Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Unlimited Suckage

Wow, an actual post about comics. I'm sure you're all shocked.

I'm a sucker for anthology type books, mainstream ones at least. I like getting a full story, and getting a few full stories at once, well, that just makes my day. Unless they suck, and boy did one of these suck.

X-Men Unlimited #45 $2.50

Okay, I only paid a quarter, and it wasn't worth that, but it's weird seeing $2.50 on a Marvel comic. Had I checked the writing credit, I most assuredly wouldn't have bought this, but I didn't, I just saw the cover art of Phil Noto (oh, Phil, where are you now?!?!) and said "I must buy it". Unfortunately, Chuck Austen wrote the story inside, but it was penciled by the talented Pop Mahn (who I remember hating in his early days on X-Force, but he's really matured into a good artist). Okay, so maybe I'm being too harsh of Chuck, because frankly the story isn't awful, it's just redundant and pretty boring, complete with lame "save the day at the last minute" plot twist.. Marvel has known for quite sometime that it's only selling books to the handful of loyal fans and not really attracting much of a new audience, especially in the X-franchise, so why in the hell do we have another "Death of the Guardian" story? Haven't the fanboys (myself included) seen Jimmy Hudson die enough times to never have to see it again. Why is it that everyone who tackles Alpha Flight insists on retelling John Byrne's stories?

So, a guy that wants to be with Hudson's wife tries to off him, but Shaman tells the winds to "keep him alive until he can be rescued". What the hell? Even in a world of suspended disbelief, that makes almost no sense. So, Flight rescues Hudson, then they have to rescue his wife and unborn child. The only way to save them? Hudson must sacrifice his life to make sure this jealous idiot dies while the others escape. Twice in one damn story? Jeeeeez-us. And he still doesn't die! He stumbles out of the wreckege as his wife goes into labor and gives birth.


Unoriginal, uninspired, tired, cliched, and none of the characters feel like themselves, especially Sasquatch. Austen has written worse, but he's written better as well. If you see this, avoid it like the damn plague. Not even worht the quarter I spent.

X-Men Unlimited #47 $2.50

Another quarter issue, this one has two tales. The first a Wolverine/Psylocke story written by Adam Warren, drawn by Rick Mays. It's a flashback tale of Wolverine remembering Psylocke (I can only assume this was around the time of her death). Betsy and Logan go to a bar and have a few drinks and she tells a story of one of her covert ops missions (ummm...what?) where she ran into a guy that never died, no matter how hard she beat the crap out of him. It's not bad, but wraps up too quickly to be as poignant as it tries to be. Warren has Logan's speech down well enough for it too feel right for the character, I can't comment on his Betsy, I've never read much of that character. Mays art works well enough, though there's occasionally too much going on in the panel. All in all not bad, but now that Marvel's "dead is dead" policy is out the window, it's going to be pointless when they bring her back.

The second story, a short Cyclops tale by John Layman and Dan Norton (writer and artist respectively), is better, but not by much. Cyclops falls into the hands of a doctor who has been employed to "harvest" his eyes, so that some other guy can use them. I've never bought into that whole "harvesting mutant organs" idea, and only Morrison ever made it feel not goofy, in the hands of anyone else it just seemed idiotic. But, this story wants to be funny, and it succeeds well enough. As the good doctor explains what's going on, Cyclops manages to convince him that it's a very bad idea to do this, explaining what his fellow teammates will probably do to both the doc and his employer when they find out what has happened. My only complaint is that when we see the world through Cyclops eyes, everything should be red, not normal, but it's a minor, fanboy complaint, and the story doesn't really suffer because of it. The end gave me a bit of a smile, as did Cyclops' derscriptions of what his team would do once they found out. It's a good throw-away short story that focus' on a character that often gets dumped on by writers.


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