Onslaught has certainly gotten a bad wrap in the years since the storyline went down, and for many good reasons. For one, Marvel didn’t really know what Onslaught even was when Juggernaut whispered the name in the first post-Age of Apocalypse issue of Uncanny X-Men back in 1996. The event itself was a horrid mish-mosh of heroes running around doing pretty much nothing until the final explosion wrapped everything up. In fact, the only important things that happened in the entire event were:
- X-Men learn Onslaught’s identity.
- Franklin Richards gets pulled in to set up the follow-up.
- Thor rips Professor X out of Onslaught.
- Heroes explode.
Yet the event had a ton more to it, and most of it was slop.
But the build to Onslaught and the ultimate revelation that it was indeed the tainted psyche of Professor X was an excellent story in itself. There was genuine threat for the X-Men, and you could feel the team unwinding because of the changes going on within Charles Xavier. The tainting of his psyche was actually the one positive thing to come out of Fatal Attractions (god knows villain-Colossus wasn’t) and in its own weird way, the whole thing worked…until they tried to do something with it.
But Onslaught is a story that is best left in the past. It’s okay to bring it up once in a while in the event that someone’s worried about Professor X (the same way Dark Phoenix would be mentioned if Jean Grey was acting weird), and as for Heroes Reborn? F*ck that. It ruined the epic Mark Waid/Ron Garney Captain America run by replacing it with Rob Liefeld and his stupid eagle head mask.
So it should come as little surprise to anyone that I did not read the anniversary book Onslaught Reborn.
And that’s even before I found out it was done by Jeph “I don’t care what anyone else is doing in their own comics” Loeb and Rob “I see women weird” Liefeld.
I will give kudos to Liefeld on one bit – he did a decent job on Captain America. Unfortunately, he made Scarlet Witch’s hand look crazy-weird (though I suppose technically okay), and he gave Iron Man a wrinkly, cringed face and lips. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Iron Man armor is a big metal suit. It doesn’t have facial expressions, and it should never EVER have lips. Never.
But then there’s cute, collectible keychain Onslaught standing there in the corner about as un-menacingly as possible. When Onslaught debuted, he looked fantastically awesome.
Liefeld got all the pieces right, but managed to strip all the dynamics right away. And to that I say well done?
Ah well. If anyone read this book and liked it, feel free to give me the good ol’ wag of the finger.