Archive for January, 2015

Weapon X #3 of 4

January 31, 2015

Weapon X 3 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
May 1995
***

The X-mag to take best advantage of the Age of ApocalypseWolverine executes paramilitary violence w/ a goal, a solid supporting cast, even a sense of setting! Logan drafts Gateway (now a techie, not a primitive) to pilot an A-bomb run, while his pal Carol Danvers sacrifices herself stoically.

last issue: Weapon X #2 of 4
next issue: Weapon X #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

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Weapon X #2 of 4

January 30, 2015

Weapon X 2 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
April 1995
**

In the AofApoc, Wolverine fights Reavers above London & loses Jean Grey. Hama offers a basic level of craft that most ’90s X-mags lack: clear characters, well-written action, & focused stakes. One flaw, of course, is the cynical love of violence. If only Kubert’s #2 son weren’t a Lee wannabe!

last issue: Weapon X #1 of 4
next issue: Weapon X #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Weapon X #1 of 4

January 29, 2015

Weapon X 1 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
March 1995
***

In a mutant-run dystopia, Wolvie & Jean Grey provide cover for a human airlift rescue. Hama actually builds an arc into one issue, & also leverages the lame Logan/Cyclops/Jean triangle into a backstory that cost Logan a hand & Cyke an eye. *** despite confusing layouts, due to comically wild hair.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Weapon X #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

Factor X #4 of 4

January 28, 2015

Factor X 4 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
June 1995
***

Factor X lucks into significance, due mainly to a focus on Cyclops. His arc of redemption, facilitated by Jean Grey, ends w/ him leading a mutant prison to freedom! But the mini’s also had finer ideas than most of the second-tier AoA, like a Mengele “dark” Beast & the happy-go-lucky Bedlam Brothers.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #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 #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Factor X #3 of 4

January 27, 2015

Factor X 3 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
May 1995
**

Jean Grey arrives from Weapon X to help Cyclops w/ his redemption. The elaborate interlacing of this Days of Future Past homage is its best part, tho’ even Factor X can feel like a set of plot points. Plus the ’90s focus on Scott S & Jean G means cornball dreck about their romantic destiny.

last issue: Factor X #2 of 4
next issue: Factor X #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #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-Universe #1 of 2

Factor X #2 of 4

January 26, 2015

Factor X 2 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
April 1995
***

While rival Havok scowls, Cyclops plays the antihero, smuggling a mad Polaris from NYC’s mutant dungeons. Epting, who marries Mazzucchelli’s grit to ’90s over-lineated posing, may be a strong Marvel artist of the Image Era, but oy! his dystopic redesign of Cyke: long, ‘badass’ hair & a motorcycle!

last issue: Factor X #1 of 4
next issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #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 #2

Factor X #1 of 4

January 25, 2015

Factor X 1 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
March 1995
***

Given the weakness of X-Factor, this revision is one of the happier surprises of the AoA metaseries. The mag reverts to the original X-team, mutant aristos in this dystopic alt-NYC & acolytes of Mr. Sinister, whose eugenic intrigues provide the catalyst for change among mutant siblings & rivals.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Factor X #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #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
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

Generation Next #4 of 4

January 24, 2015

Generation Next #4 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
June 1995
****

The only AoA mini to exploit fully the opportunity of a darker alt ‘verse. Colossus (& by extension Magneto) sacrifices his whole student team to rescue his long-lost sister. Bachalo’s layouts allow Lobdell plenty of character beats—another reason it’s the strongest mini—tho’ his combat’s less clear.

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

Generation Next #3 of 4

January 23, 2015

Generation Next #3 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
May 1995
****

Maybe the strongest title of the AoA X-over, partly cuz Lobdell shows-not-tells how, in this alt-dystopia, even the heroes are ethical failures. As the teen team infiltrates a geothermal plant, one kills a guard to save a kid, while another boffs her mission partner in reaction to her stress.

last issue: Generation Next #2 of 4
next issue: Generation Next #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

Generation Next #2 of 4

January 22, 2015

Generation Next #2 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
April 1995
****

Rage-filled Colossus sends his X-students on a suicide run to rescue his sis from a human work prison; even hard-boiled wife K. Pryde has moral qualms. Lobdell’s love for his pet title shows: w/ Bachalo’s help, his strong script limns a Dickensian world of class exploitation and humid atmospherics.

last issue: Generation Next #1 of 4
next issue: Generation Next #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Generation Next #1 of 4

January 21, 2015

Generation Next #1 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
March 1995
***

The Gen X analog feels fresher than most of the Age of Apocalypse‘s pocket reboot. Some cast members return powered up (ex: M, a Supergirl type, is now a supercomputer!), while new mutants imply Gen X tales to come. Bachalo’s action can be hard to parse, but his idiosyncratic style adds character.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Generation Next #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
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4

January 20, 2015

Amazing X-Men 4 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
June 1995
**

Read all the other issues first: the penultimate issue of AoA ties the various minis’ plots together. The ish also takes the time to moot a few moral choices. Unlike last ish, however, the noble sacrifices (Banshee & Madrox both kamikaze) are over-melodramatic & executed by supporting characters.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
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 #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

January 19, 2015

Amazing X-Men 3 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
May 1995
**

Magneto gets thumped by Apocalypse, fascist overlord of a eugenics America; his son Quicksilver, this mini’s protagonist & the Cyclops in its alt X-Men, rescues the time-tossed Bishop instead. That tough choice shows real heroism, demoing the stakes better than the grimacing art & florid prose.

last issue: The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
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-Man #3
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Universe #1 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

January 18, 2015

Amazing X-Men 2 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
April 1995
***

Nicieza uses the What If…? scenario to debut a visually snazzy baddie. Abyss coils an inky 2D body to create a 3D dimensional fold! His “wicked” personality is more old-hat, quipping cruelly & kidnapping kids. The mini implies X-soap & sketches a dour atmo well, tho’ its fights are muddled.

last issue: The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
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 #2

The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4

January 17, 2015

Amazing X-Men 1 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
March 1995
***

The pinnacle of ’90s X-overs. The X-Men of a dystopian parallel universe must help Sentinels airlift human refugees out of mutant-controlled America. Nicieza’s sub-Claremont prose offers solid exposition under the purple, while Kubert’s post-Image pencils fit snuggly into the mini’s glum atmosphere.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
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
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4

January 16, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 4 of 4Scott Lobdell // Joe Maduriera
June 1995
**

Following its video game plot, AoA mini #1 ends w/ a defeat of its Boss, a generic nihilist baddie w/ undefined powers. A teen teleporter, on the other hand, shows chutzpah in facing him down. But Sabretooth shouldn’t be alive: his survival is a failure of nerve by Lobdell, too fond of his heroes.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing 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 #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4

January 15, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 3 of 4Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb // Joe Maduriera
May 1995
***

As Lobdell labors over emo melodrama, Madureira gives this ish its juice. The supervillain, a ranter, is all visual: Kirby krackle in plastic orange armor, he looks like a toy! Then there’s Morph, a Plastic Man type who smuggles the X-Men into a base via its aqueduct—in the form of a talking whale!

last issue: The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
next issue: The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing 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-Universe #1 of 2

The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4

January 14, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 2 of 4Scott Lobdell // Joe Maduriera
April 1995
**

In a mirror universe, Sabretooth stands in for the X-Men’s Wolverine; he’s even mentoring a teen gal, Kitty Pryde style. A suggestive beat here, a fine expression or gesture there, hint at creativity squandered by clichéd thinking. W/ carte blanche, why write a strike force punching generic cyborgs?

last issue: The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
next issue: The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing 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 #2

The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4

January 13, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 1 of 4Scott Lobdell // Joe Maduriera
March 1995
***

In a clever editorial fillip, this mini replaces Uncanny for a few months. A mutant has altered history; now Prof Xavier’s premat death sparked a eugenics war, w/ the X-Men as an underdog guerrilla force led by Magneto. Lobdell adroitly implies a rich backstory for his revised characters.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing 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
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

January 12, 2015

X-Men Alpha 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz & Steve Epting
February 1995
****

Think What If… Magneto formed the X-Men? The dystopian alt timeline is fun, & the era’s portentous prose & posturing panels lend themselves well to the sturm und drang (even if the project labors in Claremont’s shadow). Magneto, a glowering man of action, looks unhappy to be stuck into the Rogue/Gambit soap opera; Cyclops is a mutant princeling who awakens to the genocide & misery under Apocalypse.

continued from X-Men #41
continued from Cable #20
continued in The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in Factor X #1 of 4
continued in Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
continued in Generation Next #1 of 4
continued in Weapon X #1 of 4
continued in X-Calibre #1 of 4
continued in X-Man #1 of 4
continued in X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41

Cable #20

January 11, 2015

Cable 020Jeph Loeb // Ian Churchill
February 1995
**

The coda to an X-Men crossover adventure that ended in mission failure & resulted in the end of the universe! Cable‘s remit is to provide an elegiac sense of closure, but it’s all ’90s mutant whinging. Churchill, tho’ an Image-style hack, surprises by giving his char’s faces some personality!

see also The Uncanny X-Men #321
last issue: Cable #19
next issue: Cable #20

also indexed for Feb. ’95
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

X-Men #41

January 10, 2015

X-Men 041Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert & Ron Garney
February 1995
***

Finale to an X-over that kills off a young Professor X to create an alternate future. Writer Lobdell & editor Harras deserve a story credit for #41, & so does Chris Claremont, who created (a) the Prof-Magneto friendship, (b) Xavier’s son Legion, & (c) the cosmic crystal that threatens the multiverse.

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #321
continued in X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
see also Cable #20
last issue: X-Men #40
next issue: X-Men #42

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

The Uncanny X-Men #321

January 9, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 321Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Ron Garney
February 1995
***

The illegit son of Professor X seduces his mother while psychically disguised as his father! It’s a provocative moment in a routine Terminator-type ’90s X-comic. Lobdell contrasts the arc’s Oedipal theme w/ his beloved Cyclops/Jean Grey/Cable triangle—his namby-pamby notion of a proper X-family.

continued from X-Men #40
continued in X-Men #41
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #322

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

X-Men #40

January 8, 2015

X-Men 040Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
January 1995
**

Time-traveling amnesiac X-Men putz around post-war Israel as their modern comrades learn that mission failure means universal collapse. Nicieza artificially inflates the stakes via a chorus of Watchers, while the better Kubert son does mainline ’90s X-art (his Legion is unrecognizably off-model).

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #320
continued in The Uncanny X-Men #321
last issue: X-Men #39
next issue: X-Men #41

also indexed for Jan. ’95
The Uncanny X-Men #320

The Uncanny X-Men #320

January 7, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 320Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
January 1995
**

A true 4-part crossover, w/ even #’ed issues in adjectiveless X-Men. Professor X’s love-child aims to rewrite history in a bid for paternal validation. Originally a schizoid psychic in New Mutants, Legion is now just a ranting loon w/ the innate ability to time-travel—a random & convenient addition!

continued in X-Men #40
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #319
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #321

also indexed for Jan. ’95
X-Men #40

The Uncanny X-Men #319

January 6, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 319Scott Lobdell // Steve Epting
December 1993
***

Lobdell’s strongest (relatively speaking) when he avoids super-action to concentrate on soap. In #319, he continues his curious rehab of normcore X-Man Bobby Drake, w/ a visit to his bigoted family. In parallel (!), Xavier converses w/ his comatose son on the astral plane, setting up the next X-over.

last issue: The Uncanny X-men #318
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320

also indexed for Dec. ’93
X-Factor #109

X-Factor #109

January 5, 2015

X-Factor 109John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
December 1994
*

By pitting the govt.-sanctioned mutant team against their Claremont forerunners, Moore et al could’ve added complexity to this mag’s concept. Instead they offer strike-force comics w/ macho posturing & overwrought dialogue. Then an autistic teen mutant cleans their clock & babbles nonsensically.

last issue: X-Factor #108
next issue: X-Factor #110

also indexed for Dec. ’94
The Uncanny X-Men #119

X-Factor #108

January 4, 2015

X-Factor 108John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
November 1994
*

Nick Fury & Forge send the US govt. team to Israel in pursuit of Mystique, who aims to murder her late lover’s killer: the comatose, schizoid son of Prof Xavier. Sadly, Duursema (a woman) follows sexist ’90s conventions, drawing conical breasts & disproportionately long legs in the period Jim Lee style.

last issue: X-Factor #107
next issue: X-Factor #109

X-Factor #107

January 3, 2015

X-Factor 107Todd DeZago // Paul Borges
October 1994
**

Ah, ’90s X-comics! After Phalanx Covenant intruded on #106, #107 kicks off a 3-issue arc that acts as prologue to a prelude (!) for the next mutant X-over, Age of Apocalypse. Oddly it’s also a fill-in, by a pretty okay no-name artist. Strong Guy v. the Blob (of Freedom Force) on an airport runway.

last issue: X-Factor #106
next issue: X-Factor #108

Fantastic Four #524

January 2, 2015

Fantastic Four 524Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2005
****

Reed has accidentally decoupled the team from their powers, so they zip around NYC to reabsorb them. Will Reed don Ben’s rocky hide to protect his pal? A spritely swansong puts the period to Waid’s FF run; it’s had a few bum notes, but it did more for Johnny than anyone since Lee on Strange Tales.

last issue: Fantastic Four #523
next issue: Fantastic Four #525

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Fantastic Four #523

January 1, 2015

Fantastic Four 523Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
April 2005
***

Temporarily in a human body, Galactus is inspired by Reed’s scientific humanism to step into a Kirbytech suicide booth. Or something. The plot’s a vehicle for a sentimental supercomic tour of How the Other Half Lives, with Waid & Wieringo adding a Silver Age SF poptimism. Still, it coasts a bit.

last issue: Fantastic Four #523
next issue: Fantastic Four #524

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Daredevil #70
Young Avengers #1