Uncanny X-Men: First Class #8: A Wee Problem

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Playing catch up, so here is last week’s review of ‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #8 (preview)
Writer: Scott Gray
Art: Fernando Blanco


RECAP: The issue opens with a murder in Cassidy Keep. The librarian, Master Finnan, is dead and so the caretaker calls for the Lord of the Manner, Sean Cassidy. He arrives with Logan, Kurt and Piotr determined to unravel the mystery. Sean does not believe it is a suicide despite a note left by Finnan and he promises Finnan’s daughter, Molly, to find the truth. Inspecting the area discovers chamomile in the tea, a deadly poison to the leprechauns.

Before they can search more, Conall the head of the museum, comes in and gives more bad news. The family museum was attacked and the ring of Sean’s ancestor, Liam, was stolen. Liam was the one that built the keep and was a great champion and with his leprechaun friend, Malachy Quinn, they defeated a great Sidhe evil. Besides the ring, Liam and Malachy’s tapestry was damaged far above where a leprechaun could reach.

Sean next visits Owen McGuinness, the apothecary, and keeper of the only supply of chamomile in the castle.  Owen introduces his grandson Declan who shows them the chamomile supply. Sean cuts himself on a lantern before discovering the supply is gone. He then talks to the kitchen staff who relates the events of the night in question, saying Finnan was acting strangely and there was a giggling noise from the room.

Sean takes another look at the note and declares it to be Finnan’s handwriting. What is more he knows who killed the old leprechaun and sets up a meeting of the house. After going through the suspects, Sean fingers Declan as his name was spelled in the note. The young leprechaun admits it and says it is because he has always been ridiculed because he is half Sidhe. He has wings which is how he damaged the tapestry. He needed Sean’s blood and with it he uses the Cassidy ring to control all the fae in the castle and even summon the Sidhe to battle.

The X-Men are limited in the fight since none of their attackers are in their right minds, but eventually Sean is able to use his power to shatter the ring and free everyone. Once the threat is ended, the whole castle turns out for the funeral of Finnan and Banshee once again says goodbye to his family’s keep.

MY TAKE: This is a fun little issue, with a nice mystery and good character moments. It actually felt like a First Class issue and I was glad to see it. There is nothing really new or earth shaking here, but the story is well told and it does pull you into the plot. Banshee has proven to be the strongest character for this series and so ending with him is a good idea. Using the leprechauns is a nice way to keep things a bit lighter and more child friendly without having to alienate the adult readers.

Although Sean gets the most screen time, and is certainly the best used character, the rest of the team make good supporting players. Logan feels more natural here and both Kurt and Piotr get a few good moments. I specifically liked Kurt’s interaction with Declan about how it feels to be an outsider.

The murder plot was very well done and felt like an actual murder mystery, just trimmed down to fit the book. There were clues and suspects and even several false leads and potential villains. While the eventual killer’s motivation was not the most logical or fitting, it was solid enough not to hurt the story.

The biggest flaw, for me, was the forced combat at the end of the issue. I do understand that a certain amount of action is expected in a comic book, especially those aimed at younger viewers, but it did not really fit. It did give the rest of the X-Men something more meaningful to do, but it would have been better to make defeating the villain a smaller and more personal affair. Bringing in hoards of creatures just confused the story and made the ending longer then it needed to be. A quicker conclusion would have given more time for the murder plot to play out.

In the end this was a good stand alone story that combined an interesting story with some strong characterizations. It is too bad that this is the end of the series because it has had a lot of promise for the past few issues, after a somewhat shaky start. Hopefully, the sales will increase for these issues and we can see another series in the future. Now that the creative team has found their stride, I expect it would be very entertaining.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

Wolverine Weapon X #10 Review: Logan Love

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… This week’s review is ‘Wolverine: Weapon X’. Hope you enjoy it.

Wolverine: Weapon X #10 (preview)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: C. P. Smith


RECAP: The issue opens with Logan recounting his first time to Melita. It was with a Mexican migrant worked whose name he did not even know. He then continues to give some more details on his love life before she asks too many personal questions and he gets dressed and leaves.

In Japan, Logan kills some ninja and runs into Yukio. She tries to seduce him but Wolverine turns her down, something he has never done before. A little while later, he confesses this to Storm, while playing chess with her. She asks who his new girlfriend is but he is still denying Melita is his girlfriend later when he is playing pool with Rogue. But she gets him to admit it without ever saying a word.

The Black Widow offers to get the new girl some tech for communication or tracking in case she gets into trouble but Logan declines. Natasha says that at least  Melita needs to learn how to shoot then. Out shopping with Jubilee, Wolverine gets lectured on the difficulty of relationships and the problems with his current life style. She never really lets him get a word in edgewise.

At the New Avengers base, Cage and Jessica are trying to find their baby’s binkie to quiet her screaming. Jessica can not help since she is holding the child but Logan offers to take her. Although he holds her awkwardly, she silences instantly. Jessica seems concerned but Luke has faith and goes back to look for the toy.

Wolverine returns to San Fransisco and finds out that Garner is training at the Sons of the Tiger dojo and has a pretty good sidekick. He takes her to a shrine in Mariko’s honor and explains what happens to all the girls that get involved with him. She says that she did the research and knows all about his past women.  She kicks him in the face again to demonstrate what would happen if one of his enemies came after her but he is not impressed. He tries to talk her out of the relationship but she is determined and eventually he gives in and takes her to his room on Utopia.

In bed they talk about her past and interests before he goes to sleep. Later, Melita is walking the halls when she runs into Emma and asks about the bathroom. Frost starts laughing when she discovers that Garner is sleeping with Wolverine. The next day, Logan takes her back to San Fransisco and kisses her goodbye. Almost immediately she is bumped into by a very old woman who turns out to be Mystique is disguise. It appears the villain and former flame is planning to keep an eye on the new girlfriend.

MY TAKE: First off I want to say that I liked this issue, it is one of my favorites of the run so far. Wolverine is very well done and I am glad to see he is giving some real thought to the dangers inherent in getting involved again. Melita is starting to grow on me as well. She shows a much tougher and more confident side to her personality here which has been mostly missing so far. I like the fact that she actually looked into his past before pursuing him and that she understands the risks and is trying to learn to protect herself.

The cameos are mostly done very well, too. There was a good mix of the women in Logan’s life including some of his closest friends and allies. Since most of them were not ex-girlfriends, however, it would have been nice to see a few of his close male friends like Kurt. Most guys talk about woman troubles with their guy friends after all. I would have liked to see Domino in the mix too although I can understand the conflict of interest there.

Jubilee’s scene was kind of wasted to me personally. She is arguably the person he is closest too in the world and we have not seen them interact in years. Instead of a touching scene, we get her lecturing him like she is his parent. I would have liked to have seen more of them together, as well as a greater understanding and caring between them. She should be the one he can most easily turn to with these sorts of problems. Although, I can understand her being a bit upset, she can be jealous where Logan is concerned.

My biggest complaint with the whole issue is not with the story or the characters though, it is just with the relationship in general. I can certainly understand the desire to give Wolverine a new girl but this is still very familiar ground. Since this is an original character, she is almost certainly going to be ignored in other series and eventually killed off when this series ends or Aaron leaves. Just like the last two, Cassie Lathrop and Amir the Atlantean, one dead and the other in Limbo. In fact this issue does the same thing, ignoring Domino and completely glossing over Itsu who was still his wife.

Still, in the end we get a entertaining and well-done issue that actually has the guts to explore Wolverine’s love life. I especially liked the beginning when Logan was doing the pillow talk with Melita. In truth, I would have been happy to see this story stretched out a bit over a couple of issues with more time spent with the guest stars. But as it is, we get a well written-story that does a very nice job of getting inside Wolverine’s head and exploring who he is. Those tales are too few these days so I was glad to see it here. Next issue will be back to the slicing and hacking but I hope we can keep some focus on Logan’s personality and emotional conflicts as well.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

X-Force #23 Review: Death Bringers

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Here’s the second review from last week, ‘X-Force’. Hope you enjoy.

X-Force #23 (preview)
Writer: Craig Kyle & Christoper Yost
Art: Clayton Crain


RECAP: The issue opens with Rahne flatlining due to her pregnancy.  Dr. Nemesis tries but cannot help her. Hrimhari arrives with Hela to try and save her but the goddess agrees to only save either Rahne or the child but not both.

Upstairs, the X-Men are facing the new invaders. Although many of the X-Men are in denial over their friends helping Selene, Diamond Lil charges forward and is immediately killed by Dazzler’s sister. X-Force moves to attack with Logan taking the lead but Frost distracts him and Lois and Wither take him down. Proudstar and Archangel jump in and get intercepted by Bard and Senyaka. Then Blink teleports Warren’s wings off.

On Necrosha, Selene gets more mutants delivered by Caliban. John Proudstar says that the X-Men will stop her but Selene is confident as it is almost time for her ceremony.

Back on Utopia, Hrimhari makes his choice. He chooses to save Elixir. When Josh wakes, the Wolf Prince barely has time to explain and get Foley a message before Hela takes him away. Elixir then jumps into action to heal Rahne while Vanisher asks for help.

The X-Men continue to fight Selene’s forces but are not doing very well. Cessily gets blinked into pieces and Onyxx is destroyed by Wither while Dazzler fights her sister and Wolverine stabs Senyaka to little effect. Proudstar has no luck fighting Bard but is told the attacks will stop if they are given the blade. He takes off for his room with the bad guys in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Rahne wakes up and Josh explains that he is transferring some of the strength from the baby to her so she can survive her pregnancy. He also has to tell her that Hrimhari has gone with Hela and that he would try and get back to her.

In Proudstar’s room, he finds the knife and is immediately attacked by Selene’s forces who are teleported in by Blink. She then takes them all off to Necrosha. The rest of the X-Men are mourning their losses. Scott orders the Cuckoos to find Wither and they locate the group on Necrosha. He tells Wolverine to go to Necrosha and stop her, while Frost adds in that all of her forces must be killed in order for this to end. Including their former friends and allies.

They are explaining the situation to Rahne while the Vanisher keeps trying to get Foley to heal him. Logan and the rest show up and tell Elixir to leave it in because he was taking them all to Necrosha.

MY TAKE: This issue starts to really ramp up the story and move the action along to the next phase. I am definitely glad that the Utopia piece of the plot ended and the action moves to Necrosha. The X-Men have looked pretty foolish so far and I am more than happy to see them taking the initiative and working to end this threat. Hopefully, they will get some redemption for their poor showing and revenge for the deaths and suffering that have occurred so far.

The plot was fine although it was somewhat spoiled by the fact that we were already showed Proudstar’s capture in another book. Rahne’s pregnancy was well handled although it still does not really fit in with the rest of the story. I am all for the X-Force finally being all back together again but I doubt they are going to let Rahne run off and fight considering her condition. It seems like a story that could have been handled post-event.

The only person that got any real character development here was Emma and hers did not make much sense. In diamond form she should not have felt any emotion so her semi-breakdown did not really work. Her pragmatism at the end did make sense considering how vicious their foes have been but should have been her position from the start.

To that end, I want to bring up the deaths in this comic. I understand wanting to make the story have more of an impact, but they killed off such minor characters that I do not see the point. I did not even remember Lil, and Onyxx was extremely underdeveloped and unused so his death will hardly even be noticed. I am glad that they did not kill off anyone I liked but I do not see the benefit to the deaths of such low-tier characters.

Still in the end, this was an entertaining and pretty well-done issue. It did a good job of advancing the story while keeping the threat level high for the final stage. It even makes sense that X-Force is being sent to Necrosha alone which is something I was wondering about. Hopefully the last couple of the parts to the event keep up the quality and give us a conclusion that is both entertaining and satisfying.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

‘Wolverine Origins’ #44 Review: Escape Plan

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Not sure how many reviews I can get through for the week so I wanted to start with ‘Wolverine: Origins’. Hope you enjoy it.

Wolverine Origins #44 (preview)
Writer: Daniel Way
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Inks: Bill Reinhold with Gary Erskine


RECAP: The issue opens with Wolverine cutting the lock to Ruby’s cell and triggering the alarm. He explains that she is the key to his plans and gets her to agree to leave with him. They let the female guard go even though the armed response units would be there in twenty seconds.

In the security office, they see that they have trapped Wolverine in the prison and the power dampeners are on. Before he can panic, the warden is called by Romulus who offers to help with Wolverine assuming that the warden tells him who Logan is there to free.

Meanwhile Wolverine explains his plan. They sit tight until the heavy hitter from H.A.M.M.E.R. shows up and the guards have to ease up the power dampeners. Then Cloak can get them out. Several guards show up at the door where Logan is held but they get a call from Romulus before they can act. Wolverine cuts through the door but the guards are already down except for one that is removing his uniform.

The warden orders a sector by sector search for Logan but they do not find him since they are dressed as guards. The  heavy hitter shows up, it is Skaar, the Hulk’s son who was actually sent by Banner. The warden orders the dampeners to be lowered as soon as Skaar makes direct contact. Skaar makes contact quickly, but is there at Wolverine’s request. Before he can call it in though the real solution arrives in the form of Ares.

Cloak is injured as Skaar and Ares batter each other. He still manages to teleport Ruby outside but is too weak continue. Ruby then goes off to find her own action. Logan tries to stop the fight but gets batted away by Ares. Instead of fighting, he manages to get Skaar to flee before the rest of the Avengers arrive. He grabs Wolverine and jumps out, smashing a H.A.M.M.E.R. jet in the process. They arrive to where Cloak is waiting and Logan helps him up. Wolverine asks about Ruby and we see that Romulus has taken her out.

MY TAKE: This is a another pretty good issue that does a decent job at advancing the story despite there being very little plot. Wolverine adds another member to his team, although they are trying to make it seem like she is not going to be any help. I did like the guests in the issue though, with Skaar adding some good action and amusing scenes. While I am not a major fan of Wolverine building a group like this, so far it is working better then expected.

I was glad to see Logan using his brain here, as well. Although I am still not a fan of his general lack of fighting skills in the series, it is nice to see him come up with a plan that does not rely on brute strength. It was good to see his reputation being respected too, often we see Wolverine merely getting brushed off by other characters.

Wolverine feels more natural here, with less thought balloons and a more flowing dialogue. He seems focused and confident and completely in charge of the situation which is a welcome change from the rather tentative way he has been portrayed. He even is able to keep Skaar focused and in control by pushing the right buttons.

I am still not a fan of Romulus however, and this issue gives me nothing new to enjoy. On the one hand we are given a master manipulator that has control and influence over everyone including a bunch of guards at a super-human detention center and even their warden. And then, at the end, he insists on going to the area personally to take out Wolverine’s secret weapon without knowing Wolverine’s plan or purpose. It is almost like Way is still not sure exactly what he wants Romulus to be and so the villain changes depending on the situation. I would prefer some more consistency and a bit more personality.

In the end, this was a much better then normal issue but still far from perfect. Not much really happens here story-wise, it is just another recruit acquisition and then escape. The whole thing is starting to feel overdone. I also wonder about the ending, considering that Ruby has a computer for a brain, getting clawed is not going to affect her much. If Romulus was so well connected he should have figured that out. This arc has definitely been a step up for the series but is starting to drag on a bit. Hopefully with Romulus making his appearance we can move on to the end of the storyline.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

Wolverine: Weapon X #9 Review – Blackout

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… I will be trying to do two reviews this week but starting with the major title ‘Wolverine: Weapon X’. Hope you enjoy it.

Wolverine: Weapon X #9 (preview)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Yannick Paquette


RECAP: The issue opens with Wolverine showing up at Melita’s doorway, in the middle of the night, covered in blood. He falls into her arms obviously devastated. A day before, we see Melita talking to Nightcrawler and Psylocke and giving them information on Wolverine’s status and whereabouts. Betsy wonders what their connection is and why Logan would have reached out to Melita rather then the X-Men.

Kurt teleports them to Dunwich, right into the room with the brain machine. Nightcrawler wants to destroy it but Psylocke warns that could render  everyone within nine miles completely insane. She is going to need to defuse it carefully.

Meanwhile the inmates are slaughtering the mafia goons that showed up at the asylum. Logan is still under the effects of the machine and does not know what to do but as Betsy takes it apart, he remembers who he wants to kill. He hunts down Dr. Rot and guts him. Rot’s nurse attacks but the drug she uses does not do much.

Rot attempts to strangle Logan with his own intestines but gets knocked away. Rot then stabs Wolverine in both eyes with hypodermic needles  and the nurse hits him with a fire extinguisher. Logan cuts through it and frees his eyes but Dr. Rot has already bandaged himself and has a giant nut cracker which he uses to remove the brain from one of the surviving patients’ heads.

Logan pursues but Rottwell has enough time to rig up an insanity bomb with the brain and triggers it. Psylocke and Kurt recover after thirty seconds and decide not to talk about whatever they may have done while out of their heads.

We return to Logan at Melita’s and see her sleeping while Logan tries to compose himself. Dr. Rot and the nurse are in an R.V. where she is attempting to stitch together his belly. While she works, Rot calls Logan and speaks a trigger word that makes Logan go blank. Forty-five minutes later, Melita wakes up and finds Wolverine with blood on his hands. He remembers nothing but outside there is a man with his head sliced open and the brain missing.

MY TAKE: This is a decent conclusion for the Dunwich arc although I did have some issues with it. I was glad to see Nightcrawler and Psylocke coming to aid their friend although they are pretty underused. Betsy does take down the brain machine but I would have liked to see Kurt do a bit more with stopping the killing that was going on in the asylum.

The issue had some really good action and some very interesting and unique situations. The brain nut cracker was a great visual in particular. I am not sure about having Wolverine being so easy to control with a trigger phrase but it does have some intriguing potential for the future. We have seen Logan being used as a weapon before but never by such a complete lunatic. I have to wonder why the doctor bothered to fight him though, rather then just freeze him in place.

It does a good job at wrapping up the story and giving us a satisfying conclusion to the plot. The bad guy escapes to plague Logan again, with the pretty interesting nurse at his side, and the Dunwich sanatorium is gone. It gives a pretty reasonable explanation to Wolverine and Melita’s relationship moving to the next level and advances the characterization of Melita in general.

I was not a fan of Rot’s portrayal here however. I do think he has potential and it would have been a waste to kill him off, however you do not have your guts pulled out and survive. While it is certainly possible he is more then human, if he could heal there would be no need to be stitched up later. He also seemed to have some sort of unusual speed considering that he builds a brain bomb in a few seconds and escapes the huge building in thirty with his intestines around his knees. It was unlikely enough to pull me out of the story.

My biggest complaint is once again Logan’s characterization. He has been through so much worse then this incident and yet he does not even clean himself up before staggering to the door of a girl he has only known a few weeks? It does not make sense for him to break down at all let alone go to her for comfort. Especially considering how much of an effect it had on him afterward. He has been shown to be brainwashed into murdering friends with less after effects. Even more, I really wonder why Wolverine did not track Rot down considering the blood trail he had to be leaving.

In the end though it was a good read but it just had a lot of plot holes to me. I do not expect everything to be explained to me in an issue but I do like to have it be a bit more logical. I enjoy the idea of a Joker-esque villain for Logan but it is hard for any normal human to stand up to someone like Wolverine. When you have to make up explanations for things, it is a much less interesting story. Still it is nice to see something different for Wolverine and I am definitely looking forward to the next issue where the focus will be on Logan’s love life.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’ #7 Review: Ending the Game

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Only one review for the week again, this time ‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #7 (preview)
Writer: Scott Gray
Art: Scott Koblish & Nelson DeCastro


RECAP: The issue opens with Xavier confronting the ‘girl’ at the heart of the Hykon citadel and demanding she stop the fight. The Knights are beating Phoenix but the ‘girl’ removes their weapons and ends the conflict for five cycles. Charles identifies her as the referee for the Knights war games. He tells Kurt to take the sword and teleport back to the X-Men and to trust in Moira.

Meanwhile, Jean awakes and is truly angry and Scott has to calm her down. He manages to break Phoenix’s rage and bring Jean back to herself. Moira studies the sword and tells the others that the reason the Knights are unbeatable is that they are phased slightly outside of reality. But that is only true in the X-Men’s universe.

The Professor confronts the ‘girl’ and learns that the Knights were once a race of champions until they ran out of people to fight. They hated peace so they turned on each other in contests and war that wiped the whole race out except for a few survivors. They live now only by following the rules of combat she designed.

Meanwhile, Moira has set up a device to create a localized field that will allow Kurt to teleport all the X-Men to the Hykon’s Citadel. Storm tells Jean about the Knights’ having caused the flare that transformed her into Phoenix before the X-Men and Lilandra teleport out.

Xavier finds out that the ‘girl’ is in fact the repository of Hykon’s history and culture. She does not understand the consequence of their games but Xavier promises to put an end to it. The X-Men arrive at the same time as the Knights and the battle is joined, but this time the Hykon’s are vulnerable. Storm summons a wind and scatters them while Jean attacks Sleeping Mist and puts her down hard.

Kurt follows Bone Dancer and the two fight while Wolverine and Colossus take down the massive Drowning Shadow. Storm downs the girl Sky Song and Xavier avenges himself on their leader who decapitated his Astral Form. Kurt finishes his opponent quickly and Scott blasts down the last of the Knights while ranting that they destroyed the woman he loved.

Lilandra confronts the Lifeforce and destroys it ending the Hykon’s purpose. Xavier decrees that instead of death, they be left alone in hated peace for eternity. The X-Men teleport back and Xavier rejoins his body. Everyone celebrates the victory except Jean and Scott who have not reconciled after his heated words. After a look, Phoenix flies off alone.

MY TAKE: This is a surprisingly good wrap up for the story line, with some well thought out explanations for the climax. I still have some problems with the scope and repercussions of the tale but overall I was satisfied with the way things ended. The explanation for the Knights defeat was especially logical and I am glad they came up with a realistic way to have the extremely powerful foe be defeated.

The characterizations for the most part felt pretty natural as well. Xavier was well done and got to have his moment in the spotlight and Wolverine finally was not treated as a humor character. Nightcrawler seemed a trifle timid at the start but he came back by the end and seemed to be acting normal. Jean was a little over the top but her tantrum was nothing new for the Phoenix persona.

The biggest issue was the way Scott was portrayed. We have never seen him reject Jean this way even when she was the Phoenix and certainly not to her face. I would have not minded so much if he simply apologized and tried to smooth things over but by the end the couple looks to be on the outs. This is another plot point that simply does not gel with the established continuity.

I am glad that we got some of the history and back story of the Knights of Hykon but I was a bit disappointed at how simplistic it seemed. While it was obvious that there were two distinct factions, making the whole thing a giant game did not seem to mesh with the initial part of the history. Heroes and champions do not destroy populated worlds for fun. Fighting on the sun is one thing, but it struck me as odd that they would have so little regard for life after they nearly wiped themselves out.

In the end, this was fitting and enjoyable end to the arc. I still think it was a trifle too ambitious of a story for a series that is set in the past but there was a definite attempt to explain why the villains never showed up again. I am a bit concerned with the altering of Scott and Jean’s relationship, but maybe that will be explained next issue. The series has been a bit hit or miss for me but if nothing else I am looking forward to seeing how everything will be wrapped up next month.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

New Mutants #9 Review: Hell’s General

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… My final make up review is for ‘New Mutants.’ Hope you enjoy it.

New Mutants #9 (preview)
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Paul Davidson

NOTE: Wolverine appears only in the background in this issue.


RECAP: The issue opens with a scientist working in an undisclosed location. A solider comes in and reports there is ice and they both leave. They approach a location where a third man is watching a gate to hell. The gate opens and some men come through. The scientist challenges them and General Ulysses has the correct response. He and his men keep coming through the portal.

On Utopia, Doug and Warlock are being checked out by Nemesis and Danger and are free from Bard’s infection although Warlock is still operating at only 3.8% capacity. Danger seems quite interested in Warlock until she finds out he reproduces asexually. Warlock then reveals that Illyana is not the original but rather a copy.

In the Danger Room, Sunspot is fighting a demon and gets into trouble forcing Illyana to teleport it back to Limbo. Dani and Shan come in and say that Emma wants to speak to Magik in her office.

Magma is still trapped in her molten form and is being visited by Sam. She says she will be let out soon and thanks him for saving her but Sam says it was Roberto that took care of her. Their discussion is interrupted by Doug’s appearance. Amara is still scared of Ramsey and tells him to leave and Sunspot reinforces it. Doug leaves rather then cause a problem.

In her office, Emma questions who Magik really is and Illyana answers honestly that she has the body and mind of Magik but not her soul. She explains about the first Inferno and how she was reborn from Belasco’s magic. She then went into the future after the second Inferno and saw what would happen if she had not stopped Legion.  He would have killed the X-Men until Emma slayed him.

In the control room, Amara confronts Doug and wants him to leave the island. She does not feel like he is really her friend because he is so different. Ramsey explains that he now can translate everything. Although she is still frightened, Doug wants to talk to her in a language that he made just for her. When he finishes, she hugs him and welcomes him back.

Illyana explains some of what she did when she was in the future. Magik hunted down Witchfire and put her to the sword but did not get her Bloodstones back. In her travels, Illyana heard of creatures from Limbo leading the X-Men to the Bloodstones but Magik arrived too late to save them. So she came back in time to make her former teammates ready for the attack which could happen at any time.

MY TAKE: This is another good issue and gives a very nice start to the next plot, which looks to be a return to form. I am glad that the cross-over event is finished and I am looking forward to this new take on Limbo. I am not sure what exactly the general and his troops are but I have wanted a new type of Limbo story for a long time. Hopefully, the group will prove to be an interesting and powerful enemy.

The characterization is uniformly good, as expected, and mostly focused on Illyana, Amara and Doug. I was glad to see that the attack on Magma was addressed and that there was a focus on making peace between her and Ramsey. I am not sure I completely buy how quickly Amara changed her mind but a lot of the issue was focused on them, so it was good to get past it.

I was a bit disappointed with Illyana’s part in the issue, however. I love her character and am glad to see her get some focus but the story was a victim of the advertising that focused on Magik’s secret. I was expecting some sort of major relevation about her personality and her past and instead got a brief recap and a little additional information to fill in the gab between X-Infernus and the first issue of the series. Hopefully, we will see her get her soul back in this story, the last panel hints that is at least possible.

In the end, this is a great story that does feel a bit slow. That is pretty normal when transitioning from one story arc to another. I am glad that there was an effort to address the plot threads from Necrosha but this does seem to give away at least some of the ending of that story.  Still, it works to build a continuity and it gives a very good introduction to the next story, which looks to be excellent. Hopefully, the next issues will continue to have a strong focus on Magik.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

New Mutants #8 Review: Universal Language

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… My final make up review is for ‘New Mutants.’ Hope you enjoy it.

New Mutants #8 (preview)
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Diogenes Neves

NOTE: Wolverine does NOT appear in this issue.


RECAP: The issue opens with crabs crawling up a beach. They are set upon and absorbed by a Warlock crab. We then join Roberto, carrying Amara, with Dani on his heels. They are being tracked by Feral.

Doug is with the Hellions and they are attempting to wipe his programming with a reboot. The New Mutants arrive and Shan mentally takes control of Roulette but can not control her for long. The friends demand Doug Ramsey but are told to come and take him.

Feral has nearly caught the med-bay trio and Dani offers to stay behind to face her. She plans to close the door on Feral as she did on Jetstream but she hits the wrong switch and is soon fighting the cat-like mutant hand to hand. Dani does not hold her for long and Feral quickly attacks Sunspot who tears off one of her arms. She tackles him but Dani throws the severed arm out the window and Feral jumps after it.

Sam hits Jetstream and pulls him out of the fight while Magik faces off against Tarot and banishes her card monsters. Sam slams Jetstream into the ground hard and gets attacked by Catseye. Karma tries to control Beef and Bevatron but can not distract them for long. Magik takes Tarot down and kicks her into a portal but one of Roulette’s bad luck disks causes the portal to open above Illyana taking her down.The girls then kick Illyana off the building.

Sam slams into Karma’s attackers and carts them off with Catseye in close pursuit. On the ground, Illyana runs into a still corrupted Warlock and uses her Soulsword on him. It removes the magical effects and allows him to regain his personality and control.

Roberto and the girls arrive in the infirmary to find only Nemesis there. Although he can not heal her, the doctor gives Magma a serum to jump start her powers and force the change into lava form. She wakes up just in time to hear Roberto call her ‘baby’.

Bevatron manages to take Sam down for a moment and the Hellions regroup to destroy Ramsey before he can be converted. They are interrupted by the arrival of a mostly reconstituted Warlock. As they move to face the new threat, we see that Warlock has called the converted missiles from his initial arrival to his aid. He tells them to detonate on the Hellions as Illyana teleports him and Ramsey to safety.

Warlock asks for Illyana’s sword and she hands it over. Warlock stabs Doug and forces the malicious code from his body. Warlock asks what language Ramsey is just as Dani and Roberto make their appearance. Doug responds that the New Mutants are his language.

MY TAKE: This is another good issue with a strong plot and some very nice interactions. It did feel a bit rushed, however, so there was not as much characterization as there usually is. Still what is there is strong and I am glad there is a bit more focus on the Hellions. While none of them was truly able to shine, they at least showed flickers of their former selves. I just hope they stick around long enough to get some more development.

Much of the issue focused on combat, which seems to be pretty standard for these types of stories. The fight scenes are done well and they are interlaced with some fun and entertaining moments. It does rend the plot pretty thin though. Basically the entire issue is either getting Amara to the infirmary or getting Doug from the Hellions. While that is not exactly a problem, it does give the story less of a narrative punch.

I was strongly impressed with Warlock’s subplot that continued from the first issue of the story arc. I had pretty much forgotten all about the missiles before they were brought back into focus. It really felt like a throw-away plot point but I am glad it had a purpose and was useful. I like when a writer makes an effort to tie different issues of a story like this together. Having Illyana’s sword be the key to freeing him was another nice touch.

In the end, this was a great issue but a bit lacking in the overall plot. I do enjoy fight scenes, but when the story and characterizations are normally so strong, they can feel a trifle flat. Still I liked how everything was brought together and the conclusion worked on several levels. I hope the fact that Illyana’s Soulsword can break the mutants free of Selene is touched on in the larger story. This is still my favorite  current series and I am really looking forward to the next issue when we finally get a strong focus on Illyana.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

X-Men Legacy #231 Review: Reality Shift

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Continuing with my reviews from last week we have ‘X-Men: Legacy.’ Hope you enjoy it.

X-Men Legacy #231 (preview)
Writer: Mike Carey
Penciler: Clay Mann
Inkers: Danny Miki with Allen Martinez & Walden Wong

NOTE: Wolverine appears on the cover only.


RECAP: The issue opens with Cyclops and the X-Men fighting a losing battle against the Techno-zombies including a newly revealed Maggott. Blindfold walks into the middle of the fight and asks for a moment of Cyclops’ time and he gets the Cuckoos to set up a meeting in her mind space. Ruth reveals what Destiny told her and said the Muir Island is a cancer that needs to be dealt with.

Back on Necrosha, Irene talks to one of her jailers, Leon, and reveals some secrets of his past. She trades him a vision of the future for her freedom. In Ruth’s head she manages to convince Scott of the need to send a team to Muir Island. She also questions whether her mother is really dead. In the real world Cyclops orders Nightcrawler to prep an away team while Psylocke tries to comfort Blindfold.

Soon Kurt is taking his team across the Atlantic. He has tapped Colossus, Magneto, Psylocke, Rogue, Trance, Husk as well as Blindfold. Kurt tries to explain the reason for leaving their friends behind in the middle of a war but it does not go over well. Meanwhile, Magneto attempts to rekindle a spark with Rogue who rebuffs him.

On the island, Kurt has Trance scout the area while he jumps to the lab to make sure it is not a trap. While they wait, Colossus asks Betsy about her powers and she demonstrates that she still has plenty of telekinetic punch to go along with her telepathy. Rogue talks to Ruth and tries to get details on Destiny’s visit. Blindfold admits that Irene called her daughter but seemed surprised to see her face.

On Necrosha, the guard is brought before Selene for letting Destiny escape and trying to kill himself. The Black Queen does not opt to send anyone after Irene.

Back on Muir island, neither Kurt nor Trance have found any trace of an enemy. Nightcrawler sends them into the lab hard and fast but no one seems to be present. They question Blindfold but she does not make much sense. When Colossus touches her, she screams and runs away.

Rogue offers to go after the girl, who runs into Destiny in the hallway. Irene says that she was manipulated into giving that warning and tells Ruth not to touch anything before it is too late. Ruth ignores that request and grabs Destiny asking if she is her mother. Irene denies it but then there is a power surge that knocks the old woman out.

Rogue arrives to find a very changed Blindfold who smashes and restrains Rogue with pieces of metal from the walls. Marie asks how Ruth can suddenly do these things and the girls reveals herself to be Proteus.

MY TAKE: This is a pretty decent issue but with some odd pacing and story problems that took away from the quality. I like the idea of Proteus coming back, he is an interesting villain and can be very effective as seen in the Exiles series. I am not sure I understand how exactly he is managing to come back but when you deal with threats of that level, they do not really need to make sense.

The characterizations are good, as usual for this series, and it will be nice to have some attention focused on Blindfold. She is one of the more enigmatic new X-Men and I think she has a lot of potential. I was also glad to see Magneto and Rogue at least addressing their shared history. While I do not expect it to go anywhere, it is a nice scene for long term readers.

My biggest problem with the story is that is really has nothing to do with Necrosha. This is a tale that could have been told at any time and in fact would have worked better after the event, assuming Destiny survives in some form. The whole first scene felt out of place and the idea of some of the X-Men’s biggest guns leaving in the middle of a war they are losing makes no sense. Even though they tried to address this in the story, it made me shake my head. I do not understand anyone sending away their fighters before they even manage to secure their home. Adding in the cameo, with Proudstar in one panel, felt like it was pandering to the event as well.

I also wonder about the pacing. While I certainly do not mind having some personal interactions, waiting in potentially hostile terrain hardly seems like the best time. The setup felt very rushed too, so the sudden pauses in the middle were a bit jarring. Basically these were scenes that should have been done at the start of the story but could not be, due to the overall event.

In the end, this is a good setup with a strong team and definitely a lot of potential now that they are away from Utopia. I think we will get a lot of good action and some fun fights between the X-Men power players and Proteus. I just do not believe it really falls within the Necrosha story line and having to add in scenes with Selene and other Techno-zombies just muddies the story and the flow. Hopefully we will not see much more of the Necrosha bunch in the remaining two issues.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

Uncanny X-Men #519: A Beastly Exit

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Since there are no Marvel titles next week I am breaking up the reviews. I will do three this week and three next. First up is ‘Wolverine: Weapon X’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men #519 (preview)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciller: Terry Dodson
Inker: Rachel Dodson

NOTE: Wolverine does NOT appear in this issue


RECAP: The issue opens with a young mutant, the boyfriend of the girl killed last issue, explaining her death and his flight to someone he believes can help. He describes hearing some sort of large animal but he does not know what it was. The man is then shown to be Fantomex and he offers to help.

Back on Utopia, Xavier, Emma and Betsy are restraining Cyclops and trying to figure out what to do for him now that he is infected by the Void. Emma wants to go back into Scott’s head and tells Psylocke to cut off both of their heads should Xavier give the order. In his mind, Cyclops is looking for Emma but finds only Void echoes of her.

Deep in the bowels of the complex, Magneto is working with the Science team to help power their turbines. Even though he gives it everything he has, it is not enough to even slow the sinking. Jeffries, meanwhile, reveals that they have been invaded by recording nanobots that came from the Predators Xs. Magneto tells the Science team to deal with the nanobots and find where they came from and he will take care of the sinking asteroid.

Back in Scott’s mind, he is still fighting the Void, without much luck, until Emma arrives and shatters her dark doppelgangers. She explains it is still his mind and he can fight there. But it is not long before he is buried by the darkness. In the real world Betsy is preparing to attack as Scott cries out. Xavier says there is still a chance but to strike if Scott wakes before Emma.

In the water outside, Magneto goes to talk with Namor. Erik wants the Atlanteans to build a pillar underneath the island which will save Utopia and give Namor’s people a home for themselves. Namor wonders about Scott, but Magneto promises he will be able to bring him around. On the surface Hank and Bobby are still talking. Beast is haunted by his torture and does not know if his place is still with the others.

Scott begins to fight back inside his mind and is able to get to his safe room. Emma tries to reach him but Cyclops refuses her entry, saying he needs to do this himself. Emma is jolted awake but pleads with the others to give Scott a chance to save himself. Xavier decides to have faith in his student but warns Betsy to stand ready should he fail.

Cyclops is once again drowning in his mind but refuses to give in. He is able to pull all of the Void essence into a small box and contain it deep within his head and then blocks the door to the room. There is a celebration when he wakes up which is cut short by Beast’s arrival. He tells Scott he is leaving for a while but Cyclops treats it like just another problem to be dealt with later.

MY TAKE: This is a pretty good issue which deals with a couple of the ongoing problems while building the current story nicely. I was never much of a fan of the Void sliver plot so I am glad it get nicely resolved. I appreciate how Scott was portrayed here as having such a strong mind and how he gave thanks to Jean for teaching him how to control himself. I do think they missed an obvious connection when they did not mention how Scott was able to overcome Apocalypse in much the same way. While it does not really hurt the story, it would have been a nice nod to continuity.

Magneto is becoming pretty interesting as well. He is still trying to find his place, both helping and trying to lead at the same time. It will be fun to watch him and Scott butt heads, as they are obviously going to do, since neither is truly right or wrong. His idea for Namor’s people, for example, is quite an elegant solution for both sides.

Beast’s departure was a low point for the story mostly because it does not really fit with his personality. Not too long ago he was making his own bargin with Dark Beast and doing all sorts of questionable things for the greater good, so he does not really have any room to judge. Plus he has suffered worse as an X-Man and bounced back. Basically this is an excuse for him to jump to S.W.O.R.D. and I never like sudden plot changes for those reasons. I am still irritated by Storm’s wedding too.

While I am not much of a fan of Fantomax’s involvement, the Predator X story is definitely picking up. The nanobots were good idea and it is nice to see that the villains were not dumb enough to think five monsters could wipe out Utopia. I am excited to see what is revealed next issue and I hope we start getting some answers on the group behind it all.

In the end, this was a solid issue that took care of a couple of lingering plot threads and worked at least one more towards a good solution. I am glad to see that some of the story elements are actually being addressed in a timely manner rather then being allowed to drag out forever. I would have preferred a bit of action or excitement here but it looks like we will be getting plenty of that soon. So I could enjoy this more downbeat story with its strong characterization and good plot advancement. I just hope we can see a few different characters next issue as these last two have been a bit limited in scope.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.