Thursday, January 29, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The Uncanny X-Men #213 (Comic-a-Day #29)

The Uncanny X-Men #213, JAN 87 (w) Chris Claremont (a) Alan Davis

Even with the cover touting Sabretooth and Wolverine throwing down, this is Psylocke's issue. Davis makes some interesting choices here, and they stand out enough for the reader to focus on almost wholeheartedly. After that first splash page of Psylocke's visage amid sparks and splotches, we're treated to a cross between moths and Mardi Gras masks. Weird, but works.

We're treated to another brief recap of the state of affairs at the X-mansion: Morlocks filling up the infirmary, but Nightcrawler, Colossus and Kitty Pryde as well--injured and near-powerless. Psylocke fills us in on these details: Nightcrawler so deep in a coma she can't get a read, Colossus alert yet paralyzed and Kitty discorporeal and fading.

She's not yet trusted and warming the bench when trying to ascertain the whereabouts of the New Mutants, she's blasted by an uncanny psionic blast...from a hidden enemy! Sabretooth is back, and his man-pants attitude is misogynistic to a fault. He is a bad guy, to be sure.

Wolverine goes all Stabby Staberson on Sabretooth, and Psylocke gets an idea.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The New Mutants #46 (Comic-a-Day #28)

The New Mutants #46 DEC 85 (w) Chris Claremont (a) Jackson Guice

I enjoyed what they did with the Mutant Massacre map, but they're should've been less arrows and more direct connections. This doesn't feel like a crossover, but more like a mega-event, throwing issues in just to shill books. It's barely worth writing about.

  • The Morlocks have been brought back to the X-Mansion, and they're having a tough time dealing with an amazing loss of life.
  • Magik transports herself to Muir Isle to get Dr. McTaggert out of the shower. Magik chooses an awful-looking outfit for Doc Nekkid.
  • Sunspot and Rhane are dealing with the stress of death, and we learn how much of an ass Sunspot can be.
  • Magik zips she and Karma to her apartment, looking for Karma's family. There's a bomb tripped when they turn on the lights.
  • The rest of the New Mutants head to the Morlock tunnels where they're confronted by Warlock's father, Magus!
Really disappointed with this issue (the art doesn't help, either) because it feels extremely out of place with the rest of the event. It's disjointed and feels like an X-men knockoff team, but without the fun. There's no memorable scenes (save one where Mirage sees death hanging over the mansion) or neat play with paneling.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: X-Factor #10 (Comic-a-Day # 27)

X-Factor #10, NOV 86 (w) Louise Simonson (a) Walter Simonson

A two-page spread is really showing off the skills of the Marauders sticking it to the Morlocks. This is to set readers up really, but is more concise (and pretty) in a couple of pages than in the last few issues. Angel and Jean Grey hightail it out with Rusty, all the while mutants confused about who X-Factor is and what they're all about. But they're dressed as bad guys! But they're funded by Warren Worthington III!

Cyclops, Iceman and Beast try to even the odds on the side of the Morlocks, but the Marauders have been at this assassination thing too long, and they're much more willing to kill. Artie, Leech and Caliban are being hunted by Sabretooth and X-Factor saves the day on that account.

Angel and Jean Grey make their way back to the sewers to help out their teammates (but only after they've had a moment) but angel gets hit up by the Marauders and pinned to the wall by Harpoon's...harpoons. If I'd not seen Apocalypse arrive and take Plague with him as his First Horseman, I may not have picked up on this eerie foreshadowing...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: X-Factor #9 (Comic-a-Day #26)

X-Factor #9, OCT 86 (w) Louise Simonson (a) Terry Shoemaker

Okay, so the Mutant Massacre issue flowchart doesn't help all that much, or I was too into Uncanny to give it much of a thought, but it's not HORRIBLE skipping around. This issue bleeds well into the last two reviews of Uncanny 211 and 212. Feels like more of a flashback or even an "and over in X-Factor!" Kudos for not charging $3.50 for a mega issue.

Freedom Force is after some guy named Rusty and with a name like that it's no wonder he can control fire. Turns out this mutant hunting government agency is actually on the up-and-up, albeit a little rough around the edges. Normal people are stepping in because Rusty and his lady friend look like them, and they're not having it. Then along comes X-Factor and they step in because the normals are going to start rioting.

This seems to be the first meeting between young mutants Artie Maddicks and Leech. It's nice to see some kids meet amidst all this carnage and "seriousness." Friendship is pretty important these days.

The X-Factor arrives in the Morlock tunnels to help their friend Rusty, in their original X-Men costumes. There's a silly juxtaposition here where X-Factor are good guys posing as bad guys and Freedom Force being bad guys posing as good guys. What a conundrum.

And hey, while we're on it (and I know I'm not reading ALL the titles coming out of Marvel at this point, but...when did Jean Grey come back?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The Uncanny X-Men #212 (Comic-a-Day #25)

The Uncanny X-Men #212, DEC 86 (w) Chris Claremont (a) Rick Leonardi

The Marauders have maraudered the Morlocks and Wolverine is on the prowl.

Slumming through the carnage and tunnels a mile beneath New York City, he's got an itch to scratch. With such a deep-seated hatred for these mutant killers, he's going to need his adamantium claws to get at it. Storm's ordered him to bring back one of these for questioning, and gives our guy the go-ahead take care of all else any which way he chooses.

The telepath Psylocke is in contact with Wolverine, and it's unfortunate that no one fully trusts her as an X-Man yet, because her powers make for some really swank paneling. She shows up trippy and ghost-like, and startles the dickens our of our hero. That said guest artist Leonardi is a good fit for the issue--things look good, and not missing a beat from JRJr's work. Taking lots of cool chances with paneling here.

The few surviving Morlocks are healing up at Xavier's School, but it's not looking good. They're not faring well. The Marauders have been thorough and unrelenting. Colossus isn't doing well, either, but you can't tell through the armor. Someone should have known something was up: he still hasn't changed out of his armored form.

Upside? We've not seen much from him since he's joined the ranks of the X-Men, but Magneto pulls out all the stops to heal his student with magnetism. Cool stuff.

Downside? In addition to Kitty Pryde unable to unphase, now it looks as if Colossus is paralyzed. Cool stuff.

Storm is having a tough time dealing with the loss of life and her position as leader of the X-Men and the Morlocks. Calisto (last leader of the Morlocks) is having a tough time with Storm being a sissy. Nice watching them duke it out. \

Then there's the knuckle-down drag-out fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The Uncanny X-Men #211 (Comic-a-Day #24)

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The Uncanny X-Men #211, NOV 86 (w) Chris Claremont (a) John Romita, Jr and Bret Blevins

I am a jaded man. While going through my comics bounty, I noticed a few of the X-titles with the same cover border. I didn't think much of it, only because I'm used to the day and age of variant covers. Turns out these all belong to the same crossover event.

Oh, another crossover? Jaded, to be sure.

The Marauders have made their way through the Morlock tunnels. They're chewing bubble gum and kicking butt, and they're all out of chewing gum. Mutants killing their own, there's a half-dozen of these mooks hunting their prey pretty handily. A burrowing behemoth manages to make his way to Xavier's school, just before passing out. X-Men to the rescue.

Wolverine and Nightcrawler are still not at the top of their game, and it shows, getting it handed to them. There are some pretty neat scenes here including a bit of a gritty one where Kitty Pryde phases just before being blasted by a shotgun. In a strange twist of fate, Kitty phases into Rogue after her powers with disastrous results.

Jaded I may be, but I'm looking forward to where this Mutant Massacre is headed.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The Uncanny X-Men #210 (Comic-a-Day #23)

The Uncanny X-Men #210, OCT 86 (w) Chris Claremont (a) John Romita, Jr. and Dan Green
"The Morning After" is really just that: another of those issues resetting the status quo by tying up loose ends and giving us little nudges as to the future of the book. Not a whole lot happens in this issue, but there're a few neat scenes that deserve a look.

There are two mutants being pursued by a group calling themselves The Marauders. They've executed some guy named Richard (who has ties to the Hellfire Club) before we find out what his powers are. He's got a gun though, and it's mentioned three times in as many pages, so it may be that or that I'm just getting into this a little too late. They're also connected to the Morlocks, and this female mutant has the need ability to make herself flat. Too bad for her, she'll be "flatlined" before the issue's over. Ba-dump.

There's a bit of Dazzler here, and someone in the mirror making threats. The X-Factor is in their infancy, but they keep turning up. Magneto's asked to join the Hellfire Club.

Folks are giving Rogue a hard time in Bloomingdale's, for being a mutant, not for putting on too much rogue. There's a witch hunt out for Nightcrawler as well., but his friends have found him and the crisis is averted. All thanks to the mutants sticking up for themselves.

Things are okay here, just not as stunning as the last few issues. The highlights however, are twofold, first page and last interestingly enough: first page splash of the guy Richard being shot with an energy spear is the first time I can see something recognizable out of JRJr. Last page last panel shows the hunted female mutant getting the screws to her. Beautiful how BOOM is spelled out coming down the subway tunnel. Boom, indeed.