I have twitter (@psychodadcomics) but not using it a whole bunch. But every time I post these comic reading posts, it tweets (or whatever the verb is). Yeah…you can tell I’m an old guy who’s not as hip as he likes to think he is.
Trying to cut down the number of comics reviewed each blog. I may be able to get 1-2 out a week. Of course this one was delayed because of the Kitty Monologues. But now I’m back on track.
This was also delayed due to my computer crashing. As my daughter put it, we had to place it on life support. But it’s back up and running, so here is this series of reads… so much for being prompt.
Uncanny X-Men #327 (December 1995)
So does anybody remember when Magneto’s Asteroid M crashed after Age of Apocalypse? (sorry…didn’t do a review of that issue) Well now he’s back, with no memory, younger, and at an orphanage in either Mexico or Spain (they only identify the language as Spanish so it could also be some other Spanish speaking country). He’s nursed back to health by the nun who works there, helps them out with repairs, and scares the crap out of them when he deals harshly with a local drug runner and his gang. She convinces him to head to the states and look for the X-Men. Ironically, Cruz finally delivers on his art and yet the story is kind of blah and it’s the start of the “Joseph” plot thread which I can’t stand.
Wolverine (vol. 2) #96 (December 1995)
Who doesn’t like a nice camping trip? Especially one where you scale cliffs and try not to use your powers? I mean…not me…but I’m not an X-Man. It’s nice seeing Wolverine, Storm, Cannonball, and Caliban (I seriously have no idea why those last two are included) together. The art is enjoyable. But Cannonball seems like too much of a kid and Caliban seems too smart. Both seem to be slightly out of character which bugs the crap out of me. It is fun seeing Cyber killed by giant death bugs and the Dark Riders take his adamantium.
X-Factor #117-118 (December 1995 – January 1996)
This…was probably one of my favorite stories of this era. Epting’s art is awesome (and Hitch’s is pretty good too but I would have loved Epting to draw both) and the writing is epic. Well written characters on all sides, but especially Havok and Random. We see more of the return of the Adversary as Roma confronts Haven and then joins with Naze to prevent his rise (unfortunately they fail and Naze pays the price). Eventually, Roma seeks Forge’s help since he put Adversary away last time (remember Fall of the Mutants?). X-Factor gets to completely destroy a Sentinel (rather havok does it all by his lonesome). Havok leaves when he gets a note from Scarlet (from the Meltdown limited series…but Scarlet’s dead) and walks right into a trap where Random (acting on orders from Dark Beast) fights Havok until Havok is defeated. Unfortunately, Polaris doesn’t realize Havok’s in trouble because Havok left a goodbye letter (which was actually left by Fatale).
X-Force #50 (January 1996)
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Molina’s artwork but I can see why some people like it. He has a good grasp of angles, perspective, and it’s all around exciting. And in this issue, he definitely hits the mark as Cable and Domino track down his missing X-Force team who have been psychically abducted by Sebastian Shaw and his pet telepath, Tessa (who would later be known as Sage), working along side Holocaust. Cable manages to overcome Tessa’s mind control and wins back his team. I was a little irritated at the typical villain move of Shaw telling Holocaust not to kill Shatterstar because it wasn’t the right time. I mean, really? Has Shaw never watched a James Bond movie???
Uncanny X-Men #328 – Sabretooth One-Shot (January 1996)
By Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Joe Madureira and Gary Frank
We learn that Xavier has failed. Sabretooth was not cured. As his brain damage from a Wolverine-lobotomy has healed, he has reverted to form, cruel and savage and taunting Xavier about the Professor’s failure. Xavier refuses to take the bait, however, and agrees to finally kick Sabretooth out of the mansion. Unfortunately, Boom Boom is not willing to let him go quietly. After all, she befriended him when he needed it. She brought him milk and would pet him. He was her “cat” and the only friend she felt she had left. And now she felt betrayed. As the two go back and forth verbally, Psylocke notices the two and she watches, waiting for Boom Boom to simply walk away. And at first Boom boom is willing to. But then Sabretooth makes a crack about how she was worthless to her own father (this was a running theme with Boom Boom going back to her beginnings). And despite Psylocke’s protest, Boom Boom takes our her pent up rage and frustrations, dropping one hell of a bomb on Sabretooth. Unfortunately, all it does is blow up his confinement and burn his body. But this is Sabretooth we’re talking about. Before he can “thank” Boom Boom by killing her, Psylocke jumps into the fray and their rematch begins (they fought way back in Uncanny X-Men #213). However, Sabretooth is more than a match for her and in front of Boom Boom’s eyes, he eviscerates the telepath. Cyclops, Beast, and Archangel arrive to find Sabretooth gone and Boom Boom cradling a bloody Psylocke.
But the X-Men just aren’t going to sit back and do nothing. They pursue Sabretooth. Caliban follows Sabretooth into the sewers, but Sabretooth overpowers the tracker. With Jean acting as a coordinator, Iceman and Cyclops check out Sabretooth’s apartment (who knew supervillains didn’t all live in lairs?) and Sabretooth shows up, tearing into Iceman and almost ready to remove Cyclops’ eyes when Iceman overpowers him (there are advantages to having complete control over your body). However, thanks to some innocent bystanders, Sabretooth escapes into the subway. Beast intercepts him there and Sabretooth once again wins that fight, but this time Jean and Cyclops show up. Sabretooth escapes the train and makes his way to the rooftops instead. Archangel tracks him down but instead of slicing Sabretooth open (because they’re trying to capture him alive), he picks up the feral mutant who responds by shredding into Archangel’s metal wings. Turns out, there’s actually blood pumping through them. Iceman saves Archangel by encasing him in ice and heads off to get Archangel to the hospital. The remaining three resume their tracking and through telepathic readings of police, Jean learns that Sabretooth’s ultimate goal is to go to the Massachusetts’ Academy and kill the kids in Generation X. On the roof of Grand Central Station, the remaining X-Men confront Sabretooth. He falls to the ground and Cyclops fires a pinpoint optic blast right in his forehead. Surrounded by police, Sabretooth attempts one last scare and is pumped full of bullets. Believed dead, his body is taken by Valerie Cooper and the X-Men are left with the realization that the only one who died was the one mutant they were trying to help.
This probably one of my favorite stories during this era. Everything from the rematch of Psylocke/Sabretooth to the original five X-Men hunting him down was enjoyable to read. Sure, I have a few issues (after Sabretooth brutally wounding Psylocke, I have a hard time believing that Archangel wouldn’t unleash his fury) and the artist of the Sabretooth one-shot is no where near as fun to read as Joe Mad, it’s still good. Both stories are well told, the pacing is fantastic. There’s never a dull moment. Plus we get to see that Archangel’s wings are not purely mechanical (which is what we had been led to believe since X-Factor #24). And let’s not forget the Caliban rematch. These two stories really bring back some classic rivalries and it doesn’t force the standard Wolverine versus Sabretooth. We also get to see just how dangerous Sabretooth is. Sure, they took him down, but he left Psylocke, Archangel, and Caliban injured and at one point or another, overpowered all of them but Jean. I mean, damn.
Excalibur #94 (February 1996)
It’s a glimpse of the future, one first revealed in Uncanny X-Men #141, where the Sentinels have taken over. Some of Excalibur still remains and those members, organized by a wheelchair-bound Pete Wisdom and Karma, set off to find Douglock only to be betrayed as they realize that Douglock has become part of Black Air. Of course turns out this is just a dream of Brian Braddock’s from his time in the timestream. The art is subpar (apparently written by a friend of the Teenage Mutant ninja Turtles) and apparently Ellis forgot that in this future, Rahne and Karma are both already dead. But hey, what do I know? It’s a boring issue.
Uncanny X-Men #329-330 (February 1996 – March 1996)
I’m torn about this issue. Sure, the art was great, as always, and it’s got Archangel as he and Wolverine join forces hunting down something to help Psylocke who is dying from her battle with Sabretooth. They encounter Gomurr the Ancient (no friggin idea where this little guy is from) and Dr. Strange shows up to help them out. And eventually they win the day, using magic to heal Psylocke (which then results in her new abilities and leads into her Crimson Dawn arc). But this story is so damn confusing. I never liked remaining Marvel magic parts and was never a big fan of Dr. Strange (although I will admit the recent movie was pretty cool) and it just feels out of place in X-Men. This is just a silly story and probably my least favorite of Joe Madureira’s run.