dark_noldor's X-Men: Prelude to Age of Apocalypse #1 - TPB review

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Good as a Concept,Poor execution

X-Men # 38 – Vengeance - by Nicieza (W), Kubert (P), Ryan (I), Oakley (L) and Somers (C) – This was, in my opinion, the best times for the X-Men, both because of the team members and the kind of story and trouble that was unleashed upon them, so it was very nice reading this issue that shows the X-Men, one by one, reflecting, enjoying life, trying to connect with it, dealing with major issues too, there´s a lot of meaning in this story, it´s not just about a bunch of heroes doing heroic stuff, this was the X-Men thinking they could change the world, it was Xavier´s dream and now someone close to him (David Haller) will make the dream come true – the narrative structure of this story is amazing, since Nicieza (probably one of the best works he´s done so far in his career) chose to tell separate stories for each member and the result was funny, emotional and interesting dialogues and scenes, like Ice Man with Rogue, playing a practical joke on her in the pool, Beast´s quest for finding the cure for the Legacy Virus, Xavier talking to Bishop about all the damage in his data after the Phalanx attack and so on – just to make this issue even better, the fantastic art of Andy Kubert (at his peek in my opinion), showing an incredible fight between Gambit and Sabretooth, which ended up revealing sinister secrets of the Cajun, and the great concepts that he did in this cheerful issue (though a little tense too) for the X-Men – the best part of this issue to me was the ones involving Beast, I don´t think any other artist portraited this character as well as Kubert did, truly amazing job, and the way that Nicieza writes him too is awesome – Highly recommended, a great initiation for people that never read X-Men in their lives! 5 out 5

X-Factor # 108 – Promised Vengeance -  by John Francis Moore and Todd Dezago (W), Jan Duursema (P), Al Milgrom (I), Starkings/Comicraft (L) and Glynis Oliver (C) – I know that this issue is important for the continuity of this arc story but I sure hoped that it wouldn´t, because if X-Men showed great level of characterization, dialogues, art and narrative, this issue of X-Factor is completely opposite of these feats quoted, since the art of Duursema is just ok, nothing spectacular, the plot of finding Mystique is a little boring, but bearable, the dialogues aren´t so good, but there´re some moments that can be saved, but the story is so boring, it was dragging all the way, from the beginning to the end, with unnecessary captions and remarks, terrible pace – and there´re some facts in this issue that just made me so mad, how can editors vouch for this, like Fury appearing out of the bloom, once he could easily make a call (or the writers could insert some informations in a more smoother way) or the scene where Avalanche tricks Havok and Strong Guy and then Alex lights up a match(???) to bright the room (come one, the guy is a living power force, just a flicker in his finger tips he can light 4 of July), but the worst of all was Mystique, ready to kill Legion, making vague threats that she´ll do it – overall this was a terrible issue, but necessary (?) to show the wake of Legion and the kickstart of this arc story. 2 out 5

X-Factor # 109 – The Waking – by all of the above (same credits) – Things got a little better in this issue, since the writers focused more in Legion and Mystique, also showed a little more action, like the fight between Raven and Forge and the X-Factor hunting down Raven, but still the bad art, the slow pace and the terrible dialogues just tainted all the good that this issue had to offer – this was only meant as a tie in to the arc story, in fact it wasn´t vital, but an editorial decision to make all the X titles connected to tell the Legion´s quest. 3 out 5

The Uncanny X-Men # 319 – Untapped Potential -   by Scott Lobdell (W), Steve Epting (P), Dan Green & Tim Townsend (I) and Steve Buccellato (C) – This is indeed the first introduction of Legion Quest and Lobdell in a good narrative, tells about dreams and hopes in different ways: first he shows Bobby Drake and Rogue in a countryside, heading to Drake´s fathers place, then he pitches Xavier in a dream, where he´s having a conversation with Magneto and he suggests that the world would be a better place if he had never existed, so Xavier´s dream could flourish, so Lobdell wraps things up in a romantic incursion with Warren and Betsy in what appears to be a wedding proposition (not a formal one though) – all that with the amazing art of Steve Epting, capturing all the emotions and expressions of these characters – a really good issue, great art and solid dialogues. 4 out 5

X-Men # 39 – Birds of a Feather - by Nicieza (W), Terry Dodson (P), Matt Ryan (I), Somers/Javins/Digital Chameleon (C) – This is a story that has no relation whatsoever to the Legion Quest – the truth is that David only appears in two pages, wandering in the Negev desert in Israel and that´s it – this is a tale involving Scott Summers´ grandfather, named Philip, and an alien named Adam X-Treme, in a perilous adventure in the bellow zero temperatures of Alaska – this was kinda of a weak and filled with holes story, mainly because the last time this character appeared (in X-Men # 38) he was searching for Charles Xavier, so how he ended up in Alaska, it truly beats me – the art isn´t top notch, it´s not Dodson at his best, but it´s allright. 3 out 5

The Uncanny X-Men # 320 – The Son Rises in the East – by Lobdell (Plot), Waid (Dialogues), Roger Cruz (P), Tim Townsend (I) and Steve Buccellato (C) – In fact this is the first chapter of Legion Quest, where David is confronted by the X-Men Gold Team in the Negev desert, revealing that now he possess time travel abilities and he intends to change the past, in order to make Xavier´s dream come true – this was a cool issue in terms of the art and the dialogues, but the narrative structure chosen by the writers wasn´t the best, because it was a little confusing the story going back and forth, making me think that there were many holes in the story, what wasn´t true – actually the only hole that I saw was the fact that Xavier knew about David in the last issue of this ongoing series, but in the beginning of this issue it was told that the X-Men went to Israel attending a request of Gabrielle, Legion´s mother – Roger Cruz delivered some good action scenes and the team work of the X-Men Gold team really paid off the effort. 3.5 out 5

X-Men # 40 – The Killing Time – by Nicieza (W), Kubert (P), Ryan (I) and Somers (C) – Storm, Betsy, Bobby and Bishop, alongside with Legion, are trapped in the past, without their memories, back when Xavier and Magnus were pals back in a hospital in Israel, unaware that both were mutants – this dynamics of Xavier and Magnus as friends is very interesting, because it takes the readers into a time where hope and friendship between them were alive, when they could make real changes in the world, if they weren´t afraid of telling each other about their special natures – back in the present, Xavier and the others find an unconscious Jean Grey, who tells them what´s transpired in the desert and now they must call Cable to help them, since he´s the time travel specialist – I really enjoyed the dialogues and the art in this issue, especially the moments of Xavier and Magnus together – a really cool issue. 4 out 5

The Uncanny X-Men # 321 – Auld Lang Syne – by Lobdell (Plot), Waid (Dialogue), Garney (P), Townsend/Green/Rubinstein (I) and Buccellato (C) – This issue is incredible because we get a chance to see Xavier and Magneto in a bar, drinking and preparing themselves to protect a man who´s being humiliated by sailors, also Ron Garney´s art is precise and awesome, but unfortunately there are more flaws than qualities in this issue, mainly because there´s no sense of continuity regarding this arc story: last issue (X-Men # 40) Erik was scared because the mysterious patient John Doe (Legion) had awaken terrible memories of his (the whole concentration camp thing), so he ran off asking Charles for help who, at the time, was in the presence of Gabrielle, and in this issue all that was shown really never happened, because they´re in a bar, talking calmly, like nothing really happened, so this removed all the grace and flavor to me in this issue – back in the present, Xavier and the others, after some aid from Shiar (other major flaw, because in the last issue there´s only a hologram of Lilandra and now there are troops and equipment of the Shiars to help the X-Men), are trying to figure out a way to travel to the past and warn the others of the menace of Legion – despite the terrible flaws in the continuity, this was a great issue, very entertaining, but a clear demonstration that editors didn´t do their jobs very well. 3.5 out 5

X-Men # 41 – Dreams die – by Nicieza (W), Garney/Kubert (P), Ryan (I) and Somers/Digital Chameleon (C) – This is the conclusion of the Legion Quest and unfortunately it´s sad seeing a great and brilliant idea and concept being so poorly executed by the writers – the dialogues in this issue weren´t good, in fact the only good thing about the writing was the characterization of Charles Xavier, stunned while seeing other mutants rather than only him and the fact that Bobby Drake finally got over his fears induced by the tragic encounter he had with Emma Frost, but other than that this story was very bad written – I would like to see this again, written by different writers, like Bendis, Miller, Brubaker or Aaron, I´m sure the result would be completely different – I guess this was one of the X-Men most important moments in the industry, responsible for triggering a great alternate reality story, that should be read by everyone that enjoys comic books and it was interesting reading this once again. 3.5 out 5

Overall this was as weak TPB, filled with terrible holes in the story, bad dialogues, endless narration, unnecessary description of the scenes, but it was an important stage for the X-Men and the prelude for the astonishing Age of Apocalypse and I guess what missed in the writing department was well replaced in the art – Andy Kubert, Roger Cruz and Ron Garney really delivered awesome art and great concepts here, but I wish it was better.
3.5 out 5

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