Archive for the ‘Professor X’ Category

Captain America #28

August 22, 2015

Captain America 28Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2007
****

The Skull’s kid & a squad of snake goons wreck the Asian stock market—a timely nod to the slow, fraud-based financial collapse of ’07-’08. But generally the elaborate plotting, ever-expanding cast, & intrusion of the Marvel-wide status quo conspire to sap momentum from this excellent mag.

last issue: Captain America #27
next issue: Captain America #29

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Daredevil #99
Nova #4

X-Statix #19

April 10, 2015

X-Statix 19Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2004
***

Milligan intros a ‘cure’ for mutancy as a metaphor for odious anti-homosexual ‘therapies’ less than half a year before Whedon. It’s actually a juicy bit of mad science meant to steal Vivisector’s superpower (& results in a mopey Spider-Man No More sequence) so the basic concept remains unexplored.

last issue: X-Statix #18
next issue: X-Statix #20

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
Fantastic Four #510
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2

April 1, 2015

Wolverine-Doop 2 of 2Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
late July 2003
*****

Wolvie & Doop fight a big-game hunter of cryptozoology—then do it w/ a sexy femme fatale & her pink stole!? This gonzo comics pastiche of Spillane-style detection is wonderfully surreal, its tongue-in-cheek plot perfectly suited to Cooke’s ’50s lounge-style art; his Wolvie has Dean Martin’s nose & hair!

last issue: Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2
continued in X-Statix #11

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
Fantastic Four #69
New X-Men #141
Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2

Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2

March 31, 2015

Wolverine-Doop 1 of 2Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
early July 2003
*****

Like last month’s fill-in, July sees an irregular X-Statix. Milligan abandons the pop satire for a gonzo mini focusing on Doop, the team’s alien-fonted potato monster. He & old pal Wolverine drink hard as they search for a pink mink (as in ‘stole’) that has mutant powers of bewitchment!

continued from X-Statix #10
next issue: Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
Fantastic Four #69
New X-Men #141
Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2

X-Statix #8

March 28, 2015

X-Statix 08Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2003
****

Supplying what #7 lacked, #8 explains that the arc’s monster has manifested as Venus DM’s worst nightmare. Plus a fraternal reconciliation btw Guy Smith & Tike Alicar, a sororal moment btw VDM & Dead Girl, & best of all, a Doop’s-eye-perspec on VDM’s loss of virginity, as she teleports to ‘heaven’!

last issue: X-Statix #7
next issue: X-Statix #9

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
Daredevil #44
Fantastic Four #66
New X-Men #137

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

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 #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

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

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

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

May 12, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 5 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
May 2010
***

DnA accomplish two clever goals in unshowy fashion. They make Realm of Kings‘ Lovecraft beasts into a fearful threat, & they establish the rich potential of the Imperial Guard as a team. Sadly, as Marvel scales back their Cosmic branch, the small satisfaction of a good mini must be its own reward.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5

May 11, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 4 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
April 2010
***

The Realm of Kings maxiseries pays off, pitting the superteam of space voyageurs (clearly analogs for the Legion of Super-Heroes) against the pestiferous anti-universe’s X-Men as the Darkhawk conspiracy resurfaces. Kev Walker’s style, a mod sort of 2000AD look, gets a boost from colorist Fairbairn.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Maximum Security #3 of 3

September 10, 2013

Maximum Security 3Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
January 2001
**

Superheroes stop an alien intelligence from turning Earth into an interstellar bio-electrical WMD. A confusing climax to a conventional crossover, whose potential rarely came into focus. Ordway’s flat art lends the feeling that Max Sec is a ’80s DC tale bloated by minor plots & lapsed characters.

continued from Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #2 of 3

also indexed for Jan. ’01
Avengers #36

Maximum Security #2 of 3

September 8, 2013

Maximum Security 2Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
December 2000
**

The Reagan-era Captain America holds the line against criminal ET immigrants & uncovers a conspiracy by the great Kirby AI, the Kree Supreme Intelligence. A creative slant on alien invasion, tho’ a bit right-wing by design. Ordway echoes this conservativism, a throwback to dull early ’80s art.

continued in Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #1 of 3
next issue: Maximum Security #3 of 3

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35

Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1

September 2, 2013

Maximum Security - Dangerous PlanetKurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
October 2000
*

W/ this one-shot, Marvel inaugurates its first major crossover since Heroes Reborn. The action has the Surfer & Prof X (w/ his cadre of mutant Skrulls) attack a living planet. The rest of MS: DP is a windy debate in an intergalactic UN on the issue of Earth’s interference in their affairs; a new species manipulates the affair for unknown reasons. Even fans of space opera will find it labored.

continued in Maximum Security #1 of 3

also indexed for Oct. 2000
Thunderbolts #43
Avengers #33

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #12

December 21, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 12Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2005
***

There’s still a lot to enjoy (like a remorseful Sentinel), but AXM has lost its momentum. If this arc had 3 issues & not 6, its reveal—that Prof X had known for years that the Danger Room was sentient—would’ve been stronger. As it is, the outcome simply exiles him from a mag he’s not in anyhow.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #11
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #13

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Young Avengers #5

Astonishing X-Men #11

December 20, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 11Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2005
****

Cassaday takes the baton in #11, penciling a few layouts atop computer-generated backgrounds to depict the astral interview btw Prof X & the sentient Danger Room. The approach underscores how JC’s style is slightly abstracted, a throwback to Romita in a way. His robot design is wonderfully rococo.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #10
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #12

also indexed for Jul. ’05
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Astonishing X-Men #10

December 19, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 10Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2005
***

Oops, the mag missed a month! A fight issue: staged well, a few surprises even, but still just a fight. The Danger Room monologues as she cleans the team’s clock. #10 also nudges the mag’s subplots along (Ord/SWORD, Emma’s secret), but clearly its arc could be half the length at no loss of content.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #9
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #11

also indexed for May ’05
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

New X-Men #150

December 5, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
February 2004
***
A great cover! Magneto, humiliated, zaps the resurrected Phoenix w/ a touch & rips a hole in spacetime. Is Mags Xorn or visa-versa? It’s ambiguous but neither option feels plausible. Take the former as read—it’s a stronger theme. Zealotry & violence (by Bin Laden or Bush) is a failed philosophy.
[last issue: New X-Men #149]
[next issue: New X-Men #151]

New X-Men #149

December 4, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
January 2004
****

Tho’ Morrison probed Magneto’s X-role better in the Kid Omega arc; here he argues that the original Silver Age supervillain isn’t a radical, he’s a self-loathing reactionary. On another level, GM brings Beak’s arc to a scruffy head, as the youth stands up to the terrorist & joins the X-revolution.

last issue: New X-Men #148
next issue: New X-Men #150

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28

New X-Men #148

December 3, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
December 2003
***

A hurried issue in a compressed climax: this isn’t Morrison at his best. Logan & Jean piece a plot together from sketchy evidence & debatable retcons to the previous 2½ years of comics. But one nice bit of drama has Wolvie stab Jean in a mercy-kill; she then resurrects as they plunge into the sun!

last issue: New X-Men #147
next issue: New X-Men #149

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

New X-Men #147

December 2, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
late November 2003
***

After destroying NYC & the X-Men, a drug-addled Magneto’s theatrical histrionics fail to inspire mutant revolution. A fascinating failure, Morrison’s Mags ignores Claremont’s, reckoning w/ McKellen’s movie perf & Bin Laden’s real-life evil, but most of all with Stan Lee’s original raving nut.

last issue: New X-Men #146
next issue: New X-Men #148

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146

New X-Men #146

December 1, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
early November 2003
**

Sometimes Morrison’s compressed storytelling works, but not in #146, where he rushes to end his X-epic prematurely. A big reveal undoes two of his strongest issues & best characters by conflating Xorn w/ the “late” Magneto. Still, Jiminez provides solid craft, incl. several silent pages in space.

last issue: New X-Men #145
next issue: New X-Men #147

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #147

New X-Men #141

November 26, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
July 2003
***
Super-cops solve the Murder of Emma Frost—& Phoenix resurrects her—but deeper mysteries are afoot. Like, who supplies the mutant vapo-steroid? A mole in the mansion! But the plot feels like wheel-spinning, the chars are duds, the only clever bit is the speedy gestation of Beak & Angel’s brood.
[last issue: New X-Men #140]
[next issue: New X-Men #142]

New X-Men #140

November 25, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
late June 2003
***
This issue, I think, is where the wheels come off Morrison’s run. X-Treme lends its cop protags to investigate the murder of Emma Frost. After her psyche was blasted by Jean Grey, Emma literally fell to pieces—a thousand diamond shards! Phoenix, however, easily proves her innocence via cosmic gaze.
[last issue: New X-Men #139]
[next issue: New X-Men #141]

New X-Men #139

November 24, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
early June 2003
****
If you find Quitely too mod, you might prefer Jimenez’s ’00s capes (w/ more N. Adams & Pérez in his matrix). As he stages the astral confrontation btw Jean & Emma, he sticks w/ super-realism rather than trying for surreal magic. Still, great to see real emotions behind those mutant love triangles!
[last issue: New X-Men #138]
[next issue: New X-Men #140]

New X-Men #138

November 23, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
May 2003
*****
Mutation, for Morrison as for Claremont, is the mag’s key theme. Kid O, hopped up on a mutant steroid inhalant, sublimates into psy-energy. Prof X, recognizing his failure, resigns as headmaster. But Emma F. refuses to change, even as her Cuckoos leave her &, for good measure, expose her affair w/ Cyke!
[last issue: New X-Men #137]
[next issue: New X-Men #139]

New X-Men #137

November 22, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
April 2003
*****
Kid Omega’s restaging of If… falls apart. The boy acts as a mirror for Xavier: Magneto Y2K (Morrison sidesteps Claremont for the Lee/Kirby megalomaniac). GM usually defends rebels, but here he favors evolution over revolution. The cost is too great: students die, incl. one of the weird psi-quints!
[last issue: New X-Men #136]
[next issue: New X-Men #138]

New X-Men #136

November 21, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
March 2003
*****
The students of Xavier’s Institute take the spotlight. A light subplot has the special class learn teamwork when U-Men raid the grounds. Kid Omega’s gang, meanwhile, kidnaps Prof X & stages a riot! FQ’s at his most riveting as he stages Xorn’s break from non-violence even as he teaches a Zen lesson.
[last issue: New X-Men #135]
[next issue: New X-Men #137]

New X-Men #135

November 20, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
February 2003
****
W/ FQ’s return & GM’s renewed focus, this mag has found its swing. The Institute gets some welcome elaboration, foregrounding the student population and their challenges to authority. Kid Omega decides on violence & uppers as a mode of acting out; Xorn takes the “special” class on a camping trip.
[last issue: New X-Men #134]
[next issue: New X-Men #136]

New X-Men #134

November 19, 2012

Grant Morrison // Keron Grant
January 2003
***
Tho’ peripheral, Xavier’s school has been integral to NXM. Kid Omega, a nerdy psychic, takes a popular kid down a peg & chafes against Prof X’s authority. The art’s simple in its toonishness (also, Marvel’s using lowercase fonts), while the script is a rare case of GM doing trad character building.
[last issue: New X-Men #133]
[next issue: New X-Men #135]

New X-Men #133

November 18, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver
December 2002
***
Prof X’s world tour gets interrupted, first by Pakistani terrorists & then by the Shi’ar (who intone a warning re: Phoenix). Meanwhile, Wolvie & Fantomex rescue an Afghani mutant from slavers. A low-watt issue. Points for contempo relevance but the girl is a blank slate. It’s all tease, no plot.
[last issue: New X-Men #132]
[next issue: New X-Men #134]

New X-Men #132

November 17, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
November 2002
****
Children of the late Magneto visit the toxic site of the Genoshan Sentinel massacre. Quicksilver & Toad erect a statue, while Polaris unearths a blackbox magno-recording of her father’s final words. Comic book allegory supplies the necessary distance for a respectful memorial to the 9/11 attacks.
[last issue: New X-Men #131]
[next issue: New X-Men #133]

New X-Men #131

November 16, 2012

Grant Morrison // John Paul Leon
late October 2002
****
GM writes an artful variation on the usual X-soap, contrasting a domestic drama with a comedic underplot. Cyclops initiates a psychic affair w/ bad girl Emma. JPL’s scratchy style doesn’t quite mine the surreal potential. Also, two unglamorous X-students, outcasts of the new mutants, hook up.
[last issue: New X-Men #130]
[next issue: New X-Men #132]

New X-Men #130

November 15, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
early October 2002
***
Kordey finally hits the right tone, a murky horrorshow. The Prof faces a fractal consciousness that infects by touch (Claremont-like psi-villainy!); Jean gets exposition from a mystery man. This super-conscientious objector is  Fantomex, AKA Weapon XIII—which makes Logan’s “Weapon X” the number 10!
[last issue: New X-Men #129]
[next issue: New X-Men #131]

New X-Men #129

November 14, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
September 2002
***

A new antihero—a suave French mutant named for Fantomas & costumed like Diabolik—improves greatly on Gambit. But imagine what JH Williams III could do w/ the master thief & his beaux arts UFO! Kordey’s just wrong for this mag. Another clever revision: Weapon X = 10, and big bad number XII is loose!

last issue: New X-Men #128
next issue: New X-Men #130

also indexed for Sept. ’02
Alias #11
Alias #12
Avengers #56

New X-Men #128

November 13, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
late August 2002
***

NXM double-ships this month! But #128 is much worse than #127. That’s due to Kordey, whose hideous chunky lines undercut the arc’s cosmopolitan tone & subtle psychology. Jean’s Phoenix & Scott’s inhibitions threaten the marriage. And in Europe, X-mutants stage a rescue op in the Channel Tunnel.

last issue: New X-Men #127
next issue: New X-Men #129

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

New X-Men #127

November 12, 2012

Grant Morrison // John Paul Leon
early August 2002
*****

New cast-member Xorn, a blue-nova boddhisatva in an iron mask, seeks a malformed mutant in Alphabet City. This one-off paints a finely detailed portrait w/ zen-like simplicity (ignore, please, GM’s upcoming reveal). JPL’s choppy pencils add an urban grit, better even than Maleev on contempo DD.

last issue: New X-Men #126
next issue: New X-Men #128

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

New X-Men #126

November 11, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
July 2002
****

Jean Grey, Phoenix once more, stashes Prof X’s mind among mutantkind to act as a booby-trap. Defeated by teamwork, his evil twin (& Jungian psi-beast) Cassandra Nova is to be rehabilitated! A superb finale to Morrison’s first year on NXM, a top-notch first act—despite Kordey’s fill-in art.

last issue: New X-Men #125
next issue: New X-Men #127

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #9
Avengers #54

New X-Men #125

November 10, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
June 2002
***

Cyke & Xorn stage an orbital jailbreak; on Earth, the students & teachers make separate contingency plans. The plot threads harmonize rather than locking step. And the dialogue is pitch-perfect, which overcomes the squishy faces. Even Kordey, despite his ugly manner, can relate the story okay.

last issue: New X-Men #124
next issue: New X-Men #126

also indexed for Jun. ’02
Alias #8
Avengers #53

New X-Men #124

November 9, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
May 2002
**

Kordey’s back. His sloppy rush job detracts heavily—bewildering that Marvel would publish a flagship that looks this bad—but it only needs to depict a brawl btw the team & super-aliens. GM’s script carries the momentum, absent its usual depth. But this is the nadir of his superb X-work.

last issue: New X-Men #123
next issue: New X-Men #125

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52

New X-Men #123

November 8, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver & Tom Derenick
April 2002
****

Diverse hands don’t detract from Morrison’s momentum. Jean Grey presents the X-campus as a utopia of human/mutant culture. Cue an alien invasion—the masterplan of archfoe Cassandra Nova, whose nano-Sentinels have also infected the team! Even the student body gets its share of plot beats.

last issue: New X-Men #122
next issue: New X-Men #124

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51