ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Morning Comics 11 I 2014 - Uncanny X-Men, Vol 1: Revolution by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Chris Bachalo & Frazer Irving and Uncanny X-Men, Vol 2: Broken by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Chris Bachalo & Frazer Irving

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Title: Uncanny X-Men, Vol 1: Revolution
Series: Uncanny X-Men
Authors: Brian Michael Bendis, art by Chris Bachalo & Frazer Irving
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9780785168461
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Twitter: @Marvel
Format: Hardcover
Available: July 3, 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars

Characters:
  • Maria Hill
  • Cyclops
  • Emma Frost
  • Magneto
  • Magik
  • Triage
  • Tempus
  • Fabio Medina
  • Benjamin Deeds
  • Sentinels
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Hulk
  • Black Widow
  • Spider-Woman
  • Hawkeye
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Iceman
  • Storm
  • Stepford Sisters
  • Wolverine
  • Angel (from the past)
  • Agent Coulson
  • Dormammu

So, with all the Marvel NOW! changes that have been happening, it's been hard for me to keep up with what's going on. While I think DC handled their reboot better only in that every series restarted at the same time, I like how Marvel kept the stories going, just freshened them up a bit. But, as they started new series at different times during their reboot, I lost track of what's what, so am just sticking to the series that I'm interested in, like Uncanny X-Men.

I never understood why they ended the original run of the flagship X-Men title, other than to try to gain some sales, so when I heard then that they were bringing the title back, I was hardly surprised. This time around, Bendis has taken the reins of the series, and while I absolutely think he needs to be removed from being the writer for the big universe-spanning crossovers (such as Age of Ultron - ugh), I think his take on the rogue team of X-Men is fantastic!

This story takes place fairly shortly after the events of AvX and the Phoenix event and finds the rogue band of X-Men (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, and Magik) trying to find new mutants before the government does, and protecting them. They have opened a new school at a secret location, where they hope to train these mutants in the use of their powers and uphold the Xavier dream. However, this is a team of broken X-Men. During the Phoenix event, Cyclops went mad and stole the Phoenix power from the other hosts, and in the ensuing battle, damaged the powers of several of the X-Men. So now, not only is this team of X-Men training other new mutants, they are having to retrain themselves and see if they can restore their powers. These are characters that now that they are broken, and are aware of what they were trying to do during the Phoenix event, and are now trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

The first arc finds the team trying to rescue Fabio Medina, a new mutant whose powers just emerged. Almost as soon as the team arrives to help Medina, a new breed of Sentinels arrive on the scene as well. They have no idea who sent the Sentinels after them, or how whoever did send them knew they were going to be at that precise location, but they assume that it is SHIELD.

Cyclops then decides to go to the Jean Grey School to see if he can recruit any of the students there for his new Xavier School (so many schools!). After a brief argument with the X-Men at that school, they return to the Xavier School, only to have the Stepford Sisters and Angel (from their past - see All-New X-Men for that story) join the team.

They no more than get these students to the school than Magik is ripped out the room, and thrown back in a swirl of demon fire. It is revealed that part of her broken powers have been ripping Limbo apart, and Dormammu's realm is now in danger, so he brought her to Limbo to kill her and take over Limbo as well as the Dark Dimension. Magik thinks this worst is over, but it's only just begun.

Frankly, I loved this volume. This new take on Cyclops, where he's almost maniacal in his devotion to rescuing new mutants is impressive. Add to that his dealing with his broken powers, and you've got a great mix for characters development. Bendis handled all the characters, in my opinion, and I'm really anxious to see how he plays this series out. Chris Bachalo and Frazer Irving's art is fantastic. I've always been a fan of Bachalo, and this is my first time experiencing Irving's art, but his style suited the issues that dealt with Limbo perfectly.

So while I still think Bendis needs to have his influence on the bigger spanning events scaled back quite a bit, I'm pleased with how he's handling this title.


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Title: Uncanny X-Men, Vol 2: Broken
Series: Uncanny X-Men
Authors: Brian Michael Bendis, art by Chris Bachalo & Frazer Irving
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9780785167853
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Twitter: @Marvel
Format: Hardcover
Available: November 6, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars

Characters:
  • Hijack
  • Cyclops
  • Emma Frost
  • Magneto
  • Magik
  • Triage
  • Tempus
  • Fabio Medina
  • Benjamin Deeds
  • Stepford Sisters
  • Angel (from the past)
  • Dormammu 
  • Doctor Strange
  • Dazzler
  • Maria Hill
  • Blockbuster Sentinel

Continuing directly where Revolution left off, the team has been forced into Limbo by Dormammu, who plans to kill her friends while making Magik watch, and then kill her. In the ensuing battle, Magik loses control and the Darkchylde is released. In order to end Dormammu's bid to overtake Limbo and to prevent the death of her friends, the Darkchylde absorbs the entirety of the dimension into herself and presumably kills Dormammu. Not knowing what this will do to her, she travels back in time to enlist the aid of Doctor Strange, but a Doctor Strange that is not an Avenger and does not bare ill will against her.

The next story arc finds the team assisting David Bond (Hijack), a new mutant (who seems to be older than most new mutants), who has discovered that he can control vehicles. They then hear that Fabio Medina's house is being surrounded by SHIELD (they had returned him to his home at his request after going to Limbo), so they decide to help. While Fabio is on the Helicarrier, they are able to track his location, and Magik transports them into the Helicarrier, they rescue Fabio, and Hijack takes momentary control of the ship.

After rescuing Fabio, they learn of a demonstration being held at U of M in Ann Arbor in support of mutants, so Cyclops decides to go and thank them for their support. Almost immediately, a new type of Sentinel, the Blockbuster Sentinel, is there to apprehend the X-Men, at any cost. Cyclops finally understands that they are the reason that the Sentinels keep coming, and decides that maybe if he died the attacks would stop. Of course, Magneto keeps this from happening, and after finally subduing the Sentinel, it self destructs before any information can be gleaned from it.

My problem with this volume was everything was so rushed. The Magik story, rescuing Medina, and then the Sentinel attack all seem to take place over the course of 2-3 days. I may be misreading the time span on these issues, but there was just so much happening, so fast, it's hard to feel really pulled into an of the arcs. I'm hoping that after Battle of the Atom, which is what all these issues are leading up to, that we get a chance to slow down a little and really get back to the character development. Again, Bachalo and Irving's art is top notch, my only wish being that Bachalo handled the arc with the Blockbuster Sentinel. Irving's art is just fine, but I would love to see Bachalo's take on the Sentinel design. While rushed, the book still delivers and I'll be continuing to follow this series.





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