5.28.09 Reviews

X-Force #15 (Marvel): Chapter 5 of the Messiah War crossover chugs forward with Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Clayton Crain at the helm. Crain seems to be taking an undue amount of guff on his art style; the big open eyes of say, Hope and Domino. But like many things, I think you get more credit than you should for when things go well and likewise, more blame than you should for things going poorly. I happen to think his emotive eyes possess a glassy sheen that transfers emotion to the reader in a unique way. While some of his art may appear to be rendered rushed and blurry in some spots, it’s otherwise dark and moody and I still really enjoy it on this book. Domino has really never looked better, from any artist. The script certainly has its moments; Deadpool still tries to steal the show with lines like “Don’t make fun of me! I have low blood sugar” or “Art deco! Very nice.” The pace is erratic in places as it bounces around to different story threads. I do tend to enjoy the individual moments, but overall the story doesn’t advance much beyond its basic premise. It’s still X-Force. Cable. Bishop. The Future. Hope is good. Hope is bad. Protect Hope. Yeah, another issue of that. That along with repetitive themes executed competently enough, like: the X-Men’s individual powers are not what makes them formidable, but their ability to act as a team with a concerted strategy. If you like all that and want more of it, you’ll dig these characters and this book will entertain. If you’re looking for anything new, definitive, or enduring, this book’s not going to stand out beyond the summer confectionary appeal of this crossover. Grade B.

X-Men: Future History – The Messiah War Sourcebook (Marvel): Ok, so I'm kind of a sucker for these types of books in general, blame it on childhood love for DC's Who's Who? The autobiographical narration of Cable doesn't always feel in character, and it's near impossible to escape from under the weight of the consistently self-nagating storylines, parallel alternate future timelines, and convoluted history. This book generally attempts to do so with dismissive humor, but when faced with concepts like this, well, good freakin' luck: “Rachel, my father’s daughter from another alternate future traveled back to the era of my birth – and then was thrown forward two thousand years. Rachel – now the aged “Mother Askani” – reached back in time to bring me forward. She already knew that I was the “Chosen One” because she had already met my future self during her time in the past.” Umm. Yeah. Clear as the Techno-Organic slop that created Nathaniel Dayspring Askani'Son, aka: Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, aka: Cable. There are some touching thoughts about Sam Guthrie, and it is rather dense for $3.99, but there's nothing terribly essential here. It's mostly rehash and reassembly of vaguely familiar stuff, with more boring entries than fascinating ones. Grade C.

I also picked up;

Northlanders #17 (DC/Vertigo): The rings of Saturn must be properly aligned with the House of El or something, because the same week that Brian Wood sends me an advance PDF copy of this issue to review, my LCS mysteriously decides to begin stocking it again. Weird. In any case, please check it out. Perhaps the best issue of the series to date and certainly one of the best scripts he’s ever turned in on any title, with remarkable pencils from Vasilis Lolos. Expect to see this on my year end "13 Favorite Things of 2009" round up, of this I have no doubt.


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