Tag Archives: x-men

Review: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (Disappointing is the word I’m looking for.)

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future. The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

This article first appeared on News Talk Florida.

Let’s put Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past and then  get rid of all the witty banter of X-Men: First Class and not spend any money on makeup and special effects. What could have been an epic film turned out to be a snoozefest. There have been several great time travel films, Terminator is the first come to mind. Yet, X-Men: Days of Future Past fails to take the leap for greatness. Director Bryan Singer had a solid plot to work with but didn’t add the small details to make it a special film. Then there is Beast, the makeup department will get no awards for his look.

The best part of the film was the 20-minutes with Quicksliver played by Evan Peters. For a brief moment the fun was put back in the film. Then Professor X, Beast and Wolverine get a plane and leave Quicksliver in Washington D.C. Peters deserved a bigger part.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The biggest problem with X-Men: Days of Future Past is you know they’re going to win. That takes all the “sense of urgency” out of the film. Also, very early in the film when explaining time travel the film also trivializes death. So, even when Colossus and Iceman get ripped apart the audience isn’t shocked and or impressed.

Comic book nerds finally get their vengeance, this time travel film erases all memory of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). Brett Ratner made a very bad film and it took almost two and half hours to fix his hot-mess. What X-Men: Days of Future Past does well is position the X-Men film to expand the universe and hopefully telling better stories.

Story: 8/10 • Cinematography: 7/10 • Acting: 8/10 • Overall 7.7/10 mutants

X-Men Vs Fantastic Four Movie?

X-Men-and-Fantastic-Four20th Century Fox still retains control of two major Marvel franchises – the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. So, could characters from both interact on screen one day?

Comic writer Mark Millar, who serves as “creative consultant” over Marvel’s projects at Fox, tells SFX it’s not just possible – but likely:

“Without question I think you have to see some of these guys showing up in each other’s movies. I think the most exciting thing in superhero movies, until The Avengers came along, was when Nick Fury showed up in Iron Man. Even though it was a guy with an eye patch it was really cool – and I expect we will see more of that.”

The next film in each franchise is “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in May 2014, and the “Fantastic Four” reboot in March 2015.

Source: darkhorizons.com

X-Men#1 – Brian Wood’s All Female X-Team is here. Is it any good?

X-Men-1X-Men #1

Writer: Brian Wood

Artist: Oliver Coipel

After a lot of backlash and judgement before the issue even came out X-Men #1 by Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel finally made it to shelves this week. While it isn’t Brian Wood’s first crack at writing the X men its received the largest amount of attention because this is the first X- team comprised entirely of a female cast. The results are very good. Brian Wood instantly creates a threat that is unique but rooted in X-Men mythology. It’s a bold move to have a book start out with a mysterious villain but Wood does an excellent job of following those first few scenes with a very familiar character in Jubilee.

He writes Jubilee here as a caring and lost young woman with a new responsibility in the form of an adopted baby. Her plan is to return home to the X-Men her family and give this baby the same sense of security she had. It seems that if anyone is going to be our eyes as the reader in this series its going to be Jubilee. On the way back from a flight from Bulgaria to New York Jubilee is being followed and contacts the Jean Grey School. The other members that make up the team are Rachel Grey, Storm, Kitty Pride , Rogue , and Psylocke. Half of the group goes to Jubilees aid and the other half wait back at the school.

While the rest of the issue has some action sequences here and there its primary focus is on character development which I liked. These characters all feel very fleshed out already in issue one. Wood nails Rogues confident demeanor, Psylocke’s calm and hardened attitude, and Storms matriarch personality very well. Each character has their moment in a book that reads very fast but does a great job of building towards an imminent threat.

The other part of the team is Oliver Coipel and as most of you would expect the book is absolutely gorgeous. His pencils are extremely detailed. Each female character looks unique and he finds away to take very classic elements of the character and make them feel fresh again. Jubilees new baby is about the cutest thing ever and characters facial expressions are varied and solidify Brian woods dialogue firmly on each page. His use of panels also is very open-ended which looks great but at times can detract from the story. That is my only criticism for what is in all a very beautiful book.

Wood ends this book on a pretty interesting cliffhanger which adds incentive to pick up the next issue. I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at the thought of yet another X book. However Brian Wood’s and Oliver Coipel’s X-Men is worth your money. This book has gotten unnecessary flak and should be one of the books you add to your pull list. Some people are probably still going to be caught up in the politics and gender issues but not Wood. His focus is to write a very entertaining and engaging story. After reading this issue the only thing I was thinking is why hasn’t someone did this sooner. He takes what could have been a cliche or negative concept to some and delivered a very high quality start to a new series.

Review Score- 9/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Teaser Photos

Bryan Singer was busy the past 24-hours tweeting out images of Peter Dinklage and Jennifer Lawrence as filming of ‘X-Men: days of Future Past’ continues.

Jennifer_Lawrence_Mystique_2013

Review: Avengers vs. X-Men #9 – Jason Aaron writes sweet music

This week Matt chats about Marvel Comics Avengers vs. X-Men #9 and Image Comics Harvest #1. Jason Aaron does a great job writing Spider-Man, he deserves to write a Spider-Man book. Bring back Web of Spider-Man!

Harvest #1 review: http://bit.ly/Rhp9z9

Avengers Vs. X-Men #9
Written by Jason Aaron. Illustrated by Adam Kubert.

• Their numbers dwindling, the Avengers stage a daring raid on the X-Men’s prison to rescue their captive members-and you won’t believe where it is!
• Alliances begin to change as the nature of the Phoenix becomes apparent!
• And in the end, it all comes down to Spider-Man!

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult
If you would like to be part of the weekly chat as a guest email Matt at sardo@chicagocomicvault.com

Marvel reboots NOW, but now means October


Marvel Comics Thursday morning announced a reboot of the current universe after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. This reboot wasn’t much of a secret and now leads to speculation of how AvsX ends and the return of Jean Grey. What strikes me as odd, is why Marvel is announcing it now and not waiting a week to make a grand spectacle at Comic-Con. Also, a teaser image was released as well with character redesigns yet again. Instead of redesigning existing characters why doesn’t Marvel create new characters?

The Future of Comics is Marvel NOW!
Top Comic Book Series ReEvolve With All New #1 Issues Beginning October 2012

New York. NY—July 6, 2012— The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is Marvel NOW!.

This Fall, the Marvel Universe heads in an exciting all-new direction, as the industry’s top creators join the top Super Heroes– Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and more– to deliver all-new ongoing series, each beginning with issue #1! Marvel NOW! is the culmination of Marvel ReEvolution, the groundbreaking new initiative to evolve the comic book experience through innovation.

It kicks off in October’s Uncanny Avengers #1, from the superstar dream team of Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Venom) and John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America) and continues with jaw-dropping new Marvel NOW! series nearly every week through February.

“There’s never been a better time to check out comics than Marvel NOW!” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “This isn’t a reboot or a reimagining—Marvel NOW! is all about looking forward, building on our rich history of great stories and delivering new ideas.”

In Uncanny Avengers #1, the Avengers and X-Men must join forces to overcome the greatest challenge either team has ever faced, one so devastating that neither can afford to do it alone! Can Captain America’s newly assembled team find a way to peacefully co-exist while also dealing with the game-changing repercussions of Avengers VS X-Men?

Then in November, Marvel NOW! expands to all corners of the universe with launches including All-New X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers VS. X-Men, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man) and Stuart Immonen (Avengers VS. X-Men #1 Infinite, Fear Itself); Avengers #1 by Jonathan Hickman (Avengers VS X-Men, Fantastic Four) and Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force), on-sale in December; and New Avengers #1, by Hickman and Steve Epting (FF, Captain America), on-sale in January 2013.

“We brought fans the biggest comic book event imaginable in Avengers VS. X-Men and now we’re taking the Marvel Universe to an exciting new place, beginning with Uncanny Avengers #1,” said Tom Brevoort, SVP, Executive Editor, Marvel Entertainment. “If you’re a long-time fan, all the stories you’ve read will give you even more enjoyment of what’s happening now—we’re not abandoning our past. But if you’re a new reader, this is where you’re going to learn just why Marvel comics are unlike anything else you’ve ever read. And no character is left unaffected by Marvel NOW!.”

Every comic book bearing the Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, each issue #1 of Marvel NOW! series features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

“This is the natural next step of the Marvel ReEvolution, as we evolve every facet of Marvel publishing,” explained Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer, Marvel Entertainment. “You’ve seen us craft new digital storytelling formats like Marvel Infinite Comics and bring added value to our comics with Marvel AR. Now our print comics leap into the future with a cinematic new look for our covers, exciting new designs for our biggest characters and stories that will send you on the kind of journey you can only get at Marvel.”

This October, “Join The ReEvolution” as Marvel NOW! kicks off with Uncanny Avengers #1, ushering in a new era for comics and the perfect jumping on point for new readers. The biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW!

To commemorate the historic release of Uncanny Avengers #1 on Wednesday, October 10th, participating retailers can host special advance release parties the night before! That’s right, you can experience the biggest new series launch of the year on Tuesday, October 9th at select retailers, who’ll also have limited edition giveaways exclusive to these events.

AvsX – Just went Highlander on us!

Marvel Comics Monday afternoon released a teaser image for Act 3 of the Avengers vs. X-Men mega event. The image has the tag-line of “There can be only one!” The major problem with this is it is a complete rip-off from the “Highlander” franchise but maybe Disney bought that too! Well, we look forward to more original ideas coming from Marvel in the coming weeks.

Avengers Vs. X-Men – Act 3 Begins: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!

This August, the comic book event of the year – Avengers VS. X-Men – reaches critical mass as Earth’s Mightiest make their last stand against the Phoenix Force. But when the Phoenix Force yearns for a single host, who will it choose? There can only be one! Act Three kicks off in Avengers Vs. X-Men #9, hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this August.

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX!

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #9 (JUN120592)
Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by ADAM KUBERT
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
FOC – 7/9/2012, On Sale – 8/1/2012

Tales From the Water Cooler #71

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Southern Sensation each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in as this week as Speech and Sensation are on vacation, leaving Decap to be joined by the White Marvel and Spider-Man Geek. Check out what the guys think about this weeks books Avengers Vs. X-Men #6, Saga #4 and Mars Attacks #1.

All that and more can be found here, each week on Tales From the Water Cooler!

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #71

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

 

 

5-page preview: Archer & Armstrong #1

Archer and Armstrong Cover1 Ver2.indd

Valiant released a five-page preview of Archer & Armstrong #1 written by Fred Van Lente with art by Clayton Henry. Archer and Armstrong #8 swing into your local comic book store on August 8th, 2012.

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It’s a globetrotting quest for the Valiant Universe’s greatest secrets, from the New York Times bestselling team of Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Zombies) and Clayton Henry (Uncanny X-Men)! Obadiah Archer was born and raised to cherish three things above all else: the faith of his parents, the love of his 22 brothers and sisters, and his lifelong mission to defeat the ultimate evildoer. Now, after years of training, Archer has been dispatched to the heart of America’s festering modern day Babylon, aka New York City, to root out and kill this infamous Great Satan. Unfortunately, dying has never been easy for Archer’s target — the hard-drinking, 10,000-year-old immortal known as Armstrong. Together, this unlikely pair of heroes is about to stumble headfirst into a centuries-old conspiracy that will bring the whole of ancient history crashing down on the modern day Valiant Universe. And that’s going to mean one Hell of a hangover.

A Vs X “Round 6” No More Avengers?

Written By: Jonathan Hickman

Art By: Oliver Coipel

Six issues into A Vs X and the bigger picture is starting to come into focus. I’ve been admittedly hard on this “Event” book since its started. The characterization of Scott Summers as character has been erratic and off-putting enough to make the rest of the story fall flat under its lofty ambitions.

After Iron Mans failure to contain the Phoenix Force last issue ended with the creation of “The Phoenix Five”. Ten Days have passed and The Phoenix Five have done a lot to fix different parts of the Country. Charles Xavier finally accepts an invite from Magneto and Cyclops and this is yet another attempt at beating us over the head with the notion that Cyclops is losing his touch with reality.

Cyclops credits all of this work to be done in honor of Charles and then proceeds to explain to Hope that she didn’t deserve the Phoenix Force after giving it up. He then tells her she isn’t a prisoner and can leave when she wants.Again it all seems forced and while he dialogue is good and it creates a layer of tension and creates a pretty big threat it doesn’t feel fully realized and polished.

There in lies the problem. A few pages later and The Avengers have decided that The X Men must be held accountable for their actions regardless of their intent. I understand that Marvel wants to ground things in reality but must every big event have the President involved?  The Avengers are presented as nothing more than pawns of the President in this issue and it doesn’t give a compelling argument as to who your more interested in seeing “win”. Once again Tony Stark creates some cool suits for The Avengers to use and develop a plan. The Avengers decide that Hope is the key to figuring out how to stop the Phoenix and go on a rescue mission to kidnap Hope off of Utopia.

I will say I was very happy to see Oliver Coipel’s pencils this issue. He’s always been able to draw epic action scenes and I actually thought the redesigns of The Phoenix Five looked far cooler this issue than what Romita Jr. had created. I’m hoping he continues to draw the next few issues. Say what you will about how odd the story and plot of this issue were at least it’s pretty.

With a conveniently placed cameo the story progresses in a way that drives Cyclops even further in to the realm of Crazyville. I know that some people may enjoy this series but for me it still continues to show us that good Event Books are few and far between. The story is full of too many characters and with more being added each issue with little to no character development how can we truly care about whats happening in the series at all? I’m really hoping for some last-minute magic here other wise I have to say this is one of the bigger disappointments in recent memory for something that had so much potential coming out of the gate.

Review Score: 5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me On Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

3-page preview: New Avengers #28 – Prison Break!


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Marvel Comics Thursday afternoon released a three-page preview of New Avengers #28 written by Brian Michael Bendis with artwork by Michael Deodato. The Avengers vs. X-Men cross over will be in your local comic book store on July 11th, 2013. Are you enjoying Avengers vs. X-Men?

Marvel is proud to present your first look at New Avengers #28, an epic tie in to Avengers VS. X-Men from the blockbuster creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato! With the Phoenix Five pursuing and imprisoning Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it’s up to the New Avengers to stage a prison break! But can Luke Cage, Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman escape from the heart of X-Men territory? It’s non-stop action in New Avengers #28, coming to comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop this July.

NEW AVENGERS #28 (MAY120651)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by MICHAEL DEODATO
FOC – 6/18/2012, On Sale – 7/11/2012

Stop the wedding! Astonishing X-Men #51: 4-page preview

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Marvel Comics Wednesday afternoon released a four-page preview of Astonishing X-Men #51 written by Marjorie Liu with art by Mike Perkins. This issue features the wedding between Northstar and Kyle. Astonishing X-Men #51 will ring the chapel bells on June 20th, 2012. Check out this issue featured on ABC’s The View.

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at the hotly anticipated wedding of the year in Astonishing X-Men #51! From New York Times best-sellers Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins, Astonishing X-Men #51 features a who’s who of the Marvel Universe including some guests that may surprise you! Not only does this unforgettable issue feature covers by Dustin Weaver and Marko Djurdjevic, along with a special “Create Your Own Wedding” blank variant cover by Phil Noto, but select comic book retailers nationwide will host wedding parties at their stores to celebrate this joyous occasion! It’s the story that has everyone talking, and this June – witness Northstar and Kyle tie the knot, in Astonishing X-Men #51!

Plus! Head on over to Marvel.com to catch a very special episode of This Week In Marvel podcast, featuring Astonishing X-Men artist Mike Perkins!

ASTONISHING X-MEN #51 (APR120665)
Written by MARJORIE LIU
Art by MIKE PERKINS
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
Variant Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
Create Your Own Wedding Variant by PHIL NOTO
Rated T+ …$3.99
On-Sale—6/20/12

Secret Avengers #27 Captain Marvel Goes on the attack

Secret Avengers #27

Story By: Rick Remender

Art By: Renato Guedes

Rick Remender and Renato Guedes tie in to Avengers vs X-Men could stand as a solid event story on it own. Chances are if you’ve looked at any comic book sites you’ve seen that Remender has brought back the original Captain Mar-Vell  to current continuity to be the Kree and the Supreme Intelligences Champion once more.

After the teams run in last issue with the Phoenix Force they are left battered and damaged and Captain Marvel uses his ties to The Protector and Ms. Marvel to take the remaining Avengers down. While the reasons and motivations for Mar-Vell’s turn back to the Kree are a mystery Remender does a fine job giving the reader definitie misdirection with  Mar-Vell as he explains his last moments to the reader. If anyone has read Jim Starlin’s fantastic Death Of Captain Marvel story you know that his recollection of his death is way different from how it originally played out.

As always Remender does a great job establishing touching moments between character on the team. Whether it’s a quiet moment between Thor and Captain Britain or something more comical between War Machine , Valkyrie and the always sarcastic Beast Remender’s dialogue never disappoints.

Renato Guedes amazing recreation of the final pages from The Death of Captain Marvel

Another area that never disappoints is Renato Guedes artwork. From the opening pages of art showing Mar-Vell on his deathbed as Thanos smiles. Following those pages Guedes throws countless beautiful pages of art at the reader. I love his attention to facial expressions and character work. With the exception of his design of Beast everything he does is on point from start to finish.

Remender and Guede’s have the rare opportunity to create a tie in story that’s has more impact than A vs. X itself. I have had more fun reading these last two issues of Secret Avengers than i have Avengers Vs X-Men and that’s largely due to Remender’s love for character development and his ability to take an older character and make him feel fresh and relevant again. Remender continues to demonstrate why hes one of the most talented writers working today and Id gladly take another team book from him to read in between the wait for Secret Avengers and Uncanny X Force. I can’t wait for the next issue.

Review Score: 8/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Marvel’s 30-seconds on ABC’s The View = Gay Batman & Robin – Really?!

Whoopi Goldberg made the announcement about Norhstar’s proposal to Kyle from Marvel Comics Astonishing X-Men #50 on the View Tuesday morning. Here is the 30-second video and bad Batman and Robin humor by Joy Behar. On one hand Goldberg is defending gay marriage and comic books and then Behar makes a cheap gay Batman & Robin joke. You feel that you’re making ground and then you realize how far you still need to go.

Will you watch ABC’s The View tomorrow? Marvel announces gay marriage.

Marvel Comics will make a stand on gay marriage Tuesday morning at 11AM EST on ABC’s The View. Marvel released a press release Monday morning announcing their presences on The View. The Comic Vault will cover the story live.

Marvel Announces Landmark X-Men Story Tomorrow on ABC’s The View

Tune into ABC at 11a/10a E/C tomorrow as the hosts of ABC’s The View exclusively reveal a major Marvel announcement! This is your first chance to get a look at the moment in Astonishing X-Men #50 that will have everyone talking!

Tales from the Water Cooler #65

Welcome to the 65th episode of Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Southern Sensation each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics.

Listen in as this week as the guys are joined by the White Marvel to talk about his FCBD and more. Then stay tuned for the picks of the week Night of 1,000 Wolves #1, X-Men Legacy #266 and Frankenstein Alive, Alive #1.

All that and more can be found here, each week on Tales From the Water Cooler!

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #65

 

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 

Review: Uncanny X-Force #25 – Final Execution Begins!

Uncanny X-Force #25
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Mike McKone, Dean White [Color Art]

The latest Uncanny X-Men story arc, “Final Execution,” kicks off with the team in a state of upheaval.

Psylocke, having processed the toll being on a mutant kill squad is taking on her psyche, is leaving the team after “satisfying her curiosity” with a one-night stand with Fantomex. Fantomex, on the other hand, is leaving because no more Warren [See last year’s epic “Dark Angel Saga”] means no more money–and he’s probably sulking over being spurned by Psylocke.

Meanwhile, there’s a mysterious figure at the Jean Grey School targeting Genesis, the reformed clone of Apocalypse, and Deadpool has gone down while on a mission–which is a big deal following Deadpool #54, where Wade [YOU SHOULD READ Deadpool #54 AND FIND OUT INSTEAD OF LETTING ME SPOIL IT].

Anyways, this all culminates in a sort-of return of a long-dead X-villain.

Overall, this is a great start to Rick Remender’s latest major X-Force story arc. With a title like “Final Execution,” there are a lot of inferences that can be made. The way things have developed with all the characters on the team, as well as the people around them, will surely only help to further speculation about what that title refers to.

Regardless, Rick Remender has crafted an excellent first part to this storyline with an art team that rivals the work on any other issues of the book, and the two back-up stories are a nice look at Remender’s earlier work with artist Jerome Opeña on stories starring Wolverine and Deadpool, respectively.

STORY: 9.5/10
ART: 9.5/10

Wolverine and the X-Men #9 – Cap Comes Calling

Wolverine and the X-Men #9
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Art:  Chris Bachalo [Penciler/Colorist]; Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, and Al Vey [Inkers]

As you’re probably aware (based on the banner on this issue’s cover), Wolverine and the X-Men #9 is an Avengers Vs. X-Men tie-in issue.  As such, it provides a micro-level look at the macro-level events taking place in the event’s main book.

This issue in particular takes place during the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men #1, detailing Captain America’s visit to the Jean Grey School for intel from Wolverine.

Having dealt with the Phoenix before–namely when it possessed Jean Grey and turned her into a force of destruction before she killed herself to stop it–it’s only natural that Beast would be monitoring deep space in the event that it returned.  Thus, we find out here that Beast and Wolverine were well aware of its impending return far before Steve Rogers came to tell them.

Jason Aaron also delves into the internal conflict going on with Logan, as well as that potentially brewing within the school, regarding the potential of going to war with Cyclops’ group of X-Men on Utopia.  Those X-Men, after all, are people that Wolverine and others in his school called family for years.  Unfortunately, they pretty much all–Cyclops especially–believe that Hope Summers is the “Mutant Messiah” and that the Phoenix possessing her will bring about a reawakening of the mutant species, which was mostly de-powered by the Scarlet Witch during “House of M.”

As Logan says to Captain America, “Think of Utopia as a compound full of heavily armed religious fanatics.  And you’re the feds butting in, telling them what to believe and how to live.  It won’t go well.”  Wolverine knows it’s going to come to blows and is wary about siding against the X-Men, and Captain America only convinces him to side with the Avengers by putting it in terms of saving the world.

Logan’s decision is shaky, at best.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Force’s approach lays out two telepaths with previous connections to it–Rachel Grey and Quentin Quire–and alarms the Shi’ar Emperor Gladiator, whose son, Kid Gladiator, is a student at Logan’s school.  Gladiator and the Shi’ar are also familiar with the destructive nature of the Phoenix, and while it remains to be seen if they’ll come into play in the main series, it’s only natural that they should show up in one of the X-book tie-ins.

Chris Bachalo’s art remains hit or miss for me.  While I enjoy it here for the most part, there are a few panels, such as the psychic disturbance with Grey and Quire on page 15, that were a little confusing at first, but made sense on second viewing.  My main art gripe here is that Rachel Grey is seen standing behind Wolverine in the faculty meeting near the end of the issue after being laid up in the school’s medical facility on the previous page.

Minor art gripes aside, Aaron does with this issue what any good tie-in should do–add depth to the main story.  By adding more detail to the events of the first round of AVX and throwing in additional plot threads that allow for a stand-alone story arc.

STORY:  9/10
ART:  7/10 

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