New X-Men 37

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Story Craig Kyle and Chris Yost

Script Chris Yost

Pencils Skottie Young

Inks Sean Parsons

Colors Skottie Young with Jean Francois-Beaulieu

Painted Cover and Storybook Pages Niko Henrichon

Letterer Dave Sharpe

Cover Dated June 2007

Quest for Magik : Prelude

Craig Kyle is credited as creating X23 though she doesn’t appear in the issue.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

This may be a little sacrilegious but I’m going with it.  Let me explain first

So back in the day, when I had time to  listen to podcasts, one of my favorites was Comic Book Queers.  They, at that time, were big X-Men fans and so I listen to quite the few that had X-Men in the episode description.  Nowadays they seem to be heavy on DC, thus I no longer listen to them.  It also sounds like they have a whole new crew that I’m not familiar with.  Episode 93 has Brett and Evil Jeff, who I really liked.

Comic Book Queers Episode 93 :

http://www.comicbookqueers.com/?p=28

In the episode they talk about Jean and Magik, which gave me the idea for this post.  So every Easter, I’ll do one spotlight post with Magik and I figured I’ll start the tradition with the first issue of the storyline that brought her back to us.

The episode must have came out around May 2009, as they discuss Messiah War 1, as if it just came out.

Illyana discussion starts around the thirty minute mark.

Other great episodes of theirs are : 18, 52 (the awesome Jean v Emma debate!) 88 (where they talk about Clue, which I love) and 140 – but really if you just do a Control-F for find and type ‘X-Men’ you’ll get a good episode.  They do have some good non-X-Men related titled episodes as well.  Those four I listed and in particular, episodes 52 and 93 are the ones I have relistened to the most and would recommend.  Clearly.

I was tempted to start the Easter idea with whichever issue was next on my list of Magik’s chronological list which is Uncanny X-Men 146 but I thought with the resurrection that the better idea would be to start with her actual return from the dead which was in this New X-Men : Quest for Magik arc.  Also, these would be more current comics, if you can count 2007 as current.  Which if you are a How I Met Your Mother fan, which how can you not be?  – in the penultimate episode, they reference how long ago was 2007, the year Marshal and Lily were married.

Now onto the issue!

Issue opens with some of the students that are left after the massive House of M mutant depowering that hit the students the hardest as there are only like twenty students left.  The students are gathered around Rockslide as he tells a story around a fire.  Listening to Rockslide are Anole, Blindfold, Match, Loa, Pixie and Wolfcub.  Oh Wolfcub, if only I can tell you to get out now.  Also, poor Pixie after this storyline, she is essentially a different character.

Rockslide starts retelling the adventures he has had with the X-Men or his fellow students.  He has fought Sentinels, Apocalypse, told off Professor X, saved Hellion from Wolverine, has been with Lady Mastermind and saved the Cuckoos from the Phoenix Force.  Most of these did occur, Rockslide just wasn’t involved with any of them except for the Sentinels.

Match, whatever happened to that guy?, thinks the story is cool but Anole knows that Rockslide is greatly exaggerating his involvement with the stories.  I like it as it works as a wonderful time capsule moment of what was going on at the time.

Rockslide challenges anyone to tell a better story.  He mistakenly turns to Blindfold to go first, which sets up this story.

Young does all the student artwork and Henrichon does all the awesome splash pages from Blindfold’s story.

This is of course, during the time when she is talking in broken segments.  Which adds to the overall uneasiness of the story.

Her story begins with how a demon lord took a young blonde girl captive.  He was going to use her innocence as fuel for his own power.  A group of heroes try to save the girl but were unsuccessful.  The demon lord becomes the young girl’s master.

I love once we cut back to the students, that they realize Blindfold should not have gone next but she continues.

For the heroes, the girl was lost for only a moment but in that moment, she aged from a young girl to a teenager.  Not only was she older now, she was harden by her experience.  She had become an apprentice.  She was in a place like Hell (Limbo).

Rockslide wonders if the girl is hot and the rest of the students tell him to be quiet.  Rockslide, who looks like the Thing but with more jagged rocks, is very girl crazy.

Meanwhile, Mercury hasn’t gotten out of bed from the previous adventure where the people who created X23 had taken Mercury to use her skin to make the Predator X creatures even more formidable.  Hellion is watching over her.  He’s really taken a beating since New X-Men ended, losing both of his hands during Second Coming.  Only a few of these students are still in tact.  For instance, Anole at one point loses his arm but he grows a new one that is much larger and scalier than the previous one.  He got off easy.

Surge appears to check on Mercury, what ever happen to her?  Surge is the leader of the New X-Men, the field team for the students, when they are able to go out into the field.  Surge tells him that Mercury will get better.  Surge wants to talk to Hellion about something out of the room, he tells her that this is going to be a long night – he doesn’t know the half of it!

There are five Spider-Man related ads in this issue.  The first is for Spider-Man 3, so that explains the extra exposure.  I rather watch 3 than the whole of 1.  Most of these origin stories, on the rewatch, I skip straight to when they don their costume for the first time.

In the story.  The young girl, who if you don’t know who the story really is about, is only shown to be a young blonde girl, it could be a random person but if you do know who it is, it really is an awesome retelling of Magik’s origin.  Henrichon should do an Origins tell for everyone in this manner.  It is awesome.

An ad for the first Mass Effect game on the XBox 360, that is how long ago 2007 is.

Magik was raised by Belasco, (neither are named yet) and trained in the dark arts.  His main goal is to break the girl’s soul into little pieces, Bloodstones, and then use these pieces to release his overlords.  Eventually the blonde fights off the demon lord with the aid of twisted versions of her brother’s friends.  The girl is able to regain a portion of her soul and uses this to forge a weapon, a Soulsword!  She will use this sword to banish, Belasco of Limbo.  The art is really well done.

Rockslide tries to give Blindfold a tip on how to make this story even more gruesome, when Anole finally recognizes this story has one he has read about.  He read it from one of the X-Men files.  He’s pretty sure Blindfold isn’t telling a story, she’s reciting history!

I like the idea that at one point, the X-Men have to sit in front of a computer and type up all of their adventures for future reference.

Rockslide tries to state that his story was real too, especially about hooking up with Lady Mastermind.

There is a fun little joke about Anole calling Blindfold a pre-cog and Rocksldie calls her a re-cog for the rehashing of history.  Kyle and Yost are not about only killing characters in horrible horrible ways, they sprinkle some fun in there too.

Pixie wants the story to continue, oh Pixie, get out now!

Meanwhile, Elixir has finally convinced the Cuckoos to upload all of Beast’s medical knowledge into his mind.  Elixer’s power is to heal and he feels he could do a better job if he knew how anatomy works.  Which isn’t the worst idea to strength your powers with knowledge.  I’m not sure if he’s been seen since his X-Force days.

The Cuckoos give him everything Beast knows about human and mutant biology, genetics and medicine.  This causes Elixer pain and he shouts, I didn’t know!

An ad for Spider-Man 2.1, which I would recommend buying over the original release.  2 is my Spider-Man movie.  My favorite Spider-Man villain and the best of the four films.

Back in the story.  Belasco wants to reclaim his price apprentice.  He goes looking for her and learns that she died (Uncanny 303 – it is sad).  He then finds the latest ruler of Limbo, a new gal name Magik – Amanda Sefton.  From the second Magik titled miniseries, it isn’t very good.

In his weaken state, he kills a demon and uses this new energy to see what is happening on Earth and sees twins reshaping history.  These twins are of course, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, wearing robes and holding hands. He also sees, in a fun next page reveal, Magik of the House of M timeline.  This all occurred in this title back in issues 16 through 19, a full two years prior to this issue, that is one slow burn.

Anole isn’t liking where this is going.  They know that Magik is dead.  He isn’t sure why Blindfold is telling this story.  Loa is confused by reality changing – as only the Astonishing X-Men and the New Avengers kept any memory of what happened during House of M.  For the students, they were minding their own business, learning their powers and co-existence and the next moment, the majority of them didn’t have their powers anymore.

Pixie wonders if Cyclops shows up in this story, he doesn’t.

Wolfcub wonders if Magik really existed and Rockslide wonders who is Colossus.

Blindfold continues, she has no time for answers.  Magik, right before the House of M timeline is changed back, she teleported to Limbo.  Which at the time, when issue 19 of New X-Men came out, I and a bunch of people on the message boards were predicting that this was the way to bring Magik back into our lives.  I know Louise Simonson had another plan to bring both Illyana and Doug back to life but the modern writers found two different ways to do it.  Doug was still dead at this point.

There is a wonderful two page spread of Belasco’s return to Limbo.  If that isn’t every demon in Limbo, it must be close.

Belasco had seen this new Magik and wanted to find her again.  He once again confronted the new Magik, and she fought him off.  In the caption, they talk about how the Black Sun faded.  Which was a truly horrible terrible miniseries.  It sets up the less than stellar second Magik series.  One day I will get around to reviewing both series.  I only own like every other issue of Black Sun.  It isn’t an issue of understanding it, it is an issue of quality of story.  I’ll be curious how I would feel about it 14 years later.

Since Amanda’s sword wasn’t Illyana’s sword, Belasco was able to fight her and win Limbo back.

There is an ad for Spider-Man : One More Day, my time as a Spider-Fan are numbered, I just don’t even know it yet.

In Blindfold’s story, she informs her listeners that Amanda crashed back onto Earth two days ago.  Limbo is once again a dark reflection of Belasco.  He can’t locate Illyana but he can smell those who were with her last.  The children of the Xavier Mansion.

There is an ad for Captain America : Fallen Son, it isn’t very good.

The students who are still around who were part of the House of M Hellions (that Magik was of course a member of) are Hellion and Surge.  The House of M New Mutants that are still around at this point in the title are Mercury and Sophie of the Cuckoos.  The Hellions, if I remember correctly, were meant to be the field team of students and the New Mutants were definitely being groomed to be the next leaders of mutantkind.

This of course, freaks out the students.  Blindfold went from a distant history to talking about two days ago and the mansion.  Eyes are all big.  The entire coloring for the issue is really outstanding with the use of shadows and the flames.

Anole knows that this story went from fiction to a warning, real fast.  Pixie announces she is no longer a fan of Blindfold (which I like as they are current roommates during the latest X-Men Legacy volume).  Rockslide calls Blindfold a, freaky chick.  Opinions are changed.

Anole wants to inform the X-Men immediately.  Pixie wonders if they will be okay, to which Blindfold gives the unsettled answer of , no.  Blindfold adds that she is sorry for Pixie’s lost.

Anole wants to get out of the mansion now but it is already too late.  The floor below them crashes and fire surrounds them.  The students are lost into darkness.

Such an amazing story!

Not sure when I will get around to reviewing the rest of this storyline, hopefully not a full year from now but it will be worth the wait!

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Contest of Champions II Issue 4

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Writer Chris Claremont

Penciler Michael Ryan

Inkers Livesay & Kryssing

Letterers AS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne

Colors Atomic Paintbrush

Cover Dated November 1999

Inside front Cover is an ad for the first Pokemon movie.  Remember when that franchise was good?  Even the cartoon up to that point was decent, then it started nose diving and hard.  With Ash releasing his Pokemon (like a fool) and the movies getting more and more crazy.  I’m pretty sure I jumped out right around the third one.  I still say though, if they are going to ever make one game, that you can catch all of them on, I would buy that game immediately.  Charge a proper $59.99 and it should balance out at the end.

I’m not sure what made Marvel tap Claremont for this miniseries but I’m glad they did.  He gets to write most of the Marvel Universe, though this is 1999 Marvel and this does a fine job of working as a time capsule of which characters were either new or popular at the time.

I had a bit of an argument with someone online a few years ago over if this counts as a Kitty Pryde miniseries or not.  She gets her own subplot throughout the series, with varying degree of importance per issue.  She isn’t one of those characters who get two panels on one page and never seen again.

What I also like about this, and particularly in this issue, there are a few fights with mutants and one might think with Claremont at the helm, that any mutant would win their match up and he really doesn’t go that direction.  Now, does he go in the opposite direction, having mutants almost lose and lose badly?  Yes, yes he does.  We’ll get to a few examples of that in this issue.

Issue opens with another match, one that was decided by voters on Marvel.com, which I believe was a new website at that point.  I believe I voted there who who knows or remembers which bouts were eligible.

Daredevil vs. Deadpool, which was a pairing that we kept getting during the late 90s.  Mostly do to Joe Kelly being the writer of both characters.  I would have voted for Deadpool in this instance, as I am a big fan of Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool.  That whole volume was good, including Priest’s run and up to and not including Agent X.  Kelly’s run on Daredevil, I remember buying and liking for the most part.

Claremont has Deadpool cracking wise and actually having Daredevil making a few jokes.  I know after Frank Miller, that Murdock quit being a ‘fun’ character but he’s suppose to be at least, a dry wit.

With all of Deadpool’s chatter, he is the merc-with-a-mouth afterall, he is creating a form of white noise that stops Daredevil from being at his best.  At one point, Daredevil believes Deadpool has a baby and in an attempt to catch the baby, falls into a dumpster, the baby turns out is a fake and Deadpool wins.

We then find Wasp, who is colored much darker than she typically is.  Wasp is running around in a jungle type environment, as she is being chased by a strange looking alien that is out of focus at the moment.  From the cover, and it s revealed a few pages later, that it is the Brood.  They have been disguising themselves this entire series from the heroes which the covers have been doing a great job of slowing revealing the mastermind behind this latest Contest.  The Brood Queen is trying to figure out who the best heroes are, so that they will make the best host for future Broodlings.  It makes perfect sense for a Brood plot.

The Wasp, at this moment, can’t access any of her powers.  She gets saved by Beast, who stomps on one of the Brood.  Then comes Iron Man, Psylocke (in a weird armor herself – is it a skeleton to one of the fallen Brood?) and Lockdown – who was a character Claremont created for his run on the Fantastic Four.

Iron Man and Lockdown explain the situation and release some nanites that fight the Brood nanites that block the heroes’ powers.  They are inside of one of the Acanti, as the Brood are still using that poor race as their starships.

I forget how the heroes of Earth were convinced to participate in this contest but they were promised that the losers will be sent home or to where they were picked up at.  Instead, they are being teleported into the would be prison portion of the Acanti.

The next match is barely that.  Apparently Black Widow has defeated the entirety of X-Force – which is ridiculous, made worst by having Claremont be the writer.  The members we can see are Dani Moonstar, Sunspot and Warpath.  Natasha may have been able to defeat them over time, which I have to imagine is what happened behind the scenes but Dani vs. Black Widow is a match I would like to see played out.

To make matters worst, Black Widow goes from this fight to going up against Thor.  I wish there was a bracket for this issue or the contest itself as it seems all over the place.  Thor can’t believe that he keeps being put up against women, and comely ones at that – which seems to be an odd choice of words for him as he has met all of these ladies in the past and it doesn’t seem like a compliment to me.

So Black Widow turns her widow blasters to full power and Thor no sells the attack and hits her once upside the head and he wins.  So what was the point of her single handily taking out X-Force.  X-Force was there as they had fought the Slingers in a basketball game.  I miss Slingers, such a fun 12 issue series.

Another odd match up, Jean Grey vs. Thing on the Blue Area of the Moon.  The captions imply that both have had many victories here.  Which is odd as the only ‘victory’ Jean had there was when the Phoenix posing as her killed herself at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga.  Not much of a victory to me.  Not sure about Thing’s track record there.  I know during AvX, he fought Colossus there and lost.

Jean fakes him out by having a psychic double bulk up and fight him.  He goes outside the oxygen filled area of the Blue Area and passed out.  That’s one way to have Jean win.  One interesting moment is that Thing gets a decent uppercut to Jean, and you usually don’t see much male on female violence.  Maybe it is due to her not being really Jean that it was okay to have happened.  Like how on cartoons, Wolverine can claw and dearm a guy and then have it be revealed that that man was a cyborg but not having to establish that first.

Then we find Kitty Pryde, being tortured by the Brood Queen.  All the heroes have nanites in them, but due to Kitty’s natural state being to be phased – the nanites are working twice as hard to get to her, causing her a lot of pain.  This will be the go to example of people pointing out that Kitty’s natural state is to be intangible as that was the case from Fantastic Four vs. X-Men to at this point.  Later writers would forget this or it will never come up again.  I imagine her natural state is to be tangible now that she is back from space.

Kitty is the only hero who has a real history with the Brood, who also knows that the Brood is here.  Beast may have a little experience but not like Kitty’s.  The Brood Queen really wants to impregnate Kitty with a broodling as she was denied the chance back in the day.

Then Rogue comes into the room, she is being mentally controlled by the Brood Queen.  Then the Queen moves her consciousness into Rogue.  Now she has Rogue’s ability to absorb powers – which she can now do to Kitty so that she won’t be in her phasing mode anymore.  Not the worst plan.

Before that can take place, we get a quick page fight of Deadpool vs. Hulk!  It goes about as well as expected.  Deadpool tries to outrun Hulk but gets smashed.  Its fun in how quick and how Deadpool knows what is coming.

One of October 1999′s Hot Picks was Uncanny X-Men 375 – X Marks the Corpse!  Turns out, Wolverine dies.  Turns out, that Wolverine was a Skrull.  In Amazing Spider-Man 12 and Peter Parker Spider-Man 12, Venom joins the Sinister Six, which included Kraven, Sandman and Vulture (in a fancy vest).  Webspinners 12 has Paul Jenkins and JG Jones.  The only pick I didn’t buy was Blade : Vampire Hunter 1.

Back in the Acanti – Hercules, Reed Richards, Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin) and Daredevil have arrived.  Iron Man and Rosetta Stone (yes, that’s her hero name) she is Lockdown’s partner.  They are from an alternate Earth or dimension, or something like that.  This is where the heroes who have no experience with the Brood or the Acanti, are now informed about who they are.  I like the reminder that even the Acanti’s smaller ribs are still hundred miles high.  It paints a visual for you that then becomes unimaginable.  It is a small miracle that the heroes are even able to locate each other as length wise, the jungle / belly is a thousand miles long.

Iron Man and Rosetta Stone release a probe that should work as a beacon to where most of the heroes are, that also maps the jungle area as well as release positive nanites to restore newly arrived heroes their powers.

Iron Man, being a genius, realizes that there are a lot of heroes present, so the contest must be coming to its conclusion.  He also explains to those present what the entire Brood plot has been – to gather the heroes, find the best of the best, plant embryos into those heroes – have a new master race of Brood.  Also, the Badoon alien race are helping them as the public face of the content.  I am not that familiar with the Badoon besides reading the name in the latest issues of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Iron Man wants to split the loser heroes into two teams, one to keep gathering heroes and the other to start attacking the Brood.

Back to the card!

Spider-Man vs. Domino.  Spider-Man notices that Domino must have a power similar to his danger sense and figures he must move faster to out do her power.  Which he does and after webbing her, is declared the winner.  Which is another insulting win over a mutant by Claremont.  I wonder if he was told to make the victories over the mutants, super lame as his sweet revenge for being kicked off the X-Titles back in the day.

Captain America vs. Black Panther.  This is an odd one as we get both heroes running commentaries to the fights.  Neither one wants to fight the other.  Both can tell the other doesn’t want to fight either.  Also, both can tell the other is holding back as well as both are distracted.  Most likely due to all of those thoughts.  It goes on for pages, but it is only two.

Here are two thoughts : Cap – The speed and stillness of the man is incredible.  Black Panther – The speed and reactions of the man is incredible.

Oh, and this is during the time when Cap’s shield was broken, so he was using a photonic shield.

Captain America finally realizes that now is the time to attack and wins the fight.  Black Panther is super cool about the victory, as neither wanted to do it so it is a hallow victory.

The final fight is between Gambit and Wolverine.  Gambit recalls the very first time they fought each other, in the Danger Room as they are now fighting in the Danger Room again.  Wolverine claims Gambit’s bo staff can’t really hurt a guy whose bones are unbreakable.  Gambit is quick to point out that Wolverine still has flesh and muscles that can be hurt.  Which I do enjoy when opponents of Wolverine’s don’t go for the glory shots but think about how flesh tears and that has to hurt, even if it is for the time that it takes to heal.

Wolverine gets the upper hand on Gambit, when Rogue comes out.  She stinks of the Brood Queen, so this sends Wolverine into a berserker rage.  Gambit takes advantage and empties an entire card deck into Wolverine’s back.  Gambit wins.

Rogue declares the contest over, and the winners of future broodlings are – Scarlet Witch (in an outfit only a hussy would wear), Spider-Man, Jean Grey, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Gambit.

I like that there is no need to keep having heroes fight until there is one winner.  Six winners makes six future babies and those six offer decent powers.  Also, once those six are dead, then the next fights will be easier.

Issue ends with Hawkeye thinking to himself that there must have been a miscount as the system overlooked him, and now he has been in the rafters this entire time.  He pulls out an arrow and aims it at Rogue’s heart.

We’ll have to pick this up some other time down the road but don’t worry, Rogue doesn’t die.

I forgot to mention, there are page numbers in this issue.  That makes commenting on the issue easier, if I wasn’t so used to not having them.

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Comixology and Paul Smith

When I first stumbled onto Comixology, they only had issue 167 of the Paul Smith run.  Then on March 1, 2014, they added all of the other issues except for Uncanny X-Men 175.

On April 16, 2014, they finally added the final issue of Paul Smith’s legendary run on Uncanny X-Men.

166

167

168

169

170

172

173

174

175

For only $1.99 each – that will cost you $17.91 and worth every single penny!  Such a great day!

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Wolverine Volume Two Issue 40

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Writer Daniel Way

Breakdowns Javier Saltares

Finishes Mark Texeira

Colors JD Smith

Letters VC’s Randy Gentile

Cover Dated May 2006

Origins & Endings Part Five of Five

Captain America and Iron Man are only on the cover.  The cover is done by Kaare Andrews.

Winter Soldier appears in the present as he tells Logan that he killed Logan’s wife, Itsu – the mother of Daken.

I own this issue due to Ogun being named by Logan to his future clan master.

In the process of proving himself to his new clan, and thus the right to raise his son, he has to go through a special dance. The dance appears as if the combatants are attacking him, so he can’t fight back.  Then the volcano explodes a little, in Logan’s moment of being distracted – he pops his claws, stabbing one of the men. With that, he leaves the clan a disgrace.  The worthy men will raise his son.

Logan decides, he must see Itsu one last time, he heads back.  He recognizes the scent of her blood (weird?) and runs to her cabin.  She has been shot.

This clan is the peaceful one.  Up on the mountain, is the more violent clan.  This clan, Logan joins so that he can be made into a better weapon so that he can get his revenge.

Since Winter Soldier has told Wolverine something he didn’t know before, he tells him a secret.  But we the reader don’t get to hear it.

This story takes place during the Decimation era, which takes place as soon as House of M ended.  House of M, for Wolverine, is where he obtained all of his memories, every single last one of them.

Issue ends with him going back to the clan on top of the mountain, to receive the Muramasa, a sword.

As a Chrono Trigger fan, I’m glad it wasn’t the Masamune as Wolverine isn’t worthy of that sword.

There is an editorial page explaining that this story continues into Wolverine Origins and this title is going to deal with Wolverine’s new adventures whereas Origins will deal with him delving into his past.  He’s going to get some answers.

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Fun With YouTube : X-Men – Days of Future Past Trailer 3

Thanks to YouTuber X-Men Movies for hosting the video.

Kitty shows up at the thirty second mark.

As this is the third and final trailer, it is everything I wanted to see.

It is essentially all 70s footage, mutants and Sentinels alike.

I also like how it is two minutes and forty seconds long.

Can’t wait to see this!

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Avengers vs. X-Men 7

AvX 7

Story Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman

Script Matt Fraction

Pencils Olivier Coipel

Inks Mark Morales

Colors Laura Martin

Letters Chris Eliopoulos

Cover by Jim Cheung

Cover Dated September 2012

What Came Before :

The Phoenix Force has arrived!  Tony Stark built a “Phoenix Killer” suit of armor to stop the potentially cataclysmic cosmic entity, instead he fragmented it, causing portions of the force to inhabit in X-Men Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, Emma Frost and Namor!

In the days since, the Phoenix Five have been on a mission to reshape the world, destroying armaments, raising crops, purifying water.  However, there are still those who don’t trust the all-consuming nature of the Phoenix Force.  The Avengers launch a mission to kidnap Hope, believing that she still holds the secret to the Phoenix Force’s power.

The X-Men disrupt their plans, and just as it looks like the war will start anew, the Scarlet Witch appears, speaking of visions of a terrible future and then leaving with Hope and the Avengers.  Believing the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will never allow mutants to live in peace, Cyclops makes a vow : “No More Avengers.”

The Avengers are -

Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Vision, Valkyrie, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Daredevil, Thing Giant Man, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Wolverine, Beast, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, She-Hulk and Sharon Carter

With them are -

Hope Summers, Lei Kung and Black Panther (Shuri)

The Phoenix Five are -

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik and Namor

The X-Men are -

Magneto, Warpath, Domino, Sunspot, Magma, X-Man (Madison Jeffries’ picture), Psylocke, Dr. Nemesis, Danger, Boom Boom, Velocidad, Transonic, Surge, Armor, Gambit, Iceman, Angel, Havok and Polaris.

While doing the review for issue three, I saw that Captain America is on the cover to issues four and eight as well.  To let you in on the process for picking which 14 comics to do for these Event Months, at least one aspect.  I go to my cover gallery of my collection, over at comicbookdb, and I look for all covers that I can clearly see Cap on.  Also, which covers had the shield, as then, if you see that, Cap isn’t that far behind.  If you ever see your cover gallery, they are done in a four by five grid, so not the largest images.  In this case, I overlooked them, thus, they are not on the list.  The list is plenty long enough, so I won’t be adding to it with those.  There are other steps to the process, but that is the biggest step, after choosing the character.

The Phoenix Five are all powerful and super intimidating, with how their word balloons don’t leak cosmic fire, they explode with it!

The Avengers are hiding, which Cyclops enjoys but Scarlet Witch showed up last issue, and her power somehow hurts the Phoenix Five.  So now Cyclops wants to seek her out and take her off the board.  Plus, she undid the mutant race with a sentence fragment – which is an awesome line, I wonder how long Fraction sat on that one.

Magik has located the Avengers.  She along with Warpath, Nate Grey, Gambit, Havok and Polaris are on their way.

Colossus does nothing with his Phoenix powers, he sits around and watches.

Captain America throws his mighty shield but Polaris reflects it.

Captain America shouts, Avengers — Scramble!  Which is another good line, which makes sense with Fraction on script.

Gambit tries to talk to Iron Fist and gets a shut up in return.  Danny can probably take that accent for only so long.

Spider-Woman venom blasts Warpath.

Tony Stark is in the command center.  He tells Wanda to focus her power, as he needs to collect data on how her power relates to the Phoenix.

The half page of Wanda, reminds me that Coipel drew House of M, so he gets to draw her again here.

On the next page, Magik gets her own half page panel.  She looks magnificent.  Of the Phoenix Five, her new costume is my favorite with Cyclops’ a decent second.  If he wasn’t wearing a red thong over his pants, it would be a closer second.  What’s the alternative?  Red thong, but no pants?

Magik wants to kill the Scarlet Witch, in the name of the mutant race.  It really is something Wanda needs to keep having thrown in her face, no matter how Marvel tries to distance her from the Decimation.

Havok and Polaris take out Vision, Wanda’s former husband, thus she gets unfocused with rage.

Once Magik collapses, Emma arrives.  She calls Wanda, the murderer of the mutant race.  Captain America wants an emergency evacuation.

By the time Doctor Stange arrives, Hawkeye has jumped at Emma.  He fires an arrow with a big explosion.  Emma is not thrilled by this, and straight up sets him on fire!

Cyclops is not pleased, the end goal is to work together to make the world better.  Emma states she had no intention to kill Hawkeye.  She immediately started healing him.  Namor believes they should just kill anyone who gets in their way.

Cyclops tells him, that they are shutting the Avengers down at every turn, there is no reason for such measures.

Namor shouts that this isn’t a gang fight, it is war.  This is when I realized that Namor is as outside the X-Men as it gets.  He spent some time with Xavier in the Illuminati, but as an equal.  Xavier was never an ideal or any sort of guidepost.

Magik speaks up.  She is under the impression that they might have this power to take Wanda out as she seems to be the only person who can hurt them.

Cyclops is using the X-Birg to hold prisoners.  He claims this is a rescue mission, not a war.

Wakanda.  Cap is trying to rally.  They need wins to keep morale going.  Tony tries to make a joke, and Cap shuts him down.  If it wasn’t for Tony, the Phoenix Five won’t even be a thing right now.  A fact, I wouldn’t let Tony forget, even three years later.

Though in Gillen’s Uncanny run, he reveals that the Five Lights that will make up Generation Hope, would have been part of the Phoenix along with Hope.  Unit is the character who tells this information.  He already saw happen once, he wanted this time to see what happens when the wrong five out the power.  So Tony is only largely to blame.

Tony needs more data, and Black Panther is there to also analyze the information.  Cap leaves disgusted.

Black Panther looks over Tony’s plans for his next Anti-Phoenix armor.  Who ever pilots it when confronting the Phoenix would surely die.

Black Panther smacks Tony, like Tony was a bitch.  In the dialogue, Tony implies it was a sucker punch but the art and lettering tells a different story.  SMAK is definitely a smack and Black Panther’s arm after the follow through, is in a slap position instead of a punch position.

Black Panther believes science can only go so far, they might have to mix it with magic. Tony is not happy, but he failed and now the Phoenix Five are terrorizing them, so he should shut up.

Cap gives the rest of the Avengers a set rep.  The plan is to send out Wanda when one of the five shows up.  Doctor Stange brings out Enchantments of Ikonn, who wears this will appear in the form of the Scarlet Witch.  Strange states that they are to be used selectively and only under extreme circumstances.

Cap has a team of Sharon Carter, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Spider-Man.  Colossus, Magma, Sunspot, Psylocke and Danger show up.  Luke Cage gets dragged into a portal, screaming out for Captain America.  The screams will probably haunt Cap’s thoughts for days.  As soon as Luke Cage is in the portal, Cap tells Sharon to wear the enchantment.

Sharon is the worst, as she can’t mirror Wanda’s powers in the least.  The appearance of Wanda is enough to scare Colossus into calling for reinforcements.

The Ukraine, was not familiar with the country having the need for the ‘the’ before it.  Turns out, there is a Scarlet Witch there, too.

The Artic Circle, has one.

The Pacific Ocean, has the real Wanda standing up.

I like the implication that Doctor Stange told them to only use image spell for dire situations, and it seems like everyone pretty much used it as soon as any X-Men showed up.  At least attempt a fight.

Namor fights Wanda.  Doctor Stange, Thing and Mockingbird all teleport back to Wakanda along with Transonic slipping in at the last second.  She will be the Avengers first prisoner.

Wanda powers up, and does the House of M brick separation spell, making Namor break apart.  He makes it back to Utopia, not pleased.

I thought Cyclops’ red thong over the pants was the worst design of the Phoenix Five suits, but Colossus is barely wearing a skirt / loincloth hybrid.  He has always suffered from having suits that only look good once he is armored up.  His suits would look silly on a hanger.

Namor is way out for blood, and has no taste for how slow he is taking things.  Going as far as to claim that Cyclops is a fine leader, but poor ruler.

Tony believes there is a connection between the Phoenix Force and Wanda’s Chaos Magic.  Iron Fist introduces Tony to his fellow Immortal Weapon, Lei Kung – the Thunderer.  They want to take Hope to K’un Lun and give her Phoenix fighting training there.  Tony wonders if they can all go.

Namor is by himself brooding.  Emma shows up, and we get another glimpse of their on again flirtation that they keep happening into when Cyclops isn’t around and once when he was around.

Emma reminds Namor how Scott is an actual boy scout, so make world changing decisions are new to him.  Emma knows where Transonic is, thus she knows where the Avengers are.  They make out.

Captain America reconfirms that they can travel between the two planes of existence.  Thunderer states they can.  Black Panther is in the process of moving all the equipment to the magical city.

One of the Wakandan soldiers comes with grave news.  The lakes  are rising and a tidal wave approaches.  Cap knows what that means.

Issue ends with a double page splash – literally – has Namor declares WAR! as a tidal wave crashes unto Wakanda.  People are for sure dead.

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Fun With YouTube : MTV X-Men Days of Future Past Exclusive Trailer

Thanks to YouTuber Jamaih Lane for hosting the video

It is more of a minute scene than a trailer.  Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, Kitty, Bishop, Colossus and Iceman.  Sentinels attack.  It is awesome.

Cool to see Ellen Page get this much scene time.

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Avengers vs. X-Men 3

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Story John Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction

Script Ed Brubaker

Penciler John Romita Jr.

Inker Scott Hanna

Colorist Laura Martin, so you know this is a big event

Letterer Chris Eliopoulos, solidifying that this is a big event

Cover Date July 2012

Look at that great cover of Captain America and Wolverine by Jim Cheung!

What Came Before :

The cosmic Phoenix Force is returning to Earth.  To the Avengers, it heralds the end of the world.  To the X-Men, it represents the rebirth of their species.

As both teams fought for custody of Hope Summers, the Phoenix’s choosen host, her connection with the Phoenix manifested in fire, and neither group of heroes was able to prevent Hope’s escape.

The Avengers are :

Captain America, Iron Man, Doctor Stange, Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Thing, Dardevil, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Red Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Black Panther and Sharon Carter

Wolverine is in the middle, but not really

The X-Men are :

Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magneto, Domino, Warpath, Magma, Magik, Storm, Pixie, Danger, Blindfold, Oya, Kid Omega, Angel, Genesis, Rachel Summers, Madison Jeffries, Velocidad, Loa, Surge, Sunspot and Hope Summers

I really like this opening credits page as it does tell you everything you need to know.  This was the first event, I believe, where they start putting the cast up on front street like this, which made it super easy to decide if I needed to buy an issue or not.

Which of the twelve, I only not own issues 1 and 11 (I know!  I reread that thing at least five times in the store to make sure that Magik or Kitty didn’t appear or were mention but they weren’t).  Issue one is basically a set up issue with the Avengers, Nova and the Phoenix Force that is coming to earth.

For Captain America month, we are reviewing issues three and seven.

I do like how, knowing John Romita Jr. is doing pencils, that they don’t waste any time giving us him drawing Spider-Man and Wolverine.  Wolverine was fried last issue and Spider-Man went ahead and created a web swing for himself so that he can watch Logan heal.  It is a disgusting process, he says.

Spider-Man gives Wolverine a generic black spandex suit, that must have been sitting around Utopia or the Avengers brought it in their Quinjet.

I really like the Wolverine healing process, as he regrows his skin, then his hair starts coming in.  Though it does beg the question of how his body knows when to stop with the regrowing of the hair.  His head, I get, but how does it know to only give him the mutton chops, and not a full beard?  Maybe he is able to control it on a purely preference level.

Spider-Man tells Wolverine that Cyclops has surrendered to the Avengers, Wolverine knows that can’t be right and starts running outside.  He also informs him that while he was healing, that a couple hours has passed, as well as Hope has escaped.

There is an ad for Honda Civic, starting at $15,605 MSRP / 39 mpg hwy.

We see all of the Avengers and all the X-Men gathered in groups.  Iron Man is telling Captain America, that they can’t just lock up the X-Men.  For two reasons, they have no real crime to lock them up for and there isn’t a location that can house all of the X-Men.  I like how Iron Man gives Cyclops the benefit of doubt and that this may have been why he surrendered so easily, to prove that the Avengers don’t know what they are doing.

Iron Man makes an awesome reference to the Civil War, and how he is now taking the stance Cap had there, and Cap is now in the Iron Man position of wanting to lock everyone up – for their own good, naturally.

Dr. Strange comes over to the X-Men side, holding Magik, he confirms that she is okay, only knocked out.  Wolverine shouts to the Avengers, are you blind!?!  Wolverine comes at the X-Men, claws popped.  Cap has to restrain him, as it makes no sense.  Avengers don’t kill their own prisoners.  With this, and a smirk, Cyclops gives the command and they all teleport away. Then Dr. Strange is revealed to be Magik, and she opens a stepping disc and teleports the X-Men away.  Leaving behind Magik slowing turning into Dr. Strange.  It is awesome!

I love how Magik was becoming popular before this, becoming part of the big team but this series really put her on the map.

Dr. Strange has to confess that Magik beat him, as she teleported the two of them into her realm, Limbo and showed him who is the real master.  I wonder if he brought this up when she came to him for training – or did she go farther into his past?

Now Cyclops has a head start on finding Hope.

From here, the comic and the series, for a time, really opens up.

At Long Beach, the X-Men arrive.  Cyclops tells Emma to hide them from the onlookers, which of course Emma has already done so.  I so miss Cyclops and Emma as a couple, they really were the ideal fictional couple – two great characters, that once paired, both bring out different aspects of each other and both become better characters in their own right.

Cyclops has to tell Magneto that he is playing this as it goes.  Namor states that they clearly need Cereberus, which is both funny and awesome.  Namor goes to those senior staff meetings that Cyclops has, but why would he pay attention or learn the name of the tracking device.  It clearly has a silly name and calling it what it is, isn’t the worst thing.  Danger still corrects him, Cerebra – which might be the last remaining Morrison contribution that is still around, that we refer to it as Cerebra instead of Cerebro – but I’m not sure when was the last time someone needed it.  Currently, Cyclops uses the news to locate new mutants and Wolverine has the school, so new mutants come to him.

The only Cerebra not at Utopia, is at the Jean Grey School, and Wolverine isn’t going to hand it over.  They know where his loyalty lies now.

The problem is that Hope is destined to host the Phoenix.  The X-Men know dman well what could happen if and when the Phoenix takes a human host (and a red headed lady, at that).  Cyclops is hoping that the Phoenix will not destroy Earth but reignite the mutant gene that Wanda did away with at the end of House of M (which this series works as a conclusion of that story – vague spoilers!).

The Avengers problem is that the Phoenix has destroyed several planets on its way to Earth so that doesn’t make them happy, so they believe the Phoenix is a threat.

Emma wonders if there are any X-Men at the Jean Grey School who would help them out.  Cyclops believes he has one that would work.

San Francisco, which is close to my heart as my wife lived there for a while  – seven years!  When the X-Men were based in San Francisco proper, I would show her the establishing shots and the artists did a good job of making those locations look like the Bay Area.  Then they moved to Utopia, off the coast of San Francisco, and the establishing shots stopped.

In San Francisco, Hope is on the run.  She finds some supplies for her wrist gauntlet – that looks like the Pip Boy from Fallout 3.  Hope comments to herself that her training with Cable should start paying off.  She looks at a glass and her reflection is that of the Phoenix bird and she runs off.  She is now looking for something that flies.  We don’t see it this issue, as this her only scene but she finds a jetpack that Cyclops used during the Dark Avengers / Utopia creation crossover, and it is the best thing Hope Summers ever does.

In New York City, at Avengers Tower – I can’t recall what makes them stop using the tower but it is still the headquarters of the Avengers.  Wolverine and Captain America are talking to Rachel through a video monitor.  Poor Rachel, this entire series deals with the Phoenix, and she is treated as an afterthought.  She was able to host the Phoenix for a decade with very little issues or concerns.  Though this adds to my ongoing theory that Marvel likes to pretend the entire 125 issue run of Excalibur never happened.

Rachel tells the two of them that Hope has no one location, but five locations.  Which is clever as the number five and Hope and this series will play a factor soon.  Wolverine tries to talk down to her, and she tells him she knows how to use Cerebra.  Captain America tells Wolverine to drop it, now is the time for action.

Rachel then telepathically tells Cyclops, that she has given Wolverine some false information.  Which is nice, as Cyclops and Rachel, even by 2012, still haven’t had much interaction.  I wouldn’t mind having seen the scene where those two actually talk – as that is an actual moment.  Did she need much convincing, did he hesitate when asking her a favor – and to betray her side of the Schism?

Another character JRJR is known for is Daredevil, who here unfortunately, has his walking cane out, in another panel, he still is walking around with it.  At least it is in the upright position, but it is clearly a cane and not his billy club.

Captain America tells them where the teams are being split -

Iron Man is staying at the Tower to work on his Phoenix Solution (it makes things worst)

Wundagore Mountain – Hawkeye, Red Hulk and Doctor Strange is heading there (where Wanda and Quicksilver were raised, for a time).

Tabula Rasa – Luke Cage and his team are heading to Montana!

Wakanda – Black Panther and Iron Fist are heading there (makes sense as it is Black Panther’s kingdom)

Latveria – Spider-Man and Spider-Woman (Team Arachnid! – no one calls them that) are heading to Doctor Doom’s country, which is he super cool with visitors, as long as you are not there to bother him?

Savage Land – Captain America, Wolverine, Giant Man and Sharon Carter (when has she been an Avenger?) are heading there.

None of them are heading anywhere close to San Francisco.

Captain America tells them to break and that he wants updates every hour.  Odd that so few members of the teams are actually going to places.  Wakanda and Latveria are small countries, sure, but they are still bigger than Delaware.  Right?  It isn’t like a small one stop sign, two bars type of small town.

Captain America and Wolverine are on their way to their Quinjet.  Cap states Wolverine is with him, and the panel showing that just has his face.  Wolverine states that is fine with him.

I point that out as Wolverine, once aboard, asks what that was about, the look between Cap and Sharon – but there is no panel, nor a look – that I can see that look.  JRJR is a great artist but one would think he would have shown that panel – unless it is to show how paranoid Wolverine is being.  Which I would believe except – in a few panels, he will be shown that he is correct, something is definitely up.

Captain America asks Wolverine to come with him, and we enter my favorite scene of the issue.  These six pages are bathed in the cover red, the the color of the lights on the quinjet.  I guess they are like Star Trek Next Generation, and are on Red Alert.  Laura Martin’s color choice here is both stunning and amazing!

Captain America confronts Wolverine, about how he scared Hope into running away.  Wolverine wants to kill her as that’s the only way to stop the Phoenix – deny her a host.  Cap doesn’t like that Wolverine isn’t willing to follow orders – simple ones like, hey, don’t kill any young ladies.  So Cap isn’t sure he can trust him to follow orders on this leg of the mission.

Wolverine tries to defend his position, he saw the Phoenix kill the woman he loves, Jean.  He knows that no hidden location will be able to stop the Phoenix from finding Hope.

Cap states that he isn’t to stand by and let Wolverine kill a young woman.  Wolverine then states that they all die if Hope lives.  Captain America realizes then, that Wolverine is a savage animal that needs to be put down.  He tells Wolverine “I didn’t want it to come to this” and thus, the sequence that I reread twice the day I bought it, and then reread a couple more times for this review, begins!

As much as I thought the Cyclops vs. Wolverine fight towards the end of Schism was silly (Wolverine can gut Cyclops so easily) for some reason, Captain America vs. Wolverine, sounds like an awesome idea plus the fight does not disappoint.  I think it is due to Cap having a shield, so at least he can keep the claws away for a time.  Cyclops’ entire strategy has to be that somewhere in the back of Wolverine’s mind, he won’t kill Scott but take him as far as he is willing to do – and not do any permanent damage.

Captain America punches Wolverine in the face, telling him that he is going to be sitting this mission out.  Wolverine claws back, striking Cap’s shield, stating the hell he will.

Captain America punches Wolverine again, in the face – as it worked so well last time.  Wolverine asks if Cap really believes he can beat him.  Cap has no doubts – proving why he is one of the best characters Marvel has!

Then this spectacular thing happens, Wolverine shouts that Cap has no clue, then as Cap makes a move on Wolverine, Wolverine slashes the straps on the shield.  Has that ever been done before?  I find it so much more interesting of a thing to do to the shield itself, than be a character that either tears it apart or dents it.  The straps, are the weakpoint of the shield.  It feels like an obvious thing to do and yet, unique at the same time.

Wolverine then continues the assault, kicking Cap to the stomach.  Cap dodges Wolverine’s next attack, causing Wolverine’s claws to get stuck in the jet’s walls.

Captain America, moving fast, grabs his shield and throws it at Wolverine’s head.  Wolverine, trying to be a tough guy, asks if that is all he has.

Cap, in a rare moment of being witty and clever – states that he isn’t even close.  He has the Avengers too, and with that, Giant Man big slaps Wolverine to the ground.  Before that, we get a nice drawing of the cost the fight has had.  Cap is bleeding from the stomach where the three claws swiped at him.  He’s been through something, that’s for sure.  Wolverine looks like he is getting a second wind.

Captain America shouts at Sharon, she opens the quinjet’s door and Cap hits Wolverine upside his face with the shield.  I guess that was Sharon’s main role, he couldn’t have a fellow Avenger do it, he needed SHIELD’s help.  Just looked it up, she is a member of the Secret Avengers.  But don’t tell anyone.

Finally, Giant Man big boots Wolverine and he goes out of the door.  I wonder if Wolverine thought back on this when he had to go back in time to kill Hank Pym in Age of Ultron.  That Wolverine, he is all about the long play.

Wolverine lands in snow.  Which could mean he is in Antarctica, as they were headed to the Savage Land, or that they purposely went someone with a snow landscape and now they are heading to the Savage Land.  I suspect that he is in Antarctica.

Sharon is concern for Cap, he tells her that he is only winded, he doesn’t need to go to the medical bay like she wants.

Issue ends with Wolverine stating aloud (and to himself, probably) that Captain America is an old fashion fool and that it is all up to himself now, as he tries to make way through the snow that is up to his knees.  Could thing he has that healing factor, as that seems like Captain America left him for dead.  But that’s what the X-Men did to Gambit at the end of Uncanny X-Men 350, leaving him in the snow of Antarctica, so maybe its a comic book thing.

There is a notice of a new app by Marvel, Marvel AR.  We just got newer phones.  I now have a LG Optimus Zone, which is not compatible with this app.  The entire reason I wanted an Android, was to finally experience the Marvel AR.  Maybe next year’s phone.

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Robin Williams

If asked, I would say I prefer dramatic Robin Williams to comedy Robin Williams. I know that might be a bold statement but I would marathon Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and Good Will Hunting all day than some of his comedies.

Also, I can’t stand him on interview shows. If he could just sit in his chair and have a conversation, it would be a different matter all together. It makes my stomach turn. Jim Carrey also did this a bunch in his beginning days.

Inside the Actor’s Studio had a countdown to the fans favorite epsidoes. They kept featuring five of the episodes. Whenever they cut to Robin Williams’ episode, he was barely in his seat. Some people must really like it but I’m not a fan.

There is one film of his that I can’t stand and I thought I’ll finally express my thoughs on it and then I can stop thinking about it completely going forward.

At the same time, I thought I’ll just do a complete career retrospective and then I can see if I really do prefer one over the other.

If you want to play along :

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000245/

Popeye – the first movie my mother told me I slept through as a baby. Saw it as a young child and thought it was okay. As a fictional character, I like Popeye. Olive Oil on the other hand, I can never understand why Popeye and Brut would fight over such a skinny woman.

Only seen a few episodes of Mork & Mindy, and it seemed dated by the time I saw it in reruns.

Good Morning, Vietnam – now that’s comedy gold there!

Adventures of Baron Munchausen – I saw this when I was much younger, and only for Uma Thurman so I don’t recall him in it as much.

Dead Poets Society – so many memorable moments. So many great lines too.

Awakenings – I’m not even sure what made me watch it but I’m glad I did. I think I was in a watching everything Robert De Niro was in phase and fell in love with it. It was on a movie channel so I saw it a bunch that month.

Hook – Has to be my first Robin Williams film I saw. Love the concept of it; love how it all comes together. I’m a fan. I’ll say more action adventure than comedy.

Aladdin – He is the voice of Genie. He is amazing at it but when they announced he wouldn’t be back for the sequel, I wasn’t upset by it or anything. They got the guy who did the voice from the Aladdin animated series and of course, he was good. Robin Williams voices him in the third Aladdin feature, I wasn’t sure if it was necessary but if you get Robin Williams to agree to do your movie, you don’t turn him down afterwards.

Mrs. Doubtfire – hated as a child but now I’ve gotten an appriciation for it. I think Pierce Brosnan being James Bond later, has made me like this movie more.

He played himself twice on the Larry Sanders Show, a show I really liked growing up.

Apparently he is in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, a film I’ve wanted to see just to see Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes in drag. Johnny Legs is in it too. Also, not dying to see it either. Came out in 1995, and I’m not sure if it as ever really crossed my path.

Jumanji – Another fun action adventure. Kirsten Dunst is the young girl in it so how old much Robin Williams be?

The Birdcage – the commercials were enough for me. I’m not the biggest Nathan Lane fan, whenever he is on Modern Family is enough for me.

Jack – the first movie of his, that I remember thinking was a dumb concept and why would one even make that movie? He plays a boy with a growth hormone that makes him age to look like Robin Williams. ooof!

Aladdin and the King of Thieves – the sequel he did show up for.

Deconstructing Harry – I don’t quite remember him in it but I really like Julia Louis-Dreyfus in it.

Flubber – I also had no interest in this film. Passed on conception.

Good Will Hunting – I saw as I’m a bit of a Ben Affleck fan and Robin Williams really open my eyes on what type of an actor he could be. I must have watched Awakenings after this film, now that I think of it. Same for Dead Poets Society. Career defining and he got Best Supporting Oscar for it too, richly deserved! Shame we don’t get this Robin Williams more.

Patch Adams – here we go. I haven’t been so angry at a film since this one. Not even sure why I watched it, I know I was at home. I may have been under the impression we were getting dramatic Robin Williams. What we got was offensive.   Now, I should say this rage is from the 1998 version of me who is almost 17. I probably should rewatch the film but the idea sends me into another rage so I don’t think I can give it a second chance. So the film is based on the true story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, and the book he wrote with another person. So it is suppose to be a first person telling of his life.

So this doctor figures out that humor is the best medicine and decides to open a hospital that is purely based on treating all cases with the highest dose of humor possible. Who takes their family member to this hospital, is beyond me. So he gets married to this nice lady, who I now learn is played by Monica Potter, who I really like from Con Air but mostly from Parenthood.

So Monica Potter’s character goes to this crazy guy’s house. There are all of these scenes and moments that clearly indicate, she shouldn’t go over there. Now, I recognize that is actually happened to the real girlfriend of Patch Adams, so I apologize ahead of time. This would be easier if this was a completely fictional story. Except, the scene in question, is completely fictional so I feel like I have some room to do this here. The screenplay is written by Steve Oedekerk, of Kung Power : Enter the Fist fame. So my problem is mostly with him, unfortunately.

Enough build up already, so the scene is Potter and the crazy guy, and they start off by having some wine and jokes and then it builds to the guy getting his gun out, confessing his love for her and he then kills her when she rejects him and then kills himself, murder suicide. Here’s my problem, the scene lasts maybe five minutes (maybe longer or shorter – my memory of it is it lasts a while) but the entire scene is fictional. No one survives the encounter. The police show up and maybe there is wine on the table and assumptions are made but the story is from Adams’ perspective, so it is how he wants the story to be known as but who is to say what really happened that night before the deaths. It could have been an affair, I doubt it, but it should have just been a scene of Adams telling her not to go, then him getting a phone call and going over there and getting the bad news. The scene is unnecessary on all levels. I get the whole “show don’t tell” aspect of movie making but depict the film as true events and then completely make up an entire scene.

Oh wow, so I’m reading the Wikipedia page right now and getting even more angry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Adams_%28film%29

“The film has several major departures from Adams’ real history. One is that the character of Carin is fictional, but is analogous to a real life friend of Adams (a man) who was murdered under similar circumstances. Another difference is the then-47 year old Robin Williams portrays Adams as enrolling in medical school very late in his life, his older age even being brought up in dialogue. In reality, Adams started medical school immediately and his educational progress was quite normal for a physician: He graduated high school at 18, college at 22, and medical school at 26.”

Wow, so that entire scene isn’t even about a real lady (though I do feel bad about the guy dying” why even make that choice and have this be a plot point. Oh and it is a plot point as it steers the movie for quite some time afterwards.

Also, apparently this movie got horrible reviews so I’m not the first person to not like it. Also on the page is the reaction from the real Patch Adams, who didn’t like the film either. Which must be even worst for him. Imagine watching it the first time, the Monica Potter character comes onto screen, he’s all like “who is that suppose to be” and then the murder suicide scene happens and he is like “is this even necessary!?!” It isn’t.

Turns out, the hospital is one of those ‘free hospitals’ which is great cause! I will not be making a point to rewatching this. Robin Williams made 21 million dollars of it and he didn’t even give ten dollars to the Patch Adams’ hospital. Not like he has to but ooof, that isn’t good. Apparently also, the film promised to give or donate money to the hospital and never did even though it was a box office success. What a mess! Glad I decided to do this post, as I wouldn’t have known any of this.

On a lighter note, apparently Robin Williams has voiced the Genie in several other places. Disney’s Math Quest with Aladdin video game, the television series Great Minds Think for Themselves and Aladdin on Ice a TV Movie. That has to burn that he didn’t do the second sequel or the television series. I want to say James Woods did the voice of Hades on the Hercules television series, I could be wrong.   No, he did, he’s like Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel the Little Mermaid, and he has done the voice of Hades whenever there was need to do so. Which I really like that type of ownership of an animated role.

Bicentennial Man- another film I passed on. I’m not a big fan of robots.

One Hour Photo – seemed to creepy for me.

Death to Smoochy – now this film, I really do love. I would place it more in the fun but dramatic column. Came out in 2002, so I may have had a mad on for Robin Williams that lasted for five years, that sounds like something I would do, so this movie put Robin Williams back in a positive light for me. Such a great film.

Insomnia – I remember not getting through it. I should revisit as it is a film by Christopher Nolan and I do like those Batman films of his.

RV – I, like most people, passed hard on this movie. The commercials confused me over who would watch it.

Man of the Year – I like the concept of a popular celebrity running for President and winning but Robin Williams doing what he does and the way the story is told (from the commercials) wasn’t my type of film.

Happy Feet – haven’t seen any of these

Night at the Museum – Took me forever to watch it, I’m sure I saw it on FX or something. I liked him in it as Teddy Roosevelt, it isn’t a big role. Not seen any of the sequels.

License to Wed – Also not have seen it but I remember thinking that it was the start of a new direction in his career, supporting character roles instead of leading man.

I’m pretty sure I saw his episode of Law & Order : SVU, Authority. That show, I can only stomach so much of. Not sure how anyone can watch four hours of it, everyday on USA. Seems like a waste of programming to me.

Wilfred – that’s right, he was on an episode of that, Progress. We love that show but the last season was a little hit or miss.

The Big Wedding – I should watch it as I’m a sucker for giant ensemble films.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler – a film I want to see, James Marsden as JFK sounds good. Robin Williams plays Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The Crazy Ones – As much as I like Sarah Michelle Gellar (I’m a bigger Freddie Prince Jr. fan – though it has been harder lately to be) I don’t watch nearly anything she is in but the commercials seem to show Robin Williams restrain a little. My wife liked the few episodes she saw at the beginning. I’m not sure why Sarah Michelle Gellar never did How I Met Your Mother, she’s the most notable absence from all of the Buffy / Angel guest stars. But that also failed to get Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams (even when she was dating Jason Segel – the whole reason I thought he was dating her during that short window) but maybe they never sought them out either.

That’s Robin Williams career from my perspective.

Patch Adams though, still super frustrating!

I’ve only ever seen one of his HBO stand up specials, I don’t recall watching the entire thing.

He also was uncredited on an episode of Friends, The One With the Ultimate Fighting Champion. I like Jon Favreau’s little run he had on the show as Monica’s millionaire boyfriend. I don’t remember Robin Willians or Billy Crystal being in the episode’s opening but TBS and Nick at Nite seem to air the episodes constantly so I’ll pay attention to any reairings. Apparently they were there to promote (quietly) their film Fathers’ Day which I saw listed but couldn’t remember at all.

I also didn’t see the film with him and John Travolta as new fathers in their 50s. That also didn’t look good.

 

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X-Babies Reborn

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Written by Ruben Diaz

Color Illustrations by Juvaun J. Kirby

Ink Art by Caleb Salstrom

Cover Inks by Edwin Rosell

Calligraphy by AS & Comicraft / AD

Cover Dated January 2000

Look how cute that cover is!  I don’t own every X-Babies appearance but the ones I do own, I do enjoy.

At one point, ToyBiz announced that the X-Babies were going to be made into toys for the Marvel Legends Wave 14 in 2006.

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Jason R. Mink, who is the Man in the Anthill over at Fwoosh wrote a great article regarding what happened along with these two images

http://thefwoosh.com/2013/09/the-ones-that-got-away-unreleased-marvel-legends

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They did go ahead with the Mojo Build-A-Figure, but he looked lonely without the X-Babies present.  I would have bought that First Appearance Daredevil just to get Shadowkitty.

The X-Babies are – Shower, Wolvie, Sugah, Creepy Crawler, Psychilde, Colossusus, The Prof (aka Boy X) and the adorable Shadowkitty.

The X-Babies are playing in the Danger Playpen.  There are two teams – Shower / Wolvie / Sugah and Creepy Crawler / Psychilde Colossusus.  They are trying to capture a ball.

Shadowkitty wants in the fun but Prof X states she is too young.

Sugah grabs Crawler’s tail and takes his power – thus teleporting to the ball easier.

Shadowkitty wants a closer look, but doing so tampers with the Playpen.  All the safety protocols are turned off – revealing the true dangers under the soft and plush equipment.

In Sugah’s zeal to win, she makes a dash for the ball.  Prof X wants them to stop the exercise.  Psychilde also wants to win, and dives for the ball.  Sugah grabs the ball, Psychilde grabs Sugah’s exposed arm.  The psychic backlash knocks them both for a loop.

Sugah has a memory of her and Kid Britain, that isn’t her own.  Psychilde’s mind is separated from her body – temporarily.

There is an ad for the Pierce Brosnon Bond film – The World Is Not Enough.  His third of four Bond films.  That is the one with Denise Richards.

There is a sad half page panel of the X-Babies around a sleeping Psychilde.  Shadowkitty looks to be on the verge of tears, and Sugah is cryin.

Meanwhile, Mojo – the creator of the X-Babies – needs a new attraction to air on his network.  His staff figure they can redo the process that created the X-Babies, and create something new.

There is a house ad for November 1999.  Uncanny X-Men 376 – At last, the Twelve revealed!  (It is okay, marks the ending to the 35th Anniversary era – after this, the crossovers begin anew.)  Captain Marvel 1, a new series from the pages of Avengers Forever!  (I love Avengers Forever, and am still waiting for Songbird to join the team – as she wasn’t really part of the Dark Avengers.  Captain Marvel was fun, I am not a big Rick Jones fan – outside of his original appearances.  Written by Peter David.)  Captain America 25, The Falcon!  Nick Fury!  Dan Jurgens!  Andy Kubert!  (I must have read this issue and beyond but don’t recall anything.)  Fantastic Four 25, Mr. Fantastic vs. Doctor Doom!  ‘Nuff Said!  (I will add just a little, this is Chris Claremont writing and Salvador Laccora on pencils – such a fun run and some great stories come out of this.  He wrote volume three of that series, from issue 4 to 32.  Issue 27′s cover, is what I picture when I think of that series.  One day, I will get around to reviewing issues 6, 7 and 8.)

Psychilde screams so loud, it wakes everyone up.  She is sadly melting away.  They out her in a pot, which reminds me of Kitty Pryde when she was stuck in phase mode after Mutant Massacre and once she came out of the bullet, to a much lesser degree.

They have to go to Mojoworld proper, they live on the very outskirts.  Sugah is going to carry the tank.  Shadowkitty is allowed to tag along.

Sugah and Shower fly on their own, the others take the Blackbird – which is only a glider, powered by Shower and her generated winds.

Eventually, the Blackbird crashes.  Shower asks if everyone is okay.  Creepy Crawler states that he is walking funny.  Which is a fun sight gag, as he is walking on his hands.

The X-Babies are trying to get to Dazzler and Longshot, as they have aided them in the past and they are the leaders of the renegades against Mojo.

Spiral finds the X-Babies, and tries to steal away with the tank containing Psychilde.  She wants the material to create the next batch of creatues, as the material is hard to come by.

There is a screen with a turtle with a red bandanna and a gun.

The X-Babies fight Spiral.

Then we get eight pages of Fast Lane part two of four.  An anti-drug story involving Spider-Man.  It is not very good.  I never read the other parts, as they were online and part two was not good at all.  The very first time I read this, it was in a Spider-Man comic, so that was confusing.  It is only six pages and Mysterio was the villain.  This appeared in every Marvel comic that month, so I was one annoyed 18 year old.  Once you skip it once, you keep skipping it, the opposite intention Marvel wanted, I’m sure.

Spiral is about to teleport away with the tank, when Creepy Crawler teleports in at the last second, and snatches the tank back.  Spiral can’t stop her spell, so she teleports way.

The X-Babies continue their quest.  Colossusus is told to hold Shadowkitty’s hand, which delights her.

They finally get to Dazzler’s home.  Longshot is missing, and she is trying to bring him back.  She recommends they visit the Textbook Sisters.

Mojo is told about Spiral’s defeat.  He wants to fight fire with fire.

In Mojoworld, whete television is king – libraries are ghost towns.  The Textbook Sisters attempt to cast a spell.  They are interrupted by the new threat.

The Mitey ‘Vengers – Iron Ace, Big Boy, Wisp, Thunderson, Captain Amerikid and Hawkey.

All cute versions of the Avengers – Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp, Thor, Captain America and Hawkeye.  Also, as classic of an Avengers roster as you can get.

Of course, they fight.

Hawkey shoots an arrow, grabbing the tank.  It is on!

Wolvie vs. Captain Amerikid.  Shadowkitty vs. Hawkey.  Sugah vs. Iron Ace.  Creepy Crawler vs. Wisp.  Colossusus vs. Big Boy.  Shower vs. Thunderson.

Of course, Shower would fight Thunderson and Wolvie would fight Captain Amerikid, the other match ups are fun.  Colossus tobbles Big Boy.  Creepy Crawler grabs Wisp, then hits picked up by Big Boy.

Sugah punches Iron Ace.  Mojo reminds Iron Ace, of his true objective.  Shadowkitty distracts Hawkey, and Sugah knocks him to the ground, asking him where babies come from.

Shower and Thunderson finally knock each other out, after three pages.

Hawkey tells the two ladies all the work Mojo put into them, all the training.  This angers Sugah and she takes off.

Iron Ace has brought the tank to Mojo, while the fighting was going on.  He asks if what Mojo has plan, is the right thing to do.  Mojo doesn’t like back talk, threatens to back hand Iron Ace when Sugah and Shadowkitty show up.

Captain Amerikid punches Wolvie’s head, hurting his hand as Wolvie’s head is coated in metal – which I always like that attention to detail.

Mojo is on television, revealing how far he is willing to go for his goals.   He doesn’t come off well.

Spiral has the tank now.  Sugah goes after her.  She tells Shadowkitty, to not to take her eye off of Mojo.  Shadowkitty takes out this giant eye telescope.

Iron Ace starts to fight Mojo.

Sugah absorbs Spiral’s power, thus she grows four extrs arms.  Those extra arms grab the tank.  But due to the fight, one of these two fumbles and the tank falls into the remaining neoplasm.  Iron Ace starts trying to fix the situation, as Sugah panics.

We get two pages of suspense, and a giant explosion.

Then we get the entire purpose of this one shot – to turn the British Psychilde and turn her into Japanese Psychilde, which is a clever twist, and not at all as complicated as what happened to Psylocke.

The combined babies all stand up to Mojo and declare and reclare their independence from him.

Mojo isn’t going without a fight.  He gets into a giant battletank.  He is about to blast the heroes, when the machine falls apart.  Shadowkitty phases through the cannon and they win the day.

The Mitey ‘Vengers and X-Babies create an alliance.  The Mitey ‘Vengers base was an old Motivation Factory.

Issue ends with Mojo revealing to us, his latest babies – villains!  Lizard, Kraven, Punisher, Thanos, Kingpin, Mister Sinister, Red Skull, Apocalypse, Brood, Doctor Doom, Green Goblin, Venom and Bullseye.  It is an awesome panel.

There is a caption – Tune in Next Time for Another Uncanny Adventure with the X-Babies!

Which will be in nine years when the X-Babies and the Star Comics characters unite, it is pretty good.  I own all four issues, so one day, I will review those.

The X-Babies do appear in one comic before that series.  That would be 2005′s Uncanny X-Men 461.  Which I do own, so that will come one day as well.

Back cover is a Got Milk ad with Spider-Man, remember those?

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