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Monday, March 25, 2019

X-aminations in April 2019 & November 1994 Power Rankings


Well, this is it. The month the X-books are all cancelled. Yep, this is the month Marvel decided to put out to pasture all eight of the books in their bestselling line, including one that was only four issues old after a months-long promotional push. So long, X-Men!

At least, that was what the early marketing for "Age of Apocalypse" would have had us believe, even if self-described Dumb About These Things Teenage Me was smart enough to know Marvel wouldn't *really* be cancelling my beloved X-books. But while an outright cancellation was marketing mumbo-jumbo, this upcoming months' worth of books does mark an ending of sorts for all the series, as they will be replaced after this by alternate reality books for four months. And the creators, to their credit, make the most of the "fake ending" device to "end" the series with a variety of different bangs, from declarations of love to shocking reveals to one hardcore lobotomy. 

But first, another Punisher, Ghost Rider & Wolverine team-up.

April 4: Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Dark Design 

April 10: Uncanny X-Men #321
April 11: X-Factor #111
April 12: Wolverine #90

April 17: X-Men (vol. 2) #41
April 18 X-Force #43
April 19: Excalibur #86

April 24: Generation X #4
April 25: Cable #20

Power Rankings for November 1994 Titles
1. X-Men #40
2. Generation X #3
3. Uncanny X-Men #320

The second part of "Legion Quest" is really when the story kicks into gear, while the strong combination of art & characterization elevates Generation X #3 over the start of the first part of "Legion Quest", which is a perfectly fine action-packed  table-setting issue for the story.

4. X-Force #42

Nicieza continues to do good work showing off the quieter side of X-Force; points off for some so-so art and questionable therapy.

5. Excalibur #85
5. Cable #19

A toss-up: Cable #19 is a better conclusion to its three part story, but Excalibur #85 is concluding a better overall story, though both stories are not without their faults (repetition for Cable, pacing for Excalibur).

7. X-Factor #110

Not a bad comic, but not a good X-Factor story, which finds the US government-sponsored mutant team fighting space aliens in Asia.

8. Wolverine #89

Last place with a bullet as Wolverine battles a resurrected Ogun with little explanation and plenty of artistic swipes, while Ghost Rider "guest stars" by mostly standing around.

4 comments:


  1. I don’t recall seeing that LegionQuest ad before. On the one hand, there’s no denying that it’s visually arresting with a simple, quiet/kinetic tug-of-war concept and portentously sparse background; on the other hand, it exemplifies one of my personal creative pet peeves. The idea is that something is shattering Professor X as we know him, and by extension the familiar status quo, but to me it reads as one level removed, inescapably metafictional in smudging, fragmenting, and otherwise manipulating the line art. I would consider it an effective piece if what was breaking through was painted art, or photo/CGI work representing a live-action version of the comics, signaling that stuff was about to get real or this wasn’t your old-school blah blah blah. As it stands, however, and experience has definitely proven me to be in the minority on this, I can’t get past the formalist gimmick to read the image as being even metaphorically “in-universe”.

    Just in case anyone cares. 8^)

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    1. I've never seen this house ad before either, and I thought I'd seen all the LegionQuest ones. It is terrific.

      I wish there was a website that indexed all of Marvel's house ads throughout the decades.

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    2. I'm not sure where the ad originated; I found it in the "Age of Apocalypse" omnibus.

      @J. Mays I wish there was a website that indexed all of Marvel's house ads throughout the decades.

      I have said this so many times myself! Given the availability of everything online these days, it boggles my mind how difficult it is to find house ad images online.

      Honestly, if I had the time or money, I'd build the site myself (I've even started collecting some house ads to that end, but it's a project very low on my priority list at this point, unfortunately).

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  2. Hey, I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I thought Marvel really was canceling everything! I was 16 and probably should've known better, but I bought the hype... at least for a little while. When I read X-MEN ALPHA and saw that they were setting things up to return everything to normal, I figured out this had to be temporary -- but even then, I didn't know how long it would last. It could've been a year for all I knew!

    They didn't fool me twice, though -- when Marvel "canceled" all the Spider-Man titles and replaced them with Scarlet Spider books year or so later, I knew that would be temporary. Though in that case, I just sort of assumed that as with "Age of Apocalypse", we'd have four months of Ben Reilly's alter ego and was surprised (and a little disappointed) that it only lasted two before he became Spider-Man.

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