernandez on New Mutants, has a simple, non-detailed style. The inks, however, by Alvaro Lopez, are blotchy and crude. There is little expression on anyone’s face, which makes what’s going on see incredibly unimportant.

Which brings me to the plot which really does seem unimportant. The fact that this takes place before AvX takes all of the importance out. We know that Colossus will become one of the Phoenix, we also know that Psylocke is having issues of her own in Uncanny X-Force. So there is no threat in this issue that we don’t already know will be resolved. Added to that the fact that many X-titles these days are dealing with cloning (Wolverine and Uncanny X-Men both have plenty of people in stasis tubes), we don’t need more “proto-mutants” to be cloned. Also, does M-Day have no bearing anymore? I guess not.

This is just more excess in the X-Men. Nothing of consequence will happen here, so do yourself a favor and skip this. –JJ

Cover: 6/10 Writing: 3/10 Art: 1/10 Relevance: 1/10

Briefly X-Posed

New Mutants #46: Not much more to add to this that hasn’t already been said. Could this be a good book with another artist? Perhaps, but even the concept of the story is weak. Even though DnA want to make Doug Ramsey a viable character, Fernandez robs Doug of any excitement or dynamism. Only a few more issues and this one’s done. –JJ
Cover: 7/10 Writing: 3/10 Art: 0/10 Relevance: 0/10

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:

Jeff: This was a bad week. But the story in Avengers vs. X-Men #8 topped the rest of the pile. 
Infinite Speech: My pick goes to Avengers vs X-Men #8. Maybe if the series had just one writer it would be as strong as this issue. Oh, and Red Hulk gets his ass kicked too!
Spiderman Geek: Wolverine and The X-Men #13 made me a Warbird fan.  This chick is bad ass, but not as cold as we’re lead to believe.

  • NEXT WEEK: Join us for a celebratory 100th edition podcast as we review next week’s books, talk about all things X-Men, and play some X-Men trivia! If you have any X-Men-related questions, e-mail us at one of the addresses below or submit a question at the Forums!

Jeff Jackson


Infinite Speech


One Comment

  1. Hahaha! Were the picks so bad that you had to pick an issue from last week SMG? lol

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