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February 13, 2013

The Uncanny X-Piles 127

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Written by: Jeff
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Welcome to the 127th edition of the Uncanny X-Piles! Only 2 books this week, but boy were they great!

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: 35 (37)

2. Wolverine & the X-Men: 32 (25)

3. Uncanny X-Men: 31 (16)

4. X-Factor: 30 (30)

5. Wolverine : 30 (24)

6. Cable & X-Force: 28 (26)

7. Astonishing X-Men: 27 (27)

8. Gambit: 25 (23)

9. Uncanny X-Force: 23 (29)

10. X-Men: 23 (22)

11. Uncanny Avengers: 21 (29)

12. Age of Apocalypse: 20 (20)

13. X-Men: Legacy: 20 (19)

14. Savage Wolverine: 17

15. A + X: 16 (18)


All-New X-Men #7
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Cover: Stuart Immonen

I’m not a big fan of the current Cyclops, but once upon a time, I really loved him. His awkwardness, his struggle with his powers, his insecurity in leadership – all these things made Scott Summers a well-rounded character, and it’s these things that are missing from his present incarnation.

Luckily, Brian Michael Bendis realizes what made Cyclops such a unique character back in the day, which makes him bringing young Scott to the present that much more enjoyable. Here, Scott is just as awkward, just as lonely, and just as insecure as he could be. Because of what his future self has done, he’s not really welcome among the current X-Men. He’s even being rejected by his love Jean Grey. There is just so much that can be done with these characters in the present, and Bendis is capitalizing on those things.

He also introduces Scott to Mystique, who is a master manipulator. With her in the picture, we know that only bad things can happen. Bendis writes Mystique in such a way that even the reader has sympathy for her point-of-view. If we didn’t know how crazy she was, we might be seduced by her like Scott. Luckily, Bendis simply sows some seeds here and once Mystique has stirred the pot a bit, now the X-Men have a potential flight risk in the young Scott Summers.

David Marquez continues to excel on this book. He gets more and more comfortable with each issue. Perhaps his best panels are the ones where Kitty takes down the young Bobby Drake, asserting herself as the team’s new trainer. Marquez has a real grasp of choreography, and my fellow ComicAttacker Infinite Speech tells me that he had a conversation with Marquez about knowing a bit of martial arts himself. So Marquez knows what he’s drawing here.

This book continues to please and is always at the top of my list to read when it comes out. –JJ

Cover: 8/10 Writing: 9/10 Art: 8/10 Relevance: 10/10 TOTAL: 35/40

X-Factor #251
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Cover: David Yardin

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to see a fight between all the different “Lords of Hell” in the Marvel Universe. There are so many different ones – Mephisto, Hela, Pluto, and so on. It appears Peter David has wondered about this too, and decided to put X-Factor right in the middle of it.

PAD has been plotting this scenario for quite some time. With Rahne and Hrimhari’s son Tier playing a central role in the conflict, Darwin’s connection to Hela and hunting of Tier, and even Guido’s soulless turn to the dark side, longtime readers of this book know that this is not out of left field. I’ve never been a fan of tossing in mutants into the world of the supernatural, but PAD has done a superb job of seeding this story over the last few years. The X-Factor crew has become just as entrenched in supernatural phenomenon as they have solving mutant murders, so this book continues to flow seamlessly.

PAD finally reveals why Tier is the object of all the Lords of Hell’s fury: he’s the 7 billionth person born in the world. This idea seems a little random, as that could have been anyone. It’s not because he’s the son of a god and a mutant? It’s not because he’s the harbinger of the apocalypse? I found this to be a tad bit weak in terms of explaining why Tier is marked for death, and was looking for something with more depth there.

Despite this one minor issue, I felt like this book was back on the right track. The previous arcs of the team’s dissolution, and the issues with Pip felt way off-track. Now, the whole team is gathered to take out this major threat. I did enjoy the discussion about getting the X-Men or the Avengers involved, and hope that PAD decides that X-Factor is the best team suited for this job.

PAD continues to balance humor with the drama, and we even find out that Monet is suffering from some type of illness that is killing her. This book has all the hallmarks of a huge epic tale, but is encased just in this book, as it should be. As long as the editors let Peter David do what he wants in this corner of the Marvel Universe, I’m happy.

Leonard Kirk’s art has it’s ups and downs. He does not draw attractive characters, and seeing as how many of these characters are intended to be good-looking, Kirk seems to struggle with getting their faces right. He’s much stronger on drawing the Lords of Hell and even Wolfsbane in her wolf form.

David Yardin continually surprises me with how amazing his covers are. Part of my issue with Kirk’s interiors is that they struggle when put against Yardin’s work on the cover. I would love to have a poster of this team shot cover that has appeared on the last two issues.

Overall, this is a fun book and continues to be well-done. We here at ComicAttack.net continue to wish Peter David a speedy recovery! –JJ

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

Most X-Cellent Pick of the Week:
Jeff: All-New X-Men #7 is clearly the winner for me. This book is the best comic Marvel is producing.

Jeff Jackson


One Comment

  1. While I disagree with your sentiments about present day Cyclops, I think he’s kinda awesome, I do agree that All New X-Men is the best book Marvel is producing right now. At least of the ones I read.

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