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May 9

The X-Axis – 9 May 2011

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 by Paul in x-axis

Not only is this a day late, but last week’s X-Axis was another postal-disruption catch-up affair… so we’ve got two weeks worth of X-books to get through.  And Marvel are fairly churning them out at the moment, so two weeks is a lot of X-books.

If you’re looking for reviews of things that aren’t X-books, may I direct your attention a couple of posts down, to the latest episode of House to Astonish, where Al and I are discussing Moon Knight, Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, and Spontaneous.   But for now – X-books, X-books, X-books!

Age of X: Universe #2 – I can appreciate the desire to get maximum mileage out of Mike Carey’s “Age of X” storyline from X-Men: Legacy and New Mutants.  Marvel certainly put a lot into promoting it.  But if ever a story was unsuited for spin-offs, “Age of X” is it.  The central conceit of the storyline is that at first it looks like just another dystopian alternate Earth, with the X-Men holed up in a citadel fighting meaningless battles, only for it to turn out that there’s literally nothing out there beyond the fortress itself.  And now, Marvel brings us Age of X: Universe – a two issue miniseries about what’s beyond the fortress.

Now, yes, technically, it’s what the X-Men think is beyond the fortress – but even that is a bad idea, because in “Age of X” proper, the villains are intentionally generic, and that’s a plot point.  Theoretically, Si Spurrier and Khoi Pham’s story is meant to be explaining where the “force walls” idea came from, but the whole set-up leaves them wrestling with an impossible task, and by this point in the crossover we know that it doesn’t matter anyway.  They end up with an over-the-top “dark”  Avengers team trying to assassinate Magneto, only for Captain America to learn an Important Moral Lesson in the form of a lecture about tolerance.  Even if you disregard the context of the wider crossover, it’s just a rather generic dystopia story.

The back-up story by Chuck Kim and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, which explains how Dazzler (thinks she) got into the fortress, is slightly better, since you can read some of it as playing off the idea that the characters have actually built this world for themselves.  Plus, Walta’s pencilled art is an interesting change of pace.  But as a story, it’s really little more than a serviceable action sequence.

I’m not sure the concept problems really allowed for Age of X: Universe to be much better than this – short of writing the whole thing as a further deconstruction of the dystopian subgenre, I’m not sure how it could be made to dovetail with the story proper.  But in an otherwise well constructed storyline, this miniseries is emphatically skippable.

New Mutants #24 – Speaking of which, this is the concluding chapter of “Age of X”.  Everything goes to hell, the “world” literally ends, and the remaining mysteries get tied up.  It’s odd that Carey manages to give the final battle against the attackers a sense of climax even though the story has so comprehensively established that it’s all a sham.  Even so, it works, with some nice moments along the way for the likes of Wolverine and Rogue.  Legion gets a rare opportunity to be a character rather than a plot device, presumably setting him up for a bigger role in upcoming issues of X-Men Legacy. And the final scene gives the rest of the story some potential wider significance by allowing the characters to remember their roles in the “Age of X” world – which isn’t such a big deal for most of them, but could be more significant for the likes of Frenzy, who were cast in wildly opposing roles there.

I’m still not entirely convinced that “Age of X” needed to be a crossover; it seems to be essentially an X-Men Legacy storyline that took over New Mutants for a few months because, hell, it was vacant.  Yes, Legion plays a major role, and he’s a New Mutants character – but the New Mutants themselves had supporting roles.  Still, I’ve got no problem with a Legacy storyline shipping at double speed, and the story undoubtedly benefitted from the pacing.  (What six-parter doesn’t?)  The villain also verges on one-dimensional, but that’s perhaps unavoidable when she’s supposed to represent an aspect of Legion’s personality – and besides, the story’s not really about her.  One of the more successful high-profile X-Men stories in quite some time.

Uncanny X-Force #9 – Now this, I’m not so sure about.  X-Force get home to find Magneto waiting for them.  That’s a big deal, right?  X-Force’s schtick is that the other X-Men aren’t supposed to know they’re still around?  And yes, everyone expresses surprise that Magneto’s there… for a couple of pages.  And then the whole topic gets dropped so that Wolverine can go and kill a geriatric Nazi.

Yes, it’s a change of pace for the book.  Yes, it gives Rick Remender a chance to make Wolverine sit through a speech about how he can never outrun his past deeds – though it’s not like he doesn’t know this.  But the issue has what ought to be a major plot point, with Magneto revealing that he knows the team exist, and just kind of breezes on past without following it through.  And that doesn’t work.

Uncanny X-Men #536 – Part 2 of “Breaking Point”, Kieron Gillen’s sequel to Joss Whedon’s Breakworld arc from Astonishing X-Men.  I’d kind of expected that this issue would see the X-Men decamp to the Breakworld, but as it turns out, we get something rather more interesting: Kruun and his boatload of refugees come to live on Utopia with the X-Men.  The set-up of “X-Man becomes tribal leader, swans off and leaves them behind” was done in the 1980s with Storm, but that time, the Morlocks just waited meekly in the tunnels until they got slaughtered.  This time, with Colossus, we’re taking a different route – the tribe show up at the door and refuse to leave.

The Breakworlders’ warriors-without-compassion angle risks making them terribly one-dimensional, but Gillen manages to flesh them out a bit without deviating from the concept.  A page of Breakworlder vox pops gets the idea across nicely.  And just as everything’s seeming a bit cosy, it changes tack at the end with a strong cliffhanger.  Good issue.

Wolverine #8 – This is the concluding part of “Wolverine versus the X-Men”, and I think this is a three-parter that would have been better off in two.  Or, frankly, even one.  The basic idea of various facets of Wolverine’s personality fighting demons inside his head is a cute one.  And I don’t mind that Cyclops seems a little too trigger-happy in jumping straight to the “kill Wolverine” solution – I’ll give Aaron the benefit of the doubt and assume this is set-up for “Schism”.  I just don’t think this is a concept that really needed to be extended over three months, particularly when it’s essentially the epilogue to a storyline that was already five issues to begin with.  Nor does it seem that all the mental destruction has any lasting effect, which is unsurprising but still anticlimactic.

That said, there are some nice gags here with the rooms inside Wolverine’s mind, and the last couple of pages are a well-executed scene.  But three issues?  Too long.

Wolverine & Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants #3 – Technically an X-book, really more of a Hercules story with Wolverine guest starring.  And he spends half the issue as a statue, in case there was any doubt about whose story this really is.  I can’t help wondering how long this book spent in development; it’s got a villain who was killed off in a miniseries last year, and a hero whose status quo has changed at least twice since this was written.  It’s not really fair to hold that sort of thing against the book, but it doesn’t do it any favours.  Judged as a throwaway team book, it’s perfectly fine.  Still, it’s hard to know what to say about it other than to shrug my shoulders and acknowledge its existence as a piece of acceptably diverting completist fodder.

Wolverine & Jubilee #4 – Uh… I think I might have to go back and read this mini again to see if it actually makes sense.

It makes sense on some level.  The character arc is all there – Jubilee comes to terms with being a vampire, stops moping, and gets back on her feet (even though everyone’s still a bit nervous about the whole vampire thing).  That’s all great, and Kathryn Immonen does a good job getting the character’s voice and selling this whole thing as the next phase in her story, when it could so easily seem like a ridiculous gimmick.  And the art’s beautiful throughout.

But then there’s the story, which involves a vampire seductress who just kind of vanishes from the plot, and a… cosmic pawn shop of some sort?  This is just gratuitously weird.  And gratuitously weird can be fine, but I have to admit I was completely lost as to what the threat actually was and why everyone was fighting a giant dragon.  The recap page doesn’t exactly shed much light on it either.  Which is a shame, because the story isn’t really about the plot, it’s about giving Jubilee an opportunity to get back in the saddle.  The details of the story don’t greatly matter.  But I was just kind of baffled by this issue, and that’s unfortunate when the series had been doing so well up till then.

Wolverine: The Best There Is #6 – The end of the first arc, and oh boy, this is crap.  As I’ve said, there’s a glimmer of a half-decent idea in here, with Contagion experimenting on unkillable characters to try and… well, something or other.  The recap page says he’s supposed to be trying to find out how to cure himself of his powers, but the ending of the story suggests he could have done that at will whenever he wanted, so god knows, really.  There’s a slightly more interesting subplot suggesting that Contagion is also trying to prepare one of his henchmen for a role she’ll have in the future (though again, god knows why).  But basically it’s just an exercise in extended gore and gross-out sequences, and the bottom line is, it doesn’t work as a story, and it’s all rather boring.  I’ll give Charlie Huston credit for at least trying to design a story around his ultra-violence remit instead of just doing a generic Wolverine story with added slaughter, but he hasn’t succeeded.  (And he doesn’t understand Madcap at all.)

Huston’s not a bad writer.  Maybe he’ll do better with the second arc, particularly given the universal kicking which issue #1 received online.  But this arc?  Horrible, and not in the way it wants to be, either.

X-23 #9 – This, on the other hand?  File under “meh”.  It’s part 3 of the “Collision” crossover with Daken: Dark Wolverine.  As I’ve said before, in theory there’s an interesting story to be told with these two meeting.  They’re both versions of Wolverine who are obsessed with their own individuality; in theory, seeing other, different versions of Wolverine ought to be an interesting experience for both of them.  But three chapters into this four part storyline, all we’re really getting is the characters doing their usual routine in front of one another.  They don’t actually interact in any particularly memorable way.  It’s all very underwhelming, and not helped by the use of the Weapon X Project in an utterly generic role as the common threat.  I think the idea is meant to be that Daken is morbidly curious about Weapon X and X-23 just hates the place, but that doesn’t really go anywhere.  Bit disappointing, really.

X-Men #10 – The final part of “To Serve and Protect”, and hey, here’s Paco Medina to do fill-in art on the closing pages!  But never mind, Chris Bachalo makes it almost to the end, and the style shift is less jarring than you might expect.  It’s a pretty basic story arc – the X-Men and Spider-Man team up to fight the Dark Beast and the Lizard.  And the subplot from the early issues about the kids Lizard was kidnapping kind of peters out in favour of More Fighting.  But it’s nice to do a straight, uncomplicated superhero story from time to time, and that’s what this is.  Victor Gischler gets the voices of his characters well, and there’s some fun banter with Spider-Man and Emma Frost.  And Bachalo… well, Bachalo just loves drawing lizards, and who can blame him?  Simple, fairly basic, but good fun nonetheless.

X-Men: Prelude to Schism #1 – A four-issue miniseries which, as the title suggests, leads in to the upcoming “Schism” event.  Though from the look of it, it’s more a series of personality studies than an actual story.  This is written by Paul Jenkins, a name we haven’t seen at Marvel in quite a while (I vaguely recall reading that he’s been ill).  And it opens strangely – everyone’s standing around on Utopia waiting for some unspecified threat which is apparently on the way.  Presumably we’ll get to that with “Schism” proper.  Scott has to make some sort of important decision.  And then we fade into a load of flashbacks about Scott’s career, and his relationship with Professor X.  (Incidentally, the First Class uniforms now seem to have become the standard design for Silver Age flashbacks, for the continuity wonks among you.)  The angle, broadly, seems to be that Scott has exceeded Xavier’s expectations by emerging from his shadow and taking the X-Men in a new direction, so that leadership has passed to the next generation and Xavier can recede into his role of father figure.  But all this comes at the cost of Scott having given up any sort of life outside his leadership role.

None of which is likely to surprise any regular reader of the X-Men.  But it’s more an exercise in restating the themes than in trying to do anything new.  It’s not really a story, and barely even pretends to be; it’s a low key character study, and not a bad one.  It’s very subdued, though, down to the muted colouring (which actually works quite well with Roberto de la Torre’s more dramatic art), and it’s clearly going for a sense of weight that I’m not sure it really pulls off.  Certainly a strange way of leading into a major storyline, but in a way, that almost encourages me; it’s definitely not bombastic.  I’ll be interested to see if the whole book keeps this tone, or whether it’s been particularly selected for Scott. Intriguing, but it’s too early to say whether it’s anything more than a curio.

Bring on the comments

  1. kelvingreen says:

    And it opens strangely – everyone’s standing around on Utopia waiting for some unspecified threat which is apparently on the way.
    That sounds suspiciously like the original Sentry miniseries.

    Speaking of which, isn’t part of the Void stuck in Cyclops’ mind at the moment?

  2. Argus says:

    If Schism is able to shuffle all the pieces of the X-Universe into something interesting and meaningful, it could be worth it. I’m hoping that Cyclops and possibly even Emma are able to shuffled out the picture, maybe leading the young X-characters, and it allows a bunch of fresh teams to step to the fore – maybe mixed of classic X-Men members, New Mutants, Gen X…? That would be worthwhile. I’d also like it if we saw *individual character reactions* rather than than the usual cycle of Cyclops, Emma, Wolverine, Magneto… what about Colossus, or Psylocke, or Gambit, or any of the characters who used to be so prominent but are now just so much filler striking poses in the background?

    Anyway, this is wishful thinking. It’ll be status quo as usual afterwards…!

  3. Thom H. says:

    I’m not worried that Remender is skipping over the “Magneto finds out about the X-Force team” idea. Given his run so far, it seems like he has some pretty long-range plans, and I’m willing to bet he’s coming back to it. Something bad has to be the result of this issue; otherwise, it was just a waste of time, right?

    Plus, we ended up following Wolverine on his errand, so the rest of the team was barely even in the book. Perhaps they’ll comment on it the next time we see them.

  4. Brad says:

    Nothing like a double page spread of Magneto pouring himself a drink to make the reader say to himself “Well, that was money well-spent!”

    That issue of X-Force was a five page story at most. So far I’ve been pretty happy with Remender’s version of X-Force, and I hope like heck this issue was just an anomaly.

  5. Valhallahan says:

    After The Sentry: Fallen Sun, I’m surprised Jenkins still gets work at Marvel.

    Actually, I take that back, a thoughrough online panning seems to garantee extra work at Marvel sometimes. If only so they never have to admit anything was an editorial mistake.

  6. Thrills says:

    I like how the Age of X thing seems to have returned Chamber to being “black-clad exploding face guy” instead of “descendant of Apocalypse grunge guy”. I have an unnatural fondness for the original version of the character, though.

    I worry that I’m now just one of those “everything needs to be the way it was! The old stories were MY stories and the only ones that COUNT!” people. Oh dear.

  7. Mika says:

    Oh, I think the changes to Chamber got so convoluted – he’s been healed from explodey-face! he’s no longer healed but depowered! he’s been modified by Clan Akkaba but still powerless, possibly, or possibly not – and frankly utterly unhelpful to the character, that pressing the cosmic reset button was the only way to get him back into circulation. It’s not as if any writer has shown any interest in his former status quo since New Warriors ended. And the former Gen Xers have suffered more than enough, in my opinion. Dead, dead, dead, vampire, depowered/modified by followers of Apocalypse… Mind you, no-one suffered more than Husk was punished in being written by Chuck Austen.

  8. Thrills says:

    Yeah, all the changes added nothing to Chamber as a character, and forgot what made him interesting in the first place (a strong visual).

    Oh, Husk and Chuck Austen… I remember one issue was her writhing, half-dead, in a forest clearing with Angel while she got healed by his magic blood (which turned out to be perfectly safe as Chuck Austen decided that ‘mutants can’t get HIV’). I also remember Skin got murdered and everyone got his surname wrong on his headstone.

    Poor Gen X.

    Monet’s the only non-Emma Frost one doing okay in the marvel universe, really, which is remarkable considering how ridiculous her origin became after Lobdell left Generation X.

  9. Prodigial says:

    I half-way wish Moonstar’s powers would reset too out of the Age of X. But since we didn’t see her use them during it, I am at loss here…

    “If Schism is able to shuffle all the pieces of the X-Universe into something interesting and meaningful, it could be worth it.” – Argus.
    I totally agree here. At the moment it feels all over the place. Is it too obvious that Legion is the X-Universe’s equivalent of the Scarlet Witch and they are going to split the mutant community?!

    I feel like a separation SHOULD happen, for the sake of organization.
    If a split down the line occurs, I’d like to see Cyclops+WhiteQueen associates in Uncanny. Whoever would be stupid enough to stay in utopia can bloody well stay there. Heck, with the Heroic age there, a floating mutant island seems pointless.

    Xavier should take back Legacy. Rogue and Gambit and Danger can follow him there.

    The NMutants should get the Academy X characters. No more limbo/hell stories. Please!

    Awesome characters that aren’t getting the light should really get Astonishing. (ref. Storm (leader), Colossus (strength), Shadowcat (wits), Iceman (comedy), Prodigy (smarts) ;~D)(I would fancy Surge in there too, instead of bloody bland Armour)
    The title has been lacking the ‘ooomph!’ factor since Whedon’s leave.

    Don’t do anything to X-Factor and X-Force!! The latter is surprisingly great the way it is. I got faith in Remender!

    X-Men title-less should think about doing something really interesting soon, or else it should be axed.

    Here’s for mi’wishful thinking…

  10. sam says:

    I always thought the Generation X characters were terrific. Even Mondo. I see them as a casualty of Lobdell’s simultaneous ability to do interesting character work and inability to plot out good superhero stories. They’re good characters but it got to issue 25 and you realized that almost nothing had happened to them. Then we got Larry Hama.

    However, if you’ve never read the Age of Apocalypse Generation X story, Generation Next, do yourself a favor. A real gem, with some of Bachalo’s best work and a shockingly tragic story.

  11. David Tarafa says:

    Sam- Agreed! Generation Next was excellent.

    I have to say, I was expecting a better review for “X-Men: Prelude to Schism #1.” I thought it was totally beautiful. Blown away by the artwork. I didn’t remember Roberto Delatorre being even close to this good, and Paul Jenkins was surprisingly great too. Really impressed overall.

  12. Adam says:

    I’m glad Brad said something, because I’ve been baffled at the soft reception UNCANNY X-FORCE #9 has gotten.

    I won’t rant about its deficiencies, only state that I cannot bring myself to believe that the issue was a good-faith attempt to give me $4 worth of entertainment. All of the credit Remender’s built up in the bank with me over the previous good eight issues, he’s pissed away with this one transparent cash grab he could not have spent more time than one lazy, half-distracted afternoon writing and which I did not spend more than a few measly minutes reading.

    If we get another issue like it I’m done with the book, and I’ll be interested in seeing how many people do so when Paul’s sales figures column comes out for May.

  13. Adam says:

    OK, with that out of system:

    The first issue of Gillen’s UNCANNY X-MEN frustrated me, so I didn’t pick up the new one, but I might go back and get it now with what I’m hearing.

    Because the thing is, if the first few pages of Gillen’s second UNCANNY issue had been included at the end of the first, I’d probably have already bought it. The aliens arriving to say “We need your help!”, as they did at the end of the first issue, is hardly a cliffhanger worthy of the term. It’s bland and hardly even suggests where the story might be going from there.

    However, “Hi, we’re your alien subjects and we’re here to move in” is much more specific and intriguing.

  14. Si says:

    “I half-way wish Moonstar’s powers would reset too out of the Age of X.”

    That’s the last thing the character needs. I’d hazard that she’s had more sets of powers than any other super-character in comics. She started with nightmare illusions and the power to talk to dogs, gained dream illusions as well, gained death vision and a flying horse, lost the illusion power and gained the ability to make solid dream shapes, lost all of those and got psychic taser arrows, lost that and got blue cosmic energy powers, lost that, then later got super god valkyrie powers, lost them and now sometimes has a magic sword and a flying horse of a different colour. Her career’s not much better, she’s been a student, a superhero, a valkyrie, a terrorist, a SHIELD agent, a school teacher, a government trainer, and a legal guardian, without ever actually officially resigning any of those posts. I’m sure I’m missing some here.

    Best to leave her solely in her primary function as an arse kicker, which is the only constant the character has been given.

  15. Zach Adams says:

    …wait, AXM had oomph under Whedon? I thought it just had an excess of snark, shit pacing and an overhyped writer whose fan-drones would buy dog food with his name on it.

  16. Tim O'Neil says:

    The worst part about the X-Force issue is that there was no damn reason why Magneto would ask Wolverine to do that. Since when has Magneto – even the supposedly reformed Magneto – ever been above killing a dude? Unless there was some history with the dude and Wolverine that hasn’t been filled in, I just don’t see why that happened at all. And yeah, the drink pouring sequence was simply atrocious padding.

    As for The Best There Is – did we even read the same story? I’m thinking about picking up the trade, I liked this story so much. Great fun.

  17. Aaron Thall says:

    …Wait, if Jubilee had her powers and was human in AOX, but somehow was returned to her vampire status quo right after… BUT some other characters got altered like Chamber… GAH! My head hurts…

  18. maxwell's hammer says:

    Gotta agree with Tim on “The Best There Is”. The main Wolverine title (and X-23 and Daken) have suffered for a while from taking themselves way too seriously, and TBTI just does not give a rat’s ass, and is so much more fun in all its reckless nonsense.

    I know its all a matter of taste, and to each his own, but I’ve really enjoyed “The Best There Is”.

  19. Dimitri says:

    Regarding UXM, I suspect things are not as they seem. The first issue of Breaking Point makes a point of bringing Danger along even though she barely gets a line, and then she’s nowhere to be seen in the second issue. Me thinks someone’s being taken for a Holodeck ride.

    Also, I agree with Sam and David Tarafa. Scott Lobdell’s run on Gen X and Gen Next was terrific. He gave each character a unique voice, and Bachalo’s art at the beginning was almost kind of haunting. Great stuff.

  20. Thrills says:

    I agree, Dimitri – Bachalo’s Gen x/Next artwork is maybe my favourite non-Quitely superhero art of all time. Really atmospheric, and, as you say, haunting.

    Gen X really played to Lobdell’s strengths, too.

  21. Prodigial says:

    Dani’s powers/status having been fcuked around with so much, I can understand your P.O.V, Si. But can’t the same be said about Psylocke? Isn’t Remender trying to cut her back to what she really is whilst running around w/X-Force?

    Personally, Dani’s de-powered state reeks of the character being a victim of slackness + poor creativity on the writers’ side along the years. Maybe the nature of her powers made them think too hard everytime whenever they were setting roles… I dunno.
    Having said that, I agree, the things they HAVE focused on the character (hard-edge field-leader), they have done consistently well. Whether they choose to continue doing that or granting her Valkyre status back on and off like we don’t care, whatever, I will still be tuning into the character.

    I’m cool if they continue to work on that angle with her being de-powered. Makes her more baddarse. But seriously, it seems like they took the re-powering opportunity with Chamber. Why not her?!? Dani’s da bomb!!!

    As for Whedon, say whatever you will about him, but to me he set the tone to the title, and that ‘sizzle’ just feels gone. What’s the point of having an AXM now?!?! I mean, Ghostboxes?!?! Pfft!

  22. AndyD says:

    ” Ghostboxes?!?! Pfft!”

    This was terrible, wasn´t it? You could always see when Ellis wasn´t interested any longer in his stuff and phones it in, but this was just a waste of time and money.

    You know, just reading Pauls reviews makes one head hurt 🙂 Wolverine is at every time everywhere – do they even bother to apply a timeline for the character any longer? -, and there are so many mutants running around as if House of M never happened.

    Even if I would be inclined to read the X-Books again I wouldn´t know where to start. Shouldn´t there be one strong flagship book and some satellite books?

  23. Rich Larson says:

    RE: Prelude to Schism. It didn’t work for me. I have often liked Jenkins quiet character work (he did some great ones with Peter Parker and with Uncle Ben.) But this fell flat. I think:

    1. Xavier’s pride that Scott mangaed to unite all the mutants doesn’t make much sense. Scott pulled together the remaining 200 as last ditch self defense. He didn’t resolve the philosophical Xavier/Magneto split.

    2. “A plane went past and I didn’t even glance at it.” Umm.. then how did he know it was there? High flying planes in Westchester don’t make any noise.

    3. Part of the issue with Xavier and Scott is how emotionally repressed they are. I would think if they were having regular heart to hearts out in the fields they’d bith be much healthier people.

    4. When did Scott start taking advice from Xavier again. He’s been sort of barely tolerated by Scott the last I saw.

  24. Jeff says:

    2. “A plane went past and I didn’t even glance at it.” Umm.. then how did he know it was there? High flying planes in Westchester don’t make any noise.

    Peripheral vision I guess.

  25. Jeff says:

    Peripherical.

  26. Rich Larson says:

    Jeff,
    I guess that makes some sense. I’d give you a No-Prize!

  27. Kevin L says:

    “1. Xavier’s pride that Scott mangaed to unite all the mutants doesn’t make much sense. Scott pulled together the remaining 200 as last ditch self defense. He didn’t resolve the philosophical Xavier/Magneto split.”

    This has been my number one issue with this whole Scott as general/el presidente of the mutant species. He didn’t “do” anything aside from invite all remaining mutants to come live with the X-Men on THREE separate occasions, and every issue acted like it was some huge step/turning point. Every time a character, with breathless wonder of course, says “Scott did it, he united mutants!” it pulls my right out of the story and feels like cringe-worthy self-approbation on the current direction of the books.

  28. Baines says:

    Wolverine & Jubilee was a mess. The idea of Wolverine helping Jubilee get back to an acceptable functional state was fine. The rest was just…

    Okay, maybe it was trying to be wacky and weird just to help with the idea of getting Jubilee back to a happier attitude, but it just didn’t work. Vampire frames Jubilee so Wolverine will investigate an follow so vampire, who is now holding Jubilee hostage, can get him to go to Chernobyl to get something for her. A mystical pawn shop. Dragons for no apparent reason. Vampire woman drops out of the story. Rockslide, a presumably unplanned on the vampire’s part third party just happens to go to right place in America to help finish things? Vampire woman seems to have no plans beyond “set Wolverine in action” and “wait for good guys to succeed”? All sorts of stuff like that.

    It just feels badly plotted.

    Getting Jubilee functional was good, but the rest…

  29. Rich Larson says:

    Kevin,

    Obviously, I agree. And they don’t need that to tell the stories they want. One of Scott’s strengths is that he’s a talented startegist. If the mutants had turned to him because he was the only one clever enough to keep them alive that would have worked. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many stories where Scott seems to be doing lots of clever thinking. I guess creating Utopia and the Dark Reign battle were closest for me, but neihter really made you close the book thinking that it was a brilliant twist.

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