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.