X-Men

All-New X-Men #30

by Alan Rapp on August 16, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #30After (finally) wrapping up the Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants storyline last month, All-New X-Men takes a break and gives the characters a chance to breathe. All-New X-Men #30 deals primarily with the state of two relationships, one which has been brewing for several months and the other which turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

As the cover suggests, this is the issue where Angel and X-23 finally get together. It’s certainly an odd pairing, but as Angel states during the issue he doesn’t need to know why he likes Laura only that he does. This is a relationship I’m going to want to see develop over the next several months.

The other major plot thread involves Emma Frost trying to pick a fight with Jean Grey, but not for the reason you may suspect. The ending of that story completely changes the pair’s dynamic (which didn’t have anywhere to go) and opens up the door for several new possibilities between Scott Summers‘ ex-girlfriends as actual friends. Poor Cyclops. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Magneto #7

by Alan Rapp on July 26, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #7Magneto‘s vagabond mission across the globe to unearth who is behind the rise of attacks on mutants leads him to Hong Kong based on the intel provided by his new friend Briar Raleigh. Allowing himself to be taken prisoner, Magneto wakes in a prison where he is put into combat against a Predator X for the enjoyment of paid spectators whose thrill of the fight swiftly evaporates when they discover just who they’ve let in the building.

Although the mutant-hunting creature is harder to deal with than at the peak of his powers, Magneto uses the Predator X’s strengths against it before turning his fury on those in charge of the operation. Despite the fact that the reasons for Cyclops and Emma Frost‘s power loss was explained a month ago (a finale which involved our lead character), Magneto’s power loss hasn’t been fixed (or apparently even yet explained) in this issue. In the overall scope of things Magneto seems to be lagging behind the other X-books. Of course that may be why Marvel has put two issues of the series out in less than a month. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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All-New X-Men #29

by Alan Rapp on July 16, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #29Continuing the storyline involving the attacks on the school by Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants, All-New X-Men #29 finds the team victorious over the future mutants. Despite capturing Xavier and turning him over to the authorities, it appears the time loop involving the team’s meddlesome trips to the past has not yet been broken.

Of all the possible relationships between the past and current X-Men I’ll admit I didn’t expect Angel and X-23 to get together romantically (which is teased more at the end of this issue and even further on next month’s cover). Although on the face of it the pairing seems odd, the more I think about it the more I like the pair together and the possibilities such a relationship might yield.

All-New X-Men #29 is another strong issue although by their nature the Brotherhood’s failed attacks are beginning to grow stale. Hopefully next month’s issue moves towards an end to this storyline and begins to look forward to something new for the team to sink its teeth into. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Magneto #6

by Alan Rapp on July 14, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #6Magneto #6 continues to series’ darker turn for the character from would-be hero to vigilante and, with the events of this issue, possibly super-villain once again. After hunting mutants and seeking out the source of the new Sentinels, based on the intelligence provided to him by his new associate, Magneto turns his attention on the mutant-hunting Marauders created by Mister Sinister to use their own mutant abilities to kill their own kind and be reborn into new cloned bodies if any met their end.

Offering plenty of action of Magento maiming and killing various versions of the group he no longer considers true mutants, the comic plays on themes of the thought processes of an older and more ruthless version of the character that continues to emerge in the new title. Eventually Magneto gains control of the group’s resurrection properties planning to bend them to his will as he has done so many mutants in the past. As to what he plans for the Marauders, and just what his control of them will do to the character, we’ll just have to wait and see. Worth a look

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Uncanny X-Men #22

by Alan Rapp on June 25, 2014

in Comics

Uncanny X-Men #22After months of slowly building towards a showdown between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men by both Mystique and an unknown puppet master from the shadows Uncanny X-Men #22 delivers a conclusion that’s less than satisfying. Quickly wrapping up events, including the recent limitations on Cyclops‘ powers (which would also mean Magneto and the rest should soon be back to full strength as well), the issue sets up a climactic battle involving out-of-control Hellicarriers about to go nuclear and Sentinels only for a single former X-Men to step-in and stall long enough for our baddie to… unceremoniously die all on his own?

The reveal of the Age of Apocalypse Beast as the brains behind the overly-elaborate plan is almost as big a letdown as the pathetic nature in which the creature meets his end. Other than Hijack most of the X-Men, along with Maria Hill and her troops, are all pretty damn impotent here. At least the fallout from all the recent events does put Dazzler firmly back in the X-Men camp, returns Magneto to the team (but for how long?), and at least temporarily cools the animosity between Cyclops and Beast.

[click to continue…]

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All-New X-Men #28

by Alan Rapp on June 16, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #28The X-Men’s battle with Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants continues as the son of Charles Xavier sets his sights on Jean Grey believing her death will pave the way for Xavier to wipe out the X-Men once and for all.

Intercut through the various battle scenes with the school and Jean Grey’s mind, we’re given future flashbacks involving Xavier recruiting the Beast to his cause and explaining his hatred of the X-Men. It seems Xavier believes their continued existence after Professor X’s death is a mockery rather than a memorial to their former teacher (which honestly makes Xavier come off more like a whiny emo punk than kick-as super-villain).

Faced with a serious threat in Xavier and his team, All New X-Men #28 continues the trend of showcasing Jean Grey as the pivotal figure on the team whose power continues to surprise even those who know her all too well. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Magneto #5

by Alan Rapp on June 11, 2014

in Comics

Magneto #5It’s not every day Magneto makes a new friend, but then again it’s not every day the master of magnetism catches someone following him for unknown purposes and chooses not to react rashly. With a complicated past tied to his own (which Magneto isn’t yet aware), Briar Raleigh offers the once self-appointed savior of Homo Superior vital intelligence on his enemies. Given the fact that the young woman’s injuries were initially caused by one of Magneto’s attacks it’s unclear just what Briar’s true purposes are, where she’s getting her intel, or who she is working for.

Although I liked the idea of Magneto walking the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu, Briar’s introduction does open the comic to several new possibilities. The introduction of an unknown quantity not only gives someone for Magneto to interact with but offers an ongoing mystery about her motives. I’m on the fence about giving the reader much more information about the girl than the title character receives, but I’d suspect Magneto has his own suspicions which will serve him well. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Uncanny X-Men #21

by Alan Rapp on May 29, 2014

in Comics

Uncanny X-Men #21Cyclops and Magik showing up at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning turns out badly for everyone as some mysterious force forces both mutants to lose control of their powers, and Maria Hill and the fake Dazzler’s attempt to show up and take custody of Cyclops ends with S.H.I.E.L.D. losing control of the Hellicarrier and attacking a school of students – much to the glee of the mysterious figure who continues to watch from a distance and make his puppets dance.

The issue’s back-up story takes Magneto back to Madripoor (for unexplained reasons which only marginally really fit his current path in his own ongoing series). There the team’s former member discovers the true fate of Dazzler at the same time Beast makes a discovery concerning the identity of their unseen enemy. With those insights and Hill’s realization that someone has been forcibly maneuvering a war between the X-Men and S.H.I.E.L.D. should hopefully lead to a big reveal and some real answers beginning next month. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3,99]

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

by Alan Rapp on May 24, 2014

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • IMDB: link

X-Men: Days of Future PastHoping to bridge the gap between the success of X-Men: First Class and the more star-studded original X-Men films, and wash the taste of how horrifically that series ended, 20th Century Fox brought back director Bryan Singer and decided on adapting one of the long-running comic’s most popular stories for the big screen. The task set before Singer was no small one but the director steps up with X-Men: Days of Future Past and, in a Geoff Johns-ian effort of making disparate (and often inane) pieces fit, finds a way to deliver the best X-Men movie to date.

Opening in a dystopian not-too-far future the film sets up its basic premise of the time travel of a character’s mental consciousness in an opening action sequence involving Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) along with several mutants we haven’t seen before: Bishop (Omar Sy), Warpath (Booboo Stewart), Blink (Bingbing Fan), and Sunspot (Adan Canto). What we learn is that Kitty can send a X-Men’s mind back in time to his younger self to warn of coming dangers and change the outcome.

[click to continue…]

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All-New X-Men #27

by Alan Rapp on May 19, 2014

in Comics

All-New X-Men #27Picking up where the last issue left off, All-New X-Men #27 focuses on the attack of Cyclops‘ secret base by the Future Brotherhood of Mutants led by Xavier (the son of Charles Xavier and Mystique from an alternate future).

Offering flashbacks to Xavier’s birth, the first appearance of his powers, and seeking out his half-brother Raze, All-New X-Men #27 fills in some of the blanks for those of us not sure exactly who these characters are. That said, their motives are still a bit hard to understand (or why the older version of Jean Grey is continually masked when everyone knows who she is).

Smartly, the group attacks the team’s psychics taking down the Cuckoos and then turns its attention to Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Jean Grey (who Xavier psychically reaches out to at the end of the issue). Even with a full issue of action, there’s not much here in terms of advancing the story as the Brotherhood is only marginally more in control of their attack on the base than it is at the beginning. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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