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Monday, November 25, 2019

X-aminations in December 2019 & Age of Apocalypse Power Rankings

A quiet month as we bid adieu to the year (and decade!) and I try to keep my head above water in light of some major real-life job deadlines. I'll be traveling aboard the first part of the month, so things may be a bit later than usual, but I should be back to normal by mid-month, when we take a look at the next batch of X-Men trading cards and action figures!

On Sale July 1995
December 4: Uncanny X-Men #324
December 5: X-Factor #114
December 6: X-Man #7

December 11: Wolverine '95

December 18: Unstacking the Deck: Fleer Ultra X-Men '96

December 25: X-amining X-Men Action Figures: X-Men Mutant Genesis & Invasion and X-Force Series VI

Power Rankings: Age of Apocalypse Series

Generation Next
Factor X 

The biggest knock against Generation X is that it stretches three issues worth of story into four; beyond that, it's pretty great achievement of both writing & art. Factor X, with its glimpse inside the regime of Apocalypse and Shakespearean overtones, may have reached the top spot if not for some artistic inconsistency in the latter issues (and the fact that the necessary evolution of the plot dulled some of what made the series so good in its first issues). X-Man, meanwhile, presents a traditional hero's journey arc against the dystopic backdrop of the event, with its central character not yet the annoyingly-passive character he'll become.

Astonishing X-Men
Amazing X-Men 

We're still in "really strong" territory here; Astonishing features great art and a relatively self-contained plot; Amazing also features some really good art, and more of a mixed bag plot that ties more closely to the larger plotlines of the event. The Joe Mad art just pushes Astonishing over the top.

Gambit and the X-Ternals

The first mixed bag series; there's some definite fun to be had in the way the first couple issues toss the decidedly-down-to-Earth "thieves with a heart gold" into the heart of the X-Men's space opera elements, but the ending is a mess and the art isn't much better.

Weapon X

Weapon X is consistent but also repetitive; props to Adam Kubert for drawing all four issues, but it would have been nice if he'd been able to draw more than battles with drolling cyborgs. Similarly, X-Universe has some great art but a story (meant to cover the entirety of the non-X-Men Marvel Universe) too big for two issues. X-Calibre, meanwhile, suffers from some terrible art in issue #2 and a story that somehow both peaks too late and too soon.

X-Men Chronicles 

Not bad, per se, but utterly superfluous and adding very little of value to the overall event, especially issue #2.

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  1. Figures and Cards in the same month, so EXCITED. That's the all Kubert set, it was so cool. They sold it in Foil and Regular editions with the Foil have a huge curve in each card and the regular on the worst possible paper for a card. The art was outstanding though. The brothers chose their favorites and gave their dad the leftovers so he's doing things like the Darkriders and other randoms.

  2. Where are you going out of the country and what line of work are you in? I've got to go to South Dakota the first bit of December, so cold.

    1. I work for a computer software company that creates software for tracking commercial vehicles at airports. We're bringing two airports in Sweden online this week and next, so I fly out for Stockholm tomorrow.

      (I live in Minnesota so you might actually be warmer, depending on where in South Dakota you're going, but Sweden may be testing even my cold weather tolerance).

    2. That's great, safe travels. I hope you get some sightseeing time. I'm a financial auditor and am heading to South Dakota next week from where I live in Utah. Most of our clients are all over California but for some reason, we go to South Dakota at the start of each December and it's sooooo cold.

    3. Flying into Rapid City and driving to Pierre. I'm told low teens are expected all next week but hopefully no snow.

    4. Oof, that's even colder than it's supposed to be in Minnesota! Safe travels to you as well.

      My company has quite a few customers in Florida, and it's a running joke that we only ever get sent there in July and not January, when we could really appreciate the warmer weather.

  3. I don't usually poke fun at people's typos because I make plenty of my own, but I can't resist this one...

    "I'll be traveling aboard the first part of the month..."

    Aboard what? A plane? A boat? A zeppelin??


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