Very few characters have ever been able to break Wolverine, but I dare say that Nanny came close. Still, Wolverine won’t be losing this battle. In a fair fight there is no way she can overcome his metal bones or his healing factor. Meanwhile Wolverine just needs one clean shot to slice straight through her. A robot is never a good match-up against this particular X-Men member. Nanny will definitely give it her best effort though. Wolverine wins.
Very few characters have ever been able to break Wolverine, but I dare say that Nanny came close. Still, Wolverine won’t be losing this battle. In a fair fight there is no way she can overcome his metal bones or his healing factor. Meanwhile Wolverine just needs one clean shot to slice straight through her. A robot is never a good match-up against this particular X-Men member. Nanny will definitely give it her best effort though. Wolverine wins.
Suggested by Anonymous Wolverine makes for a pretty good match against Dante because he’s got a crazy healing factor too. Both of them can really slug it out for long portions of time and since Wolverine got his own Phoenix Force he can also battle at high speeds. Wolverine may manage to give Dante a pretty exciting time, but at the end of the day it won’t be quite enough for him to claim victory. Dante’s been doing this for too long to lose here. He’s a pro and he knows it. Dante wins.
Suggested by Anonymous Wolverine is pretty powerful and he has obtained quite a few power ups over the years. One of these power ups was the famed Dark Phoenix which gave him absolutely unlimited power. That would allow him to defeat just about anyone but it still won’t be enough when out against the matchless speed of Sonic the Hedgehog! Sonic has access to his Super form which lets him fly and amps up his abilities by a drastic amount. Wolverine is strong, but Sonic can injure him and with the speed advantage as well it’s all over. Sonic wins.
Just looking at that cover should remind you just how changed Marvel is from the good ole days. We have a lot of heroes trying to replace the classic ones and most of the old ones have had drastic makeovers. No worries though, this game manages to include an enormous amount of characters so the classics are still here as well. With new characters constantly being added to the game, I don’t see Contest of Champions ending anytime soon. It’s simply too expansive at this point and I’m glad to see it doing well. The amount of content can be intimidating, but it also shows that you can do quite a lot even when under the free to play format. Someone should have told Super Mario Run about that.
There’s actually a plot this time. The Collector is having another game and has decided to pit the Marvel heroes against you. You are the chosen one and your opponent is Kang. Both of you collect Marvel heroes and duke it out until there is only one fighter still standing. The plot will probably have some wrinkles along the way though because there are dozens and dozens of levels. I only played about 10% of Act 1, which was already fairly long. Since they keep on adding new chapters and acts for special events, I can easily see this reaching an RPG’s length by the end. The story isn’t all that engaging so you’ll be playing it for the gameplay. Console games are still my priority though, which is why I didn’t play the game for too long. I played it enough to see what it was all about and then it was time to delete the app.
The gameplay is fairly straight forward. Tap the screen for standard attacks. Swipe forward to dash or back to dodge. You can also use charge attacks and special moves. Each battle will play out in pretty much the same way and the various special abilities will all blend together after a while. This is still a game with a reasonably small budget so you can’t go in expecting Marvel vs Capcom. Still, the graphics are very impressive considering. All of the character models are on point and it’s pretty surreal to see Marvel’s large array of characters all show up. The soundtrack is rather bland, but decent.
One issue is that the gameplay can get a little repetitive. I suppose that can be said about most mobile games, but other titles like 1010 and Pokemon Go are super fun anyway. You may be doing the same thing hundreds of times over, but it never gets old. Contest of Champions will get old after a while so you shouldn’t play it for too long at a time. If you play it seriously for collecting all of the heroes though, then this may not be a factor. I also have to give the game some props for not making the pay to win element too prevalent. You can still play for a while each day before hitting your limit and that’s a good thing. Madden Mobile got annoying for how quickly you hit the daily limit along with Pokemon Shuffle.
The main menu is a little cluttered and complicated, but at least it shows that there is a lot to do here. There are all kinds of modes to explore and crystals to earn. It just never stops and you can be lost in the menus for a good 20 minutes before deciding what to do. The replay value here is endless and that’s what we’ve come to expect from these apps. With this one gone, it’s going to be back to Pokemon Go for me. That’s really the only long term app game that I need. These other titles are good, but ultimately can’t compete.
Overall, Marvel’s Contest of Champions is a fun enough game. The graphics are sound and assembling your team of heroes can be addicting. Eventually you’ll either start to get frustrated by obtaining duplicate heroes even though you only have 5 or 6, or you will be completely into the game by then and just hooked on all of the future updates. If you’re a big mobile player, then I recommend adding it to your roster. If not, then this one can probably be passed. It’s good, but you could always just buy Marvel vs Capcom instead for the superior fighter. I know that DC also got a very similar fighting game on the app store, but I don’t plan on trying it out anytime soon.
Given the track record of this series, I was not surprised to see it fall below expectations once again. Granted, I even tried to limit my hopes despite the trailers being rather great, but it wasn’t to be. Singer simply needs to retire from this series so we can get someone else in charge. All the pieces were in place for a solid movie experience, but the film really ends up falling flat on just about every angle. What should have been a fun action packed movie ends up being a rather lackluster experience.
Apocalypse has revived himself after a long slumber and he intends to destroy the majority of the humans so that the rest can worship him and his mutant empire. To do this, he recruits Psylocke, Angel, Storm, and Magneto as his four horsemen. Finally he kidnaps Professor Xavier and intends to use him as his final vessel so his telepathic abilities will allow him to rule for a very long time. Can the X-Men, led by Mystique, stop this villain? That’s essentially the premise of this film although it takes a very long time for this plot to actually start up.
There are numerous negatives with this film so it’s hard to know where to even start with the review. I just got back from seeing it as of the first half of this review so it may seem a little “all over the place” but I trust that you will be able to keep up. For starters, this film is very light on action. That was a complaint that I had with Days of Future Past and unfortunately it has reared its head once more. The first real fight scene isn’t until near the end of the film as the Horsemen fight the X-Men. Before that we have a brief scuffle with Angel and Nightcrawler although it isn’t really a fight as they spend the entire segment running around a lot. The guest star (Who’s in the trailer, but in case you haven’t seen it yet I’ll keep the individual unidentified) destroys a bunch of guys, but it can’t be called a fight.
Once we do get to the fights, they barely even count. Psylocke vs Beast is very short at around a minute or less and while it could have been good, it is over too fast. Not to mention that Beast shouldn’t have stood a chance at winning that round. Storm vs Cyclops was also disappointing as it was incredibly short as well and Cyclops just did a lot of running as well. Apocalypse vs Everyone wasn’t much of a fight either although at least it wasn’t over in the blink of an eye. Quicksilver’s speed barrage against him was cool and the visuals around Apocalypse’s energy blast were solid. Unfortunately, the visuals were really all there was too it since Apocalypse just kept on walking, but not actually fighting back which was rather odd.
For the entire film, the X-Men fought as a bunch of individuals rather than as a team. When Apocalypse was breaking Quicksilver’s bones or choking Mystique, nobody came to their aid. I had expected Magneto to jump in by that point, but he waits way too long for it to be effective. It was rather similar to Vegeta in Resurrection F. Some X-Men members talked about going over to help, but didn’t reach a decision for quite some time. Professor Xavier finally had an idea at one point, but it took him a while and even then it only bought him a little time. It was another cool scene, but one that also didn’t help him all that much in the camaraderie department. Storm’s big moment happened too late as well.
See, there’s definitely a trend there as well as a half dozen missed opportunities. Every time that a cool scene should have occurred, it didn’t. 5 minutes later the scene would happen, but by then it simply didn’t make sense anymore. That’s the big problem with this film. Every time something cool is supposed to happen, it simply doesn’t. Granted, there was a lot of applause and laughter from the audience throughout, but every time I would simply be groaning on the inside.
All of the humor scenes that were supposed to be funny simply weren’t. Professor Xavier flirting with Moira? Those scenes were terrible. Beast and Mystique scenes? Equally terrible. Also, while we’re on the subject, Xavier erasing Moira’s memories without her consent and basically doing it for himself was also rather bad. The whole point of being a telepath is that you’re supposed to respect boundaries. Xavier showed none of that. Plus, what’s the point of being such a famed telepath when everyone can mentally overpower you? Jean Grey surpasses him very early on in the film and Apocalypse easily defeats him mentally as well. Xavier looks horrible in this adventure and his fans certainly won’t be thrilled.
All right, let’s take a break from the negatives for a second. The soundtrack was very good. The theme that plays during Quicksilver’s speed montage is quite great and the rest of the themes are rather epic as well. The visuals can be fun as well like when Apocalypse’s tomb starts to light up. It was handled well and had an epic flair to it. They definitely should have kept Apocalypse’s original robotic voice though, it was a lot more intimidating. I know that his appearance got a lot of controversy at first, but it’s fine for the most part. Due to the fact that he has to appear blue, there was no way to keep him from looking like a Power Rangers villain. They certainly could have done a better job with his armor though. It looks rather low budget and making it more metallic and epic would have done him wonders. The 90’s animated show did a great job on that front. His followers mostly all have generic metal suits although Psylocke’s is straight from the comics so hers stands out. It’s definitely not a practical combat costume compared to the rest, but it’s good to have some more comic accurate costumes out there. Once again, the X-Men don’t get any of that.
Another annoying thing about the film is its insistence on using the f word once for each film. It’s very forced and something that really has no point being in the film. There is language in other scenes as well so it’s not even just for that one moment. It simply decides to jump to the next level in that scene. It’s supposed to be funny and the whole audience roared which is just a sign of how our culture has deteriorated so rapidly. It’s come to the point where you often hear the f word in daily life and some people use it casually in conversation, often quite frequently. I feel like it’s only a matter of time before it starts popping up in films more regularly, but hopefully this isn’t the case. It can really take the energy out of a scene.
As briefly mentioned before, Quicksilver’s original speed scene is great and it’s easily the best part of the film. Unfortunately, it also highlights some big plot holes for the rest of it. Specifically, Quicksilver was made to be way too fast in that scene. Considering how many actions he undertakes in the span of 1-3 seconds, there’s no way that he couldn’t react to someone pointing a gun at him from several feet away. It’s the problem that all speedsters have, but this film didn’t even have the decency to wait 10 minutes. I hope that everyone in the audience noticed how implausible the whole thing was. There’s just no way that Quicksilver is fast enough to pull the earlier scene off.
The after credits scene is also rather laughable. I felt like chuckling when it ended because nothing really happened. Lately, the after credit scenes haven’t been all that good so maybe I got spoiled from the earlier ones like Iron Man 2 and the Avengers. Since then, they’ve mostly been rather lackluster. A proper after credits scene should show a villain making threats, a fight scene, or a big plot twist. It should be something that actually matters and not something that is only a little tribute to the fans who stayed to watch it. That really defeats the whole purpose if you ask me.
The fact that this film is supposed to take place 10 years after Days of Future Past and 10 more years after First Class is another big plot hole that makes no sense when you consider everyone’s ages. The film doesn’t even try to explain this either and just tells you to roll with it. I suppose that this is the only thing that you really can’t do. I don’t really care about plot holes, but it does come across as rather lazy.
X-Men Apocalypse also reuses old plot lines once again, which makes them rather redundant. Once again, Magneto’s family is murdered so he turns evil. You can probably guess how his character arc will end from there as well. At first I was leaning towards a 4-5 for this film and after going through all of the negatives and the positives, it’s clear that the former wins out. This film’s just incredibly irritating and spends way too much time on build up with no actual climax to save it. It definitely doesn’t deserve a positive score in the end. I mean, the soundtrack is really the only thing that I can praise in this film along with some good visuals and a fun Quicksilver scene. Beyond that, it feels like nothing happened and we didn’t get the action that I had been waiting for the entire time. That being said, it did manage to avoid some issues like animal violence and there is a decent amount of replay value to be found here. It’s not quite Avengers and I probably wouldn’t rewatch it anytime soon, but at least it’s not over the top grim.
One thing that hurts the film quite a bit is the fact that it is never fun. The film tries to be humorous at times, but it never quite works. Professor Xavier claims that he believes in the humans and that they can all coexist for peace, but it comes across as a crazy thought in this film. There is never even a shred of evidence or potential for Xavier to see and reaffirm his beliefs on that. I’m glad that he is finally training the team a little, but he sure took his time. It’s heavily implied that he knew about how mutants were still being persecuted, hunted, and used for sport around the world, but he decided to do nothing about it. When good people do nothing in the face of evil, evil wins. That’s a common saying that it used and it certainly fits this mentality that Xavier has. He has done nothing to help the mutants and is content to simply stay at his school. He makes threats about what will happen if humans attack him, but he needs to see the bigger picture.
I was glad to see that the film kept in Nightcrawler’s Christianity. I was worried that they would cut that out, but it is emphasized in a scene or two which was great. I also like how Havok pointed out that the Apocalypse myths stole the 4 Horsemen angle from the Bible. Moira tries to deny this, but it’s easy to see that she was grasping at straws from that point. Considering that Apocalypse’s whole angle is that he wants to be the god of the world, it’s good to see the film acknowledging the true God and putting Apocalypse down as a false one.
Naturally, Cyclops has been changed to make him more of a rebellious character this time. Gone are the days when he was the responsible member like in the 90’s show or Evolution. He’s the one who decides to break the rules and head to the mall even when he knows that he could be putting them all in a lot of danger. Nightcrawler stands out quite a bit after all and Cyclops can’t control his powers at all. Seems like a recipe for disaster if you ask me. Mystique is the heroic leader this time, but I guess she may not be a main character in the next film. It’s time to see if the next generation can hold their own title. She did well here though and is one of the more likable characters. She may actually be the best X-Men member. After all, Mystique is actually going around the world and helping out the other mutants. That’s something that none of the others are doing.
Jean Grey’s a decently good character. The accent is a little odd and overall she doesn’t feel as much like Jean Grey as the older version, but give it time and we’ll get used to her I suppose. It is a little sad that her powers were so easily blocked by an EMP barrier though. Given that she is finally starting to realize her true powers, this luckily shouldn’t be a problem in the next film. Nightcrawler was all right, but did they really have to make him look so bad in his true form? It can still look solid while still showing that he grew up in a tough situation. Beast is rather terrible and spends all his time flirting instead of doing anything productive with himself.
Quicksilver’s a solid character and as mentioned before, he did have some of the best scenes. At least he was ready to fight. Havok was also a great member and was the only one to stand up to Apocalypse. It’s a shame that we knew he would lose from the start, but he had guts. Magneto makes for a good antagonist although the cheering during one of his first scenes was rather unsettling. He massacres a group of cops after they murder his wife and child, but let’s look at the context for this. As far as these guys know, Magneto is a wanted criminal who tried to assassinate the President of the United States before going into hiding. Sure, Magneto has been working for the country for a while undercover, but he is still a fugitive who escaped justice. Are the cops supposed to simply turn a blind eye to this?
Furthermore, it looked like the cop in question who fired the arrow simply slipped due to being distracted by the birds. That was inexcusable and it’s understandable that Magneto exacted revenge, but to cheer as the other cops are killed is also very bad. They really hadn’t done anything and they were fully prepared to just arrest Magneto. Knowing how the films work, I’m sure that they would have turned out to be corrupt or something because films always like to make the government evil. That being said, it was still a rather sad scene and it’s too bad that these things always happen to Magneto’s family. Either way, he is a sympathetic villain and easily the most interesting one in this film. I have enjoyed his character quite a lot in this trilogy and more so than in the original films. That being said, this character arc does seem as if it has been repeated so it’s not very original this time around.
Angel’s your average drunk fighter. Granted, he was forced into the arena, but it certainly hardened him. Considering that Apocalypse has no mind control over his followers, you do have to question how Angel follows him so obediently after his rather painful transformation. I guess that’s how much he likes the feeling of being strong. There’s nothing particularly cool about him and he’s just there to have another villain around. Storm is cool and has more personality than the other two horsemen. (So, not counting Magneto) In the end, she didn’t have the guts to make her move before the classic 5 minute delay which lost some points with me, but she made for a decent villain. Her powers seemed very weak though and that’s considering that Apocalypse had augmented them. Hopefully she will look more impressive next time.
Psylocke’s always been one of my favorite X-Men characters, but unfortunately she has gotten the shaft in every one of her appearances. In the 90’s show she appeared briefly to fight Magneto, Wolverine, Sabertooth, and some of the other fighters only to vanish after that multiparter was over. In Wolverine and the X-Men she only appeared very briefly. Considering that she is a great hand to hand fighter and that she has telepathic abilities, I always thought that she was underrated. I’m glad that she finally got to be a main villain in this film, but her role here was rather small. The series seems like it has big plans for her, but she didn’t look quite as impressive as she should have. She is brave and isn’t afraid to fight so those are always good qualities. Hopefully she’ll get more action scenes next time to give us some more feats for the character.
As for Apocalypse, he’s not a cool villain. I like him a lot in the 90’s show and most of his comic iterations are solid as well although it’s been a while since he has done anything of importance in the comics. That being said, I like Apocalypse because he is a fighter. He is above mutants and can typically handle a dozen or more heroes at once. This version only seems to have transmutation abilities and maybe some TK abilities. That’s not enough to make him look impressive and he can barely fight. He completely relies on his barriers and followers all the time. The film really messed up with him. At the very least, I did like the chants that he got during the beginning of the film. I thought that the chanting song was surprisingly good.
There really wasn’t much of a point to Moira being around though. Unfortunately, she doesn’t add anything to the film and didn’t really need to be there. Meanwhile, I didn’t care for how the government reacted after all of the nukes were fired. They looked mildly surprised and then they never appeared again until the very end. Considering the tensions in the 80’s, you’d think that there would be more alarm and distress after having lost all of their nukes. I would have liked to have seen the government do something rather than simply have a shadow cabinet kidnap the gullible X-Men. (“We’re here to help…we’re just carrying guns for fun” The X-Men should have instantly known that something was up instead of just standing around with a confused expression on their faces)
If the next film wants to succeed, it’s going to have to start with more super powered fights. 90% of the “battles” in this film were just mutants slaughtering humans who can’t fight back. Magneto against construction workers and cops, _________ against various armed soldiers, etc. I don’t go watch an X-Men film to see uneven battles. I want mutants against mutants just like I go to a Man of Steel film to watch Superman do battle with other super powered beings. It just makes sense.
To an extent, I’ve also got to blame the trailers for why the film was so disappointing. First, let me state what I believe the point of a trailer to be. A good trailer should get you as hyped about a film as possible through any means necessary. It can be misleading and it can show spoilers. None of that matters so long as the trailer is awesome and hype. The trailers succeeded on that front as they did a good job of making the film look awesome. These were definitely the best X-Men trailers ever. Unfortunately, the problem is that by comparison, the film is rather bad as you are watching it. Most of the best scenes that showed promise in the trailers either don’t happen until the final 5 minutes of the film as set up for the next one or they are so out of context that the real context isn’t as good. (Similar to the “Do you bleed” line from Batman V Superman. The context in the trailer was so much better) This was going to be the film where the heroes finally got their costumes, but it happens after all of the fights have finished so it barely matters. It was hard not to chuckle when Beast opened the containers to take out the combat costumes for everyone because they were….black leather costumes once again. Sure, there were some cosmetic changes, but essentially it was back to the same things as in the original trilogy. So much for progress. There’s probably more things that I could mention in regards to the film, but I can’t think of any more at the moment so this is a good time to start wrapping up the review. If anything, just hit me up in the comments for more details or to explain why you liked the film. For every naysayer there is a fan and vice versa after all.
Overall, whenever an X-Men film ends, you’re left with a sign of hope that the next one will finally be good. This one ends with that note as well, but I have a feeling that the film will manage to mess this up somehow. The visions of the future look promising and Apocalypse also seems thrilled at the prospect of what is going to occur, but I simply don’t think the film can handle it. The franchise has simply failed one too many times with this film. Despite its flaws, the original X-Men trilogy certainly felt more like X-Men films than this latest trilogy. Hopefully the series goes up from here, but what it needs is a complete reboot. The film needs to improve on every level so giving it some time away from the big screen may be in its best interest. If you were tempted to watch this film, I recommend skipping it and checking out Batman V Superman instead. It’s certainly more worth your money. Fox has a ways to go if it wants to catch up to Warner Bros, Disney, or even Sony at this point.
The Onslaught event was definitely a big deal in the Marvel Universe and it’s one of the few big events that I have not read yet. It sounds like fun, but for some reason all of the X-Men trade paperbacks from the 80’s to early 2000’s are huge so I’m fine with slowly going through them all. This one was certainly very big, but it was a lot of fun so I really cruised through the stories. There was really just one that was a big miss for me as the rest of the adventures were enjoyable. This was definitely the classic X-Men group and they looked good as you would expect!
Sometimes it’s nice to get the negative out of the way first so let’s talk about why the Angel story was just no good. For starters, the comic was in black and white for effect. Now, I’m a big manga fan so I’m not opposed to that style, but the art has to be clear for it to work and this was the crazy 90’s…it was anything but clear. You essentially miss out on most of what’s happening on screen and while that’s not a bad thing for some aspects of it, this doesn’t do the comic any favors. This story also had some animal violence as birds were attacking the main heroine of the story. Why…why….whyyyyyyyyyy!
The story was also just randomly dark as it was all metaphysical as the lady had actually been involved with some domestic violence issues and her way of coping was by making these illusions. She helped Angel to accept his wings and he helped her move on. The whole story was just iffy and I also felt bad for Psylocke since Angel had been shutting her out, but opened up to a complete stranger. Yeah, that’s Angel for you right? The comic could not end soon enough!
All right, iffy story aside, let’s talk about one of the more enjoyable ones. Wolverine and Angel decided to find a mystic to help heal Psylocke since she was already far beyond the reaches of conventional medicine. Dr. Strange decided to come along as well since fighting mystical battles is really what he does best. He’s not at the height of his strength due to constant circumstances likely occurring in his own series, but he’s still more than a match for the relative lightweights that he has to deal with here. The heroes basically head into another version of hell and have to…negotiate with the master there.
That was a fun story. It was quick, had good fights, and the dialogue was good. It was a popcorn fun X-Men comic that just felt like a good superhero story through and through. The heroes fought the villain and found the cure. No cliffhangers or loose plot lines, but a complete story from start to finish. Dr. Strange also looked good and got the respect that he deserves. Of course, the best story was yet to come.
My favorite story arc was the two part Brood event. I hadn’t expected great things as the Brood can be cool creatures to look at, but at the same time, their brutal style of fighting could have been a little dicey for the comic. Luckily, it was handled well. A pastor and his wife had gotten a lot of publicity within their town as the wife appeared to be able to heal someone with a touch. While the pastor was thrilled about this, he did not know that his wife had actually been contaminated by the brood and was turning everyone else into her minions by “healing” them. The X-Men arrive to deal with the threat, but find out that she is fighting against her destiny. Can the X-Men help to save her or will they be forced to put her down before she loses control?
The X-Men naturally make the right move although Wolverine does want to destroy the lady the entire time they are talking. He’s definitely not feeling generous at the moment, that’s for sure. It’s part of his subplot on how he’s losing his humanity thanks to some experiments that had been occurring, but it’s also in character. The lady tries very hard to keep control and decides that maybe it would be best for her to die so that everyone else can live. That being said, it’s sad for her followers since the brood warriors destroy all of them with ease.
At least they were all Christians so they’ve gone to a better place. I was impressed with how openly the comics talked about God and the Bible and the characters were portrayed well. The Pastor did a lot of praying and his wife’s faith in God is what helped her be the first human to ever resist the Brood. That was really cool and it even has a good ending as the Priest gives a good sermon. God was certainly given his due credit here and this is the kind of adventure that you wouldn’t expect to see nowadays. Certainly the highlight of the collection and the fights with the Brood creatures were pretty epic as well. The X-Men held their own even if it was a losing battle.
Another really good story involved the return of the Onslaught plot. This is the Road to Onslaught right so we need at least relevant comic there. His weakest sentry decided to test the X-Men as he warped their members to the middle of nowhere to conduct his battle experiment. Wolverine and Storm quickly coped as they are used to this kind of test. The rest of the team quickly followed suit and Cyclops reminded them that he has never failed a test like this during his whole tenure as an X-Man. The Sentry fights with them and the fight is certainly a lot of fun as this guy is no lightweight.
The fight takes up most of the issue and each of the X-Men members gets a chance to shine. They’re certainly a powerful team even if they don’t have many heavy weights like the Avengers. A power hitter would have certainly come in handy here. They do manage to make a statement though and the Onslaught Sentry gets a little salty and reminds them that he was the weakest before leaving. That may have been a blow to their confidence, but they won and that’s what counts right?
After that, there was a short issue where Iceman went to Emma Frost’s place to ask her how he can be healed since he had a hole in his chest and wasn’t sure what would happen if he tried to go back to human form. He was definitely a little out of character there as he basically cracked, but part of his ongoing character arc is that he’s being forced to become a serious figure for the younger members and that’s likely not doing him any favors. She basically tells him that it won’t have any effect on his human form and she’s right. Not the greatest of issues, but it wasn’t bad either.
The collection ends with the Wolverine plot continuing as he fully gives way to the beast within him to save someone. The actual events occurred in another comic, but this deals with the aftermath. Stick sends Elecktra to stop Wolverine and likewise, the X-Men are on his trail. Considering that she’s a guest star, Elecktra doesn’t really do anything and only steps in for a very small role. The villain is a guy who commands stone and summons up a lot of minions to defend himself. They’re basically rock versions of various Marvel characters, which was fairly interesting, but the villain wasn’t much of a threat.
It was a decent comic, but not very notable. It’s sad for Wolverine to see how much he had changed with this though. It’s good to see that he retained most of his mind though as he still saved Cyclops when he was in danger. Wolverine was missing his Adamantium for most of the collection, which really hurt his fighting strength. Without it, a lot of the events in these comics would have been much easier for him. He was still a good figure though and the team always needs a devil’s advocate to help them consider all of the options even if you naturally root against just about all of Wolverine’s ideas.
Cyclops and Jean Grey look good as they still lead the team into battle and act like the experienced veterans should. Cyclops is always a confident leader from start to finish and Jean Grey is the reason why they ended up helping the Pastor and his wife against the Brood. Iceman was a good character for the most part even if he did get ultra serious and blew up at Emma without a whole lot of provocation. The Beast has never been very likable for me and this didn’t change that. Likewise, Dark Beast isn’t my kind of villain.
Storm may be the team’s power hitter at the moment and her weather abilities always come in handy. Bishop got a decently large role here, which was cool since I rarely see him in the comics. I can certainly say that I liked his portrayal here as he was the military kind of character who followed orders right away while still having the presence of mind to question some orders. He really helped the team out with his energy absorption abilities. I still prefer Cable as a character, but Bishop is good as well.
Going back to the Beast part, I almost forgot to mention his story arc. He had been trying to find a cure for the Legacy virus for some time now, but he was not getting any closer to solving the riddle. Unfortunately for him, he would not get the chance as Dark Beast arrived and kidnapped him. So, for most of the comics in this collection, it is really Dark Beast who is on the team and not the normal version. The comic is a little sad though as we basically watch Dark Beast go on a killing spree as he murders just about everyone from Beast’s past except for his parents who he couldn’t bring himself to destroy. This was definitely not my favorite character and I’m looking forward to seeing someone stop him. Bishop did arrive at the X-Men’s base to stop a traitor, maybe the traitor was “Beast.”
As you would expect, the art is very bold and large as the 90’s style is famous for this. Still, it works quite well this time and I’d say that it’s some of the clearest 90’s art that I’ve seen. The fight scenes are certainly intense and one thing that I’ve always liked about this style is that everyone looks tough. If you thought that every villain and hero did not have a 6 pack, you were clearly not reading the 90’s comics.
Overall, This was a fun collection. I can safely say that the Onslaught arc had a good amount of build up that occurred before it. As you would expect from the X-Men series, there were certainly a lot of plotlines running around beneath the surface and Rogue got a cameo as well. I’m sure that she’ll be more important to the plot at a later point and politics are not going well for the heroes either so they may have to go below ground at some point. Yes, things are definitely reaching a boiling point and I’m sure that the next volume will be solid as well. With all star comics like the Brood 2 Part Adventure as well as the Onslaught prequel, this is a must read for all X-Men fans. The roster for the team is quite good and Dr Strange even makes a guest star appearance. There’s also a guide to the mansion at the end of the comic, which really goes in depth so if you’ve ever wondered how the team operated or what went on beneath the surface, this will help!
Wow, I actually read a Wolverine comic right? It’s definitely a rare event as he’s the kind of character who tends to have comics that are super violent or just not good. Luckily, this was from the classic days and it covers the rather legendary arc that has been adapted into a TV show as well as a movie. It’s very interesting to see the original version after all this time although I can safely say that the anime probably handled it better than the other two versions. Unfortunately, there are a few wrenches thrown into the mix that stop this from being the good comic that it should have been.
Wolverine made it home after a tough mission of stopping poachers when he finds out that his girlfriend has been married to someone. It’s a marriage of honor so Mariko does not want to back out of it even though her husband is basically a villain who attacks her whenever he feels like it. Wolverine decides that he’ll enter it and he heads over to save her. It’ll be tougher than he thought as Wolverine is poisoned, beaten, and forced to retreat. Can he break through the defenses and save Mariko with the help of a mysterious assassin named Yukio?
There is also an aftermath which is included where the X-Men arrive to witness the marriage between Wolverine and Mariko. Unfortunately, there are still some past demons to attend too as Viper and the Silver Samurai decide to destroy Wolverine and Mariko. Storm’s begun to lose control of her powers and the other X-Men are poisoned so they are of no help. Can Wolverine don the costume once more to take out these villains? The graphic novel ends at a rather interesting point so we don’t really see the conclusion to this story.
By “interesting point” I’m basically saying that it’s a very sad, but ironic ending that was unexpected. I was impressed at the collection ending here to be honest as it’s the complete opposite of the ending that you would have expected. The whole comic Wolverine is trying to prove that he is worthy to be with Mariko. He tries to prove that he is a human and not an animal. You expect a Cinderella ending as they get together and everything is happy. Well, let’s just say that things don’t quite end like that.
If you like the X-Men, then you’ll probably be disappointed by the fact that none of them look very good. As I mentioned, they were all poisoned almost immediately upon appearing so only Storm and Rogue really got to do anything. The rest of them were basically played and toyed with so they didn’t look like the heroes that you would typically expect. Cyclops is slowly figuring out that his girlfriend may know more than she’s letting on, but I’m pretty sure that he figures it out too late and the situation ends up blowing up. He did a pretty poor job of letting her know about his friends though, but she did a good job of handling it well.
I’m not sure what’s going on with Storm, but now I have finally learned where she first got the Mohawk design. I hope that there is a good reason for her losing control of her abilities and not just that she didn’t keep her emotions in check. It should be something better than that I’d hope. While she couldn’t control the weather too well, she still did good in the fight, which was certainly nice to see. At least some of the X-Men could pull their weight! Rogue wasn’t so good here. Her power was certainly nice to have, but a laser blast being able to nearly destroy her? Yeah…I’m not so sure about that and Wolverine could have healed her in a less dramatic way. That just felt forced into the story for the lolz.
The art was quite good for this comic although I would expect nothing less from the classic X-Men days. It feels like the 90’s show and there is a certain sense of grand scale here that makes it distinct from the average comic. The fight scenes are actually quite long and really drawn well. I haven’t seen action scenes last this long for street level battles in quite a while and it’s safe to say that they would probably be shorter in a modern comic. Between the good writing and the solid art, the comic did very well on a technical level.
Unfortunately, the comic fell into the animal violence trap that I always warned against. Wolverine is forced to kill a bear since it was dying slowly from poison that had infected it. The Bear also got quite a few victims before being stopped. No matter what the reason, seeing Wolverine take down a bear crippled the score. There’s also a dead dog that appears later for no discernible reason. The plot of Mariko being attacked by her husband was also a dark theme that really had no place here. The comic could have just said that she didn’t like him and Wolverine would have still been ready to help. That would have been a much better change if you ask me.
Yukio was not as cool as she was in the anime. To an extent, it’s neat how she doesn’t fear death and is always ready to tackle really bad odds. On the other hand, she was portrayed like Black Cat, but an even more sinister one. Taking out Wolverine’s friend wasn’t cool, but she basically just shrugged it off since it didn’t really matter to her. After the main arc, she showed some promise as a rival who will appear once in a while. As long as she is a rival to Wolverine as a warrior and not still going after his heart, then she may be all right. Until then, I can’t say that I’m a fan.
Mariko also wasn’t that good as she believes that following honor is everything even at the expense of her safety. She made quite a few bad decisions as the comic went on and never became a likable character. Shingen made for a pretty tough boss and he was a decent villain. He pretends to care for Mariko, but this is clearly not the case as he is really just fighting to try and make himself look better. As Mariko says later on, he basically gave up his right to the family name as he became nothing more than a common criminal.
As for Wolverine, this definitely feels like the real version of the character. He spares the villains sometimes and just uses the claws on others. He gets the job done no matter the cost and will ultimately help his friends. Does this necessarily make him a hero? No, but if he’s on your side then you can trust that you’ll be all right. He takes care of his own and is a nice guy. People are just always pushing his buttons. It’s good that he has a healing factor and such strong bones though since he takes a whole lot of punishment in this collection. Next to Cyclops, he’s definitely my favorite X-Men member and it’s easy to see why he has so many fans. He’s a very likable and charismatic character who can easily hold his own series.
Overall, Wolverine was certainly an interesting read. I feel like the collection should have had an actual name rather than just being called Wolverine, but it is what it is. If not for the animal violence and the Mariko subplot, this would have definitely been your average 7. As it stands, those mistakes are enough for me to lower the score and recommend that you read Superman Unchained instead for a story of how true heroes overcome adversity. This is probably Frank Miller’s best work though and Chris has definitely had quite a good history with his various Uncanny X-Men stories. If you don’t mind the Bear scene, then this is probably the definitive Wolverine story for sure. There’s a reason why everyone likes to adapt this story after all. It’s just really fitting for Wolverine and gave him a lot of character development as he finally surpassed his bestial instincts.
The Infinity Gauntlet is definitely a famous Marvel arc at this point and some would say that it could be the greatest of all time. Marvel has quite a few big events though like Secret Wars and Civil War so there’s always a lot of competition, but the Infinity Gauntlet is a story that has aged well and is certainly one of Marvel’s best events.
This isn’t just your average trade paperback though. An Omnibus is even longer than an Essential collection and this one is longer than the average Omnibus as they tried to cram in all of the tie ins. This means that the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus ended up being longer than 2 Essential Collections placed on top of each other. It was around 1200-1400 pages if I recall correctly. Usually that would have taken me forever to finish, but it was a blast reading the classic comics so I read about 400-500 pages in my first batch and then finished it off soon after. Once you start reading, you just won’t want to stop.
The collection is essentially divided into 3 parts. The set up to the Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity Gauntlet, and the Tie ins that take place during the Infinity Gauntlet as well as afterwards. This way, you can say that you’ve truly read the Infinity Gauntlet since you will have seen what came before it and what came afterwards. This must have the record for the most tie in adventures in the shortest span of canon time. What I mean by that is that the tie ins will turn the gap between 2 panels from seconds into minutes as a character will blink and in that blink, have a big adventure. A good example of that is when Silver Surfer misses the Gauntlet when he charged at Thanos in the final part of the Gauntlet adventure and a whole tie in occurred as he raced back.
As you would expect, the art switches numerous times as we get issues from the Hulk, Spider Man, Infinity Gauntlet, Silver Surfer, and more. Luckily, the art holds up well for just about all of the issues. I can’t think of any issues where I didn’t like the art. The Hulk series was probably a little bigger and bolder than the others which could take some getting used too, but it was still fun and made for some good action scenes. (When the Hulk issues actually had action)
All right, let’s start off with the Infinity Gauntlet plot. I read the first issue a while back so I was familiar with that one, but it’s good to say that I’ve now read the entire epic. The first half is really about the natural disasters that are affecting the planet because of Thanos and then half of the multiverse’s inhabitants are destroyed with a thought. The Avengers realize that they need to do something about this so the heroes who are left decide to attack Thanos once and for all. The big fight is certainly the best part of the arc as everyone runs to Thanos for the big clash.
Without the Gauntlet, Thanos has already proved to be stronger than most, if not all of Marvel’s heroes so this isn’t even a challenge for him. To present the heroes (and readers) with a bit of a fight, Thanos decides not to use the Gauntlet’s full powers against them for a little while. While you know that the heroes are doomed, it is nice to see the action and the heroes do get a few good shots in. They just don’t really deal any damage.
The arc takes a bit of a spin when Nebula grabs the Gauntlet as the whole plot shifts since the heroes have to stop her before she does something that they’ll regret. The cool part of this comic is definitely the part where the cosmic fighters show up to challenge her. Thanos states that he would have been able to defeat them, but they do a pretty good job against her as they attack her on all planes of existence at once so that she will not have enough time to think about what is going on.
It’s easy to root for Nebula here though since she got a really raw deal for most of the event since she was trapped in a death like state where she was forced to live. Once she grabbed Infinite power, you could hardly blame her for wanting to stretch her new muscles. The Living Tribunal claims that it is not his place to meddle in the affairs of the heroes and villains so he doesn’t make a move here. It’s implied that he could probably end the whole situation if he wanted too, but such things are beneath him and he only interferes when he is angered.
Adam Warlock and the Silver Surfer easily have the biggest role in the Gauntlet from the heroes. Adam Warlock essentially has infinite knowledge now that he is back from being virtually dead in the mind gem so he proves to be an ace in the hole for the heroes and Silver Surfer has a lot of experience in dealing with Thanos from his past exploits so he is naturally critical at this point in time. The rest of the heroes are really just there to be a distraction, which Warlock even admits during the latter part of the story.
I’m a fairly big Adam Warlock fan so seeing him take a starring role is always fun. After his death, Warlock is a little more subdued in this arc. He treats most of the fight as a game because he believes that if he took it seriously for a second, he would fall into despair. He’s still a critical factor here and he also gets a little mini arc after the Infinity Gauntlet, which I thought was a lot of fun. the power went to his head for sure and started to get into some epic abstract territory before the cosmic entities decided to weigh in. Sadly, it ended right before the court trial could start. (The trial is incredibly awesome and I wonder which trade paperback it’s included in)
One of the reasons why the Warlock getting unlimited power was so fun was the heroes reaction to this. They had just finished a fairly grueling battle and were exhausted so they were clearly not pleased with having to fight another battle. They half heartedly rushed at Warlock, but he just warped them away. It was a cool twist ending as fans likely didn’t expect something like that to happen. Warlock’s so powerful that the Avengers basically just decided to give up after that.
Mephisto is a major player in this adventure, but I’ve never been a fan of his. He’s not very strong so he relies on trickery, but it typically backfires. Even when Thanos was getting used to being omnipotent, Mephisto couldn’t gather his courage fast enough to grab the Gauntlet. It was a huge missed opportunity for the demon. He’s always around and Mephisto actually helps the heroes out on quite a few occasions so that he could dethrone Thanos, but things never go his way and he spends the whole arc getting pummeled.
Death is a prominent figure here as well, but I definitely don’t care for the character. She never talks and only speaks through her lackey. The lackey talked tough to Thanos so he naturally got the most violent death in the whole collection as Thanos had enough of the guy. The minion was extremely annoying so I wasn’t sad to see him gone. It was unexpectedly intense, but I suppose it was too convey how upset Thanos was. The rest of the collection is fairly tame so it was pretty surprising. If Death could only talk, then I would definitely like her much more, but as it stands, she just looks really arrogant and it doesn’t work since Thanos became much stronger than her. At least Thanos has enough self dignity and honor to not try and control her. He does make a female Thanos who actually defeats Spider Man, which was interesting. I think Spider Man should have won though.
Now let’s look at some of the tie in issues. The Sleepwalker got one and I’m not too familiar with the character, but he seems like a decent fighter. For some reason, he’s treated as a trump card at times, but his strength isn’t incredible. He’s roughly a Daredevil-Spider Man level opponent. He helps out a lot on Earth when Thanos starts to wreck the place and his issue is mostly about him keeping the peace while the other heroes are busy. It’s not a bad tie in even if it sounds a little uneventful. Sometimes it’s nice to see what’s happening while the heroes are gone.
Spider Man gets an issue where..he actually dies. He successfully helped a kid, but it cost him everything. Once he dies, Thanos decides to mess with Spiderman’s soul and tries to give him despair. Spiderman fights back and he has to question what he has been fighting for and if he should continue to live. It’s a very interesting issue and seeing someone cope with their death and wonder what comes next is always cool. In the end, Spider Man didn’t give up hope and managed to reclaim his life. This is yet another example of how Spider Man was written so well back in the day. I shudder to think about how Peter Parker would have acted if this was in the modern days with Slott writing the issue.
Cloak and Dagger got their own tie in issue as well. I’m not sure if you realize this blog readers, but I’ve never been a fan of this team. Dagger’s all right, but I feel like she doesn’t have a whole lot of personality and doesn’t use her abilities to their fullest potential. Cloak is constantly going off the deep end and putting everyone in danger when Dagger is gone for any reason. They’re not terrible, but I probably like Punisher more than them…and I’m not the biggest Punisher fan out there. Ghost Rider and Spider Man got to appear in the issue as well so it was definitely packed with heroes!
Dr Strange gets quite a few stories. They take place during the Infinity Gauntlet at first and then move on to the after effects. The first issue mainly deals with Dr Strange helping Silver Surfer get back to reality after his mind retreats when he crashed into Dr Strange’s room in the first issue of the Gauntlet. It’s exactly what I’m talking about when I mentioned earlier how a tie in could occur at any time. In the span of a page, a whole issue managed to come forth due to this twist of Surfer not ready to come back to reality! It was a fun fight between the two.
After that, Dr Strange got involved with some time travel and fights against other magicians like the Silver Sagger. When Thanos warped all of the heroes away during the first climax of the Infinity Gauntlet, Dr Strange was sent away with Thor and Scarlet Witch to Asgard where they had more adventures. In the final issue, Dr Strange decided to try and defeat Adam Warlock since the infinite power was getting to the wanderer’s head. Dr Strange was incredibly powerful back in the day, but not even he could hope to overpower a wielder of that gauntlet. Still, the attempt was fun and he helped Adam Warlock see reason.
Dr Strange is certainly a fun hero and he’s a character who can be underrated at times. He doesn’t always look it, but his abilities are very potent and he knows thousands of different spells. At this point in time, he could actually fight with the likes of the Silver Surfer and Pre Gauntlet Warlock. Those aren’t weak fighters by any means and Dr Strange could really hold his own with any of them. Strange is also a very wise fighter and never begins a brawl without a plan. The large array of cosmic fighters is yet another reason why the Gauntlet was so fun.
Quasar got some issues as well, but they were apparently forgettable enough that Comicvine didn’t even list them! It’s too bad since they were fun. Quasar got to fight the previous title holders so these other Universe protectors were very tough, but Quasar uses his ingenuity and raw power to take them down. He gets a little bold and heads for Thanos next, but he’s severely outmatched. While Quasar does have the Power Cosmic, he’s never been quite as powerful as the other Cosmic fighters. Still, you should only underestimate him at your own risk as he’s still quite tough. Picture Green Lantern’s energy projection with Cyborg’s strength + Superman’s flight. It’s a very deadly combo.
Quasar was a likable guy and he’s very down to Earth. He has a comfy life on Earth while still keeping up with his cosmic duties. That’s definitely tricky and most cosmic heroes wish they could do something like that. Quasar may not help as much as some of the other big heroes, but he still contributes against Thanos and that’s what counts. He probably makes more of an impact in the fight than most of the Avengers!
The Hulk gets three issues and they show why he was so upset at being called in during the Infinity Gauntlet story. The events slightly blurred together, but things happened in roughly this order. The Abomination had kidnapped his wife and was sad at how everyone looked at him like a monster. Hulk followed him into the sewers and they naturally had a brawl. One thing led to another and Abomination was able to get away thanks to Dr Strange’s untimely summons. Hulk was able to get back and was turned small so he used this opportunity to act as the Abomination’s conscience and convinced the guy to stop what he was doing. The Abomination let his wife go and went back to the shadows, sad at how his fate had treated him.
Hulk then went on to help a town that had been overcome with rage. This is the Hulk who is basically taken over by Bruce Banner and essentially speaks perfect English. He’s not quite as strong of course, but he gets the job done. I can’t say that he looked very good in the Infinity Gauntlet, but that’s mainly because he’s simply outmatched by the other big villains at this point. He may have complained, but he still helped out when it counted.
The Thanos Quest is easily one of the best extras to be included here. It shows how Thanos defeated all of the Infinity Gem guardians and gained the Gauntlet’s power. Each member of the group was extremely powerful so Thanos had to use his wits to win. When physically outmatched, you have to be very cunning to claim victory. These issues would have likely gotten a 9 on their own. In particular, I loved the fights against the speedster who could move at speeds much greater than light and the physical powerhouse who could likely give the Hulk a run for his money. That being said, the fight in the computer game against the game member was a lot of fun as well.
Those issues really captured the intelligence of Thanos. It’s not something that’s played up too often and I don’t expect to see a whole lot of that in the films or TV shows, but it’s one of the reasons why Thanos is so deadly. He essentially has the combat expertise of Batman with the strength of Superman. That’s not even counting his many energy attacks and how well he can use the Gauntlet. While Nebula was overwhelmed on the 3-6 planes of existence, Thanos explains that he could have been able to fight on all of them at once. He simply can’t be stopped and will forever be one of Marvel’s heavy hitters.
Finally, we had the onslaught of Silver Surfer issues. To put them into perspective, just adding all of them together would have been enough to fill 6 of the average trade paperbacks. They cover a whole lot of content and most of them deal with the Thanos plot which is cool. The majority of the issues take place before the Infinity Gauntlet and technically, the Silver Surfer is the first person to learn just how dangerous Thanos is. He follows the Titan across solar systems and many planets, but it’s actually a very depressing journey for the cosmic speedster. Even when he does catch up to Thanos, he is quickly crushed each and every time. He cannot even hope to beat avatars of Thanos.
That being said, the prophecy states that the Silver Surfer is the only threat to Thanos so the Titan is always very cautious with him. In a way, you could say that the Silver Surfer is the main character of the arc and I would completely agree. Almost half of the collection is comprised of Silver Surfer comics and he naturally appears a lot in the main series as well. His plot also connects with Drax’s as they meet up and are forced to team up on many occasions.
They even have a lengthy battle in one of the issues. Silver Surfer is clearly stronger, but Drax is almost possible to destroy so it’s effectively a stalemate. This was back when Silver Surfer was a complete powerhouse and I don’t really see how Thor or Hulk could compete with him at this point in time since Thor was going through one of those phases were it wasn’t the real Thor and the Hulk lost most of his power. The Silver Surfer nearly ended the whole Gauntlet arc on his own if he had not missed the Gauntlet. Thanos didn’t dodge, the Surfer just missed because he was going way too fast. If only he had time to practice before the big play. Still, he kept it close.
As with Warlock, I enjoy the Silver Surfer’s character a lot. He never really wants to fight, but when pushed he can really deliver some spectacular action. It’s admirable that he always tries to find the peaceful way out of a situation, but things just don’t work out that way for him. He doesn’t get to appear very often in the current comics, which is too bad. Hopefully he will get popular again once he starts to appear in the Fantastic Four sequels.
Drax got a really big role, but it just served to remind me that I don’t like Drax in any incarnation. I really don’t like the new Gladiator form of the character, but I am not a huge fan of the old form either. It’s a big improvement of course and he means well, but he’s typically pretty clueless about what’s happening and while he was made to destroy Thanos, he’s severely outmatched the during the entire collection.
As for some of the other characters who appeared, Thor was one who was really hurt by the time at which the comic was written. This was still the era of the fake Thor so he wasn’t very cool or regal like the real thing and his power levels weren’t as impressive as the should have been. Even in his weakened state, the heroes mentioned him as a trump card so I would have really liked to have seen the real deal fight a little. Likewise, this wasn’t the Hulk that we were used to seeing. Cyclops and Scarlet Witch launch a nice two pronged attack on Thanos, which is completely ineffective, but it was fun to see them try. The X-Men were really a total nonfactor here. Vision also tried his best to stop Thanos, but this was during his ghost days so it didn’t go too well. Captain America had his famous moment where he walks up to Thanos and it is a cool scene, but it’s too bad that the fight couldn’t be longer. I suppose that it would have been a lose-lose situation though since I may have had to talk about plot hax a little.
There is plot hax here of course, but that goes without saying so I didn’t even mention it. The only good explanation is that Thanos wanted to lose, which I still find a little iffy since Nebula should have won in that case, but we’ll let it go there. The plot hax is self evident enough that I don’t really need to talk about it much. It was funny to see Thanos just retire on a farm after destroying half of existence. He certainly got off easy eh?
Naturally, all of the cosmic entities minus the Living Tribunal also get a big role. Thanos manages to take down each and every one of them. The Celestials, Galactus,The Elders of the Universe, and many more. Finally, Eternity showed himself since he’s apparently much stronger than all of those (But significantly weaker than the Living Tribunal) but Thanos also takes him down without too much effort as well. It’s a stunning battle with great feats and scenes of action. The cosmic fights alone would be enough to justify this arc as a living legend.
This Omnibus also exposes one of the areas where I actually believe that Marvel surpasses DC. How can this be possible right DC fans!? Well, DC’s never had much of a cosmic scene. We’ve got the Anti Monitor and the Source…but that’s about it. There’s an argument to be made for the Green Lanterns, Darkseid and his armies, as well as the New Gods, but I’m not sure if I really buy it. They just feel more like aliens and other heroes as opposed to cosmic fighters. Take Orion for example. I don’t see any difference between him and a regular hero while fighters like Adam Warlock and Silver Surfer have that dignified cosmic air about them. So, while I do still think that DC has the overall better characters, Marvel has a much better cosmic scene so they can have events like this. DC’s a little more limited when you leave Earth.
That being said, the Marvel cosmic part has weakened a little in recent years. Not literally, but the cosmic events start to be a little more underwhelming when everyone has infinite power. Now we’ve got kids and horned creatures who can rewrite whatever laws they want. When everyone is a cosmic being who can do anything, the whole concept starts to lose its shine. Luckily, most of the cosmic beings who are too overpowered weren’t in Infinity so that one still sounds like it should be a fun remake/reboot of the Infinity Gauntlet. I doubt it can beat the original, but it would still be a lot of fun to see how the new version is. Meanwhile, DC needs to bring back the Angel from the JLA series as he’s one of the only cosmic beings that they’ve got. Putting him and the other Angels up against the Justice League would be a fun arc to read.
Overall, This was a powerful volume from the classic days of Marvel. It’s easy to see how Thanos got so popular after this arc. He was written well and the arc was a blast. Seeing the complete version (Prequels, Sequels, Tie ins, etc) also helps you appreciate the true scope of the story. The actual arc was a little light on action for most of the opening issues, but we got some big brawls as the story went on and you need set up for a large scale arc like this one. The art and writing are consistently good as you would expect and there’s not much in the way of negatives to say about this one. I will say that Nebula’s fate was really sad the whole time as she experienced living death and I could have done without that, but it’s still not as bad as it could have been and one small element won’t really hurt this comic. This could have easily gotten a perfect 10 star rating, but Superman Unbound’s already snagged that one. Still, this is a must read not only for Marvel fans, but DC readers as well. This arc stands as a good model for future arcs to follow or be inspired from so they make the mistakes of other arcs. (Like Fear Itself)
Dr Doom has recently become just about all powerful in the Secret Wars. He’s no stranger to that level of cosmic ability as he once absorbed Odin’s power and he also got the Beyonder’s at another point in time. Wolverine has his Phoenix Force and X Mode to counter that, but Dr Doom also has an X Mode so it’s really the Phoenix Force against the other unlimited power. This is definitely a tricky matchup, but I’m probably going to give Dr Doom the edge thanks to his energy attacks, which will help to keep Wolverine at bay. It’ll be hard for Wolverine to get in close and he’s not much of a long range fighter. Dr Doom wins.
When I saw that the name “Bendis” was on the cover, I knew that things were about to get a little dicey. Little did I know that I would be so right so fast. The original Uncanny X Men series was a lot of fun and probably one of the best X Men series of all time. This one? Well, this is the first volume that I’ve read in the series, but I can certainly say that I was not impressed. The writing is weak and the story is not very engaging. Let’s launch into the summary!
The Uncanny X Men have been hunted by Shield (Let’s forget the periods for a while) for too long. Sentinels keep attacking them at every turn so Cyclops decides to pay Maria Hill a visit. He declares that if Shield is attacking the mutants, it is war. If it is not Shield, but they continue to allow the attacks, then it is war as well. With his ultimatum at the ready, Cyclops storms off. Maria Hill has no idea who is doing this, but she’ll arrest the mutants to at least stop one problem!
There is a Vs in the title so that means that we get a lot of action here right? Wrong! There aren’t any real action scenes to speak of here. The big scene at the end simply involves taking over someone’s tech and using it to stop the crisis. There were no big battles and that was a little sad. I like dialogue based comics as much as the next guy, but when Bendis is the writer…that’s simply not going to work. The issues aren’t very interesting. You can tell that the series is building up to something of course, but it’s not going fast enough.
I’ve been taking my shots at Bendis for a while so let’s elaborate on why his writing isn’t good here. First off, we have a mutant who can project energy balls around himself. Naturally, this means that the kid only talks about the balls and constantly says it in a way that can be taken in other directions. It’s obvious to everyone that he is talking about his ability, but naturally a character has to actually point this out and put him on the spot.
Next up, the telepaths decide to invade more minds to dredge up some dark secrets like Maria Hill having a crush one on of the main characters. The scene is rather unnecessary and just goes to show that Bendis doesn’t have a strong script at the ready so he has to distract us with filler. I could go on all day, but the point is that the comic is all about dialogue and yet, the dialogue is not that good.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the art isn’t very good. It’s certainly subdued, which hurts its cause in the brightness angle, but the main problem is how similar some of the characters look. Why do Magik and Emma Frost look the same? That shouldn’t be possible and Magik’s costumes from the past were all rather iconic and epic. They were fitting for such a demonic princess. Wearing the same costume as Emma Frost is just taxing on the eyes as you can never tell who is who giving the pages an extra minute each time. The energy blast scenes have the potential to be good and we get some nice visuals in the first comic, but a lot of them are too big for the comic to keep up. You know what is happening, but only because it was a quick action. In a real fight, I have a feeling that the art would crumble.
The other X Men group gets to appear, but all of the members are extremely unlikable. Seriously, they just come to pick fights and then get mad when Cyclops puts them in their place. Iceman decides to pick a fight by insulting Cyclops and trying to make him look bad in front of the others. Cyclops naturally responds with an optic blast and Iceman immediately escalates into near death threats. Iceman used to be a good character, but his current personality coupled with his terrible design didn’t do wonders for him as a character. Storm also looks very unreasonable and let’s not even get started with the Beast. The Beast just seems to have finally cracked and he certainly can’t be trusted.
Although it is easy to lose sight of this, the main plot is about someone who is framing Shield. We eventually find out who it is and I have to suspend a lot of disbelief because it’s a very big stretch of the imagination. Someone popped in from an alternate universe and managed to hack into Shield’s tech? Hacking into Shield is apparently easy, but this is really pushing the envelope. This character is also pretty unlikable so it was a twist that didn’t help the comic at all.
Meanwhile, we have a subplot where Mystique is essentially ruling an island as a drug lord and getting people hooked on it at the expense of Dazzler. Magneto frees Dazzler and wants vengeance on Mystique and her posse. I’m sure that the group will fight soon, but it’s another subplot that I didn’t care for. On the contrary, removing the subplot would have probably helped the comic as we could have had more issues for better plots.
One issue was all about Professor Xavier’s will, which apparently leads into the next volume as it is the big cliffhanger. If you wanted Prof X’s reputation as a hero to remain, you may want to skip that issue. He admits that while he was telling the X Men that all mutants should live in peace with humans and to protect them, he was actually brainwashing one. You see, there lived a mutant so powerful that he could apparently destroy the Avengers with ease. Prof X had a vision of this guy taking Thor down with a single blow among others. So, he decided to remove the boy’s powers with his telepathy and trick him for eternity. The boy caught on though and in the present, his powers are starting to run rampant.
When he powers up, everyone who is around him is instantly turned to dust. As his last command, Professor X wants the X Men to go and brainwash the kid once more and steal his memories/powers. Cyclops is disgusted with this mission while the others are mostly ho hum about it all. Cyclops is fighting to protect mutants so I hope that he ends up trying to lead this kid down the heroic path. It’s certainly going to be tricky though and I imagine that a lot of fights are about to begin.
The bright side is that this plot seems to be a lot more interesting and engaging than the rest of the issues that we got. I didn’t think that a comic with as many big characters as this one could be boring, but that’s essentially what happened. I found the big “Vs Shield” graphic novel to be a little dull. Things moved at a snail’s pace and Sentinels stopped being a threat decades ago. Cyclops typically got all of the interesting scenes so hopefully he will get some interesting fights next time.
Overall, It feels like it has been a while since I’ve given a main stream DC or Marvel title under a 6, but this one just couldn’t make it for me. The negatives were simply too much and it reminded me of the Amazing Spider Man series. Cyclops is still a good character and he has some epic moments, but the comic is really just missing a golden opportunity where it could have had some epic team battles and good plot developments. I can only hope that this series gets better soon as the premise behind Cyclop’s group is still rock solid. Where are the Avengers? Having another scuffle with them would have been interesting. On a side note, Magneto really let himself go. You’ll probably cringe when you see his new design.