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3.2 stars

Average score of 268 user reviews

"If that's the best you can do -- I'll take it!" 0

Once again we have what could be a great X-Men issue were it not for the main plot/conflict. As others have noted, the characters moments driving the first half of the issue are great, considering where we are in the development of the X-Universe. Warren finally takes some initiative with the Love Triangle, even though he seems to contradict himself somewhat (at first he wants Jeannie to decide but eventually he just gives her over to Scott and her college buddies - too much competition scares h...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Once More ... with Feeling 0

Like the previous couple of issues, we are given a fairly good beginning with no satisfactory payoff at the end. As Byzantine said above, Merlin is a thoroughly inconsistent villain: his powers change frequently, and like most of the Factor Three members, runs away immediately despite his ability to topple towers and eliminate Xavier's abilities. His motivation is likewise perplexing: if he couldn't take over the world in the original medieval ages, with a population of approximately 100 million...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Remember when The X-Men was about the X-Men? 0

The cover says a great deal about the issue: the X-Men are ineffective observers of the main action - no one believes Bobby Drake, as if he just came through a magic wardrobe or something, no one is willing to do anything about Calvin until it's too late (even Xavier), and no one can help Mimic vs. the Super Adaptoid until the fight is over. Somehow the issue belongs to the Mimic, at least eventually - it did start off rather promising, among the best so far: we get nice, relaxed character momen...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Good Start, Bad Finish 0

Once again, Roy Thomas shows he can come up with some fairly interesting ideas, yet he doesn't quite know how to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion. This is especially confusing considering his impressive demonstration of his knowledge of Marvel characters and issues - yet he can't seem to remember what happens in the issue he is writing by the time he gets to the conclusion. Banshee is a great creation, despite his misnomer and the fact he looks 60 years old for most of the issue (aided no...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Roy Thomas Presents: How Not to End a Comic Book 0

Ignoring the uber-tedious insincere opening (you better stop calling us "Tiger," Roy), this issue starts off extremely promising. The in medias res beginning is a nice narrative change (dampened somewhat by Thomas treating us like illiterate nincompoops). The return of the Mimic suddenly actually works better than most of the "return of ..." villains Thomas has been parading for most of his run. It's a bit disappointing he can beat the X-Men who have supposedly trained together for over a year, ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Why Limited Series should come in 4s 0

Despite the appearances this is a self-contained two-part story, it really isn't, and for that, Kavanagh does us a fairly large disservice. What could have been a very interesting standalone story during the time of Professor X's self-exile among the Shi'ar while Lilandra was temporarily dethroned, Kavanagh turns into a rather muddled, unfinished, "deleted scenes" story with almost no payoff to over 60 pages of story development. The entire "Phalkon Quest" turns at to be a pun, which makes no se...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Professor X - he dead. 0

Dave Cockrum's artwork seems simple to some fans, but the overtly "comic-book feel" of his drawings actually fit well with the goofy nature of this adventure. With little prologue, Terry Kavanagh throws us into a wild Starjammers adventure, complete with missing pieces to an important and secret treasure map. It would help to be familiar with where this takes place in the X-Men story, since Xavier is hanging out with Lilandra, who is currently deposed from the throne with Deathbird in charge - b...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

That's More Like It, Mr. Thomas 0

Finally, Roy Thomas starts to show us something. Perhaps it's just the appearance of some better moments, but the number of "look at us, we write comics and we don't take that seriously!" moments seem fewer (though there are a few obvious such moments, unfortunately). One of the complaints against Chris Claremont, it seems to me, was his tendency at times to have a character vocalize what he is doing in the panel, not allowing the artwork to communicate enough alone - I think he learned that fro...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Ampersand: the real Hero 0

Even though this has a few extra-disappointing moments, I'm tempted to say this was the best book so far in the series. It's nice to get some backstory on some of the main and supporting characters, as well as give Ampersand some of his own moments (much deserved and far overdue). I guess everyone will still hate born-again Christians, even if half of the world is dead - makes sense, and probably the truest thing said so far. The characters seem to be getting younger as the series progresses, wh...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Charles Xavier: Orphanage Expert 0

And ... back to sucking. I take it in the late '60s, people didn't think about things like "would the Spanish-speaking population of the world be offended by our belittling everything about them from their language to their beliefs to their behavior?" Okay, yes, Kukulkan is a real Mayan deity, and Roy Thomas knew that 40 years before user-constructed encyclopedias - one point for him. However ... there's everything else about the issue. It starts off extremely promising: in nice continuity, the ...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Future is Here at Last 0

This is a pretty good collection of the first few appearances of Bishop, the X-Man that basically changed the direction of the X-Titles for awhile (thanks, mainly, to the end of the Claremont era and the beginning of the Lobdell era, after a brief interim of John Byrne again). This was one of the first TPBs I ever got, and I got it fairly soon to when it came out. As I've other places, the first X-Men issue I ever got was UXM #281, the first after Chris Claremont's run, so I've been playing catc...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Metro College: Your Home for Summer Education 0

Not to sound hubristic, since my estimation of the efforts of those now-considered giants in the comics industry truly don't matter, but I am willing to give Roy Thomas and Co. a bit of a higher mark with this issue than the last few, in that at least they are trying to be more creative with a new villain and actual movement within the development of the main characters. So an extra half-star for effort, guys. If only you wouldn't spoil everything but clearly not taking anything you do seriously...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

We Now Return to Plot Contrivance Playhouse 0

While this issue is a little better than part one in the previous issue, that isn't saying very much. Yes, X-Men series today are far too serious for the most part, but this third effort from Roy Thomas does not take itself seriously enough. The X-Men agree to steal a 100 million dollars from the U.S. Government (which, fortunately it just so happened to have lying around? was it poker night on Capitol Hill?), and they don't seem too concerned about attacking the U.S. Army, endangering the lives...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Some Things (Villains) Are Best Left Forgotten 0

Okay, Roy Thomas, we get it: you've read a lot of comics and you are familiar with them. While that is admittedly better and far more appreciated than the current group of writers who have no clue about the history of X-Men or Avengers characters and conflicts, but "knowing them" and "feeling compelled to show off your knowledge and bringing back minor characters just for the sake of doing it" aren't the same thing. Plantman? The Porcupine? Come on, son. Part of the whole point of these new seri...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

You Win Some, You Lose Some 0

It was nice to finally read the early Legion stories, having read the '95 Legion Quest leading up to the Age of Apocalypse a couple of times already. The amazing thing is Claremont does an even better job of capturing Legion's cacophonous mindscape than the '95 writers. We had last heard from Gabrielle Haller during the From the Ashes storyline, in the regular X-Men series, so it was nice to finally get that strand picked back up again. Xavier has plenty of his own problems as well, dealing with...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

From Whence Comes Irrelevant Titles? 0

I know it's only two issues into his creative run, but Roy Thomas isn't exactly impressing me. I acknowledge he was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame last year (2011), so hopefully that means his writing and characterization and dialogue will get better sometime soon. X-Men is about 1/3 of the way through its initial semi-cancellation run, and though Stan Lee did a decent job coming up with Magneto, the Brotherhood, and the Sentinels, Roy Thomas hasn't so far done much to take the serie...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

That Was Easy 0

After setting up a pretty good character problem, the resolution is as simple as it is obvious: give Cloak and Dagger back their powers. We all saw it from the beginning, most likely, and though the use of Rogue as the conduit to return the powers is mildly clever, the entire build-up is not paid off very well here. The New Mutants play almost no role in this issue, as it becomes essentially The Tyrone Show, with special guests Professor X and vanilla Rogue (this seems to be the odd middle perio...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Shadows and Longswords 0

Professor X should really start taking the New Mutants seriously, especially Illyana. Though he is admittedly distracted with the growing David Haller situation across the pond, it's been over a year since the New Mutants have been living and training with him, and though some are garnering more control and diversity in their powers (especially Dani), his general lack of sustained interest in them and their abilities really comes to a drastic climax here, with Illyana giving more into the darksi...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Self-Image Situations 0

By this time we are getting the strong impression the major flaw with the New Mutants (as individuals) is their faulty self-image perceptions. The leaders demand perfection from themselves, the supporting students can't cope with their appearances or differences or place in time/society, and even Professor X still hasn't completely accepted these new students (since apparently the "Professor X" who gathered them was a Brood Queen). Complicating matters, the long-delayed effects of their encounte...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Moments of Transition 0

In a quiet moment between major conflicts, the New Mutants gain some needed counsel from the X-Men, though they don't heed the lessons, being caught up in their own misaligned self-conceptions. Claremont's treatment of Rahne's spirituality is getting tedious, especially the emphasis on superficialities, though it was only one line, but the ending of the issue with Rahne's fairy tale makes up for the single poor comment (the continued strained interaction with Nightcrawler, though, is good). Cann...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Before she was Debbie Gibson, she was Patty Smyth 0

Introducing: Lila Cheney! Before she mellows out and becomes a pop rocker for peaceful human-mutant relations, Lila Cheney is a hard-edged, dog-collar-wearing, planet-stealing thrasher. She is tough as nails, but has a soft spot in her heart for Sam Guthrie (making Rahne only mildly jealous but Roberto extremely jealous), despite the fact she apparently tried to hijack and sell the planet to remorseless aliens, who will undoubtedly be back for recompense. It's a pretty good tale; I'm not sure wh...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Written in 1986 you say? 0

Yowzah. Sometimes a "classic" has its positive reputation for good reason. This is one of those times. I'm not saying this is the best story I've ever read, but it was pretty good - aside from all the violence and language and whatnot, perhaps somewhat typical of Frank Miller. The pacing is impressive, especially considering the layers upon layers of intersecting stories, subplots, and characters weaving in and out of focus. The addition of the new enemies makes sense for a story a decade or so ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

By "double-sized" we mean "1.5x" 0

After a rather dramatic trilogy, the New Mutants get a bit of down-time with a female slumber party (while the guys walk around the campus for a bit of a chat). Dani is recovering nicely from her mauling, thanks to the Morlock Healer, enough to enjoy the atmosphere if not actual participation in the events. Rahne gets a much-needed makeover, and finally at the end shows enough gumption to make her character more than the wishy-washy mealy-mouthed "Oh, I'm such a simple Christian girl - everythin...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Sometimes simple is not so simple 0

I don't understand why some people don't like the ending of this story: on one level, having Magik use her spiritual powers (and sword) to defeat the Demon Bear is simple and somewhat unsurprising, but it is fitting within the world Claremont is creating, so it should fulfill our expectations in an appropriate way, not seem "too simple." Claremont belies any simplicity by the absence of too many easy endings: yes, Dani is healed pretty much by the Morlock healer, but that's his role and his func...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Issues of Trust 0

The New Mutants are in a precarious position (when are they not?) - with their leader in way-past-critical care and emergency surgery, they must contend with the suspicious yet well-meaning citizenry, their recent witch-addition Illyana, a sudden snowstorm, the absence of Professor Xavier, and, oh yes, a demoniacal spirit bear bent on destroying Dani Moonstar and all of civilization. The fight is intelligently done, considering the levels of experience and anger of its combatants. Claremont cont...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

And...relaunch! 0

Talk about your drastic artistic changes! Like Cannonball himself, The New Mutants (as a series) takes a violent, sharp turn (more like a jagged veer) in direction. Don't get me wrong, I think it is quite good and helps give the New Mutants a distinctive artistic identity (not that McLeod's or Buscema's initial work were inferior), it's just a stark, sudden shift. Sienkiewicz's artistry gives the New Mutants what they needed: a revitalization into maturity. Considering all the serious ground Cla...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Writing: Good; Artwork: Meh 0

Even in an adaptation of a diabolically twisted perspective, C.S. Lewis's work shines through as an intelligent presentation of Christian belief. I did not compare each selection with the prose version of the epistolary book, but I'm fairly certain a fair amount of editing and paraphrasing was done, in part to trim the letters down to manageable comic-book size (though fortunately the creative team did not decide to squeeze the work into typical panels on a page). The main problem with this vers...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Ol' High School Try 0

I understand George Lucas approved of the storyline, but there's also a good chance George Lucas approved of Jar-Jar Binks, Boss Nass, a petulant Anakin Skywalker, and, well, everything else about Episodes 1-3, so saying "George Lucas approved" doesn't quite have the same currency as it may have in 1991. I take it Cam Kennedy loves the color green, since almost everything in the trade feels like it is green-coated (most of it is, in fact, green). Perhaps he was a Nickelodeon fan as a child, but ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

...because why? 0

With a combination of Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger, and the New Mutants, one wonders how this could be anything but a complete success ... but it ends up being a bit of a dud. Spider-Man plays virtually no role in the issue. He spends most of his time tracking down Cloak and Dagger, who are doing their version of fine without him. He plays a mild role of mediator when C&D and the New Mutants first meet and (naturally) conflict, but the argument had basically petered out by the time Peter arr...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

With a little help from our friends 0

Back on Earth, all the Avengers (minus the Falcon and U.S. Agent still returning from their side-mission in the previous issue) have gathered again for a somber, heavy-hearted debriefing. In a two-page splash reminiscent of Avengers 345 (when they were dividing up who was going to go where), the Avengers, worn out from both the mission and the debriefing, react with astonishment to Cap’s request for a vote to have him stand down as commander of the Avengers. No one will vote for that. They have ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Dignity of Death 0

While Kayla and her friend H.D. continue to get in trouble back on Earth, the Soul-Eater inhales Makkari and Her, leaving Quasar to save the day. Nothing Quasar tries works against such a monstrous being. Epoch spends some time recapping the Soul-Eater’s origin and Asgardian conflicts (from Thor 261-263), revealing that the Soul-Eater does in fact have all the souls of the recently deceased Kree, preparing to eat them instead of letting them continue to the afterlife. As if that were not enough ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Almost 0

Though the first few pages of Captain America 401 take place before this issue, it is probably best to read these first. Quasar 35 picks up from Quasar’s perspective after page six of CA 401, as Quasar, having just resigned from the Avengers (doing what Cap can’t quite do), heads off to begin anew his role as Protector of the Universe. Taking on himself some responsibility for not knowing about the Shi’ar-Kree War in time to do any good, Quasar plans to perform his interstellar role much better ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The End of Which is Exactly Like the Beginning 0

Avengers 347 is an incredible issue, to be sure, but it’s hard to “like” it, if you know what I mean. It’s all about the destruction of the Kree Empire, and the deterioration of Captain America’s faith in the Avengers, himself, and everything for which he has fought his entire life. The first four pages are breathtaking in their destructive power. Even the Shi’ar, when their goal has been achieved, feel no elation for the devastating, pyrrhic victory. Quasar, faced with another failure on his pa...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Simplicity Itself 0

With time running out, Wonder Man makes the big decision to deactivate the Nega-Bomb (somehow). Vision, however, has other plans. All the intelligent philosophical discussion in the previous issue was lost on the Vision: “Logic must prevail over emotion, Wonder Man,” he says. He still is in favor of efficiency. What makes this battle unique in the long series of battles throughout the crossover is it is Avenger vs. Avenger. Vision, driven by his program to protect the Earth, can’t allow Wonder M...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Sacrifice and a Sandwich: To Go 0

Throughout the crossover, various characters have asked whether the needs of one little planet such as Earth outweigh the needs of an entire galaxy. Quasar finally has to answer that question as the Skrull ship attempts to enter Kree space. The Super-Skrull makes a cameo appearance, but Quasar is able to dispose of him quickly. The Skrulls make it a clear choice: either let them tow the Nega-Bomb through the gate or they will blow it up next to Earth. Quasar, thinking he will be able to stop the...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Too Many Answers, Not Enough Time 0

Though we have postulated throughout this reflection the crossover is an impressively-plotted story, we have admitted a couple of places seem not to fit. This issue clears up one such point but replaces it with another. Still, only a couple of niggling points in a 19-part crossover (with a prelude and multiple epilogues) is an impressive feat. The cover, likewise, is a smidge misleading, but it is better understood not as an indicator of what happens inside the issue but what happens directly af...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A 6-on-1 Breather 0

Meanwhile, back on Hala, Captain America is about to be engulfed in a giant explosion – is it the Nega-Bomb? No. Though the reader is not certain for a few pages just what is going on, an impressive tension this late into the series. When we last saw Cap, he was being led away from the rest of the Avengers to face individual judgment. We know the Avengers have just left him behind to try to prevent the Nega-Bomb from entering Kree space, and a brief look into the Quinjet reveals everyone is stil...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Honor vs. Expediency: Round Two 0

The Shi’ar Avengers team has finally arrived at the Palace Regal on Chandilar, throneworld of the Shi’ar Imperium. The Imperial Guard, what remains of it, is unhappy about escorting them to Lilandra, for various reasons. Lilandra, in full regalia, is likewise irritated with them – perhaps if it were the X-Men, she would have been a bit happier to see them. The tensions are ratcheted up by Prime Minister Araki, who mimics Guardian’s argument the needs of “a single, insignificant, little backwater...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Justice Made Here 0

Picking up moments after the last installment, we find Iron Man and Hawkeye wondering what to do, oblivious to the Supreme Intelligence’s loudspeaker declarations the Avengers are on their way to execution. More concerned with how Iron Man’s cloaking field makes him itchy, Hawkeye does not notice the propaganda film blaring in front of his face until halfway through the story. Once they realize what is going on, their reactions to the accusations are unsurprising: Hawkeye is irate at the notion ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Silent and Swift 0

Though the cover and title of this issue give away the ending rather boldly, by the time we get to it, we are still surprised and shocked by what happens. Back in the Kree Empire, the Avengers (minus Iron Man and Hawkeye) are poised to enter the capitol citadel of Kree-Lar on Hala. The narrator, again, is the Supreme Intelligence, and the reader is reminded from the beginning of the issue he is the grand designer of these events, or at least he thinks he is. He is the master weaver tightening al...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.