Over in Jason Aaron & Ron Garney’s Wolverine: Weapon X series, Wolverine and Captain America are fighting a squad of Deathlok cyborg assassins sent back from the future to take out the people who will one day pose a threat to the evil corporation Roxxon and their aspirations of world domination. I know it sounds like a story you’ve probably heard before, but it’s genuinely been a great read. Just when Logan and Cap get in a little over their heads, Steve Rogers and the New Avengers show up to even the score.The following includes Spider-Man, The Thing, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and general awesomeness.
No, really, he joined the team. I promise. While I expect this one to be contested, I stand by it. Since debuting during the X-Corp debut, Fantomex has been an awesome character, overly snarky but willing to help when needed. He was a key figure in the Planet X invasion of New York, and has recently returned to help track down a Predator X and was caught calling himself an X-Man. And he’s got a flying saucer made out of his nervous system. Just for that, we’ll excuse that he’s French.
X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force
You really haven’t seen screwed up until you’ve seen Caliban. Originally a member of the Morlock, he survived the Mutant Massacre and began hanging with X-Factor until accepting a deal from Apolocalypse to give him more power. He stayed borderline evil until eventually he was redeemed by Cable and brought in to join X-Force. He ended back up with Apocalypse until returning to the Morlock tunnels until eventually joining up with the X-Men. He was in the original black-ops X-Force team until he sacrificed himself to save Warpath’s life. Good man.
New X-Men (Special Class), Exiles
Beak may not have been the coolest of students around the Xavier Institute, but he had six times as much heart as anyone else, many X-Men included. He was the only member of the special class to speak out against Magneto and received a massive beating for it, only to return with the X-Men for the final fight. He then joined up with the Exiles for a while before returning home to be with the mother of his freakish bird/insect babies. He was depowered at M-Day, but joined up with Jubilee’s New Warriors.
#67: Cecilia Reyes
Okay, so joining the X-Men because you have nowhere else to go may not be the best of methods, but it was what Dr. Reyes did during her stay with the team that made her cool. She earned her stripes in combat while taking time to flirt regularly with the Beast before leaving the team to start her own clinic in Salem Center. She remained a supporting character for a while until she was herded off for the Neverland death camp. Unlike her teammate Maggott, she survived the experience and finally showed back up to help an ailing Magneto. About time, too.
New X-Men (Alpha Squadron squad), Young X-Men
Had the original story gone through, Anole would have killed himself for students making fun of him for being gay. Instead, he was given space to shine and his snappy wit has made him one of the most endearing members of the younger squads. His friendship with Rockslide is almost always hysterical and he has the potential to be far more powerful than he is…he would just have to cut off more of his limbs to be so. Hopefully, he’ll stick around for a long while.
X-Men, Generation X
The younger sister of Cannonball has one of the more disgusting powers around, but it’s the chip on her shoulder that more endeared her to readers of Generation X. Determined to be the leader of that generation, she studied overly hard and tried to hide her Kentucky accent, but she eventually grew more comfortable with herself. Her romantic interests have included a guy with no mouth and someone likely over a decade older than her, but the latter caused Stacy X to leave, so bonus points there.
New X-Men (Hellions squad)
Ever wondered what would happen if you mixed Alex Mack with the X-Men? Here’s your answer. Despite her often cheery demeanor, Mercury has a lot of baggage due to her mettalic appearance, including losing the love of her parents who saw their daughter as a freak. She had the hots for Wither, but that didn’t turn out too well. Unfortunately she’s been relegated to the background as of late, but when given the spotlight, she shines…or reflects, as it were.
Yeah, Pixie probably was shoved down fans’ throats a little too much after Messiah CompleX which has dulled her, but she still remains a decent member of the younger cast. She went from a helmet-wearing background character to a star in her own right (complete with limited series), and all it took was Magik yanking out a chunk of her soul and giving her spells and a soul dagger. Unfortunately, she’s not as cute as she was when she was drawn by Scottie Young, but I blame Greg Land.
New X-Men (New Mutants squad)
One of the original recruits of Dani Moonstar, Prodigy has kept himself as a vital member of the X-Men supporting staff even without his powers. He originally could mimic any skill or talent within range of him, but he lost that to M-Day. After the massacre of the former mutant students, he became the only depowered mutant allowed to remain at the Institute, and thanks to the Stepford Cuckoos, was given all the abilities he had previously mimicked. Now, he’s a force to be reckoned with, despite his loss.
X-Force, X-Factor Investigations
Originally presented as a generic Longshot clone with a sword (thank you, Rob Liefeld), Shatterstar’s story became one of learning and experiencing. His origin was painfully botched, so it’s best to not even try to recall what it was. He fell off the radar for a while after leaving X-Force, but was recently added to the cast of X-Factor where he has become more interesting than ever before. Oh, and yes – he and Rictor are hot for each other. Get over it.
Check here for the entire list thus far!
Check back on Wednesdy for numbers 51-60!
A light week for me this week, still trudging through Second Coming and finding myself increasingly fatigued by it. We’ll get straight to it.
This week, I’ll be looking at:
Justice League: Generation Lost #2 in which everyone hates the JLI again.
X-Force #27 in which I get tired of watching the X-Men get their asses kicked.
And X-Men Second Coming Revelations Blind Science #1 in which…you know what? I’m just amazed I typed that entire title out.
Discussion will follow the jump. And there will be SPOILERS. So click it or get lost. Wait, don’t leave! Just click!
One of my daily reads is Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin, written by a man who spends far too much time working in a comic shop (and it shows). Each month he peruses the newest edition of the Previews catalog and puts together an edition he calls ‘The End of Civilization’. This month, he had this:
There aren’t too many things that the three writers of Comicdom Wrecks will absolutely agree to, but this is one of them. We NEED this in our HQ to get us through the day. Every day. So someone out there help us out. We’re begging you.
I was reading Robot 6 today when I came across an article about what comic arguments fans would prefer to argue. Personally, I was a bit down that the HTML Comics defender didn’t respond to my comment to him, but I often avoid online cartoon arguments because they’ll just lead me to rant on my own blog. Then I saw this:
I’ll tell you what my big question is: Why do superheroes dominate the online conversation the way they do? Last week saw the release of Jim Woodring’s Weathercraft and Tim Hensley’s Wally Gropius, two gorgeous and weird books that truly make use of the stuff of comics and contain the kind of material you can mentally gnaw on for days on end, but I guarantee you that no matter which comics blogs you read, you read more about Paul Levitz’s return to the Legion of Superheroes. And chances are good that if you’ve read about Daniel Clowes’s Wilson, what you read prominently featured that page where the character makes fun of The Dark Knight. What gives?
And here we are again – hating on superhero comics. While that may not have been the point of this quote, it definitely represents the wave of “cool kids” who read comics. I’m tossing up the quotation marks because these kids are “cool” the way that the guy from the Pickup Artist is “cool”. Completely sure of themselves and noticed by some, but made of a high percentage of douche bag. And do I say that because I don’t agree with them? Absolutely. But I too am made of a high percentage of douche bag – and we can sense our own.
Stick with me. I am going to eventually make a point here.
She’s blind, she’s enigmatic and she speaks in riddles, but when Blindfold speaks everyone needs to listen up. Correctly predicting the loss of Kitty Pryde in the Breakworld, the attack on the mansion during Messiah CompleX and the death of Wolfcub at the hands of Donald Pierce, Blindfold is a pretty accurate view to the future…if anyone can deduce just what message she’s trying to convey. She took something of a more active role on the Young X-Men before relegating back to a support role, but she remains an important figure amongst the mutants on Utopia island.
So sure, Juggernaut did join the X-Men with the thought of betraying them to Exodus’s Brotherhood, but thanks to the kindness of a kid with the face of a fish, he decided to betray his villainous allies and join the X-Men proper. The downside? He didn’t turn quickly enough to keep Black Tom Cassidy from snapping Squidboy into little fish bits. And then Juggernaut let his hatred for his stepbrother get the best of him and returned to his misdeeds. But during his time with the X-Men, he was the shining example of longtime villain redemption.
Probably one of the least interesting X-Men, Maggott originally came upon the team due to a debt to Magneto, but had so much fun, he decided to stick around. Of all the X-Men, he had one of the grossest powers ever – his digestive system, in the form of two slugs, lived outside of his body until feeding, in which they burrowed back in – but he did make an interesting addition to the forgotten era of the team (post-Operation: Zero Tolerance). He was apparently supposed to head over to Generation X after leaving the team, but he never made it. Instead, he showed up in the mutant death camps in Weapon X and was killed off.
New X-Men (Hellions and New Mutants squads)
One of the countless mutants amongst the Guthrie family, Jay was sent to the Institute and was not particularly happy about it, especially when he got lumped in with the Hellions. He eventually traded over to the New Mutants, and largely served as the peace keeper of the group. He was also hyper-charged, with three separate mutant powers (hypnotic singing voice, wings, healing factor), the latter two added in to make a bad story even worse (She Lies with Angels). His belief in God caused his downfall when M-Day led him to William Stryker thinking that he could save his friends. Stryker cut his wings off, then shot him in the head.
New X-Men (New Mutants squad)
Word to the wise: don’t piss of a girl who can control your emotions. Such was the lesson of Wallflower who finally broke out of her shell only to get her heart trampled on by Elixir while pssing off Prodigy and breaking the heart of Wither (which led to him becoming a murderous psychopath). We were told several times that she had the potential to become a ravenous lunatic and even met her seemingly evil father, but unfortunately her potential was ended with a sniper bullet to the head, care of William Stryker.
75. Wind Dancer
New X-Men (New Mutants squad)
Speaking of lost potential, what ever happened to Wind Dancer? She was the central figure in the relaunched New Mutants (which later became New X-Men) and was co-squad leader of the New Mutants squad. She was cheerful and naive, but serious when she had to be and did more interesting things with her wind abilities than Storm had in years. But with M-Day, she lost her powers and left the book with barely a whimper, ending her romance with Hellion (who rebounded with X-23). She appeared in the post-Civil War New Warriors but was written so out of character, it was difficult to recognize her.
Forced into the X-Men family by being targeted by the Phalanx, Synch took to the role whole heartedly, becoming the heart of the new team of Generation X. He was the one that almost all of the team leaned on, from Skin to M, and even had flirtations with both Jubilee and M. Not so well-defined, however, were his his powers which included a rainbow-colored field that could synch up with other’s abilities…though no one really bothered to tell how. Was he like the Mimic? Something else? Who knows? Synch was the first of the Generation X kids to die when he sacrificed himself to save some anti-mutant kids from a bomb set by Emma Frost’s sister…and there was no better way for him to go out.
Remember that redemption role that Juggernaut had going for a while? Marrow totally did it better. Originally the mass-murdering leader of the Morlock off-shoot Gene Nation, someone on the X-Men thought it would be a good idea to have her join the team. After all, she stopped being ugly, so why not? And I mean that literally – without explanation, writers/artists reintroduced the formerly killed off Marrow with a far different look from earlier appearances, proving that you just can’t have ugly people amongst your cast. She left the X-Men without anyone bothering to tell how/why, and eventually became a villain (and ugly) again before becoming something of a de-powered anti-hero after M-Day. Quite possibly the biggest waste of a character in X-Men lore, after the amount of time spent developing her character.
X-Men, Alpha Flight
You probably already know this, but Northstar is gay. In case you had forgotten, pretty much every story he’s in will remind you at least once. It’s actually a rather unimportant part of his character, far less than his moodiness, his superiority complex or his strange closeness with his sister, but writers are always hung up on it. He made a good fit with the X-Men when invited until Wolverine kind of killed him…but he got better. He’s back on the team filling the speedster role, and is as jerkish as ever before…no pun intended.
Originally intended to bring back the brain dead Magneto, somewhere along the line someone decided they didn’t want him redeemed with the X-Men, so they sent in the clones. But to Joseph’s benefit, most of his early appearances were written as if he truly was Magneto, so he actually came off as quite important, forming a love triangle with Rogue (to Gambit’s chagrin) and serving in the battle and aftermath of Onslaught. Unfortunately, once it was decided that the real Magneto would be coming back, Joseph slipped off the radar and eventually had his cloney origin told just before being killed off.
Check here for the entire list thus far!
Check back on Friday for numbers 61-70!
With Iron Man 2 blasting into theaters just a few weeks ago, Marvel decided to test the waters with another ongoing Iron Man title. The logic being, of course, that the movie would send people into the comic shops where they’d be likely to pick up an Iron Man comic with a big shiny number one on it. The first film brought with it Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca’s The Invincible Iron Man, which has consistently been one of Marvel’s best books for the two years it’s been published. It even won an Eisner Award in 2009 for Best New Series. And now we have Iron Man Legacy written by Fred Van Lente with pencils by Steve Kurth.
The plot in the first issue so far is nothing we haven’t seen before. It appears someone has gotten their hands on some Stark Tech and is using it to slaughter innocent people and drag Tony Stark’s name through the mud. Well, Iron Man won’t have that, no sir. Even if he has to violate international laws to put a stop to it.
There were two reasons I picked this book up, the first being that Fraction’s Invincible has made me a huge fan of Tony Stark. The second, Fred Van Lente is one of my favorite writers. I’d never heard of Steve Kurth before this book, but he does good work. His pencils aren’t as pretty to look at as Salvador Larroca’s, but few are. With only one issue to compare, so far Legacy pales in comparison to Invincible. But I’m willing to give Tony Stark and Fred Van Lente at least a storyline to hook me or not.