Foilball’s Review Roundup #16 – X-Men Edition!

X-Men: Free Comic Book Day (***1/2)

This comic kind of failed as far as FCBD goes. It had all the elements you need to hook new readers: young, tier 2 character to introduce us to the world of the X-men; Tier 1 X-Men in action; cool villains… wait, no it didn’t. The N’Garai? I know I put ‘em in MTU, but these guys are not cool or clever or anything. They just are. Which brings me to the biggest problem I had with this book: the tone. This book is not appropriate for kids. Super violence and demons… whose brilliant idea was this? Seriously, this is a dark fucking book. I guess Marvel has completely given up on marketing its main line to a young audience. I don’t know, maybe the kids line is selling really well? Sorry, this is a whole ‘nother rant. There’s one other tiny bit of continuity significance in this free comic: it spoils the end of the current Uncanny arc. Apparently, from this final splash page, one could infer that the X-Men will move their headquarters and school to the West Coast, specifically, San Francisco. This, I really liked. A sea change could do these characters a world of good. I wonder if the change in locale has anything to do with Ellis taking over Astonishing?

Uncanny X-Men #497 (****)

Still loving the art… someone please tell me Choi is on this book past 499? Also, is this the return of the Scarlet Witch? I heard tell they’ve been saving her return for an X-Men book and with #500 just around the corner, and with it featuring the return of Magneto, could this really be her? Emma’s comments about the “disturbances in the force” made my mind twist around the possibility that this rogue mutant is actually Scarlet Witch. Everything fits if it is… I can’t think of anything that would say it’s not Wanda. Man, I hope it is!

X-Men: Legacy #210 (****)

This trip down memory lane is just about the best X-Men stuff Carey has ever written. Where has he been keeping the good writerings? Why wait so long to bust out the hotness? So at the end of it, Charles Xavier’s physical mind is fully restored, but some of his key memories have been lost or remain locked inside his brain, as evidenced in this scene between Amelia and Charles. That was a little bit heartbreaking, especially since Amelia’s been hanging out on the fringes of the X-books since the beginning of Messiah Complex. I was hoping for a happy ending for these two. Anyway, this book is just another example of how much Messiah complex actually changed the world of the X-Men and provides further evidence that the promised changes to the Marvel Universe since House of M continue to make an impact. AND, even with all the changes, the creators are still making room for old continuity, again as seen throughout this story arc. Old and new ideas working together to make super aweomes… this makes me a very happy comic reader.

X-Force #3 (***1/2)

Issue #1 was “w/e”. Issue #2 WOW’d me with the re-introduction of Bastion. Issue #3 just turned up the mother-loving heat! The Purifiers are actual badasses now? Bastion is written perfectly. He’s a better character in Yost and Kyle’s hands than he has any right to be. The art is still too dark, but now that the story and characters are picking up the slack, it doesn’t bother me as much. I considered dropping the hammer on this series, now I can’t wait for the next issue. I feel like pretty soon we may have a 4 or 5 Star book on our hands.

So all in all it was a pretty great month for the X-Men and all things considered, it’s only going to get better.

8 thoughts on “Foilball’s Review Roundup #16 – X-Men Edition!

  1. I’d love to see Wanda return in the X-Books, but couldn’t the San Francisco time warp just as easily be explained away by The Eternals’ presence in the area? Somehow that makes more sense to me than Wanda going nuts again, especially since we last saw her in Europe shacking up with Clint Barton.

    And I also did not approve of the extreme violence in the X-Men Free Comic Book Day issue. Beyond the violence, though, it was a pretty competent done-in-one story. The Gyro Gearloose comic that Gemstone published was MUCH better.

  2. From what I remember, FCBD is not necessarily only trying to get kids. Plus, I believe (although could be wrong since I was forced to get mine at 5:06 PM, when my store closes at 5) that Marvel and DC both put out a regular comic for FCBD and a kiddy-one, and I think there was a kiddy Marvel book. This wasn’t it, and it was pretty darn cool for a free one-issue story. I also like the N’Garai to an extent. They started near the beginning and showed how vicious Wolverine can be (goes Berserker Rage against Kierok), plus one of them was the main villain in the Kitty Pryde X-Mas story, which is a very fun comic.
    So you like X-Force now, huh? I have issues of X-Men from Operation Zero Tolerance, so I know Bastion, and I have to say, he is being done well. I just don’t think the concept works for a Marvel 616 book with the X-Men. Sure, you got Wolverine, who is a bad-ass anyway, and X-23 slightly more so, but Wolfsbane, as much as she could be, isn’t and Warpath honestly isn’t that bad-ass of a guy. All in all, it is amusing to me, but I can’t take it seriously. Yes, they got all those bad-ass mutant killers together and linked with the techno-organic virus (come on, just after Annihilation Conquest, the techno-organic virus makes another appearance?), but I just don’t take much of it seriously.

  3. To B&B: yeah, i liked it fine, but i’d prefer an all ages X-Men comic for FCBD… actually, it would be nice if all the DC and Marvel main line FCBD books were all ages.

    i didn’t grab the The Gyro Gearloose book. the store i was at in Carlsbad was limiting everyone to 4 free books a piece. that was really stupid. they should be handing out stacks of books! very short-sighted thinking there. UGH.

  4. to Pi: yes, X-Force really has grown significantly as a book in the last 3 issues. at first, it seemed like a crappy throwback to the Liefeld book from the 90’s. but as of the third issue, it looks as if the writers have grander plans. as long as things continue to develop in this way, i’ll stick it out. i also think a character like Warpath is essential to this book, a character that toes the line between right and wrong moral action. otherwise, who’s left to question the morality of the team’s actions?

    also, O:ZT was some pretty terrible shit. heh.

  5. some background: i worked in a comic store for almost 5 years and was working there for the first couple FCB days.

    FBCD should be a comic store’s biggest day of the year. you should literally be shoving books into newbies hands. you should not limit the quantities, you should in fact order enough comics to last you till the next FCBD… you need some to give as freebies to the new people who may visit your shop throughout the year. so running out should never be an issue. seriously, FBCD is a marketing bonanza that some shops still don’t take advantage of. it’s just stupid not to and it makes me angry! the employees at the store i was at made no attempt to greet me other than to tell me in less than friendly tones that there was a 4 book limit. if i lived in that area, there’s no way i’d ever go back to that store. obviously, they’d never seen me before, dudes should have been talking me up, offering me free comics and then pulling some new books off the racks for me to buy. we’d just come from seeing iron man, the group was all jazzed up about it and no one helped us. that’s just lame and lazy.

  6. I don’t know how well my comic store in Troy did, except for that they ran out of the All-Star Superman issue, which they apparently had, and the Marvel Ages (or whatever) kiddy Marvel book. I agree that stores shouldn’t run out and that they should have enough to last longer than a day and that it should be the biggest day.
    About X-Force, I mean, I feel it is Marvel trying to make a MAX type title in the mainstream, and that it fails. And nobody on the team should question the morals, or else the team won’t fulfill what it is supposed to. I actually liked O:ZT when I read it (granted, I only read the Wolverine issues, and I was at oldest 8, although probably 7), although it isn’t one of the better storylines ever, it makes sense following Onslaught.

  7. if no one on the team questions the morality of their actions then there is no conflict. if there’s no conflict there’s no story. Warpath is a hardcore badass, but he’s a badass with a heart. these guys aren’t The Terminator, if they were, we’d get bored very fast. although, it sounds like you’re already there… i can’t say i blame you since there’s still tons of room in the writing and the characterizations for improvement.

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