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5 (15)
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3 (105)
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3.2 stars

Average score of 268 user reviews

First Failure 0

Somehow, not only have the X-Men gained some sort of notoriety in New York for fending off Magneto down in Florida, but also the populace knows their code names.  Why the Angel is a favorite among the ladies is unclear, considering his face is covered by a mask like Scott's and Hank's - perhaps the '60s girls liked the wings.  The beginnings of limitations on their powers, as has been noted by other reviewers, is a good development especially this early in the series - despite their overconfiden...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Teenage Ambition 0

Little remains to be said about this issue, especially after byzantine's rather thorough summary and review.  One thing that stood out to me when re-reading this again was the meticulous precision Xavier requires: three seconds for this, three seconds for that.  I suppose that is a good tactic, but their training sessions in the first few issues seem so brief it's hard to tell when they actually do their real training (in between issues/major battles, most likely).   Another noteworthy element i...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Fables on a Smaller Scale 0

Though it might seem that 2010's deluxe edition is a bit shorter than the first release, with only 8 issues of Fables instead of 10, the inclusion of the longer "The Last Castle" makes up for the few issues. For the first time (in the deluxe series) we see some stand-alone stories expanding the backstories and contemporaneous time of the Fables. The series is still in the "getting to know you exposition" phase, before the major status-changing storylines to come, which is helpful for readers, in...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Welcome Home (Again) 1

Considering how difficult to track down a copy of Marvel Graphic Novel #4 (or any of them), this collection is a very welcome addition to the long-neglected back-issue trade paperback collection. I'm quite glad Marvel has gotten its act together (at least  in the TPB department - their writing staves on the other hand...) and made a big push the last couple of years to reprint and recollect so many of the old crossovers and series from the pre-crash days. It would have been nice to have Karma's ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Everyone Wins 0

The Contest of Champions is an underrated event in Marvel history, especially since it is the first limited series of the company.  The back story behind the creation of the series, modified by America's withdrawal from the 1980 Summer Olympics, is an interesting look at the inner workings of early '80s Marvel.  Better still is the explanation for why the Avengers/WCA annual sequel took place, thanks to the editorial mistake of the final score in the original event.  How they missed that, we may...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Lesson in Economy 3

As far as important X-Universe storylines go, this is fairly impressive in terms of economy of time and space.  Many of the issues in this early multi-title crossover occur at the same time, especially in the second half of the story.  On the whole, the overlapping is good, though a few of the loose threads are not tied up in this TPB (especially what happened to the New Mutants), since you were expected to continue reading the individual series before the advent of the trade paperback.  This is...

8 out of 8 found this review helpful.

Halcyon Days 0

"From the Ashes" is a great series of issues from the halcyon Claremont days.  Before the infestation of retcons in the Marvel Universe, destroying all sense of continuity and turning Scott Summers into one of the most heartless characters in literary history (more than once), Chris Claremont provides powerful stories and interesting characters.  Some may not like Claremont's frequent and extensive use of thought-bubble inner monologues, but it's much better characterization than just non-stop, ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Winter's Light 0

As predictable as the ending might be (since it was already shown a year earlier in UXM 160), the real heart of this issue and the mini-series as a whole is Illyana Rasputin's soul - what she is willing to have it become.  This issue contains great pathos, even in the sometimes-heavy Claremont style.  Illyana is forever darkened by the years in Limbo, made even more tragic by her implied complicitness throughout the series: with each cosntructed bloodstone, a part of her once-pure soul becomes f...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Let your soul guide you... 0

This series is probably underappreciated today (in part because it wasn't reprinted in any trade paperback until recently and thus was only available in the original 20-year-old issues) because more is implied than actually shown in the panels.  The rapid passage of time continues as we learn Illyana has spent two years apprenticing to Belasco - considering the martinet style he uses, Illyana should probably be farther along by now (she probably didn't get Sundays off).  Perhaps her lingering in...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Cold as a Stone 0

The violence in this series is far more shocking and disturbing than the violence that caused the uproar in the last decade or so - the violence and antagonism here is personal and malevolent, not just widespread and graphic.  Cat's destruction of Nightcrawler is intense - but the thought block a few panels later of Illyana almost casually noticing that transformed Cat is now eating Nightcrawler's corpse is far more disturbing than had the scene been inked.  Claremont can do a lot more with his ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Found 0

Without having read UXM 160, this story still is powerful in its own way.  Is it possible Chris Claremont is underrated as a writer?  Some aspects of the story are melodramatic at best, but he has an impressive ability to root out powerful emotions in a rapid time.  The issue would probably make more sense had I read 160 first, and many readers will want to do so (if possible), but if not, Claremont's narration allows any reader to pick up right where he is.  The conflicts between alternate Oror...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I'm Wolverine...a man. 0

In a compact four issues, Claremont and Miller tell a fairly impressive tale about Wolverine, adding facets to his background and personality that make him a more complex character than he had already been. It is important to remember when this came out - ... before we knew his claws were bone, before Magneto removed his adamantium, before Logan had a last name, before he was the psychologically complex character he has become. This is the mini-series that began his transformation from wild b...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An End and a Beginning 0

Being a completist, I have been searching for this comic since 1992.  I finally found it for 25 cents in 2010.  Shortly thereafter, I began finding it in every comic store I've visited - strange how that happens.  The issue serves its purpose well, and the writing, though defamed by some, is aptly written as the writings of the deluded and maniacal Stryfe.  It's challenging to view the X-world through the eyes of the recently-arrived crazy man.  The first appearance of Holocaust is here; perhaps...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Perfection 1

This is the best comic issue I have ever read.  As an epilogue to a great crossover, Uncanny X-Men 297 has the perfect mood: quiet.  Some might argue the issue needs Cyclops and Jean to reflect on what just happened to them: perhaps, but they already did that in X-Force 18.  Now is the time for the other refrains of the song to reach their codas.  Rogue and Gambit spend some time together as she recovers (on the roof) from her temporary blinding in the crossover, though in a way that finally all...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

"We had to sacrifice him...a second time." 4

Sometimes the finale of a major crossover can be a giant letdown; sometimes the payoff is not worth the investment.  Neither of these is true of X-Force 18: this is a marvelous conclusion, bringing us fully (and finally) to the heart of what Stryfe and the X-Cutioner's Song have been about from the beginning - family (one could make the case for "love" as well).  In one sense, there was no "need" to bring in Apocalypse to the story at all.  Stryfe could have certainly shot Xavier with a regular ...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

"Would that it were so simple, Robert." 0

Admittedly, this issue suffers structurally, in that it is the final set-up piece before the grand finale of the crossover, so we shouldn't be too harsh on it.  It does have some good character moments: Cannonball's brief confrontation with Cable and Archangel's lines to Bishop are great - "His life has been marked by pain and loss," says Bishop of Apocalypse.  "And that's an excuse, Bishop?  Which one of us hasn't gone through the same?  You just don't see us choosing to mark everyone else's li...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Stellar (Lunar?) Issue 2

So late into a crossover, one might expect an issue to drag any potential momentum down - not so with this final David/Lee match-up.  This pair did great things with these three X-Factor issues, but Lee may steal the show here.  The best moments in this great issue are wordless images from Lee.  Few great authors would allow the images do all the narrating, even in comics - Peter David proves his greatness by letting Lee's images tell everything we need, both in a comic scene and a heart-wrenchi...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Meanwhile... 0

This issue does a fair amount with not much material - which is impressive considering the couple of flaws in it.  The beginning is confusing, made more so by the incorrect footnote from Bob Harras on page one.  When did Cyclops and Jean encounter the Dark Riders?  The missing footnote on page 22 (though the issue doesn't have page numbers for some reason) - the references to years-ago back issues are more important than references to issues in the same crossover.  It's also a bit confusing how ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Picking up Speed 2

Part of the impressive and enjoyable aspect of this crossover is that the "big battles" come in a progressive series: the story presents the one that is about to happen as the real climactic battle, but when it's over, we know the next one is going to be even more significant.  Such development does not happen as successfully in many crossovers.  The battle between Stryfe and Apocalypse seems like it should be bigger, even though it occurs at the beginning of the issue.  When it ends, we know th...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Stuck in the Middle 1

This may be the weakest link in the chain of X-Cutioner's Song.  It's not that we expect non-stop action and major plot points throughout all twelve episodes in the crossover; the story is certainly allowed to transition for set piece to set piece with intervening respites.  What sets X-Men 15 apart from other linking issues, though, is that is lacks to good character moments that bolster the story-movements in those other episodes.  Though Colossus has a good moment pondering his brother's rece...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Respite 0

Written at a time of great optimism, just after the last of the really good X-Men crossovers, the Phalanx Covenant, for a time, this brief reminiscence from Xavier about the ups and downs of his dream is a good snapshot in time.  Like with many of the issues and ideas (and character developments) of the early '90s, a lot of what Xavier reflects on has since been eradicated by the new writers and storylines of the '00s and today, which is rather sad.  I do not know why Marvel is against healthy, ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Impulses 0

Though this issue is another "transition" episode between major points along the X-Cutioner's Song plotline, Peter David's emphasis on character moments make this a much more engaging transition than X-Men 14.  The unique (and dark) Jae Lee pencil work makes the melee combat scenes extra taught (especially Bishop's muscles).  Cannonball's decision to help the X-Teams in their investigation into the MLF is a good one (for his maturation), though I would have liked to have seen a scene of him tell...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Wrong Parents 0

Part of the interesting nature of the X-Cutioner's Song crossover is the relative newness of many characters we now take for granted, especially Bishop and Cable.  Cable had only been around for a couple of years, we still did not know if he was Cyclops's son taken into the future or if Strye was.  Before the traitor of the X-Men turned out to be Xavier (and later Bishop himself), Bishop was a mysterious young man from the future, like Cable, who didn't yet fit in.  With those mysteries going on...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Dream Deferred 1

Underlying this crossover is Xavier's dream: humans and mutants can live together in harmony, free of hatred and bigotry.  In the previous installment, Gambit and Wolverine speculated that it was past time the X-Men realized the dream was illusory and the pragmatic realities of their day should make them realize the world is a "nightmare."  The dream is tested in X-Force 16, as X-Factor and the Blue Team X-Men fight X-Force again.  Cannonball's leadership is tested again: he knows they are no m...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Other Leaders 0

The cover of X-Men 14 is a bit misleading, considering Cyclops is in suspended animation during the issue, being transported by Mr. Sinister to the MLF.  Additionally, this issue suffers (though only slightly) in that it has to be a joining episode of a multi-part story arc essentially acting as the set-up issue to the exciting second part of the battle between the X-Men/X-Factor unit and X-Force teams, completed next in X-Force 16.  Since it is a set-up issue, we have a lot of travelling panels...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

David and Lee at the Top of their Games 0

As has been mentioned elsewhere, a great deal of the success of this issue is the unique pencil work of Jae Lee.  For the longest time, when first reading X-Factor back in '92 when these issues came out, I could not tell why the artwork so much edgier for the issues in this crossover than the issues before and after it; it was not until much later that I realized (by looking at the credits, finally) that the penciler, Jae Lee, did his only X-Factor work on the three issues of this event.  Though...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

History 0

As is mentioned in the plot summary above, this, like many of the Marvel Age issues, is probably better regarded now as a historical reference point in the development of not only Marvel comics but also the Cyttorak gem-juggernaut that Marvel Entertainment has become.  It chronicles for us the developing nature of the comic characters, the careers of the writers, artists, editors, pencilers, letters, etc., and the various enterprises of Marvel's diverse avenues over the years.  This issue, espec...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Overture 0

Though this will sound rather hyperbolic, Uncanny X-Men #294 is about as close to perfect as a comic book can get.  The better issues of comics, for me, fall in two categories: monumental (and believable), significant changes and laid-back, "day in the life" episodes - admittedly, two ends of a rather vast spectrum.  UXM 294 has both.  For most of the issue, we see various X-Teams going about their day: Scott and Jean are relaxing at Harry's Hideaway, Bobby and Peter are shopping for groceries, ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.