Rachel and Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 14

Week of November 19, 2014

In which we examine the phenomenon of death-by-kinda-high-concept, Uncanny X-Men remains spectacular, and Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program is surprisingly solid.

Reviewed:

  • Axis #6 (0:31)
  • Axis: Revolutions #2 (4:19)
  • X-Force #12 (6:20)
  • Storm #5 (8:12)
  • *Uncanny X-Men #28 (10:35)
  • Magneto #12 (13:51)
  • Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2 (15:38)

*Pick of the week (18:04)

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11 comments

  1. Sol says:

    I have just declared this Saturday Demon Bear Reread Day. And OMG, I always forget how wonderful Sienkiewicz’s art here is. What a treat!

  2. NewtypeS3 says:

    I was rather surprised by the Weapon X Project tie-in myself. I’m fairly sure that Sharp is not going to be who the book blatantly claims he is, but I’m actually wanting to see how this Department H version of the A-Team winds up working out.

    Although, as I said in the Quiet Cyclops Moment post, Uncanny #28 blew me away. Under any lesser artist/writer pair, Scott’s determination to help the “New guy” (as I don’t remember his name) would come across like trying to recruit someone for a dodgeball team.
    But for once, I have absolutely no complaints about Bendis’ story decompression habits. If this was the 1970s and under Claremont, this kind of character exploration really wouldn’t happen.

    Kris Anka remains awesome, though, and I think I’ve got a new favorite X-Artist.
    Not the least of which because he loves Octopusheim Cyclops.

  3. Steve says:

    This month’s Uncanny made me so happy. One of the most rewarding things about being a big X-Men fan the last few years has been watching Scott Summers abandon the politics of respectability that has always been a kinda problematic element of the X-Men and the mutant metaphor. I go back and forth in how I feel about Bendis’ Uncanny run but he and Anka nailed it this issue.

  4. McArdle says:

    Thinking of the characters for whom you think (and I agree) the Axis inversion thing is working really well, they have another thing in common, in addition to usual morally gray attitudes: they all have solo books that are struggling with the inversion thing (the new Iron Man title, Magneto, and Loki: Agent of Asgard/Axis). It may not be that the reason they work well is that they are morally gray (that’s true of a lot of characters in the crossover). It may be the reason they work well is because they are all in their own books where really good writers are thinking about what an inversion of their personalities would mean, without having to worry about the logistics of a big crossover event. The people working on Axis can lean on that work for characterization, while they rush though the characterizations of other inverted characters (Sam Wilson, for instance, could really use a dedicated writer to think about what it would mean for Falcon/Cap to be an opposite person).

    • McArdle says:

      Not to imply that Falcap is a morally gray character, just that he could be a more interesting inversion than the mwa-ha-ha-style supervillain that he is portrayed as in Axis.

      • NewtypeS3 says:

        I dunno, I kind of like seeing Stereotypical Badguy FalconCap. It’s generic, and the personality has been done before, but it’s solid shorthand for “he’s gone evil.”

        Admittedly, it should be done better… but there’s a pretty great way to be pleased over AXIS without changing a line:

        Marvel’s doing “Forever Evil,” but in a much better way without involving multiple timelines. And spoofing it at the same time.

        Just think about that. It somehow makes a fair amount more sense now… and it does explain the somewhat arbitrary personality shift, even if it works in context.

        • McArdle says:

          Maybe: I didn’t read Forever Evil. I’m less of a sucker for big stupid crossovers at DC, I guess. I do think that Sam Wilson’s driving character trait is not being good, but doing good by other people: it’s a sense of moral responsibility grounded in respect for other human beings. So, a much more interesting inverted Sam Wilson wouldn’t be a guy with a bunch of evil plans. Rather, it would be a guy who doesn’t care enough to piss in your mouth if your teeth are on fire.

          • NewtypeS3 says:

            That’s true – and we are actually seeing some of that in the series, I’ve noticed. Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1 actually has a scene where FalconCap brutally takes out a squad of mercs lead by the Plunderer (who has decided to start stealing… AND GIVING IT TO STARVING ORPHANS! THE FIEND!), and refuses to get any medical attention for them, instead choosing to leave them to die.

            Of course, this also was released after the initial issues of AXIS that had everyone becoming and being evil, so that might be a character interpretation that’s sadly missing from the main book.

            And to be honest, I didn’t read Forever Evil either. I have some friends who did, and I read some summaries from ComicsAlliance out of boredom. It’s basically a similar concept – the only difference being that the evil heroes are actually the villains from an alternate Earth who invade, take out all our heroes, reveal that Dick Grayson is Nightwing, and generally cause chaos. It’s down to Lex Luthor, other villains, and Batman (because of course Batman) to save the day by being less than good.

            I like Marvel’s idea of “Bad guys as good guys” better. Especially when it gives us things like Hobgoblin and Carnage being good.

  5. John G. says:

    I picture Rachel having her very own dragon’s hoard-worth of sunglasses, explaining how there’s a new pair for every video review. I am 100% happy with the idea that my Patreon money goes towards accumulating more of them.

    • Rachel says:

      I do, to the point that I really need to figure out a good way to rehome most of them–most of them are super cheap street-vendor or secondhand pairs, but they pile up ridiculously fast. (Also, congrats–I think you might be the first person who noticed that there aren’t any repeats in the videos!)

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