Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Key Issues - The Uncanny X-Men - Part One

So the key issues list that everyone who finds their way to this blog really wants to see. I'm breaking this up into parts because it has taken me so long to put together.  As with earlier lists, I haven't included issues for the beginning of runs by different creators because there are just too many to list.  What I found amazing during the research is that so many of the characters appearing in just the first 200 issues have had and continue to have a huge impact even today. Part one of the key issues list for The (Uncanny) X-Men after the jump.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

X-Men: Days of Future Past - 1st Appearances

If you are at all like me, you are counting the days until May 23, 2014 in anticipation of X-Men: Days of Future Past.  As I did previously for X-Men: First Class which you can find here, I put together a 1st appearance list for all of the characters that we know about so far. There is one other that should probably be on this list, but I'll wait until the movie comes out in case anyone is avoiding the spoilers.  Also worth noting is that the story is based on Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142.

The (Uncanny) X-Men #1:  1st Appearance of Professor XavierMagnetoBeast, Iceman

The (Uncanny) X-Men #4:  1st Appearance of Quicksilver

The (Uncanny) X-Men #14:  1st Appearance of Bolivar Trask
The (Uncanny) X-Men #54:  1st Appearance of Havok

The Incredible Hulk #180:  1st Cameo of Wolverine

The Incredible Hulk #181:  1st Full Appearance of Wolverine

Giant Size X-Men #1:  1st Appearance of Storm, Colossus

Ms. Marvel #16 - 18:  1st Appearance of Mystique.  This one is tough to judge. Mystique cameos in #16, disguises herself as Nick Fury in #17, and makes her first full appearance as Mystique in #18.

The (Uncanny) X-Men #129:  1st Appearance of Kitty Pryde

Avengers Annual #10:  1st Appearance of Rogue

Marvel Graphic Novel #4 (The New Mutants):  1st Appearance of Sunspot

Marvel Graphic Novel #5 (God Loves, Man Kills):  1st Appearance of William Stryker

New Mutants #16:  1st Appearance of Warpath

Uncanny X-Men #282:  1st Appearance of Bishop

Uncanny X-Men #317:  1st Appearance of Blink

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Steal of the Week

All-Star Comics #69.  1st appearance of Huntress. $1.  I may have to put together a Huntress key issues list. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Best Deadpool Story in Years

A handful of comic readers I know have told me that they don't like Deadpool and don't understand his appeal.  Depending on how the character is written, I can see their point.  Fortunately, for those of us who want Deadpool to be a good comic book, Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan are evolving him into more than the one note character he has been recently.

Posehn and Duggan began sowing the seeds for "The good, the bad and the ugly" story in the issues after their first arc.  The premise is that every so often mysterious people are drugging Deadpool and harvesting his organs without his knowledge. Starting in issue #15 Deadpool decides to enlist some help and track down the folks doing this to him.  I don't want to give anything else away because it was such a good read.  The fact that I almost cried during issue #19 should suffice.  Posehn and Duggan have brought a tragic comedian sensibility to Deadpool that is perfect for the character.  The Declan Shalvey artwork is superb.  Let's hope it continues.  "The good, the bad and the ugly" runs from Deadpool #15 through #19.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Key Issues - Firestar (Angelica Jones)

Cover by Barry Smith
Like many of you I picked up the first issue of Amazing X-Men this week.  And though it was nice to see Nightcrawler again, I was much more excited about Firestar finally joining the X-men.  Aaron introduced the character to X-readers superbly by reminding us that not all mutants are X-Men or evil mutants.  Her first reactions to the Jean Grey School were perfect.  Firestar has been around as a character for over 30 years debuting in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends tv show in 1981.  She was introduced in comics as a member of the Hellions, later joining the New Warriors and the Avengers.  Also, thank you Jason Aaron for the nod to Firestar and Iceman's past history.

Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Key Issues:

Uncanny X-Men #193 - 1st appearance (in comics)
Firestar #1-4 - Origin, Joins the Massachusetts Academy under Emma Frost
Thor #411-412 - 1st appearance of the New Warriors
New Warriors #1 - Joins the New Warriors (takes place prior to Thor #411)
Marvel Comics Presents #82-87 - More of Firestar's backstory prior to New Warriors
Avengers Vol 3 #4 -Joins the Avengers
Marvel Divas #1 - Announces she has cancer as a result of her mutant ability
Marvel Divas #4 - Cancer in remission
Amazing X-Men #1 -Joins Wolverine's X-men

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The X-Men Title You Should've Been Reading All Along

If you had told me a year ago that X-Men Legacy would be on my pull list, I'd have told you to go pound sand.  Then you'd say, "But, it's really cerebral and it follows Legion."  Then I'd say, "Forget what I said about pounding sand, go eff yourself!"

Well, it's a year later and I can tell you that X-Men Legacy is one of the few books that I read the day I bring it home.  The others are Thor, Uncanny X-Men, and All New X-Men.  Though Bendis is creating a monumental run on the new big 2 X-books, this one is not to be missed.  Written by Simon Spurrier, Legacy has filled the vacuum left after Rick Remender's X-Force run ended (more on this later).

The premise of the book is that Legion is trying to get control of his powers.  The short, short version of Legion's history is that he's a bit crazy.  At the same time, he's making an attempt to fulfill as best he can the Professor X (his father) legacy.   But not as Legion describes it by "wearing spandex."  He's a loner and is the character that Quentin Quire wishes he could be.  Legion's way of fulfilling his father's dream is not to preach peace like the new Uncanny Avengers or kill all enemies like the old Uncanny X-Force.  Instead he uses the necessary technique for whatever threat he is facing whether it be subterfuge, violence, or diplomacy.  Fortunately, he has many powers at his disposal.

This title without announcing it takes us to some dark places.  In reality, Legion's proactive mission to neutralize threats to mutants is even scarier.  In Remender's X-Force, the villains were overtly evil.  Spurrier's villains though are more frightening because they are human and familiar.  Some of them look like your neighbors or uncles which is a credit to Tang Eng Huat's artwork.  The other common theme in both series deals with good intentions, Machiavellian methods, and unintended consequences.

I also love the fact that Spurrier apparently has his pick of the less seen mutants throughout the Marvel Universe.  There's not another book where you can see characters like Blindfold, Chamber, Pixie, and Pete Wisdom.  I am a little sad that Spurrier's run will end with issue #24, but apparently he'll be on a new title that's been teased with the word "Offensive." I have no idea what that means, but my dream is that Legion is somehow cajoled into working with a new group in MI-13 led by Pete Wisdom.  For other insights into X-Men Legacy and Spurrier's thoughts check out:  Even without the great writing and art, the Mike Del Mundo covers alone are worth more than the $2.99 cover price.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Man of Steel Is Not the Best Superman Movie Since 1978

It is the best Superman movie ever. So good that I came out of blogging retirement to write this review because of the negative reviews I've seen so far. Man of Steel is like a sci-fi Greek myth except that with CGI we can watch the battles instead of listening to a chorus sing about how epic it was.

First a couple of rebuttals. Some of the reviews complained about how it's difficult to relate to Superman and that the tone of the film was too serious. Let's tie these two together shall we?  Of course Superman is hard to relate to.  Not only is he an alien, but he's better than you in almost every way.  In addition to being physically superior, Superman is morally better than you.  I know preachers and priests who wouldn't turn the other cheek that many times.  Furthermore, most people who walk away from a fight do so out of fear, not righteousness.  Superman could kill all of them in multiple ways instantly, but he doesn't because he's better than us.

This leads us to the serious tone of the film.  The movie is serious because a handful of aliens is threatening to end life on the planet.  That's some heavy shit.  I don't need Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum cracking jokes.  I need a superhero who will take care of that.  Otherwise, we are all effed.  Aside from that, Superman is serious because he just met his biological father and discovered that none of his race exists any longer.  When you realize you are the only alien on the planet and little hope of finding any others, that's probably a low point in your life.  To top it off, that pesky moral center of yours is reminding you that you should be helping everyone even though it may not be in your best interest.  That is also a pretty lonely place to be.

My next rebuttal is for those who thought Man of Steel was missing some romance.  If that's what you came to see in the Superman movie, well,  "I'm sorry ma'am, but you're in the wrong theater.  The other Amy Adams movie where she's planning a wedding and her fiancee gets killed in Iraq but then she falls in love with a rough around the edges but has a heart of gold Irish fellow comes out in the theaters next month.

Finally, I'll say that the film has a great story, is full of action, and manages to make Superman cool again.  More importantly, it sets the stage for a Justice League movie.  Now that Superman has come forward and revealed himself to the world, hopefully other superheros will do the same.