Archive for the ‘Wolfsbane’ Category

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

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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 #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

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

Secret Wars II #9 of 9

February 22, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
March 1986
*
The series takes a truly weird twist as its protag invents a Kirbytech “birthing module” that allows him to be reborn as an omnipotent mortal (the turn echoes Shooter’s similar, infamous “Rape of Ms. Marvel” plotline). Every superhero in Marvel Comics wants to stop the cosmic being, leading some to propose infanticide! Instead, the nebbishy Molecule Man & his homely g’friend save the universe.
[continued from The Fantastic Four #288]
[continued in The Avengers #266]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #8 of 9]

Secret Wars II #7 of 9

February 20, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
January 1986
*
The Marvel U’s version of Satan aims to destroy the Beyonder w/ Kirbytech & a battalion of supervillains. Luckily, the Thing has Big B’s back. Since last ish, the godling has gotten lost in meditation. His passivity & fiendish temptation could be holy, but in Shooter’s hands it’s just dull & inert.
[continued from Power Man & Iron Fist #121]
[continued in The New Mutants #36]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #6 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #8 of 9]

Secret Wars II #5 of 9

February 18, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
November 1985
**
The Beyonder picks a fight w/ Kirby space-gods, a good concept wasted by dull fight choreography. The protag does have an emotional arc—unable to return to his home dimension, he’s now sulking w/ a mutant teen runaway—but his moods are impossible to follow if you don’t get every crossover issue.
[continued from The Avengers #261]
[continued in The Thing #30]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #4 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #6 of 9]

Secret Wars II #1 of 9

February 14, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
July 1985
**
Despite its plodding pace, bad characterization, & awful action, Secret Wars sold comics so it earns a sequel. Luckily, SW2 seems to have a smarter concept than  “good v. bad”. Its blank-slate protagonist, a godlike entity called the Beyonder, seeks experience & wisdom on Earth—& finds superhero violence.
[continued in The New Mutants #30]
[continued in Captain America #308]
[continued in Iron Man #197]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #2 of 9]

X-Factor Annual #8

August 29, 2010

Peter David // Terry Shoemaker
July 1993
A-story: **
A damp coda to David’s X-Factor run (whose potential was undercut by unreliable art & editorial interference), introducing & then dispatching a new foe. Despite the space devoted to his backstory, he’s woefully generic: a mage who collects mutant souls for a demon.
[continued from X-Factor #89]
[last issue: X-Factor Annual #7]
[next issue: X-Factor Annual #9]

X-Factor #89

August 28, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
April 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
Citing the long delays & editorial meddling, David abandons X-Factor. Too bad: he’s finally partnered w/ a perfect artist in Joe Q, whose cartoon style adds to the comedy, pathos, & character work that David loves. And he’s mid-story: the team finally arrives in Genosha, where evil plots are afoot.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #88]
[next issue: X-Factor #90]

X-Factor #88

August 27, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada & Chris Batista
March 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
David finally returns to his long-interrupted arc on mutant refugees, half a year later. They & X-Factor face a cigar-chomping satire of ’90s kewl mutant mercs whose muscle-bound body morphs to counter any opponent (Havok simply pays him off). A back-up gets cozy w/ Quicksilver & his estranged wife.
[last issue: X-Factor #87]
[next issue: X-Factor #89]

X-Factor #87

August 26, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
February 1993
*****
Nearly out of the blue, a classic—arguably, the best single X-issue of the ’90s. The team gets mandatory counseling for PTSD: beneath their mutant angst, they display normal human neuroses. Rookie Quesada’s art helps, natch, his doe-eyes & floppy hair adding sensitivity to David’s intimate script.
[last issue: X-Factor #86]
[next issue: X-Factor #88]

X-Factor #86

August 25, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
January 1993
**
The crossover continues to crawl (tho’ it can only spare a page or two for X-Factor‘s regulars): the all-action force of Bishop, Cable & Wolvie literally sit around doing nothing! The only plot point is that Apocalypse cures Prof X of the technovirus using a bit of Kirbytech. I’ll miss Lee’s art.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #286]
[continued in X-Men #16]
[last issue: X-Factor #85]
[next issue: X-Factor #87]

X-Factor #84

August 23, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
November 1992
***
Jae Lee has a Sienkowicz-but-brutal style that would prob’ly fit X-Force better than -Fac. Luckily, #84 is also #2 of an x-over that sees this title’s g-men outfight the aggro X-Force while hunting for Cable (who shot Prof. X in Central Park). David finds the issue’s hook in Rahne, caught. btw. teams.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #284]
[continued in X-Men #14]
[last issue: X-Factor #83]
[next issue: X-Factor #85]

X-Factor #83

August 22, 2010

Peter David // Mark Pacella
October 1992
***
After laying groundwork for a human-rights crisis in Genosha, the arc’s momentum stalls. Instead, #83 offers some character scenes as X-Fac chaperones mutant refugees in NYC. Except for the hate-crime in Central Park, the ish feels like a fill-in—it’s keeping time till next month’s big X-over.
[last issue: X-Factor #82]
[next issue: X-Factor #84]

X-Factor #82

August 21, 2010

Peter David // Rurik Tyler
September 1992
***
X-Factor get into a dockside melee w/ former members of Freedom Force (the govt. team that our heroes replaced a year ago). The pretext: a boatload of mutant refugees seeking asylum. It’s a nice idea, w/ Havok posturing as a liberal American milksop, but it’s short on details & buried by the action.
[last issue: X-Factor #81]
[next issue: X-Factor #83]

X-Factor #81

August 20, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
August 1992
***
David caps off this arc nicely w/ X-Fac facing a Wolverine foe in a DC Metro station. Plus he adds a dash of cynicism: Strong Guy, poisoned, argues for exchanging their witness for the antidote (rather than trust a govt. cure). In the subplot, Madrox gets his heart broken by his nutso music teacher.
[last issue: X-Factor #80]
[next issue: X-Factor #82]

X-Factor #80

August 19, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
July 1992
**
Even w/ Stroman’s atypical approach to superhero art, this ish is boilerplate. Our g-men, guarding a snitch, slug it out w/ an all-girl mutant gang (Hell’s Belles, great name). The small-town plot moves along, w/ the music teacher proving a femme fatale. And a dream sequence riffs on Wayne’s World.
[continued from X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #79]
[next issue: X-Factor #81]

X-Factor #79

August 18, 2010

Peter David // Jim Fern
June 1992
***
To compliment David’s book as the best X-mag of its era is only somewhat backhanded; he’s doing yeoman’s work. Quicksilver & Multiple Man play PI in a bigoted US town that suspects the young, coltish (blue) music teacher is a murderess. Subplots & comedic beats fill the issue out nicely.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #78]
[next issue: X-Factor #80]

X-Factor Annual #7

August 18, 2010

Peter David // Darrick Robertson & Joe Maduriera
June 1992
B-story: ** // C-story: ***
Story B sees govt. liaison Val Cooper have a bureaucratic nightmare; the 3rd story riffs on Calvin & Hobbes as a 10-year-old Cal enlists Strong Guy to deal w/ bullies. Toony art adds zip & heart.
[continued from X-Factor #78]
[continued in X-Factor #80]
[last issue: X-Factor Annual #6]
[next issue: X-Factor Annual #8]

X-Factor #78

August 16, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman & Brandon Peterson
May 1992
***
Applied comics conventions as a vehicle to explore ’90s politics: mutant terrorists assassinate a doc who can detect mutant DNA in utero. Tho’ the plot dances around abortion (& eugenics) w/o taking a side, the theme draws characters out in surprising ways, as both good guys & bad have dissenters.
[last issue: X-Factor #77]
[next issue: X-Factor #79]

X-Factor #77

August 15, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
April 1992
****
A recharged Stroman pencils some lovely layouts, esp. around Rahne. And David carries Claremont’s X-torch w/ deft character beats, a seamless take on the mutant world (#77 guests Cannonball & terrorist foes from X-Force) & even poli-philo like due process for super-criminals & fetal DNA tests.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #76]
[next issue: X-Factor #78]

X-Factor #76

August 14, 2010

Peter David // Tom Raney & Kevin West
March 1992
***
As part of Uncle Sam’s clandestine support for a foreign despot, our mutant g-men face a tech-heavy superteam allied w/ the Hulk. But aside from some high-&-mighty moralizing on non-Western culture’s treatment of women (berserker Wolfsbane kills a murderer!), the ish is standard superhero tussle.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #391]
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #75]
[next issue: X-Factor #77]

X-Factor #75

August 13, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
February 1992
**
The new X-Factor’s inaugural story ends, double-sized, in a rote slugfest. X-foe Mr. Sinister, his motives inscrutable as usual, bolsters the team’s cred by discrediting his own ally, an anti-mutant senator. Havok’s arc of accepting his role as mutant g-man (set up in #72) has been dropped. But David does keep probing the ramifications of Madrox’s power: a rogue dupe struggles to assert itself.
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #390]
[last issue: X-Factor #74]
[next issue: X-Factor #76]

X-Factor #74

August 11, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
January 1992
**
Tho’ #74 is mostly combat (the team topples the Wash. Monument!), David still advances his subplots, develops his characters, & unveils the arc’s villain: a right-wing senator working w/ Mr. Sinister. But Stroman’s art fails to show spatial relations & the ’90s line superfluities are starting to grate.
[last issue: X-Factor #73]
[next issue: X-Factor #75]

X-Factor #73

August 10, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
December 1991
***
Under the pop culture nods, #73 stages the team’s first battle: a brawl w/ Multiple Men! David is parodying the influential Claremont, adding a comedic tone to arcing plots, mystery villains, & angsty romances. Stro’s art, full of expressionist lines, works okay but he skimps on the Wash DC setting.
[last issue: X-Factor #72]
[next issue: X-Factor #74]

X-Factor #72

August 9, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
November 1991
***
Havok’s a straight leading man, uncomfy w/ his govt. role as he rekindles an old romance. In a subplot, Madrox has a dark night of the soul when a duplicate is killed. Stro’s faces are oddly rubbery but he lays a page out clearly. He also nails the slapstick that David wants to go w/ his banter.
[last issue: X-Factor #71]
[next issue: X-Factor #73]

X-Factor #71

August 8, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
October 1991
***
Defined by smart characters & a breezy tone, X-Factor stands out from the rest of the X-books, now overhauled to favor artists over writers. In this chatty riff on a team-building issue, Havok’s recruited to lead the new federal mutant super-squad, a motley crew of second bananas (Multiple Man?!).
[last issue: X-Factor #70]
[next issue: X-Factor #72]