Showing posts with label magneto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magneto. 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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

X-Men: Schism #3 - Review


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


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


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.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

X-Men: First Class - Review

Peace Was Never An Option

Based on the short comic book run by the same name, X-Men: First Class follows the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the young Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) during their adolescent and young adult years. When the Hellfire Club, led by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), decides to start WW III in order to destroy all normal human life, it's up to Charles and Erik to gather a group of mutants who can stand against him and his lovely but deadly right hand woman, Emma Frost (January Jones). The only question is, who should the mutants really be worried about fighting? The Hellfire Club or their own government?

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, First Class is the first Marvel movie to utilize a period piece setting for its popular characters. The setting, which is when the X-Men were first introduced to the world by Marvel Comics, completely fits the tone of the civil rights movement and what it means to be considered an actual citizen of America. It also covers the broad topic of what it's like to be a young person who is different and going through changes that no one understands, but almost every X-Men story does that nowadays.

The movie overall is well paced, has some awesome and dramatic moments both with Charles and Erik, and lets the world see a more fantastic and less extreme version of the X-Men. The shining part of this film however is the outstanding performances by McAvoy and Fassbender, who I think played their characters even better than Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen did. Not that Stewart and McKellen didn't give great performances, I just think that they had the disadvantage of not being the story's main focus.

That being said, the best parts of this movie are the parts where Charles and Erik argue or collaborate for the greater good of mutant kind. The scenes where Erik goes on a rampage, hunting down the people responsible for his parents death, is the kind of comic book action that makes you want to pump your fist in the air.

The style of the movie feels very much like a mixture of Mad Men and James Bond with the X-men flair thrown into it. The supporting cast wasn't a bad group, but many of the characters felt rushed or lacked depth. It's to be expected with an action movie, especially one that relies on special effects, but the main characters are all well played and make the movie authentic. Kevin Bacon's role as Shaw was actually quite entertaining, and I would love to see him play more roles similar to this one.

The only thing that might put people off is the fact that this movie is set in the film version of the X-Men universe, so the actual source material characters are no where to be found. Instead of having Cyclops, Ice Man, Angel, Beast, and Jean Grey, the X-Men consists of Banshee, Darwin, Havok, Mystique, Beast, Magneto, and Professor X. Considering they wanted to stay true to the audiences of the movies, it wouldn't make sense for them to try and start it all over with the characters being born in a different decade.

Some of the aspects of the film I didn't like were that they called a character by the wrong name, Pixie, who was called Angel in the film, and that the character of Banshee was just so horrible. The scenes where they teach him to fly, which really comes out of nowhere, were goofy and very cheesy. The only other thing that was weird was that many of the villains never spoke. Azazel and Riptide (who they never mention by name once or has a single line of dialogue) are basically just present for special effects and have nothing to contribute to the story.

That being said, it's probably the best X-Men movie I've ever seen. It's a wonderful start to the official summer blockbusters that are going to be filling the theater.