Sunday, February 20, 2011

The List #50 Part 1

Avengers Academy #9
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mike McKone
The issue centers around Tygra's decision last issue to expel Hazmat, Veil, and Stryker for beating up The Hood and recording it. From there, the majority of the teaching staff go against her and she ends up taking some iffy shots at her co-workers:

Really, Tygra? Is that really how you're going to demonstrate how you were correct in your decision? Also, for some reason Jocasta is considered in the debate with Pym claiming that she's spent just as much time with the students as the rest of the teaching staff. Which confuses me because I don't even remember an issue where she was announced as officially part of the teaching staff. Was there one? All I remember is that she was just in the book all of a sudden.

Luckily, Quicksilver ends up correctly telling Tygra off by explaining that her betraying the students by abandoning them will do exactly what Avengers Academy is trying to prevent. Which is good on him even though during this he was returning from helping Finesse find out if Taskmaster is her father by breaking into his base. Oh well, it's hardly a secret that Quicksilver's far from perfect.

While at Taskmaster's base, Finesse does indeed meet with the man who could quite possibly be her father and they duke it out. It ends with him admitting she could be his child, but that he doesn't actually know due to a side effect of his memory ability that causes him to forget such basic things like what he did last week. Definitely an interesting point about the character that I'd never heard before, and it makes me curious concerning whether or not this will also happen to Finesse.

The issue ends with Tygra tentatively letting the students back into the Academy. And then secretly watching the tape she was so up in arms about while no one's looking.

Conclusion: Certainly a good issue, especially with Tygra being a total mess, but it's sort of lacking in the talkable moments department.

X-Factor #215
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Valentine De Landro
This time around Layla Miller and Madrox in a vampire drama are featured which is a significant improvement from Dull Darwyn's Western last issue.

The vampire story itself is pretty typical, but I did enjoy that, rather than a typical vampire being used, David used a vandella (a vampiric dream spirit). However,
it's otherwise uninteresting and predictable.

The other story of this issue revolves around Madrox finally getting to ask Layla about her ability to "know things," why she went to Dr. Doom (who, it turns out, taught her some magic), and just what's up with her these days. Only so much progress is made in answering these questions, but at least it lead to Layla getting back to her weird charm. Also, one of Jamie's dupes proposes to Layla, she seriously accepts and drags it out even though Jamie explains it's just a dupe, and in the end, we have this random moment:

Fortunately, she doesn't say yes.
I get that she hasn't been a little kid for two or three years, but I still find this a bit creepy.
Sorry, David, I know you're trying to move a hinted plotline before it goes stale, but I'm really not interested in seeing this develop.
Conclusion: Overall a good issue, the weird Layla time was enjoyable, but in the end, it's kind of forgettable.

Age of X: Alpha #1
Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: [Various]
If you've read the many interviews and features that happened in anticipation of this event, then the stories this issue won't be as surprising as they're meant to be. However, despite their lack of newness, some of them are definitely pretty intense.

Basically this issue works to set up the tone and details of the universe that we're dealing with during Age of X in the form of X-Men sharing stories around a campfire before going into battle. We're given 4 of these vignettes with details about the universe being released randomly along the way, like this disturbing one that Toad reveals:

Of the vignettes, we get a disturbing one with Husk and Cannonball discovering their family murdered in a dump truck due to their family producing so many mutants, and with this we also see the split between Paige and Sam as Paige decides on taking a more active approach at ending the anti-mutant agenda. There's also Wolverine being revealed to have taken the Cure in order to remove it from the world; a story I imagine will have consequences during this crossover. Oh and we also get a cameo of the Mastermind sisters which hopefully means they'll appear again sometime soon.

Perhaps the most shocking story of this issue would be the story of Basilisk's (Cyclops) escape from Alcatraz. What happened is Alcatraz, being run by Arcade, functioned as a prison for mutants with Basilisk being forced into serving as the executioner of the mutants on death row. He also has no eyelids as Arcade wante
d to make sure he'd serve his purpose. Yeah, it's pretty intense, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta's art definitely heightens the intensity of this story. The vignette concludes with Basilisk managing to break out of Alcatraz and take revenge on Arcade, and, I can't believe I'm saying this, it's an amazingly badass Cyclops moment. Wow. I actually just said something nice about Cyclops; it's official now, Carey really can work miracles.

Conclusion: While depressing, this issue is at times powerful and overall a decent one though not especially spectacular in any way.

Concerning the poll results, I'm kinda pissed because, despite the grand total of votes being 42, somehow it got messed up and now it only shows that 24 people voted. Don't know what happened there, but I have to say that I'm not impressed with that. Luckily, the percentages are still basically the same, and in the end it seems that the majority of people want Cypher gone which I totally agree with. Anyway, I've finally put up a new poll, it's multiple answer, and hopefully this time around it functions correctly.

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