Sunday, January 4, 2015

X-Men by Chris Claremont issue #5 (1992)

I truly intend to make my X-Men comics diet for 2015 as fun and relaxed as possible, regardless of the fact that this 50-year old series has a gargantuan bulk of titles, characters and stories. I also want each of my reviews to be as extensive as possible for each issue, provided with colorful if not snarky commentary for added good measure. Occasionally, I'll also take the time to make needless remarks regarding the homoerotic subtext concerning Professor X and Magneto's interactions (just deal with it). I'm not naïve though. I know there will be some setbacks in between where I would encounter stories that aren't my cup of tea but I will try my best to keep things interesting as possible. Granted, I think that has come too early with this Omega Red storyline. I just don't know how to explain this plot.

Blowback was very confounding and I am taking it all in with the perspective of a newbie which I believe the people who are reading my reviews might be. This wasn't an accessible issue as itself if you are coming from the animated series point-of-view alone, and are not steeped in the previous installments from other Marvel titles that are cross-referenced with this storyline (issue #6 was muddled with them and I think that personally for me was the weakest one of the arc). With that, I struggled immensely so I decided that I should focus on characters I do have some connection with while reading and that helped. However, this was also a Wolverine-centric story which presents a dilemma on my part. Like most of the superhero fans these days, the cinematic adaptations are the easiest access I have to these characters and none more so than when it comes to Wolverine.

Actor Hugh Jackman simply epitomized that role in a very influential manner and though I grew up with the 90's cartoon version, it's ultimately Jackman's portrayal that I relate to the most. But we've been oversaturated with a lot of Wolverine stuff both in the movies and current comic book continuity these days that I myself face this unease and fatigue by instinct each time I encounter a story that heavily makes use of his character.

That said, this four-issued Omega Red storyline did not make me feel tired and negatively biased towards Wolverine at all--in fact, his presence actually alleviated some of the confusing and complicated parts of the arc that persist to alienate me. He was my anchor all throughout which should suck for him because this storyline has not treated him with any kindness whatsoever. Ever since he was captured and forced to fight in an agonizing death match, poor Logan never got a goddamn break. The villains for this story, composed of Matsuo, the Fenris twins and Omega Red, make me want to throw something across the walls because they were so typically malicious and two-dimensional. I don't give a fuck and it makes the reading experiences insufferable because I had to witness Wolverine getting tossed around like garbage by characters I have no immediate sympathy for. Seriously, fuck these guys.

The most redeeming thing I can say about this issue was the parts that include the X-Men making plans and performing awesome feats of sheer strength, teamwork and cooperation. No other superhero team makes me want to put on a cheerleader uniform so I can have a pep rally for them like the X-Men. I care about everyone in the team, even the ones who are not my favorite (Cyclops, Jubilee and fucking Gambit are usually the least of my concern) and it's just so nostalgic every time I see them overcome the physical adversities (as well as the metaphorical ones) along the way as long as they stand united against the kind of parasites, racists and phenomenally evil assholes that fuel nightmares (more so whenever they face my favorite villain of all time, Magneto). On the visual spectrum, Jim Lee's art style is impressive in scale, considering he's making up for writer Claremont's verbose approach when it comes to storytelling and dialogue. There are odd moments that often make me examine a page because I can't understand the correlation between the panels and the prose itself, and I think that slowed my momentum down and affected some of my enjoyment.

This issue ends with a cliffhanger concerning supporting characters from a crossover subplot from another X-related title. I know who Dazzler is but not Longshot for some reason. Wolverine was also able to escape, carrying a canister whose contents we were never became privy to until later on. He was rescued by an unnamed mutant who seemed to yet another character connected to his past. Logan doesn't have any recollection and I don't trust the dude who just got him out of there, not when he specifically avoided meeting the other X-Men. Rogue, Gambit and Psylocke enter one place while Beast, Cyclops and Jubilee make way for another. And this will all unfold in the next issue.

Not exactly crazy about this one but it wasn't as stressful as issue #6 later on.


No comments:

Post a Comment