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A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 17 May 2020, 16:33

das_boot wrote:
17 May 2020, 16:03
Blackcyclops wrote:
17 May 2020, 15:45
Would have probably been interesting to see Nicieza spend more time writing Jean.
Or any other writer since then picking up on Jean having this capacity. It makes me wonder how she would have been had she been around/ still powered after HoM...

I was thinking specifically about Jean during this time...since while I think Lobdell did some fun things with her on a character level, Nicieza had a less maternal angle for her in that special.

I mean sometimes I think TAS mucks things up, but re-reading this stuff I notice that Jean isn’t as “weak” as people sometimes think. Like the lead-up to Onslaught, Jean was really the only person with any idea of what was happening. And even during the event I think she had moments.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by das_boot » 17 May 2020, 16:56

Totally agree, it’s a shame that Onslaught was so terrible, really. Between her facing down Juggernaut without back up, trusting that he wouldn’t hurt her when she went with him alone to read his memories of Onslaught, to being the last X-Man standing when Onslaught finally awoke... Jean’s bad-assery was on its way to being established... and then... sigh.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 17 May 2020, 21:16

So I want to re-read Onslaught after this to see if I feel it’s as “meh” as I remember.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 17 May 2020, 22:33

Given how fast paced this series has been since about Fatal Attractions it’s wild that #338-340 are all relatively “slow” issues. Yet each one does alot of stuff character and plot-wise. Lobdell really knows how to write Gambit and Storm together...I am upset that so much happens in a book I’m not reading lol

#338-340
Is the return of the feathered Angel and demonstrates Psylocke’s new powers (Joe Mad draws the best this era Psylocke to me), Cyke and his brother buttheads, Iceman’s dad is attacked and he leaves the team. We get an appearance by Pyro and hints at a larger plot that even at the time I knew was connected to Mystique but the book plays it coy. But if you weren’t reading X-Factor I could totAlly see how alot of this stuff would be out of left field.

I haven’t really enjoyed Angel since he was broody so I wonder how feathered wing Angel will do for me...

I still like this era of lineup. It had the family vibe of CC’s stuff but just feels like a group with more history, experience and efficiency.

Graydon Creed’s plot really, if we’re being honest, feels so much more timely now than it did then. But I do appreciate that it’s been one that was seeded soooooo long ago and only now is blossoming (remember when he was on TV going back and forth with Beast? That feels like forever ago).

And man was Bastion such a great mystery villain at first...like compared to all the rest in this run, he feels so much more like a threat and not a vague feeling.

The issue with Bobby and his dad again has more weight since Bobby came out...

Am I the only person who loved this costume on Havok? But I really was confused by this status...I mean he makes a great point that he is a “free man” but idk, it just felt super weird to me.

Also, JJJ isn’t racist and I like that...he just doesn’t like Spider people lol...

I still hate Logan’s design but like I said, nobody draws it better than Joe Mad.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 18 May 2020, 19:23

Decided to join your re-reading of the post Onslaught issues, Hope its cool :)

I know a lot of people dislike this era but this is when i started reading comics so still have a lot of fond memories from this period.

337: Really like this issue! Lobdel clearly writes the xmen as a family and its Nice seeing them trying to have a normal pancake-breakfast when its also clear that everything is far from normal after onslaught and all of the changes these characters have recently gone through. Loved Madureiras artwork back then and still think its great. Even though obviously stylized his characters feel very lifelike.

338: Not my favourite issue. Still like the character dynamics but theres a lot of plots hinted at here that i cant remember going anywhere. Psylocke and her new powers? Angel getting his wings back? Also find it a bit ironic that Remy is the one to point out that Angels wings were amputated. Like, shouldnt he be keeping a low profile? Also why did he go on the mission instead of Scott and Jean who would be more worried about Warrens status?

339: Nice art from Adam Kubert, not so Nice art from the fill in artist. Not so much to say about this issue since xfactor wasnt published in Sweden and most of this story seems connected to the brotherhood storyline going on there. I love that they sent Beast to spy on Jameson, not obvious at all.

340: Cant remember having read this issue before so they must have skipped it for some reason when they published these issues in Sweden. This was however my favourite of the bunch. Really liked the theme of parents throughout the issue. The conversation between Bobby and Ororo stands out to me in particular. Gambit having a conversation with Bobby’s father was also interesting and shows that he still doesnt truly feel like a part of the ”xmen-family”.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 21 May 2020, 21:39

One of my favorite issues, #341!

As a youngster this issue was so amazing and as adult it still stands very strong. I always liked Cannonball in X-Force and felt alittle annoyed by how inexperienced he was presented in UXM...but upon re-reading it, that stuff bothers me less because I can better understand how he would be framed alongside heroes who did have more experience and were older than him. Still this issue stands so strong for the artwork (Gladiator never looked better!) and action. Plus the Joseph and Rogue scene is so powerful, especially when you consider what happened in AoA between Rogue and Mags and what happens later in Legacy.

Did I say I love short hair cut Bishop? Okay cool...

I will give my full assessment on Joseph later but I was never in the camp that liked him as a de-aged Magneto.

#342-344
I didn’t realize until I finished that this was the first multipart story (instead of one-offs with continuous plot threads) in a long time in this title, the last one was in #329 and that was just a two-parter.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 22 May 2020, 22:51

341 I like this issue although i found gladiator trying to get the aid of the xmen by starting a fight a bit silly and tiring already when i read this for the first time. Love that Sam is finally being written as the same character he was in xforce 1 year back. Joseph takes Rogue to the top of the world trade center and there is the... znox (?) chamber. Did he build it there or just temporarily move it there? And since it succeeds in canceling Rogues powers, how come we never see it again? Either way, love the scene of Joseph kissing Rogues forhead. Rogues expression really sells her hopes and fears regarding weather the machine will work or not and i love the blank background.

342-344 I used to like this storyline when i read it as a kid. I remember finding it mysterious, Dark and a bit scary but its simply not very good upon re-reading it now. The xmen are sent to a broken ship, steering straight towards an asteroid field. Then theres the ship computer telling us there are no life signs on the space station only for death bird to show up alive on the next page. And all this ends with Beast pushing a button. Everything about this story felt a bit lazy. Great art by Madureira on the first 2 issues though (really liking the New costumes, at least when draw n by him) and there are some great character bits here especially between Rogue and Gambit.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 23 May 2020, 02:34

Yeah Gladiator attacking Cannonball was kind of strange...

But the Joseph/Rogue stuff well I took it that he assembled components of it outside the mansion and just brought it there.

It was never used again because 1)it had to be powered by Magneto, 2)it along with the rest of the mansion was destroyed in previous big battles, and 3)by the time they had a Magneto again, Rogue had control over her powers...

The Phalanx story falters because of the change in art and how relatively weak the Phalanx seemed...it’s saved because the action is fast paced and the story kind of steams ahead (it could have done with more breathing tbh)...it’s not my favorite story but it’s not completely terrible. I just like that it brought Deathbird and Bishop together, brought back the Phalanx and kind of paved the way for the story that came next...speaking of:

345-349
The lead up to 350 is full of both great character moments (I loved the continuing evolution of Marrow and Joe Mad’s Spidey is amazing!) but a very weird and dragged out plot. Super uneven...

It’s wild how much focus Gambit is getting here...when you look back on how much the mystery aspect of him was central to his character (more than Logan’s really if you think about how they interact) and how basically since AoA, Lobdell has been building toward what we get in 350, it’s almost masterful. The continued unfolding of his past is an increasingly interesting but frustrating story...the frustration comes from how it feels like no one is really willing to press him on it and so like a true soap opera, he drops hints and then basically storms off lol

Rogue though, even if she isn’t the “star” of the main narrative is just giving me so much life right...first her leadership role in space and now her being so tender but strong with Gambit (and her kind of co-lead relationship with Beast that mirrors the Cyclops-Storm relationship) is just giving me a very enjoyable Rogue.

I want to know everything about Spat and Grovel!!!!

Joseph is becoming more and more annoying...I know it’s not his fault and usually “are they really this person” mysteries typically don’t bother me and I wasn’t one of the Rogue-Magneto haters but it’s a combination of the more interesting Gambit, the flipflop between “innocent guy with no memories” and “all of sudden I remember everything sorta” that just brings his storyline down for me.

And man what a big deal Maggot is being propped up to be lol...it’s a shame where he ends up. But I appreciate that the new status quo is also being shaped here. Cool to see Psylocke back though...I missed that mini but I like the shadow look.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 23 May 2020, 15:47

Blackcyclops wrote:
23 May 2020, 02:34
It was never used again because 1)it had to be powered by Magneto, 2)it along with the rest of the mansion was destroyed in previous big battles, and 3)by the time they had a Magneto again, Rogue had control over her powers...
I get your point and these are perfectly reasonable explanations why we dont see this gizmo again. I just cant help feeling like a lot of things used by Lobdel during these last issues of his run are mainly thrown in there to create emotion/drama/action. It doesnt seem very well thought through.

345-349 Not my favourite Lobdel run of issues. The Rogue and Gambit stuff feels very strong as you point out but maybe a bit dragged out and art is great whenever Madureira is drawing. I think my favourite issue out of these is actually the Spidey one. Art is great and i dont envy Lobdel trying to rewrite Marrow from crazy lunatic to missunderstood freedom fighter but I think he really succeeds.

The main story is a bit dragged out for me and there are even more weird plot things going on in these issues than the phalanx story. So the xmens ship gets blown apart by this mysterious giant ship heading straight for earth only to be completely forgotten about? The xmen end up right in the hands of the bounty hunters and its implied that this wasnt a coincidence but like didnt they go through the stargate right before ending up where they did? And What about this landscape illusionist guy that completely disasapears from the story after having shown up for one page?

Oh well lets see if this all gets explaned in the next issue.

Bachalo does his first issue here as the new regular artist. I loved his art during early generation x but his style here Im not a big fan of. Especially his female characters here looks very childish and a bit weird to me.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 23 May 2020, 16:40

I did like depowered Beast but yeah his women characters look too close to a “chibi” style...

Those issues were decompressed without being decompressed...if that makes sense.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 24 May 2020, 01:42

So we say good-bye to Lobdell and now we enter the Steve Seagle era...

351 is an all Cecilia Reyes issue and I think it does a great job establishing her character as the reluctant X-Man...it’s been a real long time since this book had somebody like that in it. So her perspective (Seagle even tries to sprinkle some points about her ethnic identity in there too...compared to now it’s incredibly superfluous and surface level but I respect the effort in the 90s). It’s funny seeing Pyro again btw...he’s had two issues now about his life with the Legacy Virus and each one has revealed more about his character and it’s a fun context given his current position.

Also, THANK GOD Wolverine had a nose again...

352 is the “Cyclops and Jean” leave the team issue and for a one-off story it’s not bad. It’s not my fave but I do like the focus on Jean again. It’s easy to forget that prior to the Onslaught stuff, Lobdell did do alot to make Jean more than just the maternal figure of the team, he also gave her badass moments. Seagle appears to be continuing the tradition and with Cyke’s injuries, she does all the heavy lifting.

Quick note Dept H is back and running, so I wonder how long before this comes back?

353-354 brings the focus back Rogue and I’m not too keen on Seagle’s Rogue. She seems alot younger than the woman we saw Lobdell writing. I know she’s been through a major trauma but she reads a bit different.

The roster now is easiest the strangest since the Outback days...Joseph, Rogue, Marrow, Wolvie, Storm, Cannonball, Maggot and Cecilia Reyes. Iceman and Jubes are hanging out still (don’t know how long Bobby is staying around) and there inclusion in the battle with Sauron was a nice touch.

Sauron’s a villain I personally always liked but could never really see as a real threat to the team. I mean Seagle tries to explain it away in the battle but I still don’t buy it.

The continuing Archangel and Psylocke drama is at least starting to get interesting...so long as whiny Warren goes away.

I do wonder if the interference on the astral plane is just a sprinkle of the Shadow King stuff that eventually happens?

The Joseph storyline really just bores me...I don’t know why but I just don’t care.

Instead I want Lobdell’s Gambit back.

After I grew to like him, I do miss Bishop but the Deathbird stuff is at least a nice and different story beat for him. Quick retcon: Bishop’s vision of fighting Cyclops is a preview of Messiah CompleX lol...I know it isn’t but I’m making that change.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 24 May 2020, 17:15

This transition space between a very big team right after OZT to the return of Colossus, NC and Kitty for #360 is a very odd time.

Like the team went from Joseph, Rogue, Wolvie, Storm, Cannonball, Marrow, Cecilia, and Maggot To just Wolvie, Cecilia, Storm, Marrow and Rogue...now what happened to everybody else? Why did Joseph leave? Where is Cannonball, back with X-Force? And Maggot?

Anyway, so we get the O5 story in 356-357. And it’s a very lackluster story...Only thing I like is the ambiguous ending (and Cyclops’ cool optic blast attack).

We get 358 and pretty enjoyable Bishop and Deathbird solo..I never got to read Team X 2000 but I was definitely interested in it after this little prologue here.

So I guessed it before but I knew Jean losing her powers would be connected to the Shadow King story that is coming up.

I do wonder what was this proposed new agenda/dream Cyclops had for the X-Men upon his return?

Anyway...I hated the other artist who popped in between the Bachalo issues.

359 has even more art problems but I’m glad we conclude the Rogue storyline here. Seagle’s Rogue is not my favorite but at least we get some resolution of sorts to a plotline started with the trial of Gambit (I’m already dreading to see how Seagle writes Gambit).

So far Seagle is having as bad as a start as Lobdell did at first but I think he has better art at least. One thing Lobdell did better though was write better quieter moments, whereas Seagle does love some action.

Well now we move on to a time period I have zero little memory of...
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 24 May 2020, 17:48

360...

So first off, I love Storm’s current look...love it!!!

Okay now to the actual issue.

I think this is the best issue Seagle has written yet. I like the slight mystery, the callbacks, and he does a great job of integrating NC, Colossus and Kitty back into things like they never left. I was expecting the same feel I get with Angel but it’s pretty nice to see the team reunited (granted it’s only at the end of the issue).

Seagle’s Rogue is better this issue. I guess getting over that Gambit-hump has allowed her to feel more like the confident and fun character Lobdell had developed (she still lacks that leadership quality that Lobdell brought to the fore).

Marrow and Wolverine’s relationship is actually a real pleasant surprise. Usually Logan and his young female sidekick just click into place but making them so antagonistic is refreshing and allows Marrow to be kind of funny at times. Like Snowbrigade said, Seagle had the task of shifting Marrow into this role but as of this issue, he’s officially given her the Rogue treatment and I’m okay with her being here.

As for the actual plot? I think it’s his best yet and I wish we got more time with the “fake” X-Men...they have some cool designs mixed in there too. Having Cerbero as Xavier being the villain is nice way to play off the dynamic that Onslaught put in place with the questioning of Xavier since that incident. And having the “Professor” brings the team back together at a time when they are pretty low (way less resources than before and depleted ranks) is a great touch as well. Too bad the story concludes in a book I’m not reading. I got a feeling this is going to be an ongoing problem for a while lol...

Bachalo’s art is his best here since his GenX days. I hope he can keep the quality up.

I think that given everything this feels like the true start of Seagle’s run...so what about Lobdell?

Well I think he did a pretty good job all things considered. He developed Bishop and really became a character I really like; he introduced ALOT of new villains (the Upstarts, the Phalanx, Exodus, Bastion, etc) and some went on to be pretty cool (Exodus and Avalon; OZT) and some duds (the Upstarts and the Acolytes are both wasted opportunities); he had one of the best aftermath issues of any X-book and the death of Illyana was a sad but poignant story; the Legacy Virus started as a good idea but felt like a wasted storybeat after Fatal Attractions...I also felt that he wrote pretty good Gambit, Xavier, Colossus, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Rogue and Psylocke...of course the biggest letdown was his Storm. She wasn’t bad but felt very lackluster.

Overall, I’d give the Lobdell Era a B-.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Lavettye » 24 May 2020, 18:19

Blackcyclops wrote:
24 May 2020, 17:15
This transition space between a very big team right after OZT to the return of Colossus, NC and Kitty for #360 is a very odd time.

Like the team went from Joseph, Rogue, Wolvie, Storm, Cannonball, Marrow, Cecilia, and Maggot To just Wolvie, Cecilia, Storm, Marrow and Rogue...now what happened to everybody else? Why did Joseph leave? Where is Cannonball, back with X-Force? And Maggot?
Joseph left together with Sabra in X-Men #73, to find out more about his past and what the real Magneto was up to (Maggott had to revealed to the two of them that Joseph was - in fact - not Magneto)

The others were all sent their respective ways in X-Men #79:
- Cannonball had to take care for his sick mom (a few issues before, he visited X-Force but walked in on Berto and Tabitha), so it was only a few months later that he would join X-Force full time.
- Maggott lacked training so Beast suggested for him to join Generation X. Problem was, those writers didn't want him either, so he was written out after only two issues.
- Cecilia is mentioned in UXM #360 to have opened her own medical practice in Salem Center.

That transistion period is weird, because it's an unplanned, rushed transition period. Clearly the original plan was something else. After that huge build-up for the three new members and some plot points that you mentioned (Cyke's new idea), suddenly with Excalibur ending Marvel saw an opportunity for the anniversary so Editorial Mandate declared the new line-up…. which was the pre Mutant Massacre line-up, as it was arguably the era in which the X-Men became Marvel's top-selling flagship title. Marrow got to stay and be the new rookie character, whether that made sense or not.

IMO this was a very weak move on Marvel's part. They had two X-Men books and enough characters to fill them both, and yet they settled for bi-Weekly book with a fixed 7-8 people roster (Gambit soon returns) of the same old. Business-wise, it may have been the "secure" choice, but creatively this was character regression: Nightcrawler's leadership role taken from him, but never adressed. Kitty was a founder of Excalibur and grew to womanhood there, but again has to plays third fiddle to Storm and Rogue, Cannonball was finally in a position to move on to veteran X-Man able to win anargument with Storm and Logan, of all people, and he would have had to deal with Marrow's crush... and why would Marrow even stay with this group, considering how antagonistic Logan and Storm had been towards her only a few issues ago. The O5 too were sort of left hanging, and Psylocke with them.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 24 May 2020, 18:26

Considering that we were okay with a big cast split between two titles, I would’ve been okay even with the three of them coming back but keeping Maggot, Psylocke and the O5 around...you could split the character between the two books as the Lobdell and Nicieza era was...

I’m even okay with Marrow being around, so long as they explained her motivations better (Callisto should have stayed as a periphery support character). And Maggot was such a wasted opportunity...
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Lavettye » 24 May 2020, 19:24

Marrow's motivation isn't even the worst thing when you think about how her story progresses and what they decide to do with her.....

Bringing Colosss, Nightcrawler and Kitty back could have worked, but IMO not all three at the same time and not without at least acknowledging what they experienced in the recent past. Especially Kitty could have benefitted from a break. She had worked with SHIELD and Black Air, only 4 issues ago her relationship with Pete Wisdom ended harshly and she had hardened and become more aggressive over it... I'm not seeing any of this here. About 50 issues ago Colossus didn't just leave the X-Men, he had defected to the Acolytes. Among Excalibur he slowly had to earn Kitty's and Kurt's trust again. Well, what about Storm, Logan and Rogue - is it just forgive and forget, or are they too busy hating Gambit over something he did before he ever joined?
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 24 May 2020, 20:06

I just finished 351 and you make some great points...

At least NC directly addresses the leadership issue and I’m “ok” with it...

But yeah Kitty definitely could’ve benefitted from returning at a later point. I think Colossus and NC could work, especially if they did spend more time on Colossus’s dynamic with his two very best friends.

I know that over in Excalibur they explained some of his behavior away and he wasn’t an actual villain but Logan should have been at least alil more apprehensive. And that could have been more grounds for a Colossus and Marrow friendship (not to say I don’t like the dynamic that is being created here between them...I think it was a wasted opportunity NOT letting Marrow and Angel spend time together)...

I know I’m prolly alone here but I simultaneously like how Gambit’s trial was handled and dislike it. I like that Gambit was so hard on himself and the emotional journey he went on up to this point. And I even like how Rogue says it was part of his personality that pushed her to leave him...what I don’t like is how Storm is reacting to him now...as you said, it’s something he did wayyyy before he met them. I can understand whiny Angel being mad because the Marauders did ruin him and I can really understand NC, Kitty and Colossus also having issues with him. But everyone who spent alot of time with him(especially on the Blue squad) should be more understanding. I know it’s still early but damn, Logan and Gambit should get time together. I also felt like they should have a better friendship than they have.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 24 May 2020, 22:44

So the Seagle run...

Since this run got cancelled after 10 issues with Seagle and Kelly taken off the xbooks most of his issues feels like setup for stories we never ended up seeing but here it goes.

351: I know that a lot of people seem to love Cecilia. I mostly remember her whining about not wanting to be a part of the xmen and being written out of the book before getting to develop a real personality but i do like this issue. After onslaught, all of the space stuff and operation zero tolerance its Nice to get an issue dealing with the subject of peoples prejudices.

352: Feels like a setup issue with some exaggerated drama at the mansion and the scott an jean adventure on the airplane. Not the most memorable issue but not bad.

353-355: The real start of the Seagle run. I also dislike the change in Rogues character from the Lobdel run. As you point out she seems (and looks) a lot younger here and completely inexperienced. Im also not a fan of everyone being so quick at suspecting her to be the culprit. At least Storm should know better.

Over in the scott and Jean subplots Jean decides its a good idea to surprise Scott wearing the Phoenix costume out of nowhere and then break down in tears when he questions her about it. I get that this was obviously building towards a new phoenix story with the constant talking and visuals of birds etc but this writing of Jean feels way too melodramatic for the character.

Reg the Seagle lineup, i think it was really bold to write out a lot of the old characters and have Cecilia, Maggot, Marrow and Sam on the roster. Its just a shame that this roster never got time to develop and got written out so quickly.

Bachalo’s art is much better in these issues than his fill in issue during the trial of gambit storyline but he has this bad habit of putting the Female characters in very stereotypically poses which Im not a fan off. Also, the cover of 353 really bothers me with Rogue clutching Wolverines whole head in her fist.

Will try to read the rest tmrw.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Lavettye » 24 May 2020, 23:24

Snowbrigade wrote:
24 May 2020, 22:44
Over in the scott and Jean subplots Jean decides its a good idea to surprise Scott wearing the Phoenix costume out of nowhere and then break down in tears when he questions her about it. I get that this was obviously building towards a new phoenix story with the constant talking and visuals of birds etc but this writing of Jean feels way too melodramatic for the character.
Yes, Jean wearing that costume and giving her husband a near heart attack while he was still recuperating from having open chest surgery wasn't such a good idea…

As for what was going on at the time with Jean, my thoughts back then were that it was linked to the Fall of Avalon story, right after the AoA. In XM #42-44, she and Scott helped evacuate Avalon, and Jean and Skids got separated from the others and were in some debris crashing to Earth, protected only by Skids' forcefield when they suddenly passed cosmic rays and Jean yelled Scott's name. That was a huge cliffhanger, but the next issue has her and Sally be fine and then focuses on Scott leading the Acolytes through the Australian Outback.

I just assumed that the experience of once again passing the cosmic radiation belt seemingly unprotected, a clear deja-vu to the day that she came in contact with and was replaced by the Phoenix Force, triggered something within her. Ever since Inferno, she had retained some of the Phoenix's and Maddie's memories, but now she got to re-live these memories. She had gotten married to Scott at Xavier's school, just like Maddie, and now she had re-lived this dramatic memory as well, and seemingly became less restricted and inhibited. So she now dared to push herself further than before, confident that she knew how much she could handle as she had the other two lifetimes in her head as a constant reminders of not going too far.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 25 May 2020, 20:58

Lavettye wrote:
24 May 2020, 23:24

As for what was going on at the time with Jean, my thoughts back then were that it was linked to the Fall of Avalon story, right after the AoA. In XM #42-44, she and Scott helped evacuate Avalon, and Jean and Skids got separated from the others and were in some debris crashing to Earth, protected only by Skids' forcefield when they suddenly passed cosmic rays and Jean yelled Scott's name. That was a huge cliffhanger, but the next issue has her and Sally be fine and then focuses on Scott leading the Acolytes through the Australian Outback.
Oh yes, i totally forgot about Jean being a part of that story but it makes sense that Seagle would have eventually connected back to that story with his Phoenix-stuff.

So 356-359: I think this is the real ending of the Seagle run since 360 is the beginning of putting together the new lineup mandated by editorial.

Re-reading only the Seagle issues from this era, it strikes me how weird his run is structured. We basically have 3 storylines. 1 focusing on Rogue, 1 focusing on the O5 having their gettogether in Anchorage and 1 focusing on Deathbird and Bishop in space. There is a proper xmen lineup but they mostly hang around in the background of Seagles issues and are mainly starring in the Kelly run over in xmen.

The Rogue story: Dont care for Seagles version of Rogue. Even considering the stuff she went through with Gambit she should know better than to trust the creepy Doctor who claims he can cure her. Halfway through the storyline its revealed that the ”cured sister” is pretty much a living mushroom sitting in a test tube but the Doctor still considers her ”cured”. In the last part he does a 180 turn and tells Rogue that the sister was a failure but that he has now figured out how to make his machine work? Must say I enjoyed the discussion between Rogue and Mystique in 359 though and atlest this storyline is concluded.

The O5 story: It would have been interesting to see where the Seagle run would have continued if he got to stay on the title, but it doesnt give me a lot of confidence that he had interesting stories to tell considering that he wasted so much of his early issues on this storyline. Birds, really? And i get that he tries to make a point about fear making you jump to conclusions but that open ending did not work for me. Also, hurray for Scott anouncing that he has Grand ideas at the end of 1 issue only for him to start the next 1 by saying that it can wait for later. Guess what, this is the Seagle run and later never comes!

The bishop and death bird story: Deathbird is back to being insane and Bishop is either also insane for claming to love her or plays along with the psycho. I got bored after reading the first couple of pages of the Bishop and Deathbird centric issue so decided to skip it. Dont have any memory of seeing these 2 again until the ”the 12” storyline but lets see if their story will be furthered before then.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 25 May 2020, 21:05

So I read 361-365...and I think this is the worst stretch of stories in this book so far. Even the most tired or boring Lobdell stories still had great character moments, good art or something fun.

361 had the return of a fun Gambit and I always love Storm and Gambit together...I think their friendship is underused. I even was okay with the basic story but it just felt very abrupt considering the previous issue. The art is probably the best of this run.

362-364 are parts of the worst X-crossover so far...nothing much to add here. Just really disliked it all...
365 ends Seagle’s run with a “nice” Christmas issue...

Yeah ready now I’m at the point where the issues are slog to read...Seagle’s wordiness and habit of repeating himself is so Silver Age but without the dramatic flair.

On to Alan Davis’s run...
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Snowbrigade » 25 May 2020, 21:16

Blackcyclops wrote:
25 May 2020, 21:05
So I read 361-365...and I think this is the worst stretch of stories in this book so far. Even the most tired or boring Lobdell stories still had great character moments, good art or something fun.

361 had the return of a fun Gambit and I always love Storm and Gambit together...I think their friendship is underused. I even was okay with the basic story but it just felt very abrupt considering the previous issue. The art is probably the best of this run.

362-364 are parts of the worst X-crossover so far...nothing much to add here. Just really disliked it all...
365 ends Seagle’s run with a “nice” Christmas issue...

Yeah ready now I’m at the point where the issues are slog to read...Seagle’s wordiness and habit of repeating himself is so Silver Age but without the dramatic flair.

On to Alan Davis’s run...
Hmm you dont really get me excited to jump into these issues. Maybe i will skim them through quickly and then jump straight to the Alan Davis issues.

I remember when I read these issues for the first time that i was a bit excited to see Colossus and Nightcrawler since i knew them from TAS but wasnt familiar with their comic book versions. I found Kitty to be completely boring though as she was a new character to me but seemed so generic.

Looking back at this now i must say that this change in lineup seems really boring after just adding these new characters that never really got a time to shine. The lineup change also seems to come out of nowhere. I guess we are given explanations for why most of the Seagle-lineup left but it doesnt really make sense that they all just left at the same time.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 26 May 2020, 01:38

Maybe the Seagle stuff was just so bad but Alan Davis with Nicieza doing the scripting really made 366 and 367 pretty enjoyable. So much so that I was tempted to cheat and read the X-Men issues because it’s been so long since I read this story in it’s entirety. But I’m staying the course.

I really liked that all of the X-Men felt alot more competent. I can even forgive the Acolytes popping back up. They were semi-credible threat here...but the real star was the a-hole that was Astra lol...I love how Silver Age her design is but her sass was very 90s.

The overall plot (what we got in those two issues) was pretty good and Magneto’s plan wasn’t that bad and I mean he did succeed so kudos for him.

My biggest complaint is the art tbh...I also would have liked to see more seeding for Magneto’s plan...and if I cared about Joseph more, his passing showed in 368 would have hit harder.

Nicieza and Lobdell were always interesting writers. Lobdell excelled more at the small character moments, while Nicieza was better at crafting exciting plots and really giving character distinct personalities (it shows in these two issues...Even for alot of the Acolytes)

368 (with Joe Casey on the scripting) is a nice sendoff for Joseph and does a nice job of bringing everyone back together and then ends with such a comic book-y cliffhanger lol...

Have to say you can 100% trace the Logan here to K/Y’s X-Force and I love it!
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Blackcyclops » 27 May 2020, 03:37

It kinda just dawned on me that starting with Magneto War through the trip to the other dimension with Juggy and to the Skrull moon, Alan Davis is kinda doing a CC remix.

We get a mix of Genosha stuff and Magneto Antarctica base with Magneto Wars...then in the issues I read (369 and 370) we get the return of Juggernaut and Black Tom and a space trip reminiscent of the X-Men’s dealings with the Shi’ar around the Phoenix Saga. It’s a stretch but those ideas stuck out to me.

Anyway, you only get part of both stories but I actually really enjoyed them. They felt very kinetic with a frantic energy that the book has lacked for a long time. Also, it was cool seeing Xavier in the field with such a mature and skilled team.

There isn’t much in the way of breakout character moments like Lobdell or Nicieza would give but Davis nails every character perfectly. I particularly love the more paternal side of Gambit with Marrow. It’s actually a great foreshadow of his relationship with X-23.

Kubert’s art will always be a soft spot for me so while it’s not the best, I like it more than Bachalo’s.

I’m actually really mad I’m completely missing out on part of the story, while also thinking it was a waste to occupy both books with the same cast. Cyclops, Bishop, Angel, Psylocke, Jean, Beast, Iceman, Rogue, Cecilia, and Maggot are all characters who could have done things in Adjectiveless instead of being either sequestered to limbo or just kind of on the sidelines. I mean you think about it, there was functionally no x-men team on Earth at this point.

Anyway, here comes a story I have zero knowledge of...

So far though, Alan Davis writes stories that have more heart, fun and energy than Seagle did. And definitely more coherent and thoughtout then that Jim Lee/Portacio era.
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Re: A Look Back: X-Men (vol2) #1-54 and UXM #281-334

Post by Lavettye » 27 May 2020, 06:42

Did you get the double Steve Ditko reference ?

Oktid is Ditko backwards, and Ejulp is the next letters of each letter of Ditko.
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