X-Statix #7

March 27, 2015

X-Statix 07Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
March 2003
***

This 3-issue arc spotlights Venus Dee Milo, a black girl (yay!) made of Kirby Dots & fitted by Prof X with a red latex suit. Crushing on Mr. Sensitive, she’s facing an evil mirror-self: an extra-dimensional monster also fitted w/ X-suits. It’s a solid concept but doesn’t inform her character.

last issue: X-Statix #6
next issue: X-Statix #8

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
Daredevil #42
Fantastic Four #65
New X-Men #136

X-Statix #6

March 26, 2015

X-Statix 06Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
February 2003
****

It’s Professor X, designing suits that help a mutant control his or her powers! But the gear’s been stolen by a supervillain—is it Mr. Sensitive, in disgrace after last issue’s intrigue? Doubtful, but that set-up, plus the destruction on Rodeo Drive recall the original X-mag at its (low) best.

last issue: X-Statix #5
next issue: X-Statix #7

also indexed for Feb. ’03
Alias #17
Daredevil #40
Fantastic Four #64
New X-Men #135

X-Statix #5

March 25, 2015

X-Statix 05Peter Milligan // Paul Pope
January 2003
*****

Mr. Sensitive has Lacuna (“the 8th member of X-Statix”) assassinate his new & highly dangerous recruit mid-mission. In one dark issue, Milligan undercuts my misgivings about a loss of edge. He’s also more savage, less tolerant, of celebrity worship—a theme enhanced by Pope’s lovely ugliness.

last issue: X-Statix #4
next issue: X-Statix #6

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
Daredevil #39
Fantastic Four #63
New X-Men #134

X-Statix #4

March 24, 2015

X-Statix 04Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
December 2002
****

The Orphan, AKA Mr. Sensitive (a better moniker, as one character points out) rouses his dispirited teammates into action by facing solo a 13-year-old misfit who can alter reality. As usual, excellent technique in script & art—though the view of superheroism is sentimental rather than satiric.

last issue: X-Statix #3
next issue: X-Statix #5

also indexed for Dec. 02
Alias #15
Daredevil #38
Fantastic Four #62
New X-Men #133

X-Statix #3

March 23, 2015

X-Statix 03Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
November 2002
****

X-Statix disintegrates in the wake of U-Go Girl’s death, while a rival team of celebrity mutants face a small-town kid w/ reality-altering powers out of The Twilight Zone. Allred’s charming, retro art plays against the horror—note how this arc’s shyster looks like a Moldoff/Sprang Bat-character!

last issue: X-Statix #2
next issue: X-Statix #4

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
Daredevil #37
Fantastic Four #61
New X-Men #132

X-Statix #2

March 22, 2015

X-Statix 02Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2002
****

This arc intros a prefab, fame-hungry superteam (AKA O-Force) as foils to show how far this mag’s heroes have come in its first year. While Milligan keeps tossing out fun concepts (like the dysmorphic Phat’s conflict w/ queerness & class), his second act has slowed, as if in mourning for U-Go Girl.

last issue: X-Statix #1
next issue: X-Statix#3

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
Daredevil #36
Fantastic Four #60
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

X-Statix #1

March 21, 2015

X-Statix 01A-story: Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
B-story: Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
September 2002
A-story: ****
B-story: ****

This gonzo, au currant approach to superteams gets a rename. Too bad: the franchise exploitation was central to the theme & part of the fun. More to the point, the new #1 is more an act-two opener & not the revolution that #117 was. U-Go Girl’s replacement (a girl made of Kirby dots) has immediate visual appeal. A back-up is a macabre riff with Doop on the stale Blair Witch.

continued from X-Force #129
next issue: X-Statix #2

also indexed for Sept. ’02
Alias #11
Alias #12
Avengers #56
Daredevil #35
New X-Men #129

X-Force #129

March 20, 2015

X-Force 129Peter Milligan // Duncan Fegredo
August 2002
****

The team grieves over U-Go Girl’s death (the Spike’s, not so much). Milligan peppers a transitional ish w/ a bevy of high-concept ideas, like arena matches to audition her replacement, & a mutant agent for mutants. Morrison collab Fegredo’s shadows have an emo atmo—so why isn’t he on New X-M?

continued in X-Statix #1
last issue: X-Force #128

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
Daredevil #34
New X-Men #127
New X-Men #128

X-Force #128

March 19, 2015

X-Force 128Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2002
*****

As foreshadowed, one of the heroes gets killed in action, tho’ the creative team expertly wring tension & drama from feints & red herrings. Even better, Allred lays out several lovely pages—not just Edie’s death scene or funeral either. In a nice contrast to #116, this death is genuinely moving.

last issue: X-Force #127
next issue: X-Force #129

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #9
Avengers #54
Daredevil #33
New X-Men #126

X-Force #127

March 18, 2015

X-Force 127Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
June 2002
****

Cleverly, this mission into orbit stems from Mr. Sensitive’s decision to save a kid from corporate organ harvesters, which gives X-F‘s first year a sturdy arc. W/ the main triumvirate (& Doop!) shot into deep space, the b-team must foil a rogue CIA operative—not noticing their most rebellious member has been replaced!

last issue: X-Force #126
next issue: X-Force #128

also indexed for June ’02
Alias #8
Avengers #53
Daredevil #32
New X-Men #125

X-Force #126

March 17, 2015

X-Force 126Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
May 2002
****

A formulaic plot—rocket to a space station, save the crew from monsters—gets jazzed up by X-F‘s creative team. There’s Dead Girl, the new teammate whose power, it seems, is to resurrect (rather gruesomely). Plus Phat & Vivisector come out of the closet! And those monsters have a nicely Kirby look.

last issue: X-Force #125
next issue: X-Force #127

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52
Daredevil #31
New X-Men #124

X-Force #125

March 16, 2015

X-Force 125Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2002
****

This cover nods to 1950s horror comics while paying homage to the early Silver Age. Even better, it actually stages a moment in the ish! It also raises the stakes—who will die on a CIA-planned Big Pharma-sponsored mission into orbit in a mag where even the main chars are expendable?

last issue: X-Force #124
next issue: X-Force #126

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51
Daredevil #30
New X-Men #123

X-Force #124

March 15, 2015

X-Force 124Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
March 2002
*****

A one-off covers the backstory to Edie Sawyer (AKA U-Go Girl, a great moniker). She’d abandoned a kid back home, & her power to teleport stands in for her escapist denial. It’s bold & played for comedic pathos, not melodrama. Cooke’s jazzy ’50s retro is a perfect sub for the mag, hot to Allred’s cool.

last issue: X-Force #123
next issue: X-Force #125

also indexed for Mar. ’02
Alias #5
Avengers #50
Daredevil #29
New X-Men #122

X-Force #123

March 14, 2015

X-Force 123Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
February 2002
****

Feb ’02’s “Nuff Said” gimmick: dialogue-free comics. Milligan echoes Morrison in New X-Men by penning a surreal adventure within someone’s head. But instead of character reveals, X-F goes gonzo: a popped pimple opens a vortex into Doop’s noggin, so the tator folds itself inside out to rescue the team!

last issue: X-Force #122
next issue: X-Force #124

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
Avengers #49
Daredevil #28
New X-Men #121

X-Force #122

March 13, 2015

X-Force 122Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
January 2002
*****

Slapstick satire! An aspiring X-Forcer causes havoc on the set of Larry King, netting her own talk show. Meanwhile Tyke Alicar admits he doesn’t want another African-American to join—not because the rookie is ‘more street’ but because pop culture (EG comics) won’t allow two black men on one team!

last issue: X-Force #121
next issue: X-Force #123

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
Avengers #48
Daredevil #27
New X-Men #120

X-Force #121

March 12, 2015

X-Force 121Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
December 2001
*****

Arcs about drafting new teammates can be dire, but Milligan revises the trope by pinching lurid voyeurism from reality TV (newly popular in the UK & US). A pair of wannabes apply for membership, a flibbertigibbet and a street tough, while the team’s second-tier goof-offs look to raise their profiles.

last issue: X-Force #120
next issue: X-Force #122

also indexed for Dec. ’01
Alias #2
Avengers #47
Daredevil #26
New X-Men #119

X-Force #120

March 11, 2015

X-Force 120Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
November 2001
****

No surprise the manager (modeled on J. Kirby!?) was manipulating the new X-Force, or that he’d arranged their deaths. But the execution’s superb, w/ guest-star Wolverine playing the cavalry as a favor for Doop, that weird, spud-like cameraman who speaks in alien font & has sinister plans for the team!

last issue: X-Force #119
next issue: X-Force #121

also indexed for Nov. ’01
Alias #1
Avengers #46
Avengers: The Ultron Imperative #1 of 1
New X-Men #118

X-Force #119

March 10, 2015

X-Force 119Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2001
****

After the team racks up another dead member, it turns on its manager for trying to harvest a mutant kid’s organs. The twist leaves U-Go Girl (a Holly Golightly type, incl. Ozark upbringing) in an ethical quandary. Surprisingly X-Force turns out to be moral about superheroics, even sentimental!

last issue: X-Force #118
next issue: X-Force #120

also indexed for Oct. ’01
Avengers #45
New X-Men #117

X-Force #118

March 9, 2015

X-Force 118Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2001
****

Another member bites the dust mid-mission (rescue an Elian Gonzalez-type from a banana republic’s mad scientists). Much of X-F‘s appeal is the with-it tone, so rare in Marvel comics (esp. ’90s X-mags). But it also returns to the craft of Claremont, w/ soapy conflicts deriving from personalities.

last issue: X-Force #117
next issue: X-Force #119

also indexed for Jul. ’01
Avengers #42
Daredevil #18
New X-Men #114

X-Force #117

March 8, 2015

X-Force 117Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
June 2001
*****

Having killed off the whole team, Milligan gives a new set of mutants the reality-star treatment. The focus is on Mr. Sensitive, so hyper-delicate he’s got super-senses & an emo attitude! In a twist on an old Marvel formula, the former New Mutants challenge the team over the trademark for “X-Force”!

last issue: X-Force #116
next issue: X-Force #118

also indexed for Jun. ’01
Avengers #41
Daredevil #17

X-Force #116

March 7, 2015

X-Force 116Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
May 2001
*****

Another excellent premiere issue in Marvel ’00s radical re-envisioning. Since the ’90s, Marvel’s mutants have been ubiquitous & cool; here they’re treated like athletes & celebrities. Allred provides a great ironic-pop style. And the subversive twist: the team gets offed, & viscera everywhere!

last issue: X-Force #115
next issue: X-Force #117

also indexed for May ’01
Avengers #40
Daredevil #16

The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

March 6, 2015

Sentry-Void 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
February 2001
****

No surprise that the Void is the Sentry’s negative aspect, since it’s been a metaphor for depression all along. But his hook—erasure from continuity—is a fruitful & unique experiment for Marvel, albeit one better off left to stand alone (one more fault in Bendis’ awful, epic Avengers run).

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued from The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

March 5, 2015

Sentry-X-Men 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Mark Texiera
February 2001
****

Kirby & Lee’s original mutants help this mini’s Superman surrogate fight a loony ’60s-style foe in a pitch-perfect flashback. The art—here M-Tex, painterly yet dynamic—makes or breaks these Sentry one-shots. This one also shows off the protag’s simple, golden heroism better by showing less of him.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1

March 4, 2015

Sentry-Spider-Man 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Rick Leonardi
February 2001
***

Before his erasure from Marvel, the Sentry had helped Parker grow up—netting him a Pulitzer photo & fame! Bronze Age Spidey is a perfect vehicle for the Void-as-depression theme, & tonally S/S-M reads like a lost issue of Marvel Team-Up. But with yeoman’s work by Leonardi, it’s about as forgettable.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1

March 3, 2015

Sentry-Hulk 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Bill Sienkowicz
February 2001
*****

This mini’s idea is that the Sentry had been central to early Marvel, but he’s been erased from memory—diagetically & exegetically! That “accounts” for Hulk‘s cancellation in ’63: before that, S’s support had helped the public accept the H! Sienkowicz proves a perfect Hulk artist, surprising no one.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1

March 2, 2015

Sentry-Fantastic Four 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Phil Winslade
February 2001
***

Though Jenkins cleverly presents this as a “lost” issue of Startling Tales, the device is undercut by a flashback frame & fairly conventional super-comics art (albeit w/ a touch of period Neal Adams). The bigger problem is, it tells us nothing new about the friendship btw the Sentry & Mr. F.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

The Sentry #5 of 5

March 1, 2015

Sentry 5 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
January 2001
*****

The retcon acts as an ingenious device in this mini by casting an (ostensibly) unfilled role in Marvel’s Silver Age. The respect the Sentry’s accorded by other superheroes—incl. Mr. F, his unlikely Judas—and the world sell the story, maybe making it the best Superman arc since A. Moore’s Supreme.

continued in The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
continued in The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
continued in The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
continued in The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1
last issue: The Sentry #4 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’01
Avengers #36
Maximum Security #3 of 3

The Sentry #4 of 5

February 28, 2015

Sentry 4 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
December 2000
****

Core Marvel heroes recall the Sentry, whose previous face-off w/ his (literal?) nemesis the Void ended in self-exile & a rewrite of reality. This mini maintains its weird sensibility partly thru a pacing akin to Grant Morrison’s: scenes begin in medias res w/ no exposition to orient the reader.

last issue: The Sentry #3 of 5
next issue: The Sentry #5 of 5

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35
Maximum Security #2 of 3

The Sentry #3 of 5

February 27, 2015

Sentry 3 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
November 2000
*****

None of Marvel’s original heroes recognize this Superman riff except the Hulk (a tender, lovely scene). Yet the Sentry’s okay with this—preternaturally so, which gives his tale a dreamlike tone. Lee’s art furthers that eerie atmosphere with splattery backgrounds & great use of silhouettes & shadows.

last issue: The Sentry #2 of 5
next issue: The Sentry #4 of 5

also indexed for Nov. ’00
Avengers #34
Maximum Security #1 of 3
Thunderbolts #44

The Sentry #2 of 5

February 26, 2015

Sentry 2 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
October 2000
*****

A cult gem in Marvel’s early ’00s brush w/ experimentalism. Jenkins’ Sentry also debuts the company’s decade-long obsession w/ the ‘spliced retcon’. Before Cassandra Nova, Jessica Jones, & the Winter Soldier, Bob Reynolds got married, w/ Reed Richards as his best man—only now no one remembers him.

last issue: The Sentry #1 of 5
next issue: The Sentry #3 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’00
Avengers #33
Daredevil #13
Marvel Boy #3 of 6
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1
Thunderbolts #43

The Sentry #1 of 5

February 25, 2015

Sentry 1 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
September 2000
****

A strange ‘adult’ comic from Marvel’s Knights imprint. Framed as a sad sack battling depression (‘the Void’) & alcoholism, the protag’s delusion of Silver-Age superheroics is revealed as reality in the final panel. Jae Lee art is the real draw, his unique ’90s style augmented here by Kirby pastiche.

next issue: The Sentry #2 of 5

also indexed for Sept. ’00
Avengers #32
Marvel Boy #2 of 6
Thunderbolts #42

Marvel Boy #6 of 6

February 24, 2015

Marvel Boy 6 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
March 2001
****

Closure for an origin arc (#1 + 4-6): Noh-Varr the super-Kree helps his GF defeat her megalomaniac dad, then he’s incarcerated by SHIELD. He’s an outsider in the grand Marvel manner, pitted even against that tradition. Such raw potential in this character & also in GM’s style, not picked up till Nextwave.

last issue: Marvel Boy #5 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’01
Avengers #38
Daredevil #14

Marvel Boy #5 of 6

February 23, 2015

Marvel Boy 5 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
December 2000
*****

All that #4 lacked & more. The ultra-cool superboy & the hyper-violent vamp show genuine chemistry, but even better are their dense backstories. He’s the sole survivor of a collapsed universe; she’s the lab creation of an evil scientist. They’re mad heroes full of gonzo potential for future writers.

last issue: Marvel Boy #4 of 6
next issue: Marvel Boy #6 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35
Maximum Security #2 of 3

Marvel Boy #4 of 6

February 22, 2015

Marvel Boy 4 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
November 2000
****

A bad-ass dominatrix bests our hero, then saves his bacon from her 1% daddy. She’s rebelling against dad’s incestuous tone & buy-it-all arrogance, but those are the only notes of characterization to this ish. Fortunately, Jones’ urbam action spectacle is A+: widescreen comics, not storyboards.

last issue: Marvel Boy #3 of 6
next issue: Marvel Boy #5 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’00
Avengers #34
Maximum Security #1 of 3
Thunderbolts #44

Marvel Boy #3 of 6

February 21, 2015

Marvel Boy 3 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
October 2000
*****

With #3, Morrison writes the Marvel comic his fans were hoping for. His surly superhero fights an alien viral idea that reconstitutes civilizations as corporations, & devastates planets’ resources. In this context, M. Boy shows individual growth & civic responsibility by wrecking the system!

last issue: Marvel Boy #2 of 6
next issue: Marvel Boy #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’00
Avengers #33
Daredevil #13
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1
Thunderbolts #43

Marvel Boy #2 of 6

February 20, 2015

Marvel Boy 2 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
September 2000
****

Kid Kree lays waste to blocks of NYC as a punkish, antiauthoritarian declaration. Morrison, impressed by The MatrixFight Club, & other blockbusters of the era, revels in violence that emulates the WTO protests of ’99 but also discomfits the reader who lived through the terrorists attacks of ’01.

last issue: Marvel Boy #1 of 6
next issue: Marvel Boy #3 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’00
Avengers #32
Thunderbolts #42

Marvel Boy #1 of 6

February 19, 2015

Marvel Boy 1 of 6Grant Morrison // J.G. Jones
August 2000
*****

An angry teen alien crashlands on Earth—a mod revision of the Superboy archetype in the trendy widescreen fashion. A rare Marvel mag by Morrison, MB is swollen w/ his stylistic hyper-density (the hero’s a super-Kree ensign from an alt dimension). Likewise, Jones stuffs his panels w/ great designs.

next issue: Marvel Boy #2 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’00
Avengers #31

X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

X-Universe #2 of 2

February 17, 2015

X-Universe 2 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco & Terry Dodson
June 1995
*

In a parallel timeline, Marvel’s heroes hijack a space ark, airlift refugees from London, and head for the stars. Lobdell (architect of the AoA X-over) hands his plot to Kavanagh, who seriously obscures it with ’90s clichés. Kav’s only able to write in high dudgeon, and lacks a basic grasp of storytelling. The two capable artists work hard to draw the tale, but they’re defeated by the confusion.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: X-Universe #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #2 of 2

X-Universe #1 of 2

February 16, 2015

X-Universe 1 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco
May 1995
*

An alternate reality co-opts the X-mags for a quarter, creating an impressive implied backstory. Naturally, readers wonder what’s happened to the rest of the company’s heroes; here’s the answer. Surviving Avengers & FF provide humanitarian aid & defense. And replacing Peter Parker, KIA, is Gwen Stacy! Pacheco has a nice eye for detail & drama, but he can’t clarify a confusing script’s vague stakes.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: X-Universe #2 of 2

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3

X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

February 15, 2015

X-Man Chronicles 2 of 2Howard Mackie // Ian Churchill
June 1995
*

Generally, Age of Apocalypse is best when it implies a backstory as intricate as the actual X-books; X-M:C negates that feature by filling those gaps. #2 plays out the love triangle of Gambit, Rogue, & Magneto while their team fights a brute with ill-defined powers. The hammy script makes it impossible to care about these emotional adolescents; the era-standard art is awful settings and hypertrophied bodies with tribal tattoos & bad hair. This low point for the AoA doesn’t justify its existence.

last issue: X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

February 14, 2015

X-Men Chronicles 1 of 2Howard Mackie // Terry Dodson
March 1995
**

Chronicles replaces the quarterly X-mag for the Age of Apocalypse, a sort of What If…? riff on Days of Future Past, w/ a remit to provide backstory. The first mission of Magneto’s team: to prevent an evil mutant, Apocalypse, from stealing US nukes. Mackie, a hack, writes flat characterization & generic bombast. He fumbles the death of Scarlet Witch, meant to be a pivotal sacrifice & the end of innocence. Dodson, however, draws in a buoyant style that owes a quite a bit to ‘good girl’ art.

next issue: X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1

Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4

February 13, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 4 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Salvador Larroca
June 1995
**

The sort of romantic melodrama that Nicieza & his era of X-Men excels in. His pet hero Gambit chooses to rescue his gal pal (not Rogue, by the way) and so damn the universe. This is heroism? Larroca, at least, shows artistic growth. He uses chiaroscuro well to avoid an impulse towards Image rococo.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

February 12, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 3 of 4Fabien Nicieza // Salvador Larroca
May 1995
**

Gambit, of all characters, saves the multiverse, repairing its crystalline nexus by “sacrificing” his love for Rogue. Nicieza thus equates him w/ Claremont’s Phoenix—a ludicrous comparison! Larroca improves on Daniel, tho’ his art often foregoes environment, a key to good space-adventure comics.

last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4

February 11, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 2 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Tony Daniel
April 1995
*

The M’Kraan Crystal, unrepaired by Phoenix in this timeline, threatens to obliterate existence! Like the whole series, this concept rests wholly on Claremont’s work; the ish itself is an exposition dump. Daniel’s Liefeld-like pencils, all posturing & grimacing, underscore the lack of incident.

last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4

February 10, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 1 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Tony Daniel
March 1995
**

This mini replaces X-Force during the Age of Apocalypse (a fun ’90s metaseries that takes itself way too seriously). Despite its terrible title, G&XT revamps its parent mag more radically than most. It reconceives Gambit as a mutant Robin Hood & sets up in the space-opera corner of the X-mythos.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1 of 4
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 4

X-Man #4

February 9, 2015

X-Man 04Jeph Loeb // Steve Skroce
June 1995
**

Exposition time: a rebellious Darwinist splices the DNA of this alt-Earth’s Cyclops & Jean Grey to create a weaponized eugenic superman: the protagonist. The concept has a seed of mad-science brilliance, but it’s followed up by a ham-handed declaration of individuality delivered via punching.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: X-Man #3
next issue: X-Man #5

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

X-Man #3

February 8, 2015

X-Man 03Jeph Loeb // Steve Skroce
May 1995
*

All-combat issue: a troupe of uglies & a squad of assassins kill each other to control this ‘verse’s Cable analog. Like many ’90s comics, X-Man is so melodramatic it’s silly. Its emotions are histrionic, its action is mock-tough proclamations. But just try to describe the protag’s character? Nada.

last issue: X-Man #2
next issue: X-Man #4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Universe #1 of 2

X-Man #2

February 7, 2015

X-Man 02Jeph Loeb // Steve Skroce
April 1995
*

As X-Man tests the limits of his psi-power, he’s torn btw two mentors: tough-love Forge & indulgent Mr. Sinister. To fill out Middle America in this dystopia, Loeb exploits Holocaust iconography like trains of human cargo & charnelhouse experiments. Skroce’s 4 inkers undercut that w/ blank locales.

last issue: X-Man #1
next issue: X-Man #3

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4

X-Man #1

February 6, 2015

X-Man 01Jeph Loeb // Steve Skroce
March 1995
**

Cable’s iteration in this alt-dystopia is a teen mutant messiah unaware of his birthright. Conceptually, X-Man goes further than any other mag in the Age of Apoc metaseries; in execution, it’s one cliché after another. Skroce seesaws btw ugly, Image-like posturing & Quesada’s doe-eyed influence.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: X-Man #2

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.