Tags Matching: magneto

Dear Toy Companies,

Cut me a break. I am desperately attempting to rid myself of this collecting affliction. I’m doing my best, but these kind of deep cuts are sucking me in to new, dangerous worlds of products. For example.

These toys echo not just cool heroes from my childhood, but weird versions. Purple, giant “M” Magneto? Fresh from the future, a future where bandanas are wildly popular, Bishop? Jubilee? Jubilee? Really? And the throw-in Wolverine, I’m not crazy about. (Nor am I banana jacket Jubilee, but the Magneto makes up for it)  But these “mini-mates” are just about a reasonable enough size that I could keep them neatly arranged and also easily hidden (swept into a drawer) when other grown-ups are about.

For my adult life style, and wallet, please refrain from making anymore of these. And making them limited edition doesn’t help either – it’s like saying the cocaine is caramel flavored. Stop.

Signed,

A Fan.
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Top 100 Summer Comics #25

Wow, last quarter to go. Feel like we should get a good sprint to the end here.

Let’s start with what I wouldn’t call a classic, or even a modern classic… but somehow a ’90s classic feels right. So that’s what this qualifies as.

#25 – X-Men 25

I’m not going to lie, this issue really did surprise me. I was shocked at almost the entire circumstances. Wait, Magneto pulled the adamantium off of Wolverine’s skeleton through his pores? Jeez. And then Xavier wiped Magneto’s brain clean, basically rendering him an invalid?

PS THIS ALL TOOK PLACE  ON ASTEROID M, aka the hurling space station that had been co-opted by Magneto into essentially an outer space mutant casino. Yeah, that’s right, casino. Or rather maybe Magneto’s version of the Playboy Mansion. Please see this if you are a nonbeliever.

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Art Proofs…

For some reason there’s a TON of artist proofs up on ebay right now. Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention, but this has hit my radar hard so I’ll have some observations on more than a couple.

This one, for example, I would like to own. However, the price tag is a little much for me. Is that common? I mean, it’s a copy. A really cool copy, but… still.

My other problem is this – Rogue has the worst case of dead eyes I’ve ever seen in a Jim Lee piece. Otherwise this is one of my favorite Lee X-Men covers. And… Nick Fury!


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Okay, Let’s talk Cannonball and the New Mutants.

Sam Guthrie.

Or as I think of him, the hick with no schtick. 

He was supposed to be the leader of the New Mutants. Essentially, he was Cyclops with an accent. Unfortunately, he was always whiny and ineffective, which to be honest was part of the appeal of the New Mutants. They WERE losers. It definitely felt as though they LOST more than they won.

Doug dies. Warlock dies. Magick dies.

Rahne gets Genosha’d. Most of the members got put through the ringer and especially in hindsight feels like a good reflection of a “high school for superheroes” experience. Most people will tell you high school wasn’t all that fun – I’m sure Sam Guthrie would agree.

Oh p.s. – Professor X leaves for a galactic journey (he was a bad teacher anyways) and now Magneto is your professor. Until he ditches them and the new mutants might as well be renamed the Latchkey Mutants.

And then… a light in the darkness. The (new) New Mutants give the team an interesting jolt. Boom-Boom and Rictor helped this team with a bit of an edginess. Even Rusty and Skids helped make them interesting. And wouldn’t you know it, Boom-Boom likes the tall, gawky types. And… enter Cable. (And Rob Liefeld.)

(* seller’s location: “The Xavier Institute for Gifted Students.” Nice try, noob. That’s where Generation X did their x-learning.) 

And we then go through the coolest period of the New Mutants. Issues 87-100 are awesome – essentially everything I want out of comics – episodic characters going through changes, progressing and pretty high level of storytelling. Not once during these issues did I complain about odd proportions or giant guns – that’s what a breath of fresh air this was. And hey, Cannonball is coming around. Sure the ever-present “ah guess ah just dont know” was annoying, but he was finally leaving the world of wimpdom. It was nice. Oh and then Sunspot left and literally no one cared. Literally. No. One. Cared.

There were so many cool characters popping off (Domino, Deadpool, Shatterstar, Gideon, Feral, Warpath) that ‘Berto wasn’t even a blip. Boom-Boom and Cannonball were essentially all that was left of the Latchkey Mutants, and so we move into the X-Force era. What can I say – at this point I’m a fan, Cannonball is developing and has potential. He’s slowly moving away from the character with an awful stereotypical accent and who cries and has a terrible knack for failing. 

To be continued in – “Pt 2 – Let’s talk Cannonball and X-Force. And Shoulderpads.”

R.I.P. New Mutants (series 1)

Anniversary Issues – a story of diminishing returns

Anniversaries are slowly becoming less relevant in our society. 

Am I wrong? Doesn’t the sentimental significance of an “anniversary” mean less and less, as our attention span zooms in on minutes and seconds over months and years?

Maybe I’m just cold. Or too real. But regardless, that’s how I feel. And comic books are on my side. Uncanny X-Men, step up to the witness stand.

Uncanny X-Men #100. “At last”? I’m willing to bet it was an absolute shock to many that the Uncanny cast made it to 100 issues. Please note – the X-Men series was actually cancelled after issue #66, and was published as reprints from #67-93. Really. So this was a big one, and had a pretty decent premise. I remember it, but it took a refresher. rating: 7/10

Uncanny X-Men #150. Great issue. The first full blown Magneto bash that the “all new, all different” team had, and this was a doozy. Pretty much a classic at any price, but the one above is still in the bargain column. Now established as a titan, Uncanny was just churning with Chris Claremont in his glory. rating: 8.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #200. The trial of Magneto. Fenris. Magneto in some weird new purple pajamas. John Romita Jr. drops in and really pulled this one together as Professor X makes yet another prolonged absence; he doesn’t reappear until #273-#275 – more on that later. A real twist as the X-Men started to veer off the tracks as far as their team direction. For me, the team only got better from here until issue #275.For anyone who’s taken a college level history course, I always enjoyed breaking it into two periods – the RISE and the FALL. I was always on the “Fall” side, as far as interests lie. Here begins the fall, and eventual rebirth. But as a single issue, well, it’s continuity heavy. And that’s gonna knock it back. rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #250. Full disclosure, this is a part of my favorite era of the Uncanny X-Men, roughly issues 235-260. A true golden era, Claremont demolishes the team to rubble with Silvestri, Dan Green and this guy named Jim Lee serving the art up on a golden platter. I dig this issue, but I will give some perspective to balance it out. Man, I want to give it a 9, but I won’t.No icons, no long lasting results, Havok and Polaris have been retconned so many times… rating: 7.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #275. So good that it needed to be included even though I’ve been sticking to the century and half century marks. Chris Claremont’s opus essentially concludes here, with a brief encore in the eponymously titled X-Men for a brief three issues. Everything and the kitchen sink – multiple long running trademark Claremont plot threads get wrapped up, Shi’ar, Xavier, Savageland, Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, dinosaurs, Magneto and some big ol’ spaceships. Absolutely classic and can be enjoyed by people who only know the X-Men from a movie or cartoon. rating: 9.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #300. A huge dropoff. I’m not going to blame the creative team – Scott Lobdell deserves a lot more credit than he receives for his X-Men contributions, and you can’t lose with John Romita Jr and Dan Green on the stick and ink. But storywise, this one’s a dud. The lamest incarnation of the Acolytes (please argue this with me, someone) with Fabian Cortez at the helm, Bishop prominently featured on the cover (a later post to detail his fail levels being dangerously high to come) and Moira MacTaggert, a leading support character who died and has seen zero interest in a resurrection. That is a testament to her lameness. Fabian Cortez, Bishop, MacTaggert… three lames and you’re out. rating: 5.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #350. The conclusion to a dangling storyline almost a decade in the wait. Probably more like five years, though for some reason this was the beginning of the end for any and all Gambit love. He never recovered his heat after this, but I will give this issue some points. Joe Mad’s only contribution on here and though I’m not his biggest fan, I do think he did a great job for the X-Franchise. The story and summation of Gambit’s past was good and I think this could be enjoyed on a single issue level. Though people maybe confused by who this “Joseph” character is… rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #400. Alright, here come those diminishing returns. I’m not going to flack this too hard, but let’s just talk about the major characters used in this one. Archangel, Chamber, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Wolverine, and Stacy X. Stacy X. Really. So let me just stop there, and for those unfamiliar, Stacy X was introduced in this arc and was a prostitute mutant who controlled pheromones. And I’m not even a HUGE detractor of the character, just on how poorly she was fleshed out and developed. Poor form. Joe Casey had a rough time to be writer on X-Men and I don’t think it was his best work. rating: 3.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #450. Chris Claremont + Alan Davis + X-Men = … BAD?!?! NO! Say it ain’t so, Joe (Q)! This is real. Alan Davis has his normal smooth style but I would even say this was a low moment for him. Some weird facial angles can really jack up what I normally love in Davis’ art, which reflect this odd oblong structure and overly pronounced cheek and lip definition. Big story development – the introduction of X-23. Not the worst, and certainly relevant now, but… overall a very anti-climactic return to Uncanny for both Claremont and Davis. rating: 3.75/10

Uncanny X-Men #500. I wanted to love this. Not just like, but LOVE. And I didn’t. I didn’t even really like it. I tried. Believe me, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are absolutely tops of the game in this era, and I have admitted to really digging on Terry Dodson’s art. But there was too many moving pieces and just a kind of poor execution here. Magneto, and Sentinels, two pencilers and two writers… it just didn’t gel. Not bad, but forgettable in that “wait, what happened in last month’s issue” kind of way. rating: 4/10

PICK 5: Iceman

Inspired by the snow? Yeah, I like that. 

Howzabout some Iceman. No, not Val Kilmer. Not Chuck Liddell either. This guy.

 

Bobby Drake. Lovable loser? Maybe not even lovable. I always liked Iceman, but of the original five X-Men, he’s the only one who never really established as a major character. He hasn’t been a relevant figure in the X-Men comics in the past ten years… but there’s always tomorrow. That said, here’s my pick for the best Iceman stories I’ve read. 


5. THE CHAMPIONS #1 . Hercules, Ghost Rider, Angel, Black Widow, and Iceman. Bobby Drake goes to UCLA (Go Bruins!) and ice-slides his way into “the most sensational new super-group of all!” Okay, okay. Got jokes. 

4. UNCANNY X-MEN #18. Iceman is all that stands between Magneto and… uhh Magneto using Xavier’s sophistimicated computer machines to isolate the genes of Angel’s parents! This is actually a great issue of the classic X-Men, I’ve enjoyed it in collected form, but the summary of this found online really gives good removed perspective of how uncool Iceman really is. 

“He confronts Iceman, magnetically hurls objects at him, but Iceman quickly builds a slide to hurl the objects back at Magneto. He then takes the slide as a sled and races out of the room. Magneto follows, but slips on the ice and glides down an ice tube Iceman has made, leading him outside the school and into an igloo. Iceman tries to escape the igloo, but Magneto magnetically seals it shut” (X-Obsessed

3. AMAZING X-MEN #1-4 (Age Of Apocalypse mini-series). This series shows an alternaverse take on Bobby Drake, where his happy go lucky banter is replaced with doom and gloom. And it works. This artistic rendition of him is also much more engaging than the “fresh out of the ice tray” look he is so commonly associated with. Props to Joe Mad and Andy Kubert for really nailing it in the Age of Apocalypse titles. 

2. UNCANNY X-MEN #314. Long story short, this is a very important issue. It helped bring Emma Frost to the side of the angels in the x-books and define Iceman from that point forward. Frost transfers her consciousness into Iceman, and his into her comatose body. She utilizes his powers in the omega class ways that he never could or would… then he feels like a loser because of this. He hasn’t gotten over it. Really. Must read.

1. X-FACTOR #63 + #64. The Best Iceman Story Ever Told. Little glory in that honor, but it is what it is nonetheless. Part of the underrated Whilce Portacio run on X-Factor, this tells maybe the only Iceman focused storyline that showcases him as 1) interesting 2) heroic 3) not a total goober. Great art, good use of ninjas, and the only time I have ever read an Iceman story and said “More of that!”

 

DO NOT WANT. Amalgam Comics

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

Well, the inverse of that happens to be true as well. Here’s an example of two rights making a wrong.

Magneto. Definition of a classic Marvel villain. Complicated, sympathetic, at times even likable – but at the end of the day corrupted and evil. 

The Metal Men. Maybe the best characters created by DC post 1960. Quirky, weird, fun. Endearing. 

Let’s even throw a notable artist of the late 90’s into the mix – Jeff Matsuda. I would consider him a one of the bigger contributors under the wave of Joe Mad, but with a rougher line style that could be comparable at times to Chris Bachalo. I enjoyed his work but at times would squirm on some of his head and shoulder shots. Anything from a Medium shot and wider had enough going on to pull away, but sometimes his fine details left something to be desired. Still, I would consider him an artist I enjoyed to ‘read.’

Now, mix gently and pour into the blender,  add a dash of throw-away company crossover storyline and – BAM – ew, gross. Turn away. Even with an artist who’s done work I can hang with on a certain level, everything about this shouts “no, thanks.” Garish colors not withstanding, there WAS a time when the Amalgam line was touted as being the in thing. Pull out some old Wizards and look it up. Bah.

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