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  1. avatar
    Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:05 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Wolverine & the X-Men #2 Synopsis and Review
    Wolverine & the X-Men NOW #2 (Latour’s Run)

    Full Synopsis: What is the Phoenix Corporation? The name alone evoked powerful memories, mostly painful sadness, in both Wolverine and Storm. The students were unaccustomed to seeing the Jean Grey School Headmistress and Headmaster at odds. Ororo’s attempts to get Logan to stop and discuss his extreme reaction to the mere mention of the Phoenix were rebuffed by his surly gruffness. Those closest to Logan are all too familiar with it and know that there is often something to more to his behavior. So she spoke to him in a different language. One she knew would grab his attention.

    As Logan made his way outside with Chuckles, one of the bamfs who enjoyed whiskey a little too much, he was stopped in his path by a lightning bolt and downed by a blast of wind. Ororo got his attention. She explained they were not going to sit idly by as he came and went as he pleased, and that his reaction to the presence of this Phoenix Corporation is indicative of something much deeper going on within himself than he was letting on. Their discussion was interrupted by Oya, who explained that Quentin Quire had left the school. Even later on when Hisako tried her best to assuage the students growing concern about the safety of the school and Quentin’s disappearance she found that Oya was inconsolable. Researching what they could about the Phoenix Corporation Storm and Logan consulted with Anole, the current CEO of Worthington Industries. Unfortunately Victor did not have much information, other than the location of the corporation. And to everyone’s dismay the live 3D imaging of the Phoenix Corporation building just showed Quentin Quire teleporting to its entrance.

    In Quentin Quire the mention of the Phoenix evoked an angry curiosity that could not be denied. Leaving the safety of the school he took a bamf with him and made his way to the corporation. Walking in to a dozen or so strangely garbed, yet attractive, individuals Quentin intended to use his powers to take them all out. However, before he could do anything another individual, a rather large man, arrived and blocked his path. And worse yet Quentin’s powers had no effect on him. The man used his telepathy, with a power signature of the phoenix, to look into Quentin’s mind to learn what Quentin’s future-Phoenix-empowered-self revealed to him. The man showed Quentin images of destruction and a battle between him and Apocalypse. As Quentin faded into unconsciousness Storm and Wolverine arrived to save him via Chuckles the bamf.

    Telling Logan to step aside and preparing to strike this strange new opponent with lightning Ororo was hit with a powerful telepathic illusion, which caused her bolt to backfire. Her opponent told her that while the “biographers” were not kind to her they were very thorough, and the walls of the illusion began to close in on Ororo, triggering the claustrophobia that she has all but forgotten. Logan did not fare any better, as this stranger, who claimed to have been trained by the Askani Clan in combat and called Logan the father of Apocalypse, defeated Wolverine in a brief bout of hand to hand combat and then plunged a telepathic dagger into his mind. With the dagger in his skull he was greeted by the image of Apocalypse and was told by this stranger that he helped bring about the suffering of his world. As Logan began to lose consciousness he told Storm, who was still struggling with the illusion, that she needed to stop this man, as he was going to kill Evan (aka – Kid Apocalypse).

    The Good: This artist is so great on this book. My only gripe is that Storm’s new costume does not have flats. She has fierce boss-lady wedges. And I like the look of the sleeves connecting in-between her fingers vs the gray gloves. He also forgot Logan’s scar over his right eye in a couple of panels. This issue was quite good overall. The story progressed quite nicely, we start to get an idea of what the Phoenix Corporation is, we got to delve deeper into the inner struggles of Wolverine, and we see Storm’s presence and role as Headmistress gain greater significance. I am really enjoying the chemistry Latour has established between Storm and Wolverine, and despite this being another story centered on the Phoenix Force (the most annoyingly redundant X-story that never seems to go away) this is a different take and my interest is building.

    The Bad: While I wasn’t “wowed” by this issue it was still very good. I have no major concerns with this issue. I wish the battle between Storm, Logan and this mysterious and possibly phoenix powered telepath was elaborated on more. It seemed he knew Storm and Wolverine quite well, exploiting her claustrophobia (which she has been able to effectively overcome for quite a few years now so…) and easily outfighting Logan. He seems interesting and I am eager to see what transpires in next issue.

    Overall this 1st issue gets 3.85 out of 5.

    Images Needed
    - The 2 pages of Storm confronting Logan about his issues
    - Ororo talking to Anole and getting intel on the Phoenix Corporation
    - The last page of the issue with Logan telling Storm she needs save Evan
  2. avatar
    Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:36 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - X-Men #12 Synopsis & Review
    X-Men #12

    Full Synopsis: Ana Cortes’s career run as a super villain was probably the shortest in history. Realizing the mistake she made by aligning herself with and funding the Sisterhood she took her own life, but not before she had provided the location of their hideout to the X-Men. To her dismay she had already outlived her usefulness anyway, and Arkea was still able to salvage Lady Deathstrike from her body and brought Yuriko into Reiko’s body along with herself. And the 3-in-1 is the first to greet their team’s newest edition – the newly revived Madelyne Pryor.

    Overhead, the X-jet heads to the destination provided by Ana Cortes. The field assault team is lead by Storm, and included Rachel Grey as second-in-command, Psylocke, M, and Karima. Storm’s contact Sabra, who was also aided by the proto-mutant Gabriel, had implemented containment protocols around the Sisterhood’s hideout. Nine thousand feet below them resided their adversaries, and the X-Men dove down through the air and steeled themselves for the battle ahead. Monet, itching for payback for what Enchantress did to her, took the lead and dive-bombed the site.

    Thanks to her ability to perceive heat signatures she zeroed in Amora’s position and blitz tackled her with tremendous force. The impact fractured and broke some of Amora’s bones and effectively took her out of the fight. The rest of the team quietly landed on the roof of the building. Psylocke continued her pursuit of Typhoid Mary, telepathically taunting her prey as she closed in. Engaging Mary with her telekinetic blades the two ninjas’ swords clashed. The contest seemed quite one-sided, as Psylocke, with eerie ease, dispatched Mary with a powerful roundhouse to the head that concluded their battle.

    With two of their members down an anxious Arkea lead Selene and Madelyne on a search for an escape route. Recognizing that there were no nearby electrical systems to travel upon and her fear beginning to show Selene and Madelyne were disgusted by Arkea’s weakness. As they made it outside Storm and Rachel confronted them. Surprised to see both Selene and Madelyne but warning them that they are fair game if they are aligned with Arkea Ororo readied her lightning. Rachel telepathically advised Ororo not to use her lightning due to Arkea being able to travel upon it. Suddenly, before she could defend herself Rachel was then felled by a telepathic attack from Madelyne. The former Black Queen told Storm that since Arkea is the key to her new life she would not leave her side.

    So Ororo offered her and Selene a deal. The X-Men were only here for Arkea and that they could leave this fight without her and the X-Men would settle up with them at another time. In that instant the fragile hold Arkea had over the Sisterhood dissipated, as both Selene and Madelyne readily accepted Storm’s offer and quickly made their escape. Betrayed and abandoned Arkea had no choice but to make an escape as well. Noting Storm’s control over atmospheric electricity she sought to use Ororo’s powers to make her getaway, but fell short of her goal, as Monet speedily ensnared Arkea in her super-strong grip.

    As Psylocke and Karima rejoined their team Ororo leaned in close to Arkea, and advised her that with the help of her brother they have neutralized over 90% of her particle remains on the planet, and that they have brought a special gift just for her. A special smart bomb he helped to design that will kill her but will leave her host body undamaged. Looking to exact some much deserved revenge Karima wasted no time in shooting Reiko in the head, effectively killing Arkea and leaving Reiko and Deathstrike unharmed. With their mission finally accomplished Karima told Storm that she accepted an offer to work with Sabra and Gabriel in the Moussad, and that she would not be returning with the team.

    The Good: Brian Wood and Kris Anka serves up a fierce Storm. I could not get enough of her and wanted to see her on every page. Wood’s characterization of Ororo was excellent. She continued to be fierce and exude an edgy, compelling, and formidable persona throughout the issue. Monet and Betsy were beasts and I loved it. They continue to shine quite well in the action scenes. All of the X-Ladies were drawn beautifully. The scene of them swooping down on the Sisterhood’s hideout was especially mesmerizing, and I really liked the inking and coloring work done by Jason Keith. Wood definitely told an interesting and intriguing story in this issue. The highlight for Storm in this book was her leading in the field and making the effective tactical decision to allow Selene and Madelyne to leave. I think it secured the tide of battle her team’s favor. This scene reminded me of the time Storm made a deal with Doom to save Kitty’s life or joined the Hellfire Club, jointly sharing the role of White King. This really reminded me of the depth to Ororo’s character and how much she has grown as a leader and hero. My only gripe with Ororo, besides the continued lack of action, was the scene where she had the team do a “sound off role call”. That was unnecessary and out of character.

    The Bad: There were a couple of art snafus with Storm’s earrings looking different in some panels, and then disappearing all together. Other than that Anka’s art was sharp and breath-taking. The two biggest downfalls with this issue:
    - Talk about epic disappointment with this ending. While the ending was still interesting and creative, with Storm’s deal to let the others leave so they could focus on their main target, what we got was still pretty anti-climatic. It was not a big knockdown drag-out fight between the X-Men and Sisterhood that we would hope that this LONG drawn out story would build to. For stretching on for 6 issues what we got in the end was a frustrating disappointment. Those pages that were dedicated to the young X-Men could have and should have been to build the final battle scene and give fans something worth their investment in the story.
    - Wood has not done a good job of sharing the wealth when it comes to giving each of the X-Men a chance to get some action. Psylocke and M continued to get some impressive action in this issue (though the scenes could have been longer), with some awesome one-on-one fights that highlights these ladies’ considerable combat prowess and power, while Storm and Rachel continue to take a backseat to the action. I appreciate and would like to see Wood continue to highlight Storm’s excellent tactical and leadership ability in the field, but we are 12 issues into this book and fans of these characters would like to see all of them get a chance to shine and get some creative use in battle. After all they are the X-Men.
    Overall I did enjoy this issue and found it moderately entertaining, but factoring in the weak conclusion and the lack of action for all of the team members, this issue gets 3.5 out of 5.

    Images Needed
    - Storm doing the sound off in the X-Jet before they begin their attack
    - Storm and the team diving down to the Sisterhood’s hideout
    - Storm offering Madelyne and Selene the deal to escape
    - Storm getting in Arkea’s face before she gets her cap peeled by Karima
  3. avatar
    Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:34 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Wolverine Now #3
    Wolverine NOW #3

    Full Synopsis: Then – Saved by a web line from Spider-Man Wolverine made it to the ground safely. However, Logan’s discussion with him was interrupted by the arrival of Jubilee. Driving in her car they talked about his relationship with Storm and it seemed that he had been avoiding her. He explained that he and Ororo are not sure of what they have, except that he felt it was complication and he was not sure he deserved Storm.

    Ahead of them Logan observed Storm leading a team of X-Men (Psylocke, Rachel Grey, M, and Karima) against a sizable army of sentinels. Before he could help them engage these adversaries he received a private call from SHIELD director Maria Hill. He met with her in a side alley and she asked him to take a on a mission to help them take down Sabretooth. Logan refused her offer.
    Heedlessly jumping into the fray Storm instructed Jubilee to aid him, and Jubilee worked her way to Logan using some close range anti-metal virus technology that Beast created, which had an eerie resemblance to her former firework powers. As the X-Men made short work of these sentinels their adversary decided to merge and combine all of the individual sentinels into one massively large sentinel. Immobilized by a fear that he has not yet learned to shake Logan was petrified in place and was about to be stomped to death by the behemoth sentinel, had it not been for Jubilee’s timely save. After a worried Storm knew Logan was safe she combined her powers with Jubilee’s anti-metal virus tech, expanding the range of the tech by scattering it through rain. This action defeated the sentinel but Logan did not stay around to know the outcome. He ran all the way back to the school, still struggling with his fear of death and upset over nearly dying again. When he got to his room he found armor hanging from by some familiar webbing.

    Now – Logan is jolted awake by another nightmare of his near death encounter with Sabretooth. Leaving Pinch back in his bed he ventured out and spoke with The Lost Boy, noting his ongoing effort to bond with his new team. In another undisclosed location Sabretooth, still teamed up with Mystique, his hand ninjas, and Silver Samurai, advised his criminal cabal that he has found the power to remake the world in his image and that he was going to become a god.

    The Good: Stegman’s art continues to be awesome. The look of the characters remained unique, the background locations were well detailed and it was easy to follow the action and activity of the characters. Their voices and emotions were well reflected by the art. Cornell did a great job with this issue for this reader. He is starting to answer some looming questions for readers, such as how Storm and Wolverine feel about their relationship. Logan’s struggle with his fear of death continued to be well demonstrated on panel and we see how his closest friends, Storm and Jubilee, truly care about him and are worried for him. I continue to enjoy his take on Storm and her relationship with Logan. There is also a breadcrumb for readers to follow, since his joining The Offer criminal enterprise could be part of him working undercover with SHIELD.

    The Bad: Maybe it’s the inking and coloring but I was not as pleased with the look of the characters in this issue as I was with issue #1. It was OK but the inking seemed to take away from the pencil art and overall look and feel of this issue. The issue progressed this story arc a bit more, so the pacing is still decent, but I’m not sure this sort of story needed to be told over the course of 4 issues. It seems like there isn’t enough necessary elements to the story that would require it to be told over 4 issues. The action pages could have also used more elaboration as well. This issue had a lot of conversation but the action was summarized a little too much. I also think that Wolverine and Storm’s relationship could’ve used more fleshing out. Not just seeing Storm’s concerned over Logan’s self-destructive behavior during their battle, but more discussion on what their relationship to each other is, and why it cannot or should not progress any further. Either way, it was a still a pretty decent read over all.

    Overall this 1st issue gets 3.5 out of 5.

    Images Needed
    - Storm flying over the sentinels as she and team battled them
    - Storm telling the team that they will also need to combine their powers
    - Storm coming her powers with Jubilee’s anti-metal virus tech
    - Quentin Quire explaining that she reduced the sentinel to….
  4. avatar
    Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:31 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Wolverine & the X-Men Now#1
    Wolverine & the X-Men NOW #1 (Latour’s Run)

    Full Synopsis: The Future - It is destined to repeat the past, as a new avatar of the Phoenix (Quentin Quire) has risen and is embroiled in a battle with a newly arisen Apocalypse (Genesis) on the burning grounds, graves, and rubble of the Jean Grey School.

    Present Day – Quentin Quire struggled to look upon himself in a mirror dressed in a tight suit and tie. He was desperately trying to hold on the remaining shred of the devil-may-care/rebel image that has defined who he was for so long. That and the fact that he may be destined to be the next avatar of the Phoenix Force. The image looking back at him in the mirror is not the rebel mutant who was not afraid to shake the foundation of the world’s governments, but that of the new teaching assistant at the Jean Grey School. Jumping from his torturous down-time with his companion, Idie, he is in his class and supposed to be teaching. But, much to Quentin’s chagrin, teaching rambunctious mutants requires much more than a present body with unsteady and unsure hands. Goaded into a clearly losing bet Rockslide made an attempt to catch some bamfs, and began rampaging through the school. Out on the school grounds Eye-Boy greeted the latest addition to the JGS school, Nature Girl, who appeared to be both cute and mute. Making their way to the cafeteria Nature Girl was introduced to Rockslide as he barreled through the door in pursuit of a group of bamfs. Drawn to Nature Girl the bamfs looked to her for protection, which she graciously obliged. Lunch server Doop did not appreciate this spectacle in his cafeteria and hit Rockslide with a colossal punch.

    Back on the school grounds, Headmistress Storm was frustrated and quite busy dealing with the surprise that Logan has left for her. He has allowed the entire JGS faculty to take personal leave from the school for the summer, leaving only Ororo behind to run the school and watch the students who had no place else to go. Even Vice Principal Beast was in Shi’ar space on some much needed downtime, and too far out of reach to lend Storm aid. And to add to her frustration Rockslide, who was suppose to be in Quentin’s class, came crash landing down at her feet from Doop’s punch. Needless to say the Headmistress was not pleased.

    Ororo went to Quentin to address his lack of supervision and not taking responsibility for his students. Upset by the Headmistress’s admonishment Quentin lashed back with scathing words borne of his insecurity and his internal struggles. Annoyed by Quentin’s seemingly ridiculous concerns Hellion lashed out at him with a telekinetic shove. Before things could escalate Storm intervened and stopped the fight, scolding Hellion and warning Quentin not to retaliate. Later on, Idie consoled Quentin and gave him some words of advice to help him overcome his fear of his future.

    Meanwhile, Wolverine is in The World’s prison arena taking on Kragg. Aided by a scrappy little bamf he easily evaded Kragg’s attack by being teleported out of the way and quickly ended him. Enter his next challenger – Fantomex. Initially felled by Jean Phillipe Logan was teleported again into a position to kill Fantomex, but Wolverine stayed his hand. He told Fantomex that he needed him to help protect the school and it’s students.

    Watching over the latest addition to the school, Storm observed Nature Girl fast asleep on a bed of leaves. Krakoa seems to like her. A frantic Armor, another one of the school’s teaching assists, interrupted her observation, and showed Storm an image of the Phoenix that suddenly appeared on all of the cell phone, I-Pad, and TV screens.

    The Good: Mahmud Asrar Storm = Life giving awesomeness! Storm is looking beautiful and commanding in this first issue. All of the characters have unique looks that remain consistent throughout the book, the coloring (by Israel Silva) is very good and really helps set the scene for the quirky and tough grounds of the Jean Grey School.

    Latour is a fun writer. He has some comical moments and dialogue that kept this set-up issue sufficiently entertaining. I enjoyed his characterization. Quentin’s internal struggle was made clear and is understandable, and Storm’s stress at having been surprised at having to take on so much on her own was well demonstrated in this issue. Ororo is a proud, strong, and very capable woman that has excelled in battle, but now she has to deal with running and protecting a school, and without the aid of a team of veteran X-Men to do it. This is a new and exciting adventure for her character that can offer some interesting (and much needed) development. And glad this book is released bi-monthly. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue on 3/26.

    The Bad: The story was pretty good but, for the most part, par for the course. It was a good introductory issue and jumping on point for new readers, but nothing that grabs the attention right away for existing x-readers. Also, with stories about the phoenix being used so much another story centered on this universal force doesn’t come off as immediately compelling. I think Latour will take this book in a much more interesting direction than Aaron’s run once it’s up and running, and I am hoping for a new story vs one that we have already read multiple times (a la Jean’s struggle with the Phoenix, Hope’s struggle with being the mutant messiah, and now a young Jean’s recent struggle over her future as the premiere avatar of Phoenix, etc.)

    Overall this 1st issue gets 3.5 out of 5.

    Images Needed
    - Storm talking to beast over her wrist communicator
    - The 2 pages of Storm confronting Quentin about not supervising his class
    - Storm and Armor on the last page looking at the image of the Phoenix
  5. avatar
    Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:03 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Wolverine NOW #1
    Full Synopsis: Still struggling with the loss of his mutant healing factor Logan began a descent down a different path. Having teamed up with Lost Boy, Fuel, the Reflex, and Pinch, whom he appears to have a romantic relationship with, Wolverine was now working for an unknown and possible big time crime lord known as The Offer. He and this new team infiltrated the Stratus Organization, quickly defeated the security forces and descended further into the facility. As he clawed his way into Cell 19 Logan was hit with a powerful energy beam that knocked him out.

    Flashing back to 5 weeks prior to this break-in Logan and Ororo went to the Guernica Bar for some much needed R-n-R, and to toss back a few. Being long time close friends Storm was concerned about the effect the loss of his healing factor and near death experience at the hands on his most deadliest of enemies was having on Logan. However, her attempts to get him to open up were met with a brave face and faux confidence. She recognized that his strong warrior spirit was not yet ready to deal with his new reality and accept his mortality. And the untimely arrival of Victoria Frankenstein, who stated that everyone had heard about what happened to him, only added insult to Logan’s sorely injured confidence and pride.

    Leaving the bar in a bit of a huff Ororo followed Logan outside. She asked that, as a favor to her and in contemplation about his future, he should consider Beast’s suggestion to wear armor. Though he was not thrilled with the idea he knew Storm was right. He had been thinking about his future, as a father and his legacy as a Headmaster. Later on, Logan met up with Black Widow and he began refresher training with hand guns.

    Back in the present Logan regained consciousness. He was saved by his Ablation Armor. He and the team made their escape from the facility and headed back to their Headquarters. Back at their Headquarters the team’s infiltration of the Stratus facility was being observed in its entirety by The Offer. He wanted to meet with Sabretooth, leader of a specialized clan of the Hand ninjas. Mr.Monkton, who had claimed to be Victor’s representative, was there on behalf of the clan’s leader. But The Offer was fooled by this rouge. Having seen through his façade The Offer had discovered that Mr.Monkton was really a reporter who worked for the Daily Bugle. By this time Logan and his team had arrived and The Offer explained to Logan (*off panel*) that there was a problem that needed addressing. Mr.Monkton explained that the whole super villain community was aware of what happened to Logan but that he didn’t believe what he had heard. Unmoved by his reasoning for being there Logan gave him an opportunity to explain himself. Mistakenly thinking that Logan would be his savior Mr. Monkton’s misplaced faith in Logan’s heroism was met with a bullet to his head – courtesy of the Wolverine.

    The Good: Cornell continues to be awesome. He told an interesting story and has a new and very redefining take on Logan. He gives Logan a unique voice that is still very much classic Wolverine, at least for the most part, but also shows a level of vulnerability that is as unnerving for the character as it is for long time readers. I’m interested to see where this new “career choice” will take Logan. Cornell also has a very good grasp of Storm’s voice and her relationship with Logan. The dialogue between them made it clear that she was concerned about Logan’s emotional and physical well being. He expresses Ororo’s wisdom and compassion, which we don’t get to see much these days, and it was refreshing to have a writer who remembers that.

    Stegman’s art was awesome and different, but in a good way. Wolverine looked more true to his form, with a more compact and muscular frame, a very cool looking new armor design, and edged up with a scar over his right eye – courtesy of Sabretooth. Each character had a uniquely defined look, the coloring was consistent and on point throughout, and for this reader, he draws a pretty Ororo.

    The Bad: The story was pretty good but, for the most part, par for the course. It ended in a profound way, and was an entertaining read throughout, but didn’t impact me in an overall outstanding way. Some of Logan’s dialogue with Ororo seemed…a little too dismissive considering the way Killable ended. While that may have been intentional, as far as Logan being in denial about what he was really feeling at that time, the way he tried to talk it off didn’t feel like Logan’s voice.

    Overall this 1st issue gets 3.85 out of 5.

    Images Needed – All 4 pages of Logan & Storm’s chat in the bar.
  6. avatar
    Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:44 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Uncanny X-Force #17 Vendetta Part 4 - Full Synopsis & Review
    Uncanny X-Force #17 (Vendetta Part -4)

    Full Synopsis: Believing his corruption of Hope was complete Stryfe told Cable he was a failure as a parent. But Cable knew and believed different. Lucas explained to Hope that killing him would be an act that would forever haunt her. That she would be a casualty of bad blood that would leave her stained for the rest of her life.

    Stryfe’s enjoyment of this spectacle was interrupted when his base tech warned him of an incoming aircraft. Rushing outside he was greeted by a flying van full of X-Force team members. Following Storm’s attack plan Colossus and Puck were deployed first to attack Stryfe, while almost simultaneously Spiral teleported the rest of the X-Forces down to the ground to confront Stryfe. The gamble paid off, as Puck and Colossus kept Stryfe focused on them long enough for the teams to get deployed safely. The two teams split up, with one focused on battling Stryfe, which consisted of Puck, Boom Boom, Psylocke, Colossus, and Dr. Nemesis, and the other team to infiltrate Stryfe’s base, which consisted of Storm, Spiral, Forge and Domino.

    The team attacked Stryfe but their attacks were deflected by his telekinetic force field. And though Psylocke’s potent telepathic illusion managed to briefly confuse Stryfe and exposed him to a direct punch from Colossus, it still was not enough to fell the powerful omega mutant. Meanwhile, Spiral teleported the infiltration team into the base, where they immediately found Hope and Bishop. Thankfully Hope did not mortally wound Bishop, and Forge quickly saw to freeing him and seeing to him, while Storm checked on Hope. Not wanting to disappoint her father Hope had sparred Bishop. All were surprised by Colossus’s crash through the ceiling, and before they could learn why Stryfe had ensnared all of them in his telekinetic grip.

    Realizing that Hope had sparred Bishop and that his plan of corrupting her had failed the enraged vengeful villain was about to kill Hope, but he was impaled from behind by Cable’s psimitar. Cable had been freed by Spiral. Before he could finish Stryfe off he was hit with a telekinetic blast, and before he made his escape Stryfe telepathically commanded Hope to mimic his limitless power. His hope was that his powers would overwhelm her and result in an explosive blast that would kill everyone present. He then teleported away. Being released from his telekinetic grip the X-Force teams try to think of what to do to save Hope. As the overwhelming power grew within her Hope screamed. Bishop came forward to help Hope, telling her how to focus the power and direct the blast upward. He succeeded, as Hope was able to direct a massive blast into the sky, leaving a small crater around her and Bishop, but everyone else was untouched.

    Returning to their base Bishop attempted to make peace with Hope, but she told him that she did not forgive him for what he did. Cable, still angry for what Bishop had put him and his daughter through but ultimately grateful at that moment, thanked him for saving his daughter when he couldn’t. Ororo and Betsy share a glass of wine. Storm needed to return to the school and Betsy, still on the outs with Wolverine, was not going to go back with her. The two share a hug, noting the bond of a close friendship, and part ways.

    The Good: The only thing that happened in this issue that was enjoyable was the sisterly love of Stormlocke. That was all.

    The Bad: OK this issue was a total disappointment to say the least. Where to begin…
    - Dexter Soy’s art is not bad but could he at least GET STORM’S COSTUME CORRECT. Tolibao drew her look correctly and then 3 pages later Soy gives her the 90’s style cape. Not the biggest deal in the world but it was blatantly incorrect.

    - This was the final issue of Vendetta and it was clearly a rushed story that editorial did not even proof read. This was a complete bore. The final battle was stale and flat. It did nothing to punctuate the final story arc of these X-Force series in a memorable way. At least in a positive way.

    - The team split made no logical sense. At all. They are going up against Stryfe and need all the power they have available to them, so we have Psylocke and Colossus, which made sense. But then we have Boom Boom. And Dr. Nemesis. And Puck…??? …when you have Storm, one of their most powerful offensive forces on the team. But she leaves the battlefield as part of the infiltration team…? Really?

    - Not only that but…what the hell happened to Puck for the battle? He was seen jumping at Strfye after he recovered from a redirected blast and then was MIA until the last 3 pages.

    - The dialogue was atrocious throughout this issue. From Colossus saying “Remember Me…the big dumb ox?” to Storm saying “Good Heavens” to Stryfe explaining that he is “telepathically commanding Hope to mimic his limitless power blah blah blah”….horrendous…

    - And speaking of Hope didn’t we just see her wield the Phoenix Force in AvX…? Why would Stryfe’s powers be a problem for her to mimic all of a sudden?

    I give this issue 1.75 out of 5. -

    Images needed-
    - Storm advising Domino that the plan will work
    - The team teleporting to the ground to face Stryfe
    - Storm embracing Hope to see if she was OK
    - Storm and Psylocke hugging at the end

  7. avatar
    Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:40 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Cable & X-Force #19 Vendetta Part 3 Full Synopsis & Revi
    Cable & X-Force #19 (Vendetta Part - 3)

    Full Synopsis: With the minor scuffle between the X-Force teams concluded, some still cooling heads begin to reflect on how their fight got so quickly out of hand. After Storm gave Forge a light chastising, the teams began to focus on how they were going to find Cable and Spiral. Deciding to break into Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) technological junk yard to create an amplifier for Betsy’s telepathy the teams made their escape just as the local authorities arrived on the scene.

    At Stryfe’s bunker an old and unresolved conflict began to unfold. Being a brazen inter-dimensional ninja Spiral ignored Cable’s warning and wasted no time unsheathing her blades and lunging for their villainous host, but Stryfe easily repelled her with a telekinetic blast. And before she could muster the focus for another attack Cable’s powerful clone telepathically forced her to teleport away from his secret location, and to Spiral’s unpleasant surprise she materialized in the middle of storm tossed waters on a fishing trawler. Cable fared no better, as Stryfe disarmed him and forced him to his knees with his omega-level telekinetic power.

    Back in the junkyard new and old friendships are kindled. Puck was clearly smitten by the spunky Boom Boom, and Ororo, recalling the last time that she saw Forge he was unhinged and tried to kill her and her fellow X-Men, was happy to see that her former lover and friend seemed to be doing well. After Forge and Nemesis completed their make-shift telepathy amplifier Betsy used her boosted powers and was finally able to sense Bishop, Cable and Hope, but she couldn’t divine their location. She could, thankfully, locate Spiral. The team quickly made their way over the ocean and rescued a grateful Spiral from the unpleasant comforts of a fisherman’s life.

    With Cable now imprisoned Stryfe turned to his other two captives. He offered Hope the opportunity to exact her revenge on Bishop, and gave her Cable’s psimitar to do it. Stryfe’s desire was clear. He wanted to get his revenge on Cable by corrupting his daughter, using her desire for revenge to stain both their souls by getting her to commit murder. Hope understood that Stryfe had his own agenda, and despite her being unmoved by Bishop’s attempts to apologize for what he did, she remained in control and restrained herself. However, when Lucas began to compare his actions with what Cable and his X-Force team had been doing he stoked a primal rage in Hope that could not be denied. Hope began to attack him, and to Stryfe’s dark delight he provided a visual feed to Cable’s cell so he could see his daughter do what he had been desperately trying to stop. Savagely beating Bishop, who was chained and unable to defend himself, Hope plunged her father’s psimitar into him. Was Stryfe’s revenge complete…?

    The Good: This was a good issue. Unzueta art continues to be pleasing to the eyes. Hopeless has made me a fan of his writing, which contained entertaining drama, great comedic timing, and good characterization. I enjoyed the way he wrote the interactions between both X-Force teams, and I especially enjoyed his Storm/Forge reunion. Ororo and the Maker had a tumultuous relationship that did not end well, and Hopeless captured the tension between them, touched on the last time they saw each other (I especially appreciate writers who know their history and their characters well), and had an amicable exchange between them. I’m not expecting them to get back together again (I’m enjoying Ororo being single again) but it was great to see that these two still care about each other. Spiral was quite entertaining. She cracked me up when she called Colossus an idiot for liking Neil Diamond LOL. And Puck, with his relentless flirtation with Tabitha, was enjoyable to read.

    The Bad: I have no issues with this installment of Vendetta either. Despite the limited action it progressed the story nicely and the character interaction was handled very well. The overall plot for Vendetta has been underwhelming so far, so that has to be reflected in the rating, but Hopeless has still managed to give us a decent issue nonetheless.

    I give this issue 3.25 out of 5.

    -Images needed-
    - Storm telling Forge to shut up
    - Storm and Forge talking in the junkyard
    - Spiral calling Colossus an idiot (LOL)
    - Bishop getting stabbed by Hope
  8. avatar
    Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:27 am
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Amazing X-Men #3
    Amazing X-Men #3

    Full Synopsis: On the frozen waters of the Sea of Oblivion another X-Man was teleported into this realm of Hell, and right into the clutches of Azazel, Hell’s most ambitious plunderer. The Beast. A big blue bouncing Beast to be more precise. Henry’s simian frame houses superhuman agility, reflexes, coordination and balance, and he quickly puts these skills to a most effective use, bouncing and pouncing on this band of pirates with an uncanny ease. So much so that Azazel himself, even leveraging his teleportation power, found himself challenged to defeat Henry in a direct confrontation. But brute force and swordplay was not the only skill this demon could employ. Hurling his blade into the air Azazel’s Bamfs teleported his sword behind Beast, and with the blade keeping it’s initial momentum it plunged it’s way into Henry’s back, and he was then kicked into the Sea of Oblivion. The arrogant demon, believing his foe vanquished, commanded his crew to clean up his ship and set sail. But this Beast was far from defeated.

    Meanwhile, on the Sea of Suffering, another pirate ship is assailed by a different X-Man, quickly frustrating and earning the ire of it’s crew. Ororo had already managed to escape from her bindings 4 times. None of their ropes or chains could hold her. How could they know that she is a master in the art of escape? And to add injury to insult she had broken the noses of one of her captors and tore the nipples off another (LOL). In response her hands were ordered to be chopped off, but before the eager pirates could get their much desired retribution, she was saved by an unexpected and devilishly charming swashbuckler. Enter Nightcrawler.

    Kurt’s Bamf’s teleported Ororo to her savior’s arms, and she was completely overcome by the sight of him. A friend she believed was long lost to her and one she did not want to be apart from ever again. They had missed each other so. But their heartfelt reunion had to be cut short. There was a ship full of pirates in need of a serious beat down, and they were the perfect X-Men to deliver it. Quickly defeating their opponents the two X-Men took an opportunity to reminisce about the first time they joined the X-Men. Ororo was not sure she wanted to stay with the X-Men. She missed her homeland and her life unbound by the reigns of Xavier’s dream. Seeing her homesick and unsure of what choice to make Kurt had surprised Ororo, having filled the x-mansion’s unused attic with beautiful exotic plants. It gave Storm a small piece of her former life as a wind goddess of the Serengeti. Ororo was elated and that moment marked the burgeoning of a lifelong friendship.

    All that remained of this ship’s crew was Captain Kid and with each of his six arms holding a 6 shooter he rained a barrage of bullets at Nightcrawler. None hit their mark however, as Kurt’s rapid teleports evaded every shot. Before they could retaliate in kind the ship was rammed by another ship, which sent Captain Kid hurdling overboard and into the Sea of Suffering. Looking forward to beating up more pirates Kurt and Storm readied themselves, but it was not pirates that greeted them. It was an uncharacteristically angry and raging Beast.

    The Good: Ed McGuiness art & Marte Gracia colors is GIVING ME LIFE! From the fluid movement of Beast in battle to the excellent pirate seas setting to the exotic and feline-esque beauty of Ororo, Ed and Marte delivered on every page. I am hoping this art team stays on for the long haul on this title. Jason Aaron’s characterization was ON POINT for this reader. I didn’t even need to see the art to know that Kurt was being the handsome charming pirate, that Beast was beating people’s a$$e$ with his fist, feet, and intellect, or that Ororo is the fiery princess with a surprising lust for battle. The highlight for me was the excellently handled reunion of Storm and Nightcrawler. It met my expectations as a long time reader of X-Men comics. These two have always had a very close and flirtatious friendship that goes back to the very beginnings of the ANAD X-Men days, and Aaron did a FABULOUS job with showing why these two were so close and how much they meant to each other.

    For this Storm fan, despite the PIS that Storm is unable to use her powers in this dimension, I am very much enjoying that Aaron is focusing on Storm’s fierceness, gifted combat skills, and her very much neglected and should be leveraged a lot more often skill as an escape artist (and hopefully we get to see some lock picking, pick-pocketing, and some trap setting of her own). I am hoping Aaron continues to give Ororo’s skills some shine under his pen. It’s often forgotten that Storm came to this team with many skills, and it’s not just her weather powers that make her formidable.

    The Bad: I have no criticism for this issue.

    I give this issue a 4.75 out of 5.

    -Images needed-
    - The page where the pirate complains about Storm escaping 4 times
    - Her initial reunion with Kurt after the Bamf’s saved her
    - Jumping down with Kurt to take on the pirates
    - The flashback scene with Kurt and Storm in the attic for the first time
  9. avatar
    Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:41 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Uncanny X-Force 16 (Vendetta Part - 2)
    Full Synopsis: Initially setting down their weapons for a peaceful discussion Psylocke and Storm tried to explain to Cable, after they were informed that Stryfe had kidnapped Bishop and Hope, that they believed Bishop has changed and they were going to protect him. Cable, still quite angry and feeling betrayed his friends, wasn’t having it. Emotions on both sides were too intense. The need for vengeance in Cable was too strong. Ready to defend his daughter at all costs and to make Bishop pay for hunting him and his daughter across time Cable lifted his gun at X-Force and pulls the trigger. However, before his shot can leave the chamber he was leveled by a lightning bolt from Storm.

    An explosive round from Forge scattered the Uncanny X-Force team, and hailed the arrival of Cable’s X-Force team. Trying to keep a hold of the now unconscious Cable so that he could not go after Bishop alone Psylocke asked Ororo to keep Cable’s X-Force team talking and buy them the time they needed to teleport Cable out of the combat arena. But to everyone’s surprise, and despite Storm successfully engaging Forge in an exchange, Nemesis jumped the gun and shot Cable with a tracker just before Spiral teleported away with him.

    Cable’s team goes into hot pursuit of Spiral, with Domino quickly closing the gap between them as they reached the free way. The car that Spiral commandeered to get away in was blasted out of commission by Neena’s rocket launcher. A then pissed Spiral teleports to Domino to take that “dalmatian” out of the equation completely. Meanwhile the remainder of Cable’s X-Force team arrived on the scene and Storm sent the team flying with a category 5 typhoon wind blast. Consequently when Forge was sent against a wall from her the blast it caused his gun to discharge a blast that hit Ororo. After briefly confronting Forge and then convinced that he was not a threat Psylocke tried to convince Colossus that this fight was unnecessary but before their conversation could proceed Puck rammed Piotr with a massive truck. Pressing her advantage Psylocke telepathically advised Spiral that Cable was secured and momentarily left herself vulnerable to an attack from Boom Boom, which the resulting explosion took Betsy out.

    Dr. Nemesis awakened Cable, who immediately ordered him to hit Spiral with a hallucinogenic dart, which he did. Spiral is then confronted with a vision of her greatest fear, and was back in the clutches of Mojo. Manipulating Spiral while she was in this drugged induced state Cable tricked her into teleporting him to Hope, leaving behind his team and the Uncanny X-Force. Upon their arrival they were immediately confronted by Stryfe.

    Meanwhile, Bishop and Hope were chained in a room with each other and had their powers dampened. Hope made it clear that she intended to kill Bishop for ruining her childhood and murdering her adopted mother. Bishop’s apologies, as heartfelt as they may have been, were not going to assuage her pain or satisfy her desire for revenge. Their conversation was cut short with a shock from their chains that signaled the arrival of their captor and possible executioner – Stryfe. Stryfe explained that, though it took him years and despite Bishop’s betrayal, he escaped from Apocalypse. And now that he had the both of them he was going to grant Hope her greatest desire.

    The Good: Some of the dialogue was funny. Spiral and Puck were dropping some nice one-liners as they getting into the action. I’m probably in the minority but I thought the art was decent to good. I thought the coloring was quite good. It was easy to follow the sequence of combat, for the little bit of combat scenes that we got in this issue. The dialogue also had some entertaining parts, and I think the confrontation between Storm, Psylocke and Cable was handled fairly well. I laughed at Storm completely knocking Cable out of the fight, right from the gate, and it was cool to see Betsy coordinating the attack when the fighting started. The Hope and Bishop dialogue was handled well and I can totally see why Hope wants Bishop’s head on her wall.

    The Bad: For this being two X-Force teams and all of the promo hype about this confrontation (and I could be jumping the gun since this is only part 2 out of 5) but if this was the big clash between these X-Force teams then this battle 1.5 on the rictor scale. It fell flat and was not exceptional in any way. None of these fights got any credible panel time that highlighted these deadly X-Forcers in a way that made the battle worthwhile for readers. Each fight happened within only a couple of panels, and the PIS aside (i.e. – Spiral doesn’t need a getaway car…???), we should have gotten more of a knock down drag out blood-fest of a fight. The fights being so mediocre and seemed so focused on being funny vs aggressive and edgy really diminished this issue. Also, for this reader, though I’ll leave this fact out of my rating for the issue to keep it fair, while the reunion between Storm and Forge does briefly recap their last interaction that happened in the Astonishing X-Men Ghost Boxes story, it was not really meaningful. I’m hoping for more interaction between these two, since they were deeply in love at one point and their relationship suffered so many emotional tragedies.

    I give this issue 2.25 out of 5.

    -Images needed-
    - Cable leveling his gun at X-Force and about to fire
    - Storm leveling Cable before he could fire
    - Storm talking to Forge to delay them
    - Storm wind blasting Cable’s X-Force team
  10. avatar
    Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:59 pm
    Message by THUNDERBOLT30 - Cable & X-Force #18 (Vendetta Part -1) - Synopsis & Revi
    Full Synopsis: Through the use of technology and Cable’s precognitive power Hope discovered that her ultimate nightmare, Lucas Bishop, was going to return to the present from his exile in the future. A long sense of fear in her gave way to an even greater sense of anger and vengeance. Gathering up some weapons and knocking Boom Boom out so she could not alert Cable to her plan, she immediately headed out to find and kill Bishop. Once she revived Boom Boom woke Cable and told him what Hope saw in his mind. Cable quickly prepped and then rushed after his daughter, hoping to save her from committing an act he believed could destroy the good in her.

    Back at the Uncanny X-Force team headquarters Ororo and Bishop were engaged in a heated argument over Lucas’s discovery that Storm had removed his memories of what he did to Hope. Despite Storm’s explanation, even with Betsy trying to reinforce her reasoning by showing Bishop telepathically, their voices fell on ears that understood why Ororo did what she did, but were too angry and hurt to accept it. Going off on his own to cool off Bishop was walking the streets of Hollywood when he was surprised by an explosion that sent him through a wall.

    Walking through the debris and armed to the teeth Hope approached him, ready to put an end to the man who ruined her childhood and the source of the nightmares that have plagued her life for so many years. Sensing it was time to find Bishop and try and see if things could be patched up between him and Ororo Psylocke reached out to his mind telepathically and discovered that he was engaged in a deadly struggle. Bishop evaded Hope’s close range gunfire, and disarmed and struck her. But she was tough and came ready, pulling out an energy blade that he was able to disarm her of as well, but left him open to a punch to the throat. Before he could recover he was met with a lip-splitting kick to the face that knocked him the ground. Pressing her advantage Hope pulled out another gun and was about to kill Bishop but was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of …Stryfe.

    Surprised by his arrival neither combatant was prepared for such a confrontation. As they were ensnared and incapacitated by his power Cable made his way to the scene, but was unable to rescue his daughter and was forced back by a blast from Stryfe. Stryfe slowly escaped in to a portal, telling Cable he was not running from him but was taking his time as his long awaited plan continued to play out. As Stryfe’s portal closed the Uncanny X-Force team arrived via Spiral’s teleportation. Psylocke immediately confronted Cable on Bishop’s whereabouts, and the events of the day for both Cable and the UXF team gave rise to a heated standoff.

    The Good: For a starter issue this was pretty entertaining. The art and coloring was good and characterization was pretty on point. I don’t recall a time where Hopeless wrote Storm before but I enjoyed his take on her. I’m not sure I would see Ororo playing cards and sharing a drink with Spiral, since they haven’t had much friendly interaction throughout Humphries UXF run, but their interaction was fun to see on panel. Hopeless gave Ororo a strong voice and I was pleasingly surprised by the dialogue between her and Bishop. I was initially expecting Storm to be regretful and apologetic for removing Bishop’s memories, but when we look at what Lucas did from the perspective of his former teammates in the X-Men it made sense why she would be frustrated with Lucas’s being angry with her after all the pain and destruction he had caused. Though I still feel Lucas had every right to be angry. That was my favorite scene in this issue and I think Hopeless handled it very well.

    I also enjoyed the combat sequence between Hope and Bishop. It reminded me and illustrated how skilled Bishop is as a fighter, which he seemed to dominate their fight, but reinforced how capable, resourceful and cunning a fighter Hope is. She is definitely her father’s daughter and knows how to handle herself to great effect. Betsy had some great dialogue as the voice of reason and co-leader of the UXF team in this issue, so it was nice to see her taking the role of mediator as she tried to keep the team together.

    The Bad: I have no issues with this first installment of Vendetta. It’s a build up issue, so it will not be as action packed as I would like it to be (though Hopeless did a good job there in my opinion). It appears to be a confrontation and then an alliance between the two X-Force teams type of story, so that is something to look forward to.

    I give this issue 3.85 out of 5.

    -Images needed-
    - Storm and Bishop arguing
    - Betsy telepathically showing Bishop why Storm did what she did
    - Ororo and Spiral playing cards
    - The last page where the UXF team is ready to throw down with Cable

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