New Comic Day hangover
April 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Okay, so I’m a bit behind. I’m going to cover this week’s books and then I’ll swing back and catch up on the others later*. This week we have:
- Uncanny X-Force #8 in which we get the eagerly awaited(?) between Psylocke and the Shadow King.
- Wolverine & Jubilee #4 (of 4) in which I want more issues of this mini.
- X-Factor #218 in which a lot of chaotic stuff goes down.
Do I really even need to mention the SPOILERS after the jump? I don’t think so, so I won’t do it. Sorry. Let’s begin!
Now that the Deathlok thing has died down (get it?) we take a moment for a standalone story with the Shadow King. Wait…what? The real story here is that Psylocke is trying to get Angel’s murderous Archangel persona under wraps by constructing a mental prison for him but that brings back another character whom she created a mental prison for a while back in the Shadow King. That story came from the wholly forgettable “Psi-War” story during the awkward era of the X-Men featuring Maggott, Marrow and Cecelia Reyes on the team. Ultimately Psylocke imprisoned the villain on the astral plane but the side-effect was that she could no longer use her telepathic powers as doing so would weaken the prison and free him. This was ultimately forgotten (or ignored) when Chris Claremont returned to the books and swapped Psylocke’s telepathy with Phoenix’s telekinesis. Come to think of it, that still has never been explained.
The Shadow King, once upon a time, was being set up to be the ultimate X-Men villain. In the period after the X-Men left Australia, pretty much every side character (from Amanda Sefton to Tom Corsi) started falling under the control of the Shadow King which would lead to an epic battle that – as the legend goes – would ultimately lead to the death of Charles Xavier and numerous changes to the team. When the decision was made to split the team into two separate books and Claremont left the franchise, the plan was fast tracked into the far less epic Muir Island Saga (which just happened to be the first X-Men story the 3rd grade Jacob ever bought) in which the good guys beat the Shadow King, end of story.
Since that ending, the villain’s never gotten his momentum back. He turns up for a possession story to give the protagonists a reason to fight one another and then gets beaten in the astral plane and that’s that. And that’s the case here. He ignorantly frees the Archangel persona in Angel’s mind and it in turn kills him. In theory, this should have been the end of the villain (as he has no physical body) but the funny thing about astral plane deaths is that it gives a fairly open door to reuse the character whenever, no explanation needed. What I’m trying to say here is that the Shadow King’s appearance is rather irrelevant. I suppose I was long-winded in getting to that. It is nice to see that the history between him and Psylocke is played into, but the bigger picture – the Archangel persona – really doesn’t go anywhere. Still a good issue.
Wolverine and Jubilee
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed this book. Jubilee is not a character I particularly enjoy (and I’ve gotten “yelled” at on a message board for it…yikes) and I admittedly rolled my eyes when she became a vampire. But now after just four issues, I find myself not only interested in the character but wanting more of her. I found it amusing that Jubilee’s narration in the story dealt with her not wanting to simply fade away since that is likely what she’ll be doing in the other X-books. There’s not too much to say on this besides that it was a quality read and I recommend giving it a try once the trade comes out. It even gives Rockslide some time to shine. That’s a win.
Still running on the “protect J. Jonah Jameson” bit, this issue pulls the spotlight back onto the team, save for a some Black Cat scenes. The villains themselves, a forgettable trio of super-powered ladies, serve as punching bags who get away while the real drama falls on the team itself. Strong Guy has been shot but he decides to go all out to protect the innocent bystanders with his strength which leads to his heart starting to give out. Guido’s heart issues used to be a major part of the character and it’s good to see that it hasn’t been forgotten.
The issue gives some important moments for both Guido and M, who blames herself for his injuries since it was her fault that the whole mess started. You might recall a few issues that she telepathically unlocked the blond woman’s memories, restoring her powers and rather unpleasant personality. This is the first time (maybe ever) that M has taken blame for a situation, especially one that led to such major repercussions. But the big setup came at the end when the team was told that Guido had died, only to find him alive and well in his bed. It’s obvious that Layla Miller used her mutant power to revive the big lug, but as we saw with Trevor Fitzroy, this might cause big problems down the road as her restorations leave the person as a sort of living shell with no soul.
As always, X-Factor has left me wanting more.
- Justice League: Generation Lost wraps up (and charges me $5 to read it).
- New Mutants wraps up Age of X (and doesn’t charge me $5 to read it).
- Uncanny X-Men puts out its third issue in four weeks.
- X-Men closes up the Lizard story. I hope.
* – I doubt I’ll ever actually get around to doing that.