Thursday, December 30, 2010

The List #48

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #4
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Kaare Andrews
This issue is basically about clarifying what the situation is and exactly how serious. What's the situation? This:
So the X-Men have found themselves in a pickle as to a plan of action, which is especially bad as the situation is dire. The Furies basically beat up Wolverine into an eviscerated swiss cheese, and they didn 't even feel it when Storm used a lethal level lightning bolt on them. Wolverine just barely kills one by ripping out its spine. And what's worse is if they manage to win, there will just be an even larger army of Furies sent in to come take care of the mysterious man (who's basically a living 'Ghost Box' so he can cross over to alternate dimensions).

And just to illustrate how bad this is, here's the image Emma found when she read the man's mind: A superhero mass grave!

.....They're actually just shipping them off to go be extras in the next Marvel Zombies installment.
And that's pretty much all that happened this issue, sorry about the briefness, but the issue is fairly action-y so it leaves not a lot to be said.

Conclusion: As I've said before: Despite it's horrible schedule, Astonishing is still one of the better X-Books around, especially this mini-series. This issue sees the arc go take a much more serious turn, and departing from the humor of the previous issue while still maintaining the same electric energy.

Chaos War: X-Men #1
Writers: Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
When this 2-issue side story was announced, I was kind of excited. The idea of the interesting Cuckoos working together with other long deceased (besides Necrosha) X-Characters seemed like a great idea......and then I found out Claremont was on board. The thing with Claremont is I feel like his creativity is gone, it wasn't Y2K compatible and it died, so now we've got the worst of Claremont's gimmicks running around and ruining anything they touch. With that news, I was seriously considering skipping out on this limited series.

In the end, for whatever reason, I didn't and I can definitely say I'm glad for that. While this issue certainly carries some [classic Claremont-isms], they don't get in the way of the story which I actually found to be pretty exciting. This could just be a product of him co-writing with Louise Simonson, or random spark of talent resurrecting itself, but in the end it all still feels fresh and fun.

Basically the story is of a random team of deceased X-Men (Thunderbird, Banshee, Moira MacTaggert, Sophie and Esme Cuckoo, and three Multiple Man dupes who are each from a different era) being resurrected at the place of their graves (the ruins of the X-Mansion), and trying to figure out the source of their resurrection while trying to escape the terror of the Carrion Crow who's hunting them. While a team of extremely minor characters may seem to be a formula for boredom and apathy, it's instead an exciting chance to get away from the A-List character for a team of refreshingly unique characters.

On a side note, for some reason the fact that Esme is the rebellious Cuckoo translated to make her speak Chris
Claremont Colloquial (meaning Jubilee). Which is weird because, despite Esme’s rebellious side, she still for most part sounded just as formal as her sisters while she was defecting from the X-Men. [See it here]

Conclusion: This issue is a surprisingly fun story with a much-needed escape from the parading of A-List characters, so do consider picking this one up.

New Mutants #20
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artists: Leonard Kirk w/Andrew Currie
Before I begin, I just need to express how pleasantly surprised I am by how much this arc has improved. It began as yet another pointless Limbo arc that made me begin to lose faith in NM, and it somehow became this intense, addicting arc that is probably one of the best so far.

Within Limbo, there's a lot of unrest among the demons as they come to the military base looking for the bloodstones/amulet/things. In response, one of the Infernos is given the bloodstones and begins fighting the hordes of demons.

Some manage to get by her and break into the building, Dani's room of torture to be specific, where Dani is waiting for them with a broken arm. And....she kicks their f@#%ing asses. Yeah, she's pretty badass, and it doesn't stop there. You remember the woman who got a kick out of her being tortured? She also comes in to check on the situation, and in the most badass, satisfying moment this issue, Dani kills that bitch. In short, one of the purposes of this issue is to remind you that Danielle Moonstar is a badass and don't you
ever forget it.

Meanwhile, the X-Men rally together to go rescue the New Mutants, with Illyana and Xi'an going off to the side to discuss what's really going on. Illyana reveals that this isn't actually a rescue mission, and stabs Karma with her soul sword. From there, she brings the X-Men to the portal the military had used to enter Limbo, much to their confusion, and just as they get there the portal bursts open with demons.

While this is going on, Karma enters Legion's mind with the soul sword (because some things can't just simply be given), and in the second most satisfying moment, we find out her mission as she performs i
t: To break out the real Legion personality. This is a beautiful thing for a number of reasons, but the most important reason being this: Considering how lately reformed personalties have also been watered down to have none of their previous flair and now being bland ghosts of their previous selves, it's nice to see that some people are still truly villainous assholes. It's refreshing really.

Conclusion: This arc just keeps getting better and better as it nears the conclusion of Wells' run on NM.

Now onto the poll results:
I have to say I found it interesting that Domino and Magik dominated this poll, and by how much considering I've never really known them to be popular characters (which could just be a thing of who I talk to). I also found it surprsing how nearly equally chosen the other options were, with each of them either getting 4 or 5 votes.

Also surprising to me is that Magneto didn't rate higher, considering how he'd be a fitting addition to a bunch of sometimes-evil, somewhat-crazy characters. Obviously he was my pick in this thing, and yeah, I have to say the poll results this time around were hard to predict.


XandGunn said...

Dani Moonstar is one of my favorite X-men and I loved seeing her kick ass. I was planning on skipping Chaos War, but now, I might pick it up.

Prodigial said...

And I also didn't see the Legion moment coming. Nice twist and refreshing, indeed.

The characters that ARE getting highlights are being really well done. Others like Magma and Sunspot are a bit of a let down.

Why can't Marvel hold on to good talent?

Mr. Hellfire said...

@XandGunn, Wells did a great job with her, and you should definitely consider it.

@Prodigial, Agreed, and I don't even know. He's still working for Marvel, I know that much because he's still got the Carnage mini-series coming, but past that all I know is that he's got two projects being announced soon.

I'm thinking they should just place him on Uncanny though, he'd kick ass on that book.