Sorry it’s a bit late…  been a busy week.  But follow me on twitter if you want to stay up to date! (@psychodadcomics)

My comic book pulls this week:  Astonishing X-Men #2, Generation X #5, X-Men Blue #9, Totally Awesome Hulk #22, Dark Nights Metal #1, and Justice League #27.

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 X-men #55 (August 1996)

Invasion
[Onslaught, Phase 1]

cover

Writer:  Mark Waid
Penciler:  Andy Kubert
Inker:  Dan Panosian

The Sentinels invade New York!

No, it’s not the tag line of a bad B-movie.  The issue opens with a Sentinel invasion of New York, under command of Onslaught.  The Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four stand atop Four Freedoms Plaza, looking down at the horror, trying to decide what to do.  Captain America explains that his expedition to find Magneto was successful (and told over in Avengers #401) in a way, as they did find Joseph along with Rogue.  Mr. Fantastic explains that on the home front, the FF and X-Men fared poorly as Onslaught was able to kidnap Franklin Richards.

Fantastic X-Avengers
Must admit…an epic multi-team picture

Joseph stares down at the mayhem, pondering how he is partially responsible for this, but Rogue comforts him (after all, she probably knew Magneto best of those left).  Gambit overhears and of course is a bit jealous (but keeps it to himself).

Finally, Captain America divides the teams and they make plans to assault the Sentinels.  The brains of the teams, though, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Giant Man, and Bishop (?) head off to Mr. Fantastic’s lab to figure out some way of combating Onslaught.

We skip from scene to scene, watching Onslaught try to convince Franklin to helm him, watching Cyclops and crew approach New York City with the Xavier Protocols, watching the science crew try and develop armor based on the aforementioned protocols.  Throughout the city, the three teams battle Sentinels.  Gambit saves Joseph and Rogue and we get a touching reunion, and then Iceman saves all three.  Before he can utter many clever quips, something starts happening in Central Park.

A massive fortress springs out of the ground, with Onslaught at the top, announcing his plan for the extermination/subjugation of humanity.  As he seems poised to move, the Avengers, Fantastic four, and X-Men all rush to intercept, but Onslaught unleashes a wave of energy…a massive EMP that blankets the city, destroying all electronics, including the attempts to craft an armor, Iron Man’s suit, Vision’s head, and the ship carrying Cyclops’ group.

Onslaught
“Behold my mighty hand!”

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This issue didn’t feel so much like an X-men issue as it did a prelude to Marvel Universe:  Onslaught.  It didn’t focus on any of the X-Men much and instead involved a lot of the other MU characters, like Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, etc.  But what little we got was some of the reconciliation (at least in part) of Gambit and Rogue.  Got to see a bit of the Iceman/Torch rivalry (although I’m not sure if they were ever really rivals in the comics before now…I do remember a joke “What if” about them teaming up but because they cancel each other out, they get caught trying to take down bad guys).

torch iceman
Ah, Sue Storm…the mom of the Marvel Universe.

The art was pretty good, if you can handle Andy Kubert.  None of it’s terribly out there and it’s thoroughly enjoyable (I think he did some of his best work on the two Onslaught issues).  I definitely prefer him over his brother.

On the note of the art, I do find it funny to compare this to the first major company-wide cross-over I ever read:  Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars.  Wow the art has evolved….

This issue also marked the end of Phase 1.  Phase 2 (or Impact 2, depending on the title) would begin next, which is where most of the MU became involved, even if they didn’t do much to curb Onslaught’s…um…onslaught.

And I’ll leave you with what may not be my biggest complaint of the Onslaught series, but is still a missed opportunity…  Did anyone else feel like the Sentinels were useless and there just as filler?  They show up in two main issues and that’s it…  I mean we finally get the big 3 teams of the MU meeting an army of Sentinels that could lead to DOFP and…nothing.

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