Battles, Gambit Battles, Green Arrow Battles

Green Arrow vs Gambit

Suggested by Anon Green Arrow is definitely really good with a bow, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to let him deal with Gambit. Gambits explosive abilities work with anything he can touch and that also applies to a Green Arrow’s arrows. I’m not sure what happens if Gambit touches an arrow that has electricity or a bomb version, but I believe he can absorb the kinetic energy of the latter. The former would be interesting to see, but with his athletic abilities it won’t really be a factor. Green Arrow is actually very proficient in hand to hand combat as well, but I’d give Gambit the slight edge here. Furthermore, having actual powers gives him an edge as well. Gambit wins.

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X-Men Mutant Genesis 2.0 Review

This X-Men review may have come out before a certain other one that I am reviewing soon, but I read it afterwards. I only mention this because I was really impressed with this comic for feeling like an X-Men title while the other did not. You’ll see that review soon, but this is exactly how I’d picture an X-Men comic to be. It definitely has a very 90’s feel to it and all of the characters are in their iconic designs. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new readers and it is also a very fun comic for experienced fans. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for the X-Men, but filled with a lot of familiar faces and action scenes.

The first arc deals with the return of Magneto. He had tried to retire from being a participant between mutants and humans, but trouble never seems to leave him alone. A group of mutants ask him for sanctuary and then they also want him to protect other mutants. Magneto decides to build an asteroid where mutants can live in peace. The rebels continue to cause mischief on the Earth and even though Magneto stops them, it puts him in a bad position. He’s seen as harboring criminals now and Magneto also has a nuclear deterrent, which worries people. The X-Men are sent in to put a stop to this before the government is forced to play their hand. Cyclops and Wolverine are among the members who are thrilled to take Magneto down. While Magneto had previously been a part of their team, you can tell that things had always been strained between them. Meanwhile, Rogue believes that there’s still a chance for Magneto to be a good guy.

It’s a fun story and I definitely remember Asteroid M quite well after watching the animated episode so many times. You do feel bad for Magneto to an extent as he is right that Wolverine went for the kill shot right away. You’d think that being comrades would mean something to him, but Wolverine was clearly quick to put Magneto on the side of evil once again. He does have to be stopped and the X-Men are in the right here, but they certainly weren’t very negotiable. Magneto being used by the people he was supposed to be protecting certainly did not help either. He was a little gullible here, but I’m sure that this will help him be more distant in the future.

Another issue is that Moira decided to mess around with Magneto’s DNA while he was a baby. It was an unfortunate move that also got the X-Men into even more trouble as it made Magneto very upset. He did trust the heroes as he was defenseless and had no choice. It was quite the betrayal and this plot will likely continue on in the future. It was a very long and tough week for Magneto so he wasn’t completely in his right mind by the end.

The other arc deals with Omega Red. He has been sent to eliminate Wolverine because Weapon X is never done with the poor guy. It’s personal for Wolverine so he wants to deal with this on his own, but the X-Men never back away from helping out a friend. The problem is that Omega Red is incredibly powerful and the only members who can really hurt him are typically taken down before they can do anything. This is going to require a team effort. There’s also a flashback which unfolds during the issue where we see Wolverine from back in his Weapon X days alongside Sabretooth and Maverick. It shows that Sabretooth is as corrupt as ever as he destroys the hostage to save himself. The whole mission was to save her, but Sabretooth blew it in an instant. Wolverine always wanted revenge for that, but he never got the chance. Well, Sabretooth’s here now so we’ll see if Wolverine does better in the rematch.

It’s a fun adventure and Wolverine has always been able to hold his own issue pretty well. He definitely spent most of the saga getting beaten up left and right though. He could probably beat Sabretooth in a one on one fight, but he was in a weakened state for most of it and Omega Red’s energy drain would cancel out the healing factor. If the full X-Men team hadn’t come along, it definitely would have been curtains for him. Still, I can see why the older members would be skeptical about Jubilee coming along. She nearly died quite a few times and I don’t thinks he’s quite ready for missions like this. Of course, having Psylocke as her guardian helps quite a bit with that since there are few warriors who are as skilled as she is.

Maverick was actually a highlight of this story and I liked him a lot more than I had expected. He was full of confidence and bravado the whole time. Even right before he is knocked out, Maverick has cool one liners like “Fine, this ought to take all of 2 seconds.” when asked to help out against Omega Red. The fight was over that quickly, but it was because he lost the fight. You have to admire the confidence though, not many “heroes” could pull that off convincingly. He’s no hero though as he is basically the Punisher and murders a bunch of people, but he’s a useful ally to have around.

Omega Red was a solid villain and he certainly was portrayed as a powerful opponent here. The Wolverine anime made him crazy strong while this one feels a little more accurate. He’s a deadly hunter who has been amped up with a lot of tech and energy draining equipment. It makes sense that he could give the whole team a run for their money. He’s an X-Men villain who is under explored and I’d like to see him appear more and get some more fights. He’s got a cool design and a nice power set to boot.

Sabretooth makes for a good opponent, but he’s not really my kind of villain. He is written better here than in a lot of his other appearances though, but it also reminds you why nobody should take him seriously when he tries to be a hero. Seriously, he’s way too far gone. As for the heroes, Jubilee and Storm are all right. They don’t get much of a role, but they are around the whole time. For most of the graphic novel, the X-Men team is split up into 3 mini groups. It just so happens that Storm’s gets a rather small role.

Cyclops is the solid leader that you would expect. He’s enthusiastic and a solid commander. I remember these days, when he was treated like Captain America. Now, he’s always either evil or extreme. I do like the modern take on the character, but I can also see why some people root for the reboots. It feels like we’ll never get back to these classic depictions otherwise. Wolverine is also great as always. He’s still my 2nd favorite X-Men member behind Cyclops. His eagerness to fight and solid overall skills make him a great fighter.

Gambit gets a lot of hype, but is still a very annoying character. His flirting will grate on you after a while and I feel like his hype never actually goes anywhere. Sure, he can beat the grunts, but he’s a little full of himself considering that he doesn’t do nearly as well against the big shots. You can tell that the writer does like him though as it is always hinted that Gambit has a shot. Psylocke is a cool member to have on the team and she’s always been like Elektra, but cooler. Her psychic abilities mixed in with her hand to hand mastery makes Psylocke a doubly threatening individual. Her illusions come in handy quite a few times.

If there’s any negative that I have with the comic, it’s the fact that the villains always go for the surprise kiss. It’s a rather annoying trope that luckily died out back in the day, but this comic was old enough to still have it. It’s when a villain shows up by kissing one of the heroines and then attacking. It happens twice here and was enough for me to dock a star off the score. Let’s face it, it’s a little annoying for fans of Jean Grey and Psylocke as they don’t even get to lose in a dignified way as a result. Psylocke gets her revenge, but it’s still a rather wince worthy moment.

Back to the positives. The art is very good and it makes for some crisp fight scenes. Even the generic ninjas look cool this time around. You’re not liable to forget much of the comic after reading because of how nice it looks visually and you can tell that a lot of effort went into this. I have to say that it looks far superior to any of the Marvel comics going on right now. It’s sad how art has dipped for the most part over there although there still are some nice looking comics. They just aren’t as widespread as they were in the 90’s.

Overall, This was a fun comic. Both of the sagas were good although the second one definitely wins. It was just more exciting and kept you at the edge of your seat. I speak comparatively though as both were quite engaging. This is a really fun start to the X-Men run and I can see why it is held with such acclaim. It just needs to watch the shock kisses and should also consider giving Gambit a smaller role. If it can do that, then I can only see this comic going up from here. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re an X-Men fan and have not yet. If you simply like action comics, then this will certainly work for you as well.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Cable Classic Volume 3 Review

Time to check out a collection with good ole Cable as one of the main characters. Despite the title, you really couldn’t say that he was the main character for any of the Phalanx comics. That just leaves the opening one and the comics about the Morlocks. (The first one was about the Morlocks as well so it’s a bit of a trick sentence) Cable has definitely been one of the best Marvel characters when he’s at his best so let’s see if he can live up to that here.

The first comic is about Cable and Domino eating their dinner when they realize that the Morlocks are in trouble. Nothing really happens here, but this plot is resumed towards the end. The first half is mainly about the Phalanx. They have taken out the X-Men and they are ready to start assuming control over Earth. I’m not sure what the Avengers are doing, but maybe they’re just off planet. Regardless, it’s up to Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, and Cable to take the Phalanx down once and for all. They are prepared to do what needs to be done, but a secret that Cyclops and Jean are keeping from Cable could prove to be trouble.

After that big arc, the final comics involve Cable’s return to the sewers. Domino is still with him and they bring in Storm since she has ties to the Morlocks. They find out that the Morlocks and other mutants are being hunted by the Dark Riders. The heroes manage to fend them off, but the villains retreat for some reason. Cable doesn’t like this so the heroes decide to pursue the villains. Who is their leader and can the heroes really deal with such a powerful group of enemies?

The final comic is a really fitting way to end this collection. Legion has altered the past by destroying Magneto so now the entire universe is shattering because the M’krann crystal is acting up. It’s consuming galaxy after galaxy and the main one is next. Cable goes back in time (off screen) to warn Bishop and the others since the X Men lost their memories, but it’s futile gesture. The universe blows up and we’ll have to read another collection to find out what cop out/retcon allowed the heroes to survive this. I just have to give the collection some credit for ending here. It’s a perfect ending since everyone basically died. Imagine all of the super villains who had been planning to rule the world only to have it snuffed out so quickly. Same with all of the alien races and the Avengers. It’s just a little funny to think that all of their plans were spoiled just because a time traveler went to the past and altered it a little bit.

See, that’s why I’ve always found time travelling to be a little iffy. All it takes is one change for the multiverse to blow up. If you ask me, the multiverse should definitely not exist right now considering how easy it is to wreck time. Unless the One Above All or the Beyonder decide to fix it each time, oblivion should be the current state of the Marvel universe. Anyway, you gotta admit that it’s a pretty great ending.

Cable is a pretty good character here. He’s not quite as awesome as in X Sanction, but that would be almost impossible to replicate. He’s still a pretty determined hero here and it’s cool to see him keep pace with the other fighters when he’s just using his gun. As the issues go on, he starts to use his TK powers a little more, which certainly gives him a better fighting chance. He’s a pretty likable guy and he always puts the team first even if he doesn’t act like it. In his argument with Gambit, I was definitely on Cable’s side. That’s probably not very noteworthy since I really don’t like Gambit and I do like Cable, but it’s worth noting. Cyclops ends up blaming them both, but I think that Gambit was in the wrong. He was basically complaining for no real reason and he was certainly not helping the situation.

Domino gets a pretty large role here. Her luck abilities may not seem directly helpful in combat, but she continues to defeat any and all opponents who get in her way so it’s probably helping a lot in the background. I appreciate the fact that she tries to keep things platonic with Cable since that’s always the best thing to do in just about any situation. You don’t want to complicate things with your allies. The romance isn’t handled badly though so I won’t use it as a strike against the comic. It doesn’t take away from the rest of the collection and it certainly could have been worse. It’s handled in a civil way so kudos to the author. She’s a pretty likable main heroine and she’s always ready for a fight. She seems to be a little less sympathetic to the Morlocks than Cable is, but I suppose that it’s just how it goes when you’re used to being an assassin.

Cyclops is mostly only present in the Phalanc arc, but he looks pretty great. He’s portrayed as a superb leader who is always calm and collected. He makes the right choices and there’s nothing wrong with his character. He’s on par with Captain America on the leader’s best days. It’s easy to see why Cyclops is one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time and his portrayal is spot on here. Jean Grey also looks really good. She seems to have total control over her abilities so she is very good in combat now. She doesn’t get to fight all that often, but she plays a critical role in supporting the heroes when infiltrating the Phalanx. She lives up to her reputation as one of the strongest telepaths on the planet.

Wolverine’s role isn’t very big either, but he looks pretty good. This takes place at a time where he temporarily lost his Adamantium Skeleton so he’s in a weakened state. That’s definitely not great for him since he gets pounded a lot as a result, but he never backs down. Even without hie special abilities, Wolverine is a fighter and you can bet that he won’t go down without a fight. He’s definitely as likable as expected here and he still makes for a good rival to Cyclops.

Storm’s role isn’t huge, but she certainly helps a lot against the Dark Riders. One of those villains has elemental powers as well so it’s pretty satisfying to see her overpower him. Her weather abilities should certainly be a lot stronger than his and the comic doesn’t even make that debatable. She crushes him and she looks very good during all of the fights. As one of the senior X Men members around, I expect nothing less from this fighter!

Tyler gets a decent role as well since he is the final boss of the Morlocks arc. Let’s just say that he went off the deep end and you have to wonder what happened to him. Fans of the 90’s X Men show will definitely remember him and he’s certainly changed a lot since then. I like his new armor, but he’s a pretty generic villain once you get past that. His reasons for blowing up towns and hunting mutants are vague at best and there doesn’t seem to be much of a point beyond his actions. I don’t care for his character, but he makes for an intimidating villain. (When he has his helmet on)

The Phalanx is definitely one of the X Men’s more iconic foes. They usually beat their opponents through sheer numbers. It’s hard to really take them down in a physical fight so usually the X Men have to use some kind of electronic to disable them or just break their psyche. The heroes opt to do the latter this time and they do a good job of getting through the Phalanx’s defenses. I was actually expecting it to be more difficult for the heroes. The Phalanx make for good villains although none of their individual members appear to be likable. Luckily, this may change soon as he get a silhouette of a master Phalanx in space. He doesn’t like that his Earth forces were destroyed so he makes a threat about launching a real offensive there. That’s a cliffhanger that I can’t wait to see resolved since the leader looks really cool. Technically, I don’t see the X Men surviving such an assault so the Avengers better appear this time!

The Dark Riders used to work for Apocalypse and now they work for Tyler. They’re a pretty intriguing group, but I’m not familiar with any of their members. They’re fairly weak, which is why they typically go for Morlocks since those guys typically can’t fight back. I’m confident that the X Men or Avengers would have no trouble for them. None of the members are actually likable, but the designs are pretty good and I always like to see a super villain team.

The art is in that 90’s style so there are a lot of big splash pages where you have to turn your graphic novel. I was expecting it to be a little harder to follow than it was so that’s a good thing. Typically, you miss out on some of the action because it’s too chaotic, but the artist did a pretty good job of preventing that in this volume. Everyone probably looks a little too muscular and they can definitely be pretty exaggerated, but the art actually looks pretty good. This style certainly works pretty well for energy blasts. This will never be my favorite style though. It’s still hard to describe, but everyone is just a little too big and they all look pretty deranged this way. It’s pretty classic and there’s something about it that’s naturally appealing for fight scenes, but I’ll still take the streamlined X Sanction anyway. Long story short, the art doesn’t hurt the story.

The fight scenes are pretty intense. There are no real feats to be found here, but it’s still fun to see the fighters go at it. This collection is definitely a lot of fun. It’ll remind you of the good ole days from the Uncanny X Men. The writing is really good and the opposite of the Avenging Spider Man. It’s the type of collection that would have been a lot of fun even if the fight scenes had not been there, but they certainly help. Good writing plus good fights tends to result in a really good/great array of issues and that’s what happens here.

Overall, Cable Classic is a pretty good collection. The ending was perfect and the writing is really good. Just about all of the characters are likable and in character. The art complements the story pretty well here and it’s a very engaging read from start to finish. All X Men fans should get a kick out of this and I’d recommend it to DC fans as well since it’s a way to get introduced to the Marvel side of things. It may not be quite up to X Sanction level, but it’s definitely one of the better X collections that I’ve read. When you read this, get ready to see Cyclops as he was meant to be portrayed!

Overall 7/10

Battles, Cyclops Battles, Gambit Battles

Cyclops vs Gambit

A pretty close fight. Gambit’s powers have been pretty great at times and he just needs to look at someone to blow them up. He also has enhanced speed. Cyclops has his famous optic blasts and with them he can take down many xmen. Also in Evolution he got a power up. This fight goes down to the wire, but in the end Gambit wins.