Showing posts with label cyclops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cyclops. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Uncanny X-Men #1 - Review

Bendis, Bachalo, and Uncanny X-Men


Brian Michael Bendis wowed readers with his take on Marvel's mutants with All-New X-Men, and now he continues to dazzle us with the first issue of the Marvel NOW! relaunch of Uncanny X-Men. The legacy of the X-Men in American storytelling and the comic book medium is one that many readers are protective of, and I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this new take on Scott Summers. Bendis isn't afraid to take the classic moments of the X-Men franchise (finding new students, fighting sentinels, time travel, and social issues) and introduce them into a new paradigm.

The "Uncanny X-Men"

For those of you who haven't been following, the Phoenix Force took over Scott Summers and drove him to an unspeakable act -- killing Professor Charles Xavier. To atone for his crimes, Cyclops has made himself the face of the new mutant revolution. The Phoenix Force has brought a wave of new young mutants into the world, and Cyclops is ready to lead them to a brighter tomorrow.

This series picks up with a dark secret being outed by someone close to Cyclops, and breaks into an all out brawl against powerful enemies as the new X-Men (Emma Frost, Magik, Tempus, Magneto, and a yet to be named healer) try to save a new mutant in San Diego.
Sentinel throw down in San Diego
The writing by Bendis is just as strong as his characterizations in All-New X-Men. I've read Bendis' work on The Avengers here and there, but I'm convinced that he's much better suited for the mutant family. I haven't truly enjoyed Cyclops as a character since I was a little kid, and Bendis is taking the new direction that Summers has been pulled in and running with it. The relationship between Magneto and the rest of the team is just as interesting, as he's been reduced to a much less powerful version of his former self. It's all an interesting read, while being packed with action and life that makes me want to read the issue all over again.

A strange new mutant appears!

Chris Bachalo's artwork is astounding. I've always been a fan of his art style, and seeing a double-page spread of the X-Men fighting off Sentinels in the middle of the city is a real treat. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the new costumes that the team wears, but I think that it's important that they set themselves apart from who they were before the events of AvX. Bachalo makes the new costumes work with the situation in the story, and his cartooning and use of line make each detail pop. And it would be criminal not to mention his interesting layouts and pacing, which work well with Bendis' dialogue and story.

Uncanny X-Men is an example of how the Marvel NOW! relaunch can be effective in bringing in new readers. I hadn't been reading any X-Men titles (besides Wolverine and the X-Men) and now I'm reading almost all of them. Bendis is spearheading the mutant revolution, and this new ongoing take on a classic title is another unstoppable weapon in his arsenal.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #542 - 200th Review!

WHO'S THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCH?!


The Serpent has powered the Juggernaut with the magic of Asgard and he's even more unstoppable than he was before! As Cyclops uses various combinations of X-Men in an attempt to bring down the Juggernaut, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Colossus' sister visit the demon Cyttorak to inform him that his avatar, the Juggernaut, has betrayed him. In an attempt to give himself a new avatar, a new candidate is chosen, and it's going to spell trouble for the one wreaking havoc on San Francisco.

Written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Greg Land, this Fear Itself tie-in issue of Uncanny X-Men #542 was just plain fun. It showcased a vast array of X-Men combining their powers in order to try and stop an unstoppable foe. It was really interesting to see plan after plan enacted on the Juggernaut with no end in sight to his mayhem. Even I started to feel how unstoppable he was through the pages. The writing was very well done, and the art was executed just as well. Although in the first book of this arc I wasn't very happy with how Cyclops looked it has since grown on me. Land has a very unique style and it's suiting this story so far.

I haven't really been into the whole Fear Itself event. That might be because I'm not a huge Thor fan, or because I feel like most of the Fear Itself issues of Marvel Comics are just being thrown out there just for the sake of being tied in. But this ongoing story with the Juggernaut stomping his way toward San Francisco has got me reconsidering my position on the latest Asgardian crisis.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

X-Men: Schism #3 - Review

HELLFIRE RISES


The Schism event continues in the third part of five as the Hellfire Club attacks the gala event that the X-Men are attending. When they quickly dispatch of Emma Frost, Iceman, Magneto, Namor, and Colossus, Wolverine and Cyclops race to try and make it in time. Idie, the young girl that Wolverine has been looking after, is the only one left in a position to do something about it, but wants an order. Wolverine and Cyclops argue over the telepathic wavelengths over what she should do, and her actions form an even bigger rift between Logan and Scott.

Written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Daniel Acuna, this issue of X-Men: Schism was okay, not great. It was a basic race-for-the-clock story with very little development until the end concerning the rift growing between the X-Men's two biggest characters, Wolverine and Cyclops. If anything it was just a classic party attack scene in superhero stories with an added flashback to explain why the kids leading the Hellfire Club are so crazy.

It isn't a bad issue though. There are some cool moments where the Hellfire Club uses the X-Men's weaknesses against them, and the ending had a promising look at a new kind of sentinel. The artwork was much better and more steady this time around, and the issue was a quick read. But it's getting a little crazy how everyone can use telepathy now, even when Emma Frost is knocked out. It's almost like every mutant can speak to each other through thoughts without any help now. I know there were other telepaths around helping out, but come on.

Overall I'm going to stick with this series until it ends. It has a good premise and the potential to do something interesting with the story. However, the whole thing with the sentinels attacking has taken place "off camera" so to speak. I was really hoping for a classic huge mutant versus robot battle like my fond childhood memories of X-Men. But hey, different strokes for different folks.

I wonder if I would have felt different about this series if I had read it as a complete trade and not as separate issues? Oh well, I guess we'll never know. Until then I'll keep reading them and reviewing them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

X-Men: Schism #2 - Review

SENTINELS RUN AMOK


In the next installment of Jason Aaaron's X-Men: Schism the sentinels are being deployed all across the world to hunt down the mutant menace and save humanity. The only problem that their creators didn't count on was saving humanity from the sentinels. Many of the giant robots have been in storage for a decade and are crashing left and right or attacking humans as soon as they're activated. The X-Men, Avengers, and any other Marvel hero are on the case as they try and stop any collateral damage from the hulking machines. Meanwhile, the Hellfire Club is preparing to make its move against the mutants, and Wolverine doesn't agree with Cyclops' strategy in order to deal with it all.

The writing on this issue wasn't as strong as the first, but that might be due to the fact that it's a bridge to what is to come in the following issues. It still had some great moments, like when Wolverine insists on calling Steve Rogers and letting him know some vital information, which is then stopped by Cyclops and leads to a huge argument. That might also be my new found love for Captain America seeping in, but it was still a cool little cameo. The other aspects of the story, including the faces behind the Hellfire Club, was pretty interesting. It's a much different take on the group than the original members, and it'll be a fresh shake up as an X-Men group of villains.

This story had art done by Frank Cho and it wasn't the greatest I've ever seen. It had some beautiful moments, but for the most part it looked as if it couldn't decide whether to make the characters cartoony or realistic on the page. The panels in terms of pacing were still very good, they just didn't seem very consistent and didn't draw me in.

Overall there were some parts that dragged on a bit, and the art wasn't that great, but I'm not giving up on this title just yet. If you consider how much this is going to affect X-Men titles down the road, it's important to know what the cause of all the new books is going to be.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #541 (Fear Itself Tie-In) - Review

THE JUGGERNAUT IS EVEN MORE UNSTOPPABLE


This issue of Uncanny X-Men is the "Fear Itself" tie-in that pits the X-Men against the Juggernaut who has been picked as one of the Worthy to carry a Hammer from The Serpent. Scott Summers is trying to take the most tactical route to deal with the Juggernaut, and hopes to use the age-old method of removing his helmet in order to stop him with a psychic attack. With a whole legion of X-Men waiting to stand in his way, the Juggernaut is determined to level San Francisco and spread his war against "sin." But when Hope flies in with all of the mutants powers at her side, Summers is sure that they've saved San Francisco. That is, until they realize that the Juggernaut has a whole new bag of tricks up his sleeve.

Written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Greg Land, this issue was an obvious add-on for the "Fear Itself" event. It was a good issue, with some fun action and great Juggernaut scenes, but it's just one of those event tie-ins that doesn't really go anywhere. I can understand the appeal of doing events and crossing over characters, but it's starting to get a little old. That being said, I'm still a huge fan of anything with the Juggernaut in it, and the issue as a whole was pretty good, it's just not something that can really stand on its own.

Overall it's worth picking up if you're following "Fear Itself" or if you're a Juggernaut fan, and it's worth skipping if you want to wait for the event to be over with.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

X-Men #15 - Review

Evolution Takes Its Toll


In Christopher Yost's "First to Last" conclusion the X-Men finally make their move in the past and the present to take on the Evolutionaries and save mankind. While the Evolutionaries want mutantkind to take its rightful place as the dominant species on Earth, Cyclops and the X-Men don't want all of the normal humans to pay the price for it. In a last ditch effort by the Cyclops of the past and the Cyclops of the future, a machine that can separate the cosmic power from the Evolutionaries. But is it really the end of the fight for evolution?

In this latest issue of X-Men we see the big differences between the Magneto of the past and the Magneto of the future. In the past he would have killed off humanity without a second thought, and now, in his more humbled state, he can see the error of his ways. If anything I think that this story arc was a wonderful reminder of how far he's come as a character in recent years.

Aside from that the story was good, but not the best. It was fun to read and the artwork, done by Paco Medina, is very fun and stylish. It has a hint of Jack Kirby influence and a wonderful use of then and now elements. It's worth reading just because it's a fun romp into the world of the X-Men and a great idea for a time travel story where the main characters don't actually do the traveling.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted (Motion Comic) - Review

They Call it a "Cure" . . .


The X-Men are restructuring and trying to change their public image after having defeated the Legacy virus, which threatened to destroy Mutantkind. Cyclops has started a relationship with telepath Emma Frost, Wolverine is against shooting for a "superhero" publicity stunt, and Kitty Pryde is struggling with being back on the team. All the while a stranger from Breakworld has arrived with technology that can cure human beings of mutation, causing riots and panicking amongst humans and mutants alike.

Based on the Astonishing X-Men run and written again as a motion comic by Joss Whedon, this motion comic animates the story arc of "Gifted" and enters the fray of digitizing and bringing comics to life on screen in the most literal of translations. I had seen the first episode a long while back, and after seeing the Invincible motion comic and falling in love with it, I decided to give this one another shot.

There are times when I enjoy motion comics and other times that I don't. While the writing was pretty solid in this short series (6 episodes), the animation was sometimes strange and forced. Other times they just used a panel from the book and didn't animate it at all. The moving mouths and walking are what really made me feel strange. Everyone looks like a rag doll or a ventriloquist dummy. Though I do admit that it kept my attention the entire time and that I watched it straight through.

Most people are against motion comics, but I think it might just be different styles that people enjoy. While this X-Men series wasn't the best I've seen, it wasn't the worst either. The voice acting was very good, and I felt like it would have done well fully animated if given the shot. I still enjoyed Kirkman's motion comic a bit better, only because it didn't try to make the characters move. I think that many of the motion comics do this and people expect the animation to be top notch. At least, that's what I've seen in some iTunes reviews.

I'm going to be giving all of Marvel's motion comics a shot, but as for this one I'd give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I'm going to just start rating this like this in order to give people a good indicator of how I feel about it. It's worth watching if you're a big X-Men fan, but worth skipping if you're looking for better animation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #538 - Review

Kitty Scratches Back!


Written By: Kieron Gillen
Drawn By: Terry Dodson
Inks By: Rachel Dodson
Publisher: Marvel

In the conclusion to the "Breaking Point" story arc, the former Powerlord known as Kruun from Breakworld has incapacitated the X-Men in their sleep and gutted Colossus in order to enact his revenge for losing to him all those years ago. Kitty Pryde has just regained her tangible form through a strange ritual by Kruun's wife, Haleena, and rushes to save her teammates and friends.

This issue of Uncanny X-Men was a pretty fun read, though it wasn't anything spectacular. The fight between Wolverine and Kruun was a good bit of comic book sport, and I do love Kitty Pryde as a strong female character taking charge in a crisis situation. For those that don't know, Kitty is the X-Men member known as Shadowcat -- a young woman who can move through solid objects. She was recently trapped in her intangible form, unable to make contact with anyone or control her powers. I had always wondered what would happen if an ability like that backfired, and I'm glad that Marvel was willing to let the X-Men take it down that path.

The end of the issue is what I really enjoyed. Cyclops has been trying to turn the X-Men into something more than a punch and run team, and their solution for the refugees from Breakworld shows that new approach. If there's something that comics don't show enough of it's people learning to understand each other rather than pummel each other to death.

In summary, it's a good book to read to get a feel for the tone of the new version of the X-Men that Marvel has been putting out, but I wouldn't say it's for people who are die hard action fans.

Monday, June 20, 2011

X-Men #12 - Review

Evolution Takes A Dire Turn


The Evolutionaries once appeared before Professor X and the original X-Men years ago when the team consisted of Cyclops, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Beast, Angel, and Ice-Man, telling them that if there were no official leader of Mutantkind, that no true decision about the fate of humanity could be reached. When they confront the current X-Men on Utopia, Cyclops tries to buy them time to save humanity as the time traveling omniscient beings look for someone else to barter with. After a scuffle, Cyclops loses his window, and they find a person who will speak for Mutantkind -- the Magneto of the past!

Written by Christopher Yost, drawn by Paco Medina and Dalibor Talajic, and published by Marvel, this issue of X-Men was a part 2, which I evidently missed out on part 1. The story was paced well and was more of a science fiction issue than an action issue, dealing with the concept that someone must decide who is more worthy to survive on Earth -- humans or mutants. The artwork is very well done, and has a mix of modern and classic elements to it in terms of line and color. The pacing was well structured, and it kept my attention on every page.

The only drawback that the book might have is that it's all setup, but that's not really a problem if you're following along closely with the X-Men in the Marvel Universe. I'd say it's worth taking a look at, in the sense that Magneto, who has been working as a member of the X-Men, is now going to be working against the past version of himself.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #534 - Review

Shaw and Frost Duke it Out!


This issue of Uncanny X-Men concludes a story arc revolving around a virus that weakens and takes away mutant powers. Cyclops has lost his ability to shoot optic blasts, Logan has lost his healing factor and is now suffering from adamantium poisoning, and very few X-Men still have their powers. When the X-Men confront the man who has created the virus, they discover that he's sold a different version of the virus to normal humans in order to sell rich people the X-Men's powers. It's a group of powerless X-Men against a whole building full of faux mutants, and the team gets it's chance to prove that there's more to being a member of the X-Men than mutant powers. Meanwhile, Emma Frost takes on Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club. She decides that she's tired of her past catching up with her and attempts to erase herself and many of Shaw's past deeds from his memory. It's a battle of brains and brawn as Emma the telepath takes on Shaw the kinetic.

This was a really fun issue. I often judge things on how they're written, paced, drawn, and put together. All of those aspects are wonderful in this book. Kieron Gillen writes an awesome story and Greg Land draws an action packed issue. But what's really fun in this story is the concept of powerless X-Men taking on people who have stolen their skills. Wolverine is covered with kitchen knives and blades, Cyclops is decked out with a huge laser canon, and Emma's battle gets me revved up about the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie, which features Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw.

There are many X-Men titles out right now, but this one and the classic title are my two favorites. They always have snappy writing and really exciting concepts to have the world's favorite mutants fight through physically and emotionally. In fact, it was the new take on the X-Men stories that made me decide to start reading MARVEL COMICS again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

X-Men #7 - Review

The Mutants Have A New Backdrop


I haven't been much of a Marvel Comics fan over the years, and I thought that since I'm reviewing comics I should give both of the big publishers a shot. I picked up this issue of the new ongoing X-Men series based solely on the cover, which had incredible artwork. Also the fact that Spider-Man was joining the team for an excursion peaked my interest.

Here's what I've gathered from jumping into the story thus far: the X-Men have relocated to San Fransisco in order to have a fresh start and have even hired a PR agent to promote their image. They're doing more crime fighting than they usually do in order to build up a better reputation, probably after the events of Marvel Civil War and the Skrull Invasion. The team gets called in to investigate reports of missing persons and reptilian creatures in the sewers. They're ambushed by a small army of creatures that share the body attributes of The Lizard (Kurt Conners), and run right into everyone's favorite web-slinger, Spider-Man, who tells them that they're going to have to fight through him in order to get a shot at Conners.

The issue was well written, fast paced, and the artwork was wonderful. It had all the humor you'd expect from interactions between characters like Gambit and Wolverine, as well as a very touching moment between him and Cyclops about what direction they need to take their friends and teammates in for the future. I accidentally subscribed to X-Men and Uncanny X-Men on Marvel.com, so I guess I'll be reviewing the two series regularly now. For future reference, they don't have a confirmation page for their subscription orders, just to see how much the total is, so buyer beware. But I think it's a happy mistake. If I was going to give the Marvel Universe another chance, it'd be with everyone's favorite super team.

But who else should I give the same shot? Spider-Man as a character has been falling flat for me, but he's one of my childhood favorites. I think I'll pick up one of his books and if it resonates with me I'll give it more of a shot. Other than that I don't really have any other favorite Marvel characters. Any suggestions?