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Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Wolverine: Origins 34

by Daniel Way and Doug Braithwaite

Braithwaite appears again for pencils, as Cyclops bites into Daken’s trap, bringing the Murumasa blade along with him. We learn that Daken is acting off the grid, not according to any instructions by Osborn, and the White Queen is already in an awkward position, not wanting to act against any possible plan of Osborn’s, but needing to keep everyone on the X-Men thinking she’s on the side of the angels.

The dialogue is a little troubling in parts, like the cutesy Nick Fury comment that they stole the atomic bomb from Hitler. Also, Cyclops warns that the attack from Daken could come from anywhere, but a suggestion by Nightcrawler that they could catch him unaware and corner him only earns a rebuke from Cyclops. So he doesn’t want to corner him, but now they can get hit from any angle. Does anyone else see some problems with Cyke’s strategy?

As quickly as the Dark Avengers have been put together, Daken has still had enough time to backstab Wolverine, and to plan for this ambush against the X-team. For such a young guy, he certainly is able to make all these other mutants play to his tune. He has a ton of resources for traps, and takes out the entire team. Cyclops, being the jerk that he is, actually attacks both Logan and Daken, but Daken gets the upper hand.

Next issue will have Daken dealing with his daddy. The art is great and the current story is interesting, but the way the interactions are going between Cyclops and Wolverine, it begs the question when we will see the fallout from this reflected in other mags. There was an attempt to make proper use of Cyclops in the Astonishing title, but he’s all over the map everywhere else. The sundry writers working with him need to learn to have respect for the character itself, instead of writing him willy-nilly any which way they need him to act for the purpose of a particular story.

X-Factor 41

by Peter David, Valentine de Landro and Marco Santucci

Peter David’s attempt to garner interest in the title has borne fruit, as Layla Miller has returned, and something… interesting happens to the priest-duplicate Madrox after the original disappears with Layla. Longshot steals the show when we cover the rest of the cast, although Darwin comes a close second for how quickly his power can work to save his life. We’re talking a nano-second, maybe, before his body counteracts whatever it encounters.

The dialogue continues to be snappy, and if sometimes Mr. David wanders into the area of “corny” talk, well, I think he can be forgiven. He does need to watch and make sure he doesn’t go too far down the silly dialogue path too often. The art team is better than ever, and the title is definitely on the right track again. The only thing better would be to see the characters interact in new and/or closer ways than they usually do.

X-Force 12

by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Clayton Crain

I seem to remember Clayton Crain doing more than this machinima stuff, but while it works for comics about video games and such, I don’t care for it when it comes to the capes. For a team that was composed of four “slicers,” we have somehow absorbed Elixir, Archangel, Domino, and a blackmailed Vanisher onto the team. The writers are concentrating so much on the little story arcs, we are given no insight into any of these characters. Why is Elixir hanging around still? Why hasn’t Domino taken off already?

To make mattes worse, the strategic mastermind Cyclops thinks it’s okay to send Vanisher on a time-travel mission to save mutantkind. Even with the edge they have over him, the guy is unreliable, and I can’t believe everyone is so blasé about accepting him on missions. Someone should be uncomfortable enough to raise a stink about it. There are random pages that shoe-horn in the boring H.A.M.M.E.R. plot, the appearance of Hrimhari, and Pierce’s mind-games with Dust. All of this is becoming superseded by Cyclops’ plan to use X-Force to take out Bishop.

Wait, it gets worse. They spend a whole page on Cyclops. Just five panels of him sitting at his desk. That’s right, no insight into what has turned this champion of life into a stone-cold killer, no thought bubbles or narration, just a bunch of blank pages. For this they take my money?

One of the worst books on the stands right now, and a big disappointment from a creative team, the members of whom have all done much better everywhere else.

X-Men: Legacy 222

by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton

It took me until now to realize it, but this month’s covers interlaces with the last two months’ issues, to form a three-page poster. Awesome! I love it when they do that. Lee Bermejo and Morry Hollowell on the cover art, folks, give them a hand.

The various members of the recent intrigue fight their way through the outdoors Danger Room equivalent, which is tied into relevant scenes from Rogue’s past. Sovel Redhand and his crew are great new additions, and a refreshing breath of creativity, especially when X-Force is stuck recycling every old villain they can get their hands on.

Xavier still has frustrating gaps in his own memory, but we get the sense that he had the ability to do more for Rogue than originally thought. Does this mean he can help cure her problems? Will she be overjoyed, or furious that he withheld this treatment for so long? Xavier may also have a nice confrontation with Danger. Tons of X-Men history have been dealt with in the last year, and it is positively warming to see so many long-lasting story threads brought together and put to good use. This is the best work of Mike Carey in my opinion, in his career, and it’s great to see that he has such a capable artist as Scot Eaton at his side the entire time.

I tend to think an X-title doesn’t need much hype to convince people to buy it, but if you have fond memories of older X-stories, and want to see them handled well in this modern day along with great art, those of you who have been sitting on the mutant sidelines should consider picking up this title.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

Legacy is carrying the torch for me right now when it comes to the X-Men line. i'm just glad that there's a book that's making good on classic stories while still doing tons of new stuff (for example, resolving a lot of Rogue's internal issues and working with Danger while introducing this new set of space pirates).

-- Posted by: Nick Marino at March 25, 2009 3:52 PM