Tag Archives: Magik

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #10 – Cyclops Comes Calling

Wolverine and the X-Men #10
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Chris Bachalo [Penciler/Colorist]; Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey, and Victor Olazaba [Inkers]

The events of Avengers Vs. X-Men had to hit home at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning sooner or later, and when Cyclops comes calling, boy do they ever.

Taking place between Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 and 3, Wolverine and the X-Men #10 provides some additional insight into what happened between the storming of Utopia and Captain America organizing teams of Avengers to search the planet for Hope Summers (and ultimately betraying Wolverine by throwing him out of a Quinjet).

To sum it up, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Magik show up at the Jean Grey School and insult everyone there so they can recruit additional X-Men to their side.

Perhaps more interesting than the main plot, Genesis finally figures out who Apocalypse is (but remains unaware that he is a clone/reincarnation of the villain) and Angel finally realizes that he isn’t an angel, but a mutant who used to be known as Warren Worthington.  Genesis and Angel are also quickly forming a bond, which will be interesting to see play out in the months to come considering Angel was once Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death and replacement prior to losing his memory and gaining his new abilities.

With this issue, Jason Aaron has crafted a tie-in issue that doesn’t exist solely as an extension of the event it’s a part of and continues to develop stand-alone plot threads.  Additionally, some of these plot threads are likely to have an impact on the event as a whole–namely the entry of Gladiator and the Shi’ar Death Commandoes, who have dealt with the Phoenix and the X-Men before, into the fray.

Chris Bachalo’s art in this issue also transitions much more smoothly between panels, feeling much more in line with his earlier work on the book and his stellar art on the 2010 Amazing Spider-Man “Shed” arc.

This isn’t a perfect issue, but it’s still a damn fun ride.

STORY: 8/10
ART: 8/10 

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 – Cyclops has lost his mind

Avengers Vs. X-Men #2
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Art:  John Romita Jr. [Pencils], Scott Hanna [Inks], Laura Martin [Colors]

[We’ve tried our best to be as spoiler-free as possible here, but nobody’s perfect.  Read at your own risk.]

Defying Captain America’s request to take Hope Summers into custody last issue, Cyclops fired the first shot in the X-Men’s war on the Avengers against the Star-Spangled Hero himself.

As the Avengers take Utopia’s beach, Emma Frost moves Hope inside–assuming the girl, with more questions than answers regarding the Phoenix and what its return means regarding her, will stay put.  In short order, the most epic battle in comics since the end of 2008’s Secret Invasion or 2006’s Civil War commences.

Jason Aaron sets up several of the fights to take place in the accompanying Avengers Vs. X-Men: Versus mini-series beginning next week, with several moments in this issue hinting at the outcomes of those fights.  He brings Quicksilver into the fray, revealing where the son of Magneto stands in the fight (HINT:  There isn’t going to be a reunion of the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants anytime soon), and teases the entrance of Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch, with no hint of who she’ll side with.

The highlight of this issue is arguably Aaron’s insights into the match-ups, like calling Emma Frost’s organic diamond form punching Tony Stark’s multi-billion dollar armor the “most expensive punch in history,” playing up the marital dramatics in a fight between Storm and the Black Panther, or pointing out that Wolverine is fighting against an island of characters he once called family.

This initial battle is all for naught, but it does skirt on the idea that Cyclops might potentially become a villain.  Much of what he says in this issue sounds like things reformed X-Men über-villain Magneto would say, and he does have his own Juggernaut now in Colossus.  With 10 issues to go, the only things that are certain are that several characters are bound to switch sides, Civil War-style, (Hell, it’s even teased in the Cap vs. Wolverine cover for AVX #3) and that things will spiral further out of control.

At this point, my biggest hope (aside from wanting a Cyclops villain turn) is that we at least get a Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 video game out of this in a year or two.

– Roger Riddell

Follow me on Twitter @RRiddell3 

Mike DeVivo’s take forthcoming

Alright Roger Ive Assembled here!

So, two issues into Avengers Vs. X-Men and I can say I’m underwhelmed. What I thought was largely going to be a collaborative effort in bringing two different teams and their vantage points to light has thus far turned into “Cyclops is crazy and the Avengers aren’t.” I don’t buy the angle that Cyclops is losing his mind, or that he’s taking things too far. It paints every X-Man and woman as blind sheep fighting for the cause of a crazy man. Maybe I’m rooting for the little guys, in which case i feel the X-Men are warranted to protect one of their own. The characterization feels off, especially with Cyclops and Wolverine. Again, maybe it’s because I’m in Cyclops’ camp here, but I can’t help but feel like this story feels off.

I do love John Romita Jr.’s work in this series so far. His facial work with females has improved very much. His pencils give all of the energy and intensity you’d expect between a battle of the two most recognizable factions in Marvel.  Aaron’s script does provide great narration as Avengers and X-Men beat the hell out of each other. Also, kudos for him creating the Magnetic Fastball Special. Those moments are what I’ve enjoyed about this series so far. He also gave Emma the best line in this issue reflecting the tone I think most X-Men have towards their Avenger counterparts. After Iron Man refers to Hope as “the girl,” Emma responds by telling him that the girl’s name is Hope and that they never requested help in the first place.

We get quick glimpses of Quicksilver and Wanda ,with Quicksilver rushing to join his Avengers team and Wanda walking away from her journal not joining the fight just yet. The journal by the way is called “Wanda’s Dream Journal” (slap forehead with hand) there are more than a few of these moments in this issue that make you cringe. As I said in my opinion this book hasn’t delivered the goods just yet with the story. It’s a pain to see characters like Quicksilver, who was actually  insane (anyone remember House of M?), fighting along side Avenger’s while Cyclops is characterized as a mad man losing touch with his reality.

I’m hoping next issue improves a bit and makes the reason for this fight a bit less one-sided. With the cover to issue #3 showing Cap fighting Wolverine, it will be interesting to see why he defends the X-Men after dropping down and beating up the same students he defended during Schism.  As I said, as a fight book this is fun. As an event that is supposed to change Marvel’s landscape for the next year…not so much.

– Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots


 

Review: Uncanny X-Men #8 ‘Tabula Rasa Concludes!’

Uncanny X-Men #8
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land and Guru eFX

‘Tabula Rasa’ comes to a close on a very high note. Though this arc had a solid story, it was plagued with awkward pacing. The arc had a solid conclusion within the last issue. Here, we pick up the loose ends as Colossus delves deeper underground to find his sister, Magik, who has been captured by ‘mole’ natives. We also tie up Hope and Namors diplomatic expedition underwater; both of these story beats were introduced within issue 6, so you can see the pacing problem. Again, this arc does concludes on a high note, portraying some fantastic character development.

To get you up to pace, ‘Tabula Rasa’ is a rapidly developing ecosystem  created by Archangel (possessed by Apocalypse), during ‘The Dark Angel Saga’ within the pages of Uncanny X-Force. This wildly advanced and growing ecosystem was left unchecked and Psylocke, whom inadvertently took part in the events leading up to the creation of ‘Tabula Rasa’, brings its existence to Cyclops and his Extinction team attention. Upon arrival, the X-Men discover a humanoid race, who revere Archangel their God… carnage ensues.

As noted before, Kieron Gillen filled these pages with shocking character moments; further exploring Peter Rasputins transformation into the Juggernaut. Hope and Namors adventure underwater was humorous and downright nasty, revealing Namors fishy fetishes. This allowed penciler, Greg Land, to draw a jaw dropping image of Namor locking lips on a undwater squid queen! Just what I was hoping for when I cracked this baby open.

Greg Land produced solid pencils throughout; with woman well endowed, as always, yet he kept a proportionate female frame. One terrifying image comes to mind of Colossus giving into the demon Cyttorak, himself being disfigured and looming over his sister, Magik. This was a great scene, as Magik motivates Colossus to remember who he is and that the demon is only a part of that. Magik having her own personal demons to have overcome, this turned out to be a powerful scene.

Overall, this arc has a strong backbone of a story, but is oddly paced which made the overall arc feel stale. But again, this concluding issue was great. The closing scene is one I’ve been dreadeding to come and see the light of day, the first crack in Magneto’s ‘hero’ charade (unless you’ve been reading Magneto:Not a Hero mini). This larger than life team is revealing a lot of chaotic elements where I can’t imagine the statue quo surviving the upcoming event of ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’. But it’ll be a hell of a last song!

Story: 8
Art: 8

Personal Recommendations for the week:
Swamp Thing #7 – This series has been gold! The return of Swamp Thing!
Age of Apocalypse #1 – Surprised me, considering the state of affairs the universe was left in Uncanny X-Force.
Avengers: The children’s Crusade – Just give the Young Avengers back their own book already!!!!

Follow me on Twitter @ddsuperbatnix