Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

All New X Men Volume 3 Out of Their Depth Review

The All New X Men series definitely got a lot of praise when it came out. People just seemed to really like the concept of having the classic X Men interact with the modern world and it made headlines for quite a while. It certainly seems like a fun series and I can see why it was liked. It sure does make you take a step back and remember how different everything used to be back then.

The comic starts off rapidly as the original X Men are face to face with Cyclop’s new group. The classic Angel wants to head off with this extreme mutant group and Wolverine’s team is trying to stop him. Tensions fly and we get a brief scuffle, but Angel is eventually allowed to leave. Unfortunately, the heroes don’t get much of a breather because Mystique, Sabertooth, and Lady Mastermind are framing them around the world. The Uncanny Avengers quickly show up to demand that the X Men hide out at their school, but Wolverine decides that they have to clear their names the old fashioned way. The rookies are going to get some real battle experience now!

One of the perks of the series is probably the casual pacing. It’s certainly not slow paced as many things happen, but it’s also not just running full speed to the goal. The issues simply transition well into the next one so the plot is constantly changing and adapting as the heroes learn more about what’s going on. All of the issues are fun except for the last one, which was essentially filler and had some pretty bad art as well.

In terms of the art, I do have to deduct a few points. It is rather inconsistent through the issues. Typically, the faces are the most noticeable as someone may squint their eyes so much that they become black slits or the character models will just be off. It’s too bad because the art is really good for the action scenes. The energy lines look very streamlined and make the battles feel more intense. There is certainly not a ton of action to be found here, but enough action scenes to certainly satisfy you.

As for the original X Men, they seem to essentially be in character for the most part aside from one member. Iceman still cracks a lot of jokes while Cyclops is still a commanding leader, even if he seems to be a little too naive. In the original comics, he certainly wouldn’t back off as much as he does now. He was sure of himself from the start, here the writers seem to want to portray the X Men as being incredibly young and inexperienced so that none of them have a lot of confidence. The Beast is still fairly unlikable and the final comic didn’t help matters. Angel seemed like himself although his role was small. Jean Grey is the main character who’s changed a lot.

It also makes a lot of sense that she would change the most since she is constantly figuring out dark secrets from the other characters thanks to her telepathy. Still, her corruption happened very quickly as she is already trying to force people to do things against their will through her mind. Luckily, there were enough heroes present to stop this, but it still does not help her case. While you can’t root for her, you will still be disappointed that none of her teammates try to assist her. Emma Frost had the three sisters attack Jean’s mind and none of the heroes helped out while she was getting pulverized. Wolverine talked tough, but he did nothing to back it up. Jean Grey shouldn’t have started the fight, but the X Men should have ended it. Storm was talking about how mutant should not fight mutant right now, but the important thing is always to win. If a mild skirmish happened here, so be it right? The Avengers could just arrest everyone later.

Speaking of the Avengers, they really do not look very good. This is still during that point in time where the heroes seem to really dislike mutants. The Avengers grabbed Havok so that he could badmouth the term mutant and Rogue so that they could seem to be unified, but it hasn’t really worked at all. The Avengers brought down the X Men’s plane just so they could threaten the team and send them back home. That was really out of character, but not if you’ve been reading AVX. It just makes the Avengers look rather petty and scared.

Then, we have the Scarlet Witch part of course. Jean found out that she basically destroyed over 95% of the mutant race and became an Avenger after that. It certainly makes you wonder how she got off so easy while fighters like the Hulk and Cyclops were dismissed as evil so quickly. It’s certainly late to attack Scarlet Witch now as the deed has been done, but it makes the Avengers look even more dicey than usual. They don’t even try to defend their action as Cap basically says that it doesn’t matter what she did since the X Men are fugitives. The line may make you chuckle or quickly look away. Either way, this was not Cap’s best appearance.

As for the villains, Mystique’s goals seem to be rather small at the moment. Owning a villainous island wouldn’t be so bad I suppose, but I just wonder what it has to do with anything. This is Mystique though so I’m expecting quite a few more twists with her plan. That being said, she’ll need better teammates if she wants to take down the X Men. Mastermind and Silver Samurai simply aren’t going to cut it when the X Men have a Jean Grey who is not afraid to use her telepathy at their disposal. I’m a little surprised that the illusions worked so well at tricking most of the superheroes, but I suppose that Iron Man and Mr Fantastic were too busy to look into this at the time. Without them, the X Men and Avengers are lacking in genius members.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the team once this is all over though. They’ve already had many new experiences so how can they go back in time and keep reality from being altered? Unfortunately, it’s likely going to need their minds to be rebooted to that point. Jean Grey is the likely candidate for that at the moment. There is no way that they can keep their memories unless they are sent to an alternate timeline or something. Perhaps they won’t have to worry about that with the Secret Wars coming up anyway. Still, the ending to this series will be intriguing as it will test the morals of the heroes. If they really do decide to wipe the minds of the young heroes, that will be pretty disappointing and I’ll need to lecture them again through my reviews!

Overall, This was a fun collection of comics. All New X Men certainly is a lot of fun and has a great amount of potential. I do think that the X Men should be portrayed as being a little more confident and powerful though. Their abilities are shown to be very weak, which is odd since they were weaker, but still very potent back in the day. The team certainly needs to find a way to put a handle on Jean Grey since she is quickly succumbing to the dark side. Towards the end, Wolverine was allowing her to mess with the villain’s minds, but that’s just as unethical as using it against fellow heroes. He should have told her to stop from the beginning instead of encouraging it with Sabretooth. Putting the villains to sleep is all right, but not humiliating them through their mind. While the Avengers did not look great, it was still fun to see them jump in and remind us of the expanded universe. Nowadays, guest stars are common place and I think that’s a good thing. Solo adventures are still a lot of fun, but with hundreds or even thousands of heroes running around on Earth, it really doesn’t make sense to not see another hero very often. There’s only so much space on Earth right now after all. I recommend checking this volume out. All New X Men is a title that’s easy to jump into and makes for a fun read. You can expect another review for this series in the near future.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X Men vs Hulk Review

Let’s look at a comic that was a lot more fun! This collection’s main selling point is that it brings the big battle between Hulk and the X Men during the World War Hulk saga. That 3 issue tie in was handled perfectly and it reminds you that a nearly perfect limited series can be done with a variety of different characters. The back up stories aren’t quite as good though and hold it back from being a 9, but they’re still pretty good for the most part.

In the main part of the story, Hulk has arrived for Professor Xavier. Xavier may not have been present when the Illuminati decided to send Hulk away, but he is still a member of the club. Hulk asks him how the Professor would have voted and Charles says that he would have agreed with the others. Hulk prepares to take him away for his sentence when the New Mutants decide that they can’t agree to this. Hulk is not impressed by their efforts, but the New Mutants are quickly joined by the X Men and various other X groups. Nearly all of the mutants left on Earth have assembled to stop the Hulk…but will they be enough?

This comes during a very dangerous moment for the mutants. Scarlet Witch’s curse has ensured that no new mutants will ever be born and they are now an endangered species. The members who are with the X Men are almost all of the mutants left on the planet so if Hulk defeats could be game over for everything that Xavier has ever strived for. This is why Professor Xavier doesn’t want the X Men to fight the Hulk and partially because he feels guilty as well. Cyclops won’t have any of that and Emma Frost focuses on stopping Xavier’s telepathy from stopping the X Men while the rest of the team attacks.

This is one of the best fights in comics and it’s very satisfying. This is what a fight with little to no plot hax looks like and all of the heroes really give it their all. For fans who like to see Wolverine fight the Hulk on an equal playing field, this really shows you what would happen when the Hulk can use some strategy. It’s too bad that Cyclops couldn’t do any better, but he’s still a great leader and handles the situation very well. It’s also good to see the bond between the mutants as everyone who is able to arrive makes sure to do so. You may wonder what the rest of the world is doing at this point, but maybe they’re busy. Either way, with the tensions surrounding the mutants, they may not have been much of a help either way. The art looks great here and that can make the difference between a great comic and an elite one. The art looks almost as sharp as X Sanction and the splash page with Juggernaut facing the Hulk is one to remember. The fight was written well so adding in the art makes it complete.

One of the backup stories features Iceman and Angel as they team up with the Hulk. Hulk is being pursued by harpy robots and he doesn’t want to hurt them because they look like Betty. After Iceman appears to be destroyed, Angel cuts loose and shows the Hulk that these robots are definitely not Betty! The Hulk quickly helps in destroying them and that’s when their friendship started. They became pals with the Hulk and realized that they should never judge a monster by his cover. This issue wasn’t bad, but I can’t say that it was very good either. There is some random romance that isn’t great and the heroes certainly could have looked better. They may be fighting in a desert, but Iceman shouldn’t go down so quickly.

Another backup story has Wolverine decide to test Colossus by tricking the X Man into fighting the Hulk. Colossus is very full of himself at the moment and keeps treating the other members as inferior fighters. Little does he know that the Hulk will give him that feeling after fighting for a little while. Colossus punches the Hulk straight on, but his blows don’t seem to deal any damage. Colossus uses the elements to his advantage and does put up a decent fight, but he knows that he is outmatched. By the end, he figures out that the Hulk isn’t actually a bad guy and he just misjudged him like everyone else. This was the best backup story and the fight was interesting to read.

There was also a black and white story at the end, which was decent, but also pretty uneventful. We have monsters and villains and I can barely even remember what the plot was at this point. Needless to say, the comic wasn’t the greatest, but at least the X Men were here as well. I wonder if the graphic novel managed to show off every time the X Men have fought the Hulk since I don’t think they have clashed that many times over the years. Needless to say, the Hulk seems to typically have the edge in their matches.

The collection is extremely short and you will be able to breeze through it in no time. Still, the stories are packed with entertainment and that’s what counts. This is one of those rare times where the addition of the extra stories ultimately hurt the graphic novel as it lost it a star. None of the stories were downright bad, but they were average enough to bring it down to an 8 for great.

Naturally, this is why you will want to focus your attention on the first three issues. They’re simply amazing and watching many mutants attack the Hulk is not something that you see very often. The heavy hitters that he faces include Colossus, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Wolverine, X 23, Juggernaut, Strong Guy, and a lady who is apparently invulnerable. He takes them all on back to back and his high speed regeneration seems to be as good as ever. The heroes all look very good and in character. I certainly have no qualms with their portrayal and I agree with their decision.

Professor X and the Illuminati started this fight and they certainly deserve to go to jail, but the Hulk has a more permanent fate for them so the X Men have made the right call in going up against them. The Hulk is simply another villain now and they have to protect their own. That’s why it can be a little irritating to see Professor X try to stop them, but we also learn that Charles can’t add anything to the fight anyway. Hulk is currently too enraged for telepathy to be of any use against him so that rules the Professor out. The heroes all give it their all and prove why they are selfless heroes.

The Hulk may be the villain here, but it’s still a great portrayal of him. You can certainly see why he is upset and the Illuminati definitely crossed the line. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the Hulk is going to try and see what happens when he does just that anyway. Because his will is so decisive right now, The Hulk has also kept his reason along with the rage. This quite possibly makes him the most dangerous Hulk of all time and it is interesting to see him think rationally as he fights. His logic skills when in battle seem to be similar to Superman’s during the Unchained saga along with the other great Superman comics. When he has this much control, The Hulk really is one of the strongest fighters there is. Fans may feel bad for Juggernaut since he definitely is no match here, but it makes you wonder how well he would do if he could unleash all of his power. I actually think it could have been a close fight and the Juggernaut is certainly underrated.

Overall, X Men vs Hulk is an excellent trade even if you just buy it for the first three issues. The Hulk really takes it to the X Men and both sides are fighting for something that they believe in. The backup stories may not be great, but they’re not bad either and at least they increase the length of the graphic novel. I definitely recommend checking it out and you won’t be disappointed after reading this epic. It would be fun to see the Hulk take on Thor while in this state although I believe they only had a brief scuffle in one of the other side parts of this series. I still haven’t read the main World War Hulk title, but maybe I’ll come across it at some point in the future.

Overall 8/10

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

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Secret Wars Review

Secret Wars
Secret Wars was Marvel’s first really big arc and they really knew how to make it exciting. There was never an arc quite like this nor shall there ever be again. It was a one of a kind deal and even if similar plots come out, you cannot hope to pass the sheer originality of this event. I think that Civil War may be my favorite Marvel arc, but I have not technically read all of it so this is officially my favorite Marvel event arc. It’s just brilliant and it’s probably one of the best comics that I have ever read. So much happened in these issues and you can tell that they really put a lot of effort into it.

Marvel is planning a new Secret Wars arc coming soon since they have had fun revisiting old arcs. The new version sounds pretty fun as well, but it looks to be pretty rushed. This one had a lot of characters, but they made sure that a good amount of them got some proper screentime. The new arc is following the “Bigger is Better” motto a little too seriously as the number of fighters has been multiplied several times over. Considering that there can only be so many issues in the main series, we’re not really going to get to see most of the fights. I still do have hopes for it to be one of the best Marvel arcs ever though. All right, time to go back to the plot for this arc!

A lot of heroes had been going through their days like any other when a mysterious spaceship appeared. Some of the heroes fearlessly go into it while others are pretty cautious and carefully set foot inside. It doesn’t matter how you go in though because you end up being trapped either way. The X-Men, Avengers, Spider Man, and the Fantastic Four minus Sue Storm end up on the other side. That’s some serious firepower, but an essentially equally powerful group of villains also arrives. They include Dr Doom, Ultron, Galactus, (Starting to seem a little unfair right?) The Lizard, Magneto, and more. A mysterious being known as the Beyonder has brought them here to engage in the ultimate battle of life and death. Good vs Evil! The winning side will naturally be the correct side and everyone is stuck in this dimension until the war is over. Make no mistake…this is War! Both sides begin to choose their captains and a strategic battle of territories begin with these characters.

The plot begins to shift as the story arc goes on though. It’s originally a big war, but eventually the war is over. Unfortunately, one player deviates from the script and gains unimaginable power. This means that everyone will have to stop this person, but that’ll be tough when he can literally do anything. It’s going to take the will to survive (Which actually comes into play) and some actual power if the heroes want to get out of this alive. Hopefully the rest of the heroes are able to do all right for themselves over on Earth without their power hitters….hopefully!

One of the fun things about this arc is the fact that most of the characters have barely worked with the others if they even have at all! The X-Men are distrusted by most of the other heroes and they don’t do a whole lot here to improve their image. Other teams like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers get along pretty flawlessly. After all, there’s nothing suspect about Mr Fantastic and his crew right?

Mr Fantastic does look pretty good by the way. His role isn’t huge, but he’s acknowledged as a very smart individual even if he does let himself get pushed around by Captain America for a while. He’s just a little too selfless for his own good at times. (He also continues to outshine the Hulk, which is great) The Thing actually doesn’t mention how much he wants to be human that much here, but he can shift between forms for some reason so I guess it’s just not much of an issue at the moment. The Thing is always ready to fight and he was one of the first heroes to suggest that they go after She Hulk so he definitely gets some credit there.

Spider Man dons his black suit for the first time and that is something that is probably not as well known as it should be. He looks pretty great as you would expect and he dodges just about every attack that is shot at him. This is the dependable Spider Man that we used to know and we hope that he returns someday. He’s always in control of the situation. She Hulk is with the group, but she likes to fight solo, which can be dangerous. She runs off to face a few of the villains and that plan really doesn’t work out that well for her. She was outnumbered 5-1 and all 5 of the villains possessed super strength. I’m sure that the Hulk would have handled those odds, but while the She Hulk is strong, she’s not quite at Hulk’s level.

The Hulk has a rivalry with Mr Fantastic in this volume and he’s pretty obsessed over it. Bruce is in complete control for the arc so his strength is very limited, but it means that we can see him brag a lot. He seriously won’t stop and you can tell that he does not want to be here. It’s really hard to fight alongside him since you can’t trust anything that he does. He is very quick to go against his comrades although he would never go as far as to join the enemies. He’s simply a thorn in everyone’s path. I liked the fact that Bruce insults everyone whenever he finds the time, (Which is often) but it can also make you just want him to be taken back home at times.

Captain America looks pretty controversial to say the least and he may actually remind you of his portrayal in AVX. He really seems to have a thing against the X-Men and his decision to stay at base instead of saving She Hulk from imminent destruction was pretty awful. That’s simply not the heroic move to make and the other heroes should have just barreled past them. It’s lucky that reinforcements came when they did since that could have been pretty ugly. Captain America ultimately makes some good calls as well, but he’s too much of an army general. He’s willing to face heavy casualties in order to win the war and that’s unacceptable for a hero.

This took place before Ultron got the hype and recognition that he has currently earned in the comics. He’s still feared as a powerful Avengers villain, but that’s about it. That’s all right…Ultron doesn’t need any fancy titles to strike fear into the hearts of many. I like the fact that he just turns on the villains and decides that he can take them all on at once. He even goes after Galactus at one point, which was pretty great. Let’s just say that Ultron really doesn’t fear any being!

I appreciate that Galactus is not willing to play the Beyonder’s games, but he looks pretty bad as a result. What scene would really shock the crowds? Having Galactus be bested by a guy with an 80’s haircut! So, Galactus is beaten pretty badly by the Beyonder and it can be tough for his fans to bear. I feel their pain since that was definitely a humbling moment for this galactic fighter. He looks good aside from that though and he’s definitely portrayed as one of the strongest characters around.

Molecule Man is one of those villains that I disliked from the very beginning. He’s never been a cool character no matter which continuity tried to make him tough. He gets a whole lot of hype here and the writers even try to make you feel bad for him. That definitely didn’t work on me though and I never liked it when a character is able to just do whatever he wants. It’s bad writing since there’s no stopping him! That’s not what I expect to see from my comic book villains! He starts to buy into the whole romance thing after a while, which helps him start to change his ways. It’s still pretty cheesy though.

Klaw’s role is pretty intriguing since he basically lost his mind after he made it aboard Galactus’ ship. It actually managed to improve his character though since he’s pretty likable. There are a few scenes where you may become suspicious of him since he has a lot of shifty looks, but it may have just been the art. That being said, you almost feel bad for Dr Doom in a few scenes because he really trusted the sound master. Just know that when you have a villain like Klaw, whose deadliness is only matched by his insanity..things are going to be very tough for those around him. It’s good to see this villain getting the respect that he deserves.

Cyclops is a part of the disfunctional X-Men group (At least in this series) so he gets a lot of inner monologue. He’s unhappy about the direction that the team has been heading in and he feels like Professor X is just not the best choice as the leader. He plans on quitting the team once this is all over since they have started to lose their morals. It’s good to see that Cyclops has kept his and while he’s a far cry from the Cyclops of the modern comics, he’s pretty great here. Cyclops is one of the few characters who has managed to be a great character through just about every comic era. He doesn’t see a lot of action here, but he’s always around just in case.

Wolverine looks pretty true to form. He has more experience than over 90% of the other heroes…maybe even all of them. He knows what it’s like to be in a war so he’s not taking any prisoners this time around. While you would think that he might get along with Captain America, that turns out to be impossible. Captain America seems to have a thing against mutants and that makes Wolverine turn against him. There’s a really rushed page at the end that quickly has them settle their differences, but it makes you think about how things have changed. This Wolverine was not the kind of guy who would become the principal of a school or the guy who would betray mutantkind for the Avengers. Too bad he couldn’t always be this good right? It’s hard to think of him as a hero, but he’s a capable ally to have around.

Storm wants to be leader of the X-Men and she actually was for a while until Professor X stepped in. Storm tried to reclaim her position, but Professor X threatened to take control of her mind so that he could force her into being a subordinate. She quickly backed off after that, but another layer of trust was definitely lost from the team. She is certainly not in a good mode for the arc, but she doesn’t do a lot after that. Like the rest of the X-Men, she’s mostly just along for the ride.

Professor X looks very bad in this collection although that can be a good thing if you ever wanted to see what it would be like if he was a little more sinister. He decides to form an alliance with Magneto since mutants should stick together, but he decided not to inform the other teams that Magneto had possibly reformed. (Not really) He wipes away some of Spiderman’s memories, which is extremely unheroic to the point where I would say that he completely descended into the realm of evil. It was all so Spiderman couldn’t rat them out about meeting with Magneto and betraying the heroes so at least the wall crawler was doing the right thing. Prof X makes a truce with the heroes so that they wouldn’t have to fight, but things definitely got very tense for a while there. I like the X-Men, but Professor X was very unreasonable the entire time. You were almost waiting for him to be dethroned. I’m sure that the X-Men had him step down once the arc was over.

Magneto decides to part ways with the rest of the villains since his goals are pretty different. He wants to survive this and he also wants the other mutants to survive. Unfortunately, he then kidnaps the Wasp, which is a pretty big blow to his reputation. The other heroes were definitely not going to trust him after that and it’s disappointing that some romance ensued. Magneto should keep his mind on the mission and this is a mistake that is pretty inexcusable for anyone. Magneto had some kind of plan that was lost in the shuffle, but this was certainly not his best appearance. I expect more from the Master of Magnetism!

The Beyonder is all powerful, but I’m sure that you’ve heard that tune before. He’s like the One Above All and he’s a pretty awful character through and through. You’ll probably cheer when Dr Doom unleashes his ultimate plan. I’ve already seen the Beyonder in other comics so I disliked him before his appearance here, but he did nothing to change that opinion. He let his guard down at a pretty bad moment and you have to wonder what the point of the whole war was. It’s basically just for his entertainment and that’s not very fulfilling for the heroes. I’m sure that he could be a good character in theory…but it could take a while for him to reach that level.

Dr Doom has a pretty big role in this arc and he looks pretty good. He has a plan from the start and he never loses hope in it even after he is utterly crushed and humiliated by the Beyonder on several occasions. His determination eventually pays off and you actually feel pretty happy for him. I thought that he was one of the best villains to be found here and he even gives the heroes a chance to walk away. They would never do such a thing…but you have to admire the fact that he gave them a choice right? He gets a sad ending, but I suppose that we could expect nothing else.

War Machine is here instead of Iron Man, but he is impersonating the famous hero. Sadly, this means that he spends a lot of time tarnishing the golden avenger’s name. He seems to take offense at every little thing and he flirts way too much. Iron Man didn’t do that back in the old days so it really makes him look bad. War Machine may be in a better armor, but he’s still all talk and he never really backs it up. Luckily, we have Thor so two out of the three big Avengers are present for the arc. He has a subplot where he goes off to talk in another dimension with Enchantress at one point, but he definitely makes an impact when he goes back into the war. He takes on a decent amount of villains at the same time and he doesn’t back down from attacking Doom’s lair. Thor is typically with the group when they fight so his role isn’t huge, but everyone had to get their screentime. At least he got one solo fight against the group.

The art is pretty solid and it’s really classic. As such, all of the pages were done by hand so you are certain to find some funny facial expressions of off proportions on the characters once in a while. That being said, you have to imagine just how tricky it would have been to color all of these guys in and how much work it would have been. We can’t deny that computers make drawing more efficient and precise nowadays, but the unpredictable of the old comics is one of the reasons why the art looks so good. It’s pleasing on the eye and it’s very easy to follow the action. I would definitely be content for all Marvel comics to have this style of art although I also love the art in X Sanction and that’s a completely different style. So, diversification is always a good thing.

The ending of the arc definitely has more than a little plot hax since one character conveniently gets everyone to the revival chambers after they were all dead. There is a twist and someone wanted them to win, but it’s still a little dicey. When you have invincible beings…I guess that’s just what you have to do though right? It was interesting to see new characters just pop up once in a while though like the two girls that we found in the village. Apparently a whole town/village ended up getting thrown in the portal as well even though we don’t get to see the civilians all that much.

Overall, The Secret Wars will never be forgotten. It was the first large scale arc of its kind and it paved the way for many more fun adventures in both the Marvel and DC comics. I definitely liked the war scenario the most from the arcs inside of this story, but the climax was definitely pretty grand. This is a collection that I highly recommend to all comic readers. It’s simply a must read and it has certainly aged well. Adapting this into an animated film would certainly be pretty fun to watch. Where else can you see so many characters interact on screen? It’s amazing how the writers manage to cram in so many subplots without them feeling all that rushed. A lot of them will be concluded in different comic series as it is. Yeah…this arc will likely not be surpassed by Marvel and even DC will have a tough time trying to take this one out. It was just about perfect!

Overall 9/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

X Men Days of Future Past Review

How many of you clicked on this one thinking that it was a review for the film? No worries, I already reviewed that one. This is the comic version where it originally took place. I’m sure that there are many tie ins and stories to flesh out the event, but this is the meat of the Arc. It’s only about 2-3 comics long so it’s fairly short, but you can definitely see some of the similarities. It’s good to finally read the famous event and we’ve also got a few stand alone issues here as well.

The first issue is a very large recap told from Cyclops’ point of view. He explains how Professor X has merely been using the X Men this entire time and he never saw it until now. The Professor was unreasonable and now Cyclops has taken a leave of absence. The Professor doesn’t seem to notice how upset Cyclops is, but Cyclops is keeping to himself. Will Cyclops ever join the team again? Only time will tell. This is all after Phoenix died in the Phoenix saga so he is definitely under the weather.

The next comic is the first big mission for the X Men without Cyclops. It’s Nightcrawler’s birthday and it should have been a happy one, but one of his presents blows up and destroys him. Professor X calls in Doctor Strange to see if any magic was involved. (I guess he suspected magic for some reason…) Strange announced that Nightcrawler’s soul is gone and they follow him into the depths of Hell. Doctor Strange believes that there is something wrong with the place since it has changed a whole lot, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. Ah well, it’s time to go save their friend!

The Days of Future Past arc starts off in the future. We see that the resistance isn’t doing so well and the Sentinels are just too powerful. Franklin Richards, Wolverine, Shadow Cat, and Storm are some of the last fighters still alive. They decide to use Rachel’s abilities to send Shadow Cat back in time to stop the madness before it ever begins. Rachel Summers is able to transport Shadow Cat’s mind into the past and she must stop Senator Kelly from being assassinated. Will the Xmen believe her and can time really be changed!? Meanwhile, the future X Men may be doomed on their end since changes in the past don’t always affect the future…but create new futures.

There’s also a comic involving the Alpha Flight. Wolverine never officially left them so he has to go and clear things up. Unsure if this will end up being a peaceful venture, Professor X tells Nightcrawler to go with him. This turns out to be a good move since the Wendigo is in the area and he’s not going to be satisfied with anything short of a win.

Finally, we have a Christmas issue. The X Men all head to their respective homes to enjoy their Christmas break while Shadow Cat has to stay at the mansion since she has nowhere to go. She takes her mind off of this by working in the danger room, but she hears a crash. A dangerous creature that looks like a Xenomorph has broken into the mansion and it’s headed for her. This monster is as smart as they come and it’s very powerful as well. This could be Shadow Cat’s final Christmas!

That was definitely a decently good batch of comics. It wasn’t quite as action packed as usual and I did miss Cyclops, but we still got our share of fights. The best issues were definitely the Days of Future Past ones even if it did feel like there was a lot of plot hax. The saving Nightcrawler comic would probably be last despite the guest star as that one didn’t even have much of a physical enemy to defeat. You always need someone to punch!

The art is pretty good and you will be reminded of the 90’s Xmen TV show. The Uncanny roster is pretty good although I would have liked to see Cyclops a little more. It’s easy to discern what’s happening and things never get too chaotic. This collection is fairly short and it doesn’t crack 200 pages, but it’s still a decent amount of value. 5-6 comics is the norm for most of the shorter comic collections anyway. Just take a look at any New 52 collection or recent Marvel book and this is the size.

Shadow Cat may as well be the main character of the collection since she plays a big part in the Days of Future Past arc while getting her own Christmas comic. She’s a decent character, but I can’t say that she really does anything to set herself apart from the crowd. She’s mostly just trying to fit in during this stage and she hasn’t really mastered her powers yet. We do know that she will be a lot tougher in the future though and there’s no reason to dislike her right now. She just needs a little more personality and she’ll be set.

Dr Strange doesn’t look that good this time. He’s the Sorcerer Supreme, but he’s really getting pulverized in the magic battle by this new entity. He puts on a brave face and he does get some good magical blasts off, but it’s heavily implied that he is being toyed with. Professor X called him into protect the X Men, but it appears that this is not what really happened. It was surprising to see him on the losing edge since Dr Strange is all but invincible in the older comics. Not even he can beat cosmic entities I suppose.

Wolverine is as good as always. He still launches right at the opponents and he was critical in the mission to save Nightcrawler. It’s easy to see why he became a fan favorite and he was definitely the best character in the collection. Protecting his friends is his first priority even if he won’t admit it and he’s probably the most experienced fighter on the team. His healing factor isn’t as good as it is in today’s comics, but it’s good enough for him to be a threat. I really had no complaints with him.

Storm is faced with the pressures of being team leader so she’s pretty stressed out for most of the comics. She’s also wary of a new dance instructor who is helping Shadow Cat and I’m sure that there is a reason behind this. Hopefully she remembers to keep her guard up. Storm is a pretty powerful fighter, but her abilities completely depend on her location. She’s not very good at fighting in closed placed since her powers need space in order to work properly. As a last resort, she is very good at hand to hand combat. She has one of the toughest ordeals in the collection since she is forcibly turned into a snake and changing back is pretty painful. She’s doing a decent job at being team leader, but there are times when we can all admit that Cyclops is missed. Hopefully she can keep the members together until then.

Colossus serves as the nice member who has a rage out moment every comic for shock value. He definitely talks a good game, but Colossus is typically outmatched. It would be good to see him use his super strength a little more effectively, but it never works. Either he’s paired up with someone that can absorb physical attacks like the Blob or he’s fighting a Sentinel who can just blast him away. Colossus is still a good character, but he needs to fight more and talk less when the going gets tough. He has potential to be one of the X Men’s all time heavy hitters after all.

Nightcrawler doesn’t look very good. His sob story is pretty dicey. He murdered someone by mistake since he had meant to spare the person, but he then says that he would do it again if need be. He’s also a little…petty in some issues. He tells the team to their faces that he was almost disappointed since he thought they had forgotten his Birthday. Not really the best thing to say aloud. He’s also the weak link of the team, which means that he is beaten up in just about every comic. The Wendigo takes him out in one shot and the team is forced to go into a fake hell to save him. He definitely gets the team into a lot of trouble and he’s just not very likable here. At least he is trying to make friends with everyone and he’s a nice guy; Nightcrawler just needs to work on his abilities and get his priorities straight.

Cyclops has finally learned to make his own decisions and the character development is good for him. He’s in a pretty sad mood the entire time, but it’s excusable due to the previous circumstances. He seems to be performing odd jobs as he walks across the world and I’m sure that he’ll be back to pwning as the X Men leader in no time. The Wendigo made for a decent villain in one of the stand alone comics. He’s definitely as tough as always and he defeated Nightcrawler pretty easily. I’ve never really considered him to be a match for someone like the Hulk, but he’s definitely played off to be that strong. If his strength were to increase like the Hulk’s, then it would be more of a fight. Still, he may be the toughest villain in this collection.

Professor X doesn’t get a huge role this time. He tries to help out when chaos breaks lose in Days of Future Past and he’s quickly caught up on the events thanks to a quick mind scan, but he forgot to actually use his abilities and Mystique quickly took him out. That was definitely a poor showing by the Professor and we can only hope that he will keep his guard up from now on. He still seems like a pretty good leader, but the X Men definitely trust him a lot less than they used too. I guess it is hard to trust someone who can read your mind so it’s always going to be tough for the Professor. Let’s hope that he can prove his loyalty to them when the time comes.

It’s really good to see the classic Sentinels back in the spotlight. As cool as it is to see the newer variations, nothing beats the classics. It’s really nostalgic to see them tossing the X Men around and they definitely get a lot of props in this collection. One blast is able to completely overwhelm Wolverine’s healing factor and take him out for the count and Colossus was similarly defeated in quick succession. I don’t really believe that these guys would end up taking out the Avengers and Fantastic Four, but they’re still fun villains to have around. There are thousands of them after all so they can’t lose right!?

N’Garai is the name of the demon that attacked Shadow Cat. It’s just one of the N’Garai of course as the name only refers to the species as a whole. That guy was definitely pretty brutal and it was a lot more durable than I would have guessed. Aside from plot convenience, Shadow Cat really had no chance against him. Thanks to his soul damaging abilities, the N’Garai can actually damage the opponent through their intangibility. That’s a pretty nifty ability to have. I would say that this creature is instantly cooler than the Brood and it’s probably in the top 3 best random Marvel aliens that has no mind. So, only counting the beasts that can’t talk and are basically like monsters.

After reading Days of Future Past, I am surprised at how well known it is. I guess the plot was definitely very unique at the time, but it’s just so short. I was expecting it to be at least 5 issues. We still had the President Assassination plot at least and it’s essentially a condensed version of the film with different characters. It was a good two parter to be sure, but not quite legendary. At least we got a classic team fight between the Brotherhood and the X Men. Those are always pretty fun.

I can’t say that I cared for the hell comic all that much. It’s always interesting to see how it is portrayed of course, but it’s mostly lacking in action. Colossus mentions that hell is one of the reasons why he doesn’t believe in God, since it would mean accepting such a place as real. It’s an intriguing point since it almost sounds like he does think there is a God, but he doesn’t believe it because of hell. Meaning…that he does accept that God exists, but doesn’t accept Hell. Can’t really go halfway though since not believing in it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It was a little sad to see that Nightcrawler had no comeback during their debates and he was quickly silenced each time. He needs to prep his answers ahead of time I suppose. The other comics were pretty standard, but fun adventures.

Overall, This is a pretty solid batch of comics. They definitely aren’t quite as action packed as usual, but they’re pretty good. I think they could have been a little more engaging at times since the Days of Future Past arc was pretty interesting while the others were really just there. I enjoyed them of course, but you weren’t very intrigued by what was happening. The fights were fun and that’s just about it. The Alpha Flight don’t really make you think about anything deep and the Christmas comic was just a fun chase. I still say that a little more action would have helped. I recommend this collection to all X Men fans and especially if you haven’t read Days of Future Past before. If you have, then it’s time to check out X Sanction for more future conspiracies!

Overall 6/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Ultimate Spider Man Volume 5 Review

The Ultimate Spiderman comic series is back and I hope that you caught my review of the previous volume. For those of you who are unaware, this series is not just based off of the TV show of the same name, but it is the TV show. Essentially, you are reading the episodes in case you do not want to watch them. This can be a good thing if you really love the show, but otherwise….it really limits the potential of these comics. I’ve already experienced the adventures, so seeing them again may not have the same impact. Ah well, there are four stories here so they should be pretty entertaining. Short, but epic right?

One story features Thor as Loki manages to trick him into becoming a frog. This doesn’t bode well for the Prince of Asgard and he will need to turn to Spiderman and his gang for help. He had been pretty condescending towards them, but true heroes don’t hold grudges so they decide to come in and help. They may not be a match for an Asgardian, but with the right weapons..they may stand a chance.

Well, this was a decent story. Thor’s portrayal was a little too over the top as he’s the punchline for too many jokes. He also looks bad since he underestimates the mortals at the beginning. He may have been transformed into a frog, but I figured that he could still fight a little. Evidently, that was not the case. Loki is also fooled rather easily, but I suppose that it was too be expected when faced with the mighty Spiderman. Definitely not the best Spiderman adventure, but it had some fights, which is always good.

We also had a comic, which featured Venom. Shield decides that he needs to be destroyed right away, but Spiderman warns them that a human is inside. His teammates don’t care and (unsuccessfully) attempt to take Venom down for the count. Will Spiderman be able to stop his friends from seriously injuring the host while making sure that Venom doesn’t destroy them either? It’s definitely going to be a long day for the web slinger.

This was the best comic in the batch simply because we got the most amount of action compared to the other issues. Venom definitely puts up a fight so it’s nice to see how he fares against the heroes. Spiderman’s partners definitely seem outmatched, but that’s essentially in their job description. The jokes are minimal in this comic and one could almost think that they were in a dangerous situation…almost.

Next, we had a story where Wolverine and Spiderman swap bodies. This can be a little tricky for the heroes since Wolverine isn’t really a school person and Spiderman doesn’t want to have to face off against the deadly Sabretooth. Spiderman’s going to have to steel himself and prepare for the fight of his life…without his trusty Spider Sense! This is going to get epic!

The Wolverine story wasn’t my favorite and I can’t say that I cared for it in the TV show either. The idea of switching bodies is cool, but they really don’t do anything with it. They just fight a bit and switch places again. It’s very uneventful and Spiderman should still be able to fight well in Wolverine’s body. Sure, no spider sense, but he should show some courage. I expect more out of the legendary Spiderman. The insults between Spiderman and Wolverine were original, but also a little petty.

Finally, we had the issue with Doctor Octopus as he decides to fight Spiderman one on one. It’s just going to be the two of them as they fight to the death. Will Spiderman be able to beat this mastermind? Doctor Octopus has been waiting a long time for this fight so it’s bound to get dicey for Spiderman. Winning will require more than just power or dedication, it’s going to take speed!

Well, this was a decent comic. I never like when Spiderman mocks his own jokes because that’s going a little too far. Just let the jokes keep on rolling so that they can have a subtle epicness to them. Mentioning the jokes makes them seem a little forced. Doctor Octopus fought pretty well, but the victor was never in doubt. The comic didn’t really have any heart, but it was still a decent read.

There isn’t much to say about the art since it’s just screenshots from the show. The show has some great animation so it also looks pretty good on paper. The way that the panels are arranged can be a little awkward since there are a lot of blank spaces, but I suppose that it’s to be expected considering how they put the pictures in.

As mentioned earlier, the problem with this collection is that it doesn’t have a lot of heart. It can be fun to read and it’s essentially like Marvel Adventures. The problem is that the comic is guaranteed to never get all star art or fight scenes. It’s destined to stay as a fun read, but not something that you will think about afterwards. The collection is very short so it won’t be around for long either.

Portrayal wise, everyone is out of character or extremely in stereo type. Thor is a prince so he’s really proud and needs to learn about humility. Wolverine is just as mean as he is in the comics, but without any of the great lines or character development. Venom is really just there to beat up on the heroes and Spiderman just cracks jokes for the fun of it all. His teammates don’t really have character and they’re barely heroes as they didn’t care about Venom’s host at all. Nobody is completely in character in this collection and that’s basically what I had assumed from the start. Staying in character would go against the series’ tradition after all.

Overall, this is what I’ve come to expect from Ultimate Spiderman. It’s a quick read that is entertaining, but there is nothing noteworthy about it. I have a feeling that it wouldn’t be half as fun if Spiderman wasn’t in it. (This feeling is basically confirmed after watching the new Hulk show) The score is over the halfway mark, but I really couldn’t recommend this to any Marvel fans. Sure, it’s a fun read, but almost any other Spiderman comic would still be fun, but it would also be a lot better. I recommend checking out the original Spiderman comics or just going with Avengers X Sanction if you want an excellent comic where he is present.

Overall 6/10

Battles, Tribute Battles, Tsuna Battles, Wolverine Battles

Wolverine vs Tsuna

This is a tribute to Days of Future Past! I’m afraid that Wolverine looked very weak and unimpressive in the film, which means that I will need to give him a loss. This will happen against the immensely powerful being who is known to the world as Tsuna. Wolverine would not be able to keep up with him or endure his immense power. Tsuna wins.

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

X Men Days of Future Past Review

This was definitely the Xmen film that everyone had been waiting for. It had been a while since First Class so it’s only natural that everyone was excited about this one. It would link up the original trilogy with First Class and finally tie everything together. It was a great move on Fox’s part and I’ve always loved time travel stories. I believe that the very concept makes plot holes jump in all at once, but they’re worth it for the sheer fact that it’s time travel! I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this was the greatest comic book film ever as I’ve heard around the web, but it was a good film.

The film starts out with the heroes in the future as they do battle against the Sentinels. It’s basically a wasteland at this point and there aren’t many mutants that are still alive and ready to continue the fight. The Xmen decide that their only hope is to go back in time and stop this from ever occurring. Professor X wants to go, but Wolverine is the only one that can handle the strain on his mind. They send his consciousness back into his body from the 70’s and Wolverine must assemble what’s left of the Xmen to correct the timeline. The question is…does it need correcting? We’ll talk about the ethics of time travelling later on in the review.

Mystique has decided that she’s going to destroy Trask for the suffering that he has brought to the mutant cause and she’s also freeing other mutants along the way. Professor X doesn’t want anything to do with this and Magneto has plans of his own. It’s going to be tough for Wolverine to bring everything together, but at least he has the Beast with him. He just needs to stop the Government from making the Sentinels…how hard can that be?

Wolverine is a pretty commanding figure as you may have expected from previous films. He still talks big and we get a classic scene where some guys try to shoot Wolverine and he quickly takes them down. The problem is that we are mostly seeing Logan and not Wolverine. Wolverine gets an extremely brief fight against a robot, but that is basically it. The rest of his action scenes are against humans who cant really fight back. He looked pretty intense in his future outfit, but the fight scenes were not meant to be. Unfortunately, his few action scenes were not very kind. Wolverine looks terrible against the robot and I cant say that his final fight was great either. His role was smaller than you may have guessed from the trailers and he’s basically there to be the “old pro.” That’s the vibe that I got from him. He’ll finish the job if the others are unable to do so, but he’s mostly there to watch. Unfortunately…he isn’t much of a last defense.

Mystique is one of the main characters in the film. As she continues in her investigation to take Trask down: Mystique needs to evade the heroes. She does pretty well and manages to make the heroes look bad at several points. She does a really good job of following Trask to his base, but she is outmatched by the heroes. Aside from outsmarting them, she doesn’t stand a great chance in a fight. She plays the part of the hardcore Anti Hero and she does it pretty well. You start to root for her when she saves the first mutants and it helps that her subplot is infinitely more interesting than Wolverine’s. She’s surprisingly good at following Trask’s trail and she’s basically a secret agent. She can definitely hold her own in a hand to hand fight and she ended up looking much more impressive than Wolverine. This is easily her best film appearance.

Magneto gets a bigger role in the past than in the present, but he looks pretty good in both. As an old man; Magneto is definitely still pretty good in a fight and he does inflict some damage. His powers have their limitations, but I thought that his portrayal was accurate considering his age. The past Magneto was pretty nostalgic because it felt like his role in First Class. He got to have his own plot on the side and nobody could really stop him. He’d go wherever he wanted to go and just cause mayhem. He had a clever plan involving metal and a group of Sentinels, which was pretty good. He should definitely be considered as a villain in the film due to his extreme sides, but one could make the case that he’s an Anti Hero. (Anti Hero is typically still a villain, but someone who is committing evil acts for a good cause. Magneto’s actions stretch this a little bit, which is why I just thought of him as the villain) Whether Magneto was a hero or a villain; he’s always been a pretty likable character. His scenes on the Airplane were good and I always enjoy a good veiled threat from one “hero” to another.

Professor X is one of the worst characters in the film. (Past version) I understand that he wants to get away from the whole mutant problem and seeing them go off to fight a losing war in Vietnam was probably sad…but it completely destroyed his personality. (Also, if America has Xmen in the Vietnam War…I’m confident that we would have won. Also, couldn’t Charles have just altered some memories so that the Xmen wouldn’t have to be drafted? It seems simple enough) Charles is now a drunk person who uses injections to keep his powers away. Any scene with him in it was pretty bad. Magneto even has to point out how awful Charles’ actions were as he let their students be destroyed through the years. Xavier definitely should have done a better job of trying to protect them.
It also makes you wonder how he goes back to normal. Without Wolverine entering the timestream…how could Professor Xavier become the man that we saw in the first film? As it stands, it’s really hard to picture him going bald and then deciding to help mutants again. I’ll assume that his shots ran out and it helped him go back to the way that he was, but I can’t say that it seems likely. A bit of a fault with this subplot in the film, but every time travel story has its issues. It’s just one of the unspoken rules about time travel. The current Xavier was pretty good and he’s about what you would expect. Unfortunately, telepathy has never been good against Sentinels.

I definitely was not a fan of the Beast in this film. I don’t like how they basically made him into a Hulk and I don’t like him in either form. The effects for his Beast Mode are surprisingly unrealistic and they over hype him. (I don’t see him doing so well against Wolverine) I definitely would have been glad if he wasn’t in the film and it’s a scary thought to see that he’s the only Xman left at one point. These were definitely dark times for the heroes.

Quicksilver was pretty good in this film and I have to say that it will be tough for Avengers 2 to top his portrayal here. Speedsters should basically be invincible when they appear due to how slow everything is in comparison. In Quicksilver’s scene, we see just how slow everything is compared to him. Bullets are in slow motion and those are already moving at supersonic speeds. I don’t see how he can endure it when characters talk to him because it must take whole minutes for the sound to get to him. It’s one of the phenomenons of super speedsters so I don’t generally think about it that much. Just accepting it is a lot simpler, but I can’t accept a random person landing a hit on a speedster. Luckily, Quicksilver’s speed is accurate and he looks very good during his speed scenes. I definitely can’t wait to see him in the sequel.

The Sentinels in the present are very cool. They’re powerful and the designs give them a very horrifying appearance that is perfect for them. Sentinels should definitely be intimidating and the film captured this. I’m a little skeptical about the humans creating something this hi tech, but I’ll just assume that they got some other worldy help on the project. Naturally, the Sentinels in the past are very unimpressive and downright weak, but they’re more than a match for Wolverine. It would be nice to see the present Sentinels get some more screen time, but their few scenes were very good. They can definitely hold their own against the mutants.

Aside from the main mutants in the past; we also have the team from the future. Storm, Sunspot, Warpath, Shadow Cat, Iceman, Blink, and Bishop. They have a pretty limited amount of screen time, but the cameos are still fun for fans. Storm is able to make a pretty impressive storm that takes care of some of the ships. I would have liked to see some more lightning as well, but we can’t have it all. Shadow Cat doesn’t get to fight since she’s busy with her time travel abilities, but she’s a decent character. Warpath is pretty silent for most of the film and the average moviegoer may wonder how a guy with two daggers is still alive in these tough times. Warpath is outmatched from start to finish, but at least he tries. Iceman and Sunspot use their elemental blasts, but none of them are really that effective against the Sentinels. Good for temporary measures, but that’s about it. Iceman’s idea to wake up Shadow Cat was decent since a tactical retreat could have been in order. With his ice slides, I like to think that he would have made it pretty far. Bishop had a cool design and his powers were epic, but he was pretty inconsequential. He didn’t do a whole lot of damage and he should have focused on releasing his energy quicker as they started to blast him. It was a waste of his abilities in that scene.
Blink did the best against the Sentinels and her powers are formidable. Creating portals wherever she wants too is an excellent ability and it’s one that should be more than enough to buy time against the Sentinels. Unfortunately, she lets her guard down and moves a little too slowly at one point. Something like that was bound to happen at some point, but I wouldn’t have minded if she had escaped. With her abilities, she can basically launch a one person offensive against the Sentinels for a long time.

Trask and Stryker are both extremely unlikable. It’s natural to dislike them since we’re supposed to be rooting for the heroes to win. Still, it is possible to make villains that are likable and these two don’t fit the bill. Since they are basically the only villains for the heroes to face in the past…it doesn’t really help matters. Both of them can’t fight at all so they have to hide behind other people with guns and just hope for the best. Stryker has a gun, but I don’t believe that it will really help him.

Back to the time travel part of the film. The Xmen send Wolverine back in time so that he can change things and help them all out. Naturally, it’s understandable that they would want to change things because of how everything turned out, but…why not use time travel for other cases. They could have used it to go back in time and stop the Phoenix from destroying Cyclops. They could have gone back in time to stop the bullet from taking out Professor X’s legs and so on. Ultimately, if you time travel once…there is no turning back. There will always be other things that they could have done with it. Why not save Abraham Lincoln or Kennedy while they’re at it? Ultimately, the Xmen are doing it to help their position and I’m sure that many others would do the same, but it’s still not the best move considering that the repercussions will be worse for others. Some will be better off and others will lose out thanks to this deal.

Another part of time travel stories that I never buy is the fact that things got so bad so quickly. I don’t believe that the humans could take down the mutant race with a bunch of Sentinels. There are far too many mutants and the government can’t hide something so big. The mutants would quickly find out about the Sentinels and it would be game over. Some of the mutants must have an EMP related ability and naturally we have control over time. Taking over minds or just nuking the planet…either way this wouldn’t work. There’s no way that the human race would band together for the Sentinel program and at least one country would fire the first nuke. World War III would begin and there wouldn’t be any survivors. The few that may live through such an event wouldn’t have time to form a government and launch thousands of sentinels. The whole situation is about as unbelievable as the Age of Ultron…and that was unbelievable! I just don’t tend to believe any scenario where all of the heroes are defeated so easily. (Not to mention the villains. Naturally this means that I will never buy into Spiderman 2099’s continuity. It just doesn’t make sense)

This time I can’t really say that there was much of a soundtrack. There are some light background themes playing, but none of them are really memorable and you may figure that they were free domain music. It’s not the next Winter Soldier or Amazing Spider Man 2 in that regard, but an unmemorable soundtrack is better than a bad one.

While Days of Future Past was good; I ranked Amazing Spiderman 2 and Captain America higher than it. This is mainly due to the following reasons that I will get into. First, the film lacks fight scenes. We get two fight scenes in the future with the Sentinels and that’s about it. In the past, the only opponents are random humans and unfinished robots. Beast has a small scuffle with Magneto, but it’s barely even worth calling it a fight. The past scenes are decently interesting at times, but also a little boring for others. I felt that the film could have used a little cut in the runtime or just focused on the present more. At least give Trask a mutant body guard to that we could have some fights. I was really surprised by how little fighting there was and that was the first big strike.

Next, I didn’t like how weak the mutants look. Wolverine yells in pain when some guys shoot him and then he yells again when someone throws in another bullet. By this point…isn’t he used to getting shot? I get that the regeneration factor doesn’t take away the pain, but his reaction felt very dramatized. The present scenes don’t help the mutants either. While it does make the Sentinels look tough in comparison; I would expect a much better fight from the Xmen. How about using teamwork and letting Warpath get a clean shot at the Sentinel’s head through a portal? Long range fighters like Iceman and Bishop should have fired from afar instead of running right into the Sentinel’s range. The Xmen were humiliated in the fight and we got to see them get completely crushed twice. Storm also let her guard down in a critical moment, which was likely sad for fans. Weakness in the heroes is something that I criticize Transformers 3 for (And likely 4 based off of the trailers) and it can definitely bring a film down if you’re a fan of the character. The Sentinels could have still looked impressive if they had some more resistance from the Xmen. It’s a delicate line to tread for the film, but it is crucial.

Those were my two big complaints with the film. Despite the new Spider Man film not being regarded as a masterpiece, it didn’t make these mistakes. There was constant action throughout and Spider Man looked very impressive during his fights. He never went in unprepared for action. The film never dragged on for me because it was a blast. Winter Soldier may have had a bit of a slow middle, but it made up for this with higher stakes than these two films and really great hand to hand scenes.

Naturally, the film has an after credits scene, which should lead to an epic sequel. I’ll admit that I was underwhelmed by the scene, but that’s because I had high expectations. I basically knew that this character would appear in the scene, but I expected him to look a little more grand. Like the Thanos scene in the MCU franchise. The scenery also wasn’t my favorite and I wanted a little more action, but it’s only a single scene so we can’t expect too much out of it. While this film may not have felt like an Xmen/Superhero film; the sequel could definitely get that vibe. If they adapt this villain correctly; then it’s safe to say that big things should be expected!
Overall, this was a good Xmen film. It lacked action and dragged on for a while, but it was good to finally have another film in the series. (Wolverine films can’t make up for the other Xmen not getting to appear) The stakes were technically very high since the future was dire, but it didn’t feel that way in the present. From the moment that Wolverine went into the past everything seemed safe. Even if he had to go, Professor X and Magneto are now aware of the danger so the Sentinel program would never be allowed to advance into such dangerous territories. The ending was really good and it’s a fun way to end the franchise. (Ignoring the sequel coming up) I’m pretty happy for Wolerine since he usually gets the short end of the stick, but he can finally enjoy himself now. I still recommend this film to superhero fans, but don’t walk in expecting a lot of action and explosions. Think of it as an Ocean’s Eleven tale as Wolverine must gather up some friends to take down the villain’s plans. As a side note, the final scene of the film is probably one of the best ones in the franchise. Wolverine finally gets taken down a peg as someone puts him in his place. The line was epic and it’s the type of moment that will make an audience blow up with rage and excitement. It’s a scene that you don’t want to miss!

Overall 6/10

Battles, S'ym Battles, Wolverine Battles

S’ym vs Wolverine

Wolverine is a powerhouse and he’s definitely one of the strongest Xmen. When he last fought S’ym, he was humiliated and utterly defeated. If they were to fight when both fighters were at their peak, I’m confident that Phoenix Force Wolverine would take the win. That guy could probably take down planets and not even S’ym could match such a feat. It would be time for him to take a tough loss. Wolverine wins.

Battles, Quickman Battles, Wolverine Battles

Wolverine vs Quickman

Wolverine is tough and he has the Phoenix Force so this is an obvious win for him right? Well, if you think that…then I encourage you to rethink the current situation. Quickman is legendary in terms of speed and there is no way that Wolverine will be able to keep up with him. Quickman can definitely take Wolverine out with a few hits and that will not be tough for him thanks to his speed advantage. Wolverine’s healing factor just won’t help him this time. Quickman wins.