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X-Men: Battle of the Atom [Checklist]

SEPTEMBER 2013
X-Men Battle of the Atom # 1
All-New X-Men # 16
X-Men # 5
Uncanny X-Men # 12
Wolverine & the X-Men # 36

OCTOBER 2013
All-New X-Men # 17
X-Men # 6
Uncanny X-Men # 13
Wolverine & the X-Men # 37
X-Men Battle of the Atom # 2

battleoftheatomchecklist01

battleoftheatomchecklist02

source: promotional postcard (pictured above)

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Wolverine and the X-Men #9 [Review]

Day of the Phoenix, Dark Night of the Soul

Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler/Colorist: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor: Jordan D. White
Associate Editor: Daniel Ketchum
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published by: Marvel Comics

This is another issue I bought solely for the AvX banner at the top, jumping in to wallow in the latest big Event in the hopes of just simply having fun with it instead of being so cranky as I’ve been the last few years toward these things. Just saying, up-front.

Wolverine and Beast are hanging out, recovering from recent injuries (presumably sustained in an earlier issue, but frankly, I don’t need to know the details…the situation just IS. Like a sitcom episode or such. It’s enough to gather what happened…I know these characters, so it is what it is.) An alarm goes off and Beast realizes the Phoenix is heading towards Earth. When Captain America shows up, he and Wolverine know exactly why the Avenger is there, and they greet him. Beast joins one of Cap’s initiatives for fighting the Phoenix, and Wolverine signs on for another, advising Cap that things will not be simple in taking action that Cyclops will certainly oppose. Meanwhile, a couple of the mutants with mind powers are overwhelmed at the approaching Phoenix force, while out in space there are aliens gambling on what world the Phoenix will destroy next, and the Shi’Ar emperor (is that Gladiator?!?) prepares to head to Earth to rescue his son.

Story-wise…there’s a LOT going on here, simplistic as the overall issue is (Cap wants to make sure he can count on Wolverine in the event of large-scale conflict with the X-Men). I definitely enjoy seeing the characters interact–especially the friendship that’s apparent between Wolverine and Beast. Since this title is supposedly based around the school Wolverine founded, it’s good to see some students, too, and how they all interact (and Toad as the groundskeeper/janitor, but not entirely overlooked by those around him is a nice touch).

Visually….this is an ugly issue, to me. I can appreciate Bachalo‘s art, but that seems to be hit or miss for me–sometimes I like it, but this is another time where I do not. It better than I could draw myself, yeah…but it just doesn’t work for me here. It seems at once surreal, strongly stylized, impressionistic, and sketchy. Granted, characters are distinct and recognizable, but I’d almost have preferred prose here.

Overall…this is definitely a good issue. There seems to be plenty for the ongoing readers…but as my first issue in nearly a year (I read #1 but no further) I don’t feel lost or left out, really…and the goings-on of the issue itself relate directly to AvX (unlike this week’s Avengers #25) which makes this a good tie-in for those looking for more beyond the “core” AvX series without dropping that reader in the deep end with no floatie. At the same time, it does not seem to contain anything crucial to the core series, so there’s nothing forcing an AvX reader to pick this up. Swap in a preferable artist whose visuals fit my tastes better and this’d be a great issue.

Story: 8/10
Art: 5/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Wolverine and the X-Men Magazine #1 [Magazine Review]

Wolverine and the X-Men Magazine #1 cover

Wolverine and the X-Men Magazine #1 cover

Normally, I wouldn’t consider a magazine something worth writing a review over. However, this one struck me as something I definitely would like to write a bit about.

I came across this at a Wal-Mart last weekend, and decided to flip through it, just to see what it contained. Once I saw what it contained (as well as its price), I decided it was worth picking up.

The cover’s nothing too special–although, I have to give it credit for grabbing MY attention (a nice, classic image, there).  This debut issue of the magazine (headlining Wolverine…after all, there IS a movie coming out in a few months) contains no articles–it’s not that sort of magazine. Instead, this is more of a magazine-sized collected-volume.

This contains Wolverine: First Class #1, Incredible Hulk #s 180-181, and X-Men: First Class #1. There’s also a Mini Marvels short by Chris Giarrusso that was probably contained in one of the First Class issues originally.

For a $5.99 cover price, one gets the contents (uninterrupted by ads except between stories) of four comics. The price is a mere penny ($.01) more expensive than the two First Class issues combined, PLUS the two classic Incredible Hulk issues are present (these featured the very first appearance of the Wolverine).

What really struck me as the value here was that where many of Marvel’s comics are now at the $3.99 point for a standard size issue, for only $2 more one has two issues of recent content, plus the two Hulk issues. That the magazine is a first issue and contains the contents of two first issues and a first appearance works very well–no one’s really being plopped in the middle of some story from the get-go here.

As an adult, I enjoyed this. I’d never picked up any of the First Class comics so those were both new to me. I’d also never read the Hulk issues Wolverine first appeared in–I don’t know if I even have any reprints despite 20 years of comic collecting.

I’m looking forward to the next issue, to see what they do–if this is (for awhile) basically a reprint magazine with two recent comics and a couple classics (or even a move to more recent comics), I’ll be quite pleased, and more than willing to lay out the $6 for an issue.

Definitely recommended!

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