**spoiler alert** The X-Men (The All-New Teenage Team) and the Guardians of the Galaxy are in search of the Black Vortex, an ancient, cosmic artifact**spoiler alert** The X-Men (The All-New Teenage Team) and the Guardians of the Galaxy are in search of the Black Vortex, an ancient, cosmic artifact that seems to bestow unlimited power to those that gaze into and submit to it. With Mr. Knife's henchmen closing in on them, the X-Men and Guardians must decide whether they need to submit to the Vortex, and when they do, at what cost?
This story really had a lot of promise, but somewhere along the line it seems to have lost its way. Events that should have had far more ramifications were more or less swept under the rug, and then the final few pages... After pining for Colossus for the better part of three decades, Kitty sure did fall for Star-Lord quickly. To be honest, even with the flaws aside, this whole story would have felt like it meant something if not for those last couple of pages; as a result, it just felt like the entire thing was written to set up Star-Lord proposing to Kitty. Lame....more
**spoiler alert** It would seem there is a lot of dislike for this series out there, and I even thought it seemed a little blasé at first, but as the**spoiler alert** It would seem there is a lot of dislike for this series out there, and I even thought it seemed a little blasé at first, but as the series progressed I found I was enjoying it more and more (which to me seems fitting, as most liked the opening acts and then found the closing act to be tedious, while I'm on the other end of the spectrum, much like the theme of the storyline itself). There was quite a bit that I found off and very forced with how the story starts (you can read my thoughts on the prelude here), so I was happy to see how much all of that actually came together to create a story that I liked.
Basically, the Red Skull has fused part the brain of the deceased Charles Xavier to his own brain, because he really dislikes mutants, so he's going to use a mutant's power to make everybody else hate mutants too. Magneto has had enough of his shenanigans and drops a brick on Red Skull's head, killing him. Except this doesn't kill him, it causes the birth of the Red Onslaught, a mash-up of Red Skull and Onslaught. It turns out, tho, that Xavier is still in there fighting to keep Red Onslaught in check, so the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange think if they can reverse the good/evil polarity of Red Onslaught they can suppress the Red Skull and let Xavier take over, thus ending the fight. This would make for a very short story if that actually happened, and of course things go wrong, so instead of just switching the axis of the good/bad for Red Onslaught, it also happens to several of the heroes and villains present, so that basically all the good guys are now bad, and the bad guys good. I think this is where a lot of people didn't like where things went, but this is actually what saved the series for me; I found it wildly interesting to see how Remender played on how each of the characters would behave if their roles in the Marvel Universe were suddenly reversed, and how those that weren't affected by the axis shift would deal with the situation. Of course, everything works its way back to normal for our cast of characters (or does it?!) and everybody continues then to move forward to the Time Runs Out storyline and the impending Secret Wars.
Fairly solid story from Remender, and the art is good, if seeming a little rushed. This has been something that I've noticed lately: when there was only one big event per year, the art was fantastic. You can tell that there was some time taken on all aspects of the art to really make it stand out (House of M is usually my go-to source for this example - I really think the art is gorgeous in that story and an example of using extraordinarily art to really amplify a great story.). Yet, largely when we've seen more and more Event type stories piled on one another, I think the art is being rushed and it's beginning to show. For example, here we have four artists working on this one series (Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Terry Dodson, & Jim Cheung), and while their work is good and fairly consistent with their normal style, to me, it doesn't seem nearly as clean or refined as I know these artists can be. (Dodson being the exception here, as I didn't feel his style lent anything to this story at all - it's a little too cartoonish for my liking, especially when it does feel like he was rushed a little.) Personally, I'd like to see the big Events being handled by one artist, who is given enough time to truly let their talent shine through. I'm curious to see how the main Secret Wars series will look when all is said and done.
Overall, not necessarily a story that has to be read for the bigger picture of the Marvel Universe, but one that I still enjoyed all the same....more
Oh, look! Another X-Men story that involves time travel. How original...
This started off as a really strong read with the problem of how to deal withOh, look! Another X-Men story that involves time travel. How original...
This started off as a really strong read with the problem of how to deal with the Omega Mutant and how Cyclops decides he wants to handle the situation. However, from there the book more or less falls apart. Bendis clearly has no idea anymore how to deal with the larger-than-life situations he puts his characters in, so jumps yet again to his deus ex machina, time travel, to fix the problem and it's not even handled all that well here.
Bachalo's art is not very consistent in the issues he handles, and I hate to say it, but I'm not impressed with Anka's art at all on the issue's he handles. Overall, not one of the books in a series that has definitely had its ups and downs....more
This lead up to the AXIS crossover event does a fair enough job of laying the groundwork for the subsequent story, but there are still things about thThis lead up to the AXIS crossover event does a fair enough job of laying the groundwork for the subsequent story, but there are still things about the overall story that bug me: Why does the Red Skull hate mutants so much (other than needing him to in order for the AXIS storyline to work...)? If he hates mutants so much, why fuse the brain of a mutant to his own? Why have mutants as part of his S-Men if he hates them so much? Why does it take "killing" him to release Red Onslaught? There is quite a bit of suspension of disbelief and just accepting things as they are written required for this storyline to work, and I feel that's a bit of sloppy writing and planning, right there.
The other thing that really bugged me about this collection is if you are going to have parts of the story branch off into other series (part of the overall story plays out in Magneto, make sure that everybody is on the same page with how the characters look and how the story is working in the other issues. When the story transitions from Magneto back to Uncanny Avengers, and the story picks up right from one issue to the next, it's incredibly tacky that the characters are not wearing the same costumes, nor to the stories line up with the action that takes place from the last pages of Magneto to the first pages of Uncanny Avengers. Continuity may not seem that important, but it is.
Overall, I'm hoping that the AXIS storyline is actually handled a little better than the setup was. ...more
I've actually never done this before with a collected edition, but I'm labeling this one as "did not finish". The story was all over the place, thereI've actually never done this before with a collected edition, but I'm labeling this one as "did not finish". The story was all over the place, there were such abrupt locale changes from page to page that I felt I was missing pages in my volume, it's hard to follow what's going on with each of the characters, and again with the time travel. For god's sake, Marvel, enough with the time travel already!
By halfway through the volume, the whole thing left me caring not one whit about how it ended. I'll be hard pressed to be continuing with this series. ...more
This started off as a great premise, with the women of the X-Men getting their own title. However, what could have been a pretty cool first story arcThis started off as a great premise, with the women of the X-Men getting their own title. However, what could have been a pretty cool first story arc was compressed into a rushed and cobbled together three issue mess. Sublime has returned, and this time he's asking for the X-Men's help as his sister, Arkea, has made her way to Earth and will destroy everything. Or something like that.
In a wildly coincidental coincidence, Jubilee just happened to take a baby from a hospital near where a meteor crashed. This meteor happened to be carrying the Arkea microbe, which just happened to attach itself to the baby that Jubilee rescued (kidnapped?), and Sublime knew this and then proceeded to follow Jubilee on her around-the-world trek to get to the X-Men, because she's freaked out that some guy keeps following her. I mean, I know that comics are the ultimate suspension of disbelief, but really? All of this is way too convenient to place all the people in the right place at the right time to make this story work.
Arriving at the Jean Grey School, Sublime enlists the help of the senior X-Men members there (who happen to all be women - I haven't been keeping up as much as I should, but where did all the guys go at this school?) to help him intercept Jubilee before she gets to the school, but of course it's too late for that! Arkea is already in the school's security system (she travels via technology, apparently - so where does that leave Jubilee's baby?) and eventually makes her way into Karima Shapandar, who has been in a forced coma to recover from a battle from quite some time ago. Beast, the only guy around, is incapacitated rather quickly, leaving the women to take on Arkea, who has escaped in Shapandar's body to the location of the original meteor crash. Kitty Pryde is left behind to fix the mess left over at the school, and along with some of the students, discovers a mysterious box counting down to zero. But, what's the box for? Who knows.
Anyway, Storm, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Grey, and Jubilee (with the baby, because taking a baby into battle is always a good idea) track down Arkea to the hospital where Jubilee got the baby. After a quick battle, Psylocke is in the position to kill Shapandar in order to eliminate Arkea, and Storm wants her to do this, but Rachel tells her to stop, as Shapandar could still be in there somewhere. Which she is, and she overcomes Arkea at the last minute, thereby setting up tension in the team about what lengths they'll go to to get a job done.
All of that in three issues.
I thought this could have been a cool story, but just way too crammed to make it work well. Brian Wood does good with what he has, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he had to pare this story way down to make room for the Battle of the Atom storyline that follows shortly hereafter (same with the Magik/Darkchylde storyline running concurrently over in Uncanny X-Men).
The fourth issue in the collection starts off with the X-Women in the Blackbird. I assumed that this story takes place right after the initial story, but nope, Kitty Pryde is here and Jubilee is absent, and the X-Women just happen to be in the jet, flying off somewhere. That somewhere just happens to pass over a commercial jet that has lost an engine, so they need to work together, put aside their personal issues after the Shapandar/Arkea debacle, and save the flight! So coincidental again that they are in the right place at the right time!
The other portion of this issue deals with Jubilee hanging out with the baby and Wolverine on the beach and in the mall that we first encountered her way back in Uncanny X-Men #244. Honestly, not a whole lot happens here, except Jubilee and Wolverine having a heart to heart about her wanting to be a mom now to a baby that I'm still not sure whether she's kidnapped or not. I think this issue could have been scrapped to give Brian Wood at least one more issue to work with for the previous arc.
And because at $18, Marvel can't justify only collecting 4 issues, they also throw in the previously mentioned Uncanny X-Men #244 by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri. I loved Claremont's writing back in the day, but seeing his writing put up against current writers, and it's clear just how clunky his writing could be sometimes.
Anyway, a series with a lot of potential, but not given the right amount of time to establish itself before throwing it into a multi-book crossover. I'll keep reading, as Brian Wood's writing is usually very good, and Oliver Coipel's art is beautiful. I hadn't seen David Lopez's art before that I'm aware of, and it isn't bad, but it doesn't live up to Coipel's, in my opinion. If you're a fan of the X-Women, I'd pick this up, but I think we need to wait until after the Battle of the Atom story concludes to really see it hit its stride....more
Continuing directly where Revolution left off, the team has been forced into Limbo by Dormammu, who plans to kill her friends while making Magik watchContinuing directly where Revolution left off, the team has been forced into Limbo by Dormammu, who plans to kill her friends while making Magik watch, and then kill her. In the ensuing battle, Magik loses control and the Darkchylde is released. In order to end Dormammu's bid to overtake Limbo and to prevent the death of her friends, the Darkchylde absorbs the entirety of the dimension into herself and presumably kills Dormammu. Not knowing what this will do to her, she travels back in time to enlist the aid of Doctor Strange, but a Doctor Strange that is not an Avenger and does not bare ill will against her.
The next story arc finds the team assisting David Bond (Hijack), a new mutant (who seems to be older than most new mutants), who has discovered that he can control vehicles. They then hear that Fabio Medina's house is being surrounded by SHIELD (they had returned him to his home at his request after going to Limbo), so they decide to help. While Fabio is on the Helicarrier, they are able to track his location, and Magik transports them into the Helicarrier, they rescue Fabio, and Hijack takes momentary control of the ship.
After rescuing Fabio, they learn of a demonstration being held at U of M in Ann Arbor in support of mutants, so Cyclops decides to go and thank them for their support. Almost immediately, a new type of Sentinel, the Blockbuster Sentinel, is there to apprehend the X-Men, at any cost. Cyclops finally understands that they are the reason that the Sentinels keep coming, and decides that maybe if he died the attacks would stop. Of course, Magneto keeps this from happening, and after finally subduing the Sentinel, it self destructs before any information can be gleaned from it.
My problem with this volume was everything was so rushed. The Magik story, rescuing Medina, and then the Sentinel attack all seem to take place over the course of 2-3 days. I may be misreading the time span on these issues, but there was just so much happening, so fast, it's hard to feel really pulled into an of the arcs. I'm hoping that after Battle of the Atom, which is what all these issues are leading up to, that we get a chance to slow down a little and really get back to the character development. Again, Bachalo and Irving's art is top notch, my only wish being that Bachalo handled the arc with the Blockbuster Sentinel. Irving's art is just fine, but I would love to see Bachalo's take on the Sentinel design. While rushed, the book still delivers and I'll be continuing to follow this series....more