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Imagination Centre Reviews: @Marvel's X-Men, Age of Ultron, All-New X-Men @JohnMcCubbin3


Here are today's Guest Reviews by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are Marvel's; X-Men #1, Age of Ultron #9, and All-New X-Men #12. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


X-Men #1 - Primer, Part 1 of 3


Because you demanded it! The X-Women finally get their own book, from critically acclaimed superstars Brian Wood (X-MEN, ULTIMATE X-MEN, DMZ, The Massive) and Olivier Coipel (AVX, HOUSE OF M, THOR)! An old enemy shows up at the X-Men's door, seeking asylum from an ancient evil come back to earth. Meanwhile, Jubilee has come home, and she's brought with her an orphaned baby who might hold the key to the earth's survival...or its destruction. Against a backdrop of what seems like an alien invasion and an eons-spanning war between brother and sister, Storm steps up and puts together a team to protect the child and stop a new threat that could destroy all life on earth!


Preview




Jubilee Returns


Although the previews for this series looked amazing I wasn't originally planing on getting this series, as I'm getting enough X-Men series' as it is. I did however change my mind when I heard about the upcoming Battle of the Atom crossover, which will include this series, wanting to get to know the direction of the series prior to the crossover.

Plot

As Jubilee flees with a child, she calls the X-Men for help, saying that she's being followed. There however seems to be more to this child than meets the eye, especially when the sentient virus, Sublime shows up.

Review

This was an amazing issue, and although I was expecting it to be amazing, I wasn't expecting it to be as amazing as it was. The main thing that had me sceptical over whether this would be a good series or not was the writer, Brian Wood, as I wasn't fond of what I read from his Ultimate Comics X-Men run, and with that being the only work of his that I've read, along with the X-Men connection, I was dreading that this series would follow suit, and be poor. This wasn't the case thankfully, and although the story itself wasn't quite perfect, it wasn't far of, and it's one of the best opening issues I've read so far in Marvel NOW! The way Wood's has brought all these classic female X-Men together, in a fun, mysterious way was brilliant, and the interaction between all these character's was just perfect. I also loved how he's given a unique starting point for this series, showing that everything isn't quite what it seems, without giving too much away, leaving me gripped as to finding out what will happen next. I also loved how Wood added a little bit of action, and suspense to this issue, as although he's held back slightly, he's still kept this issue exciting, and interesting, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for these lovely ladies next.

Now I said that the story itself wasn't quite perfect, but what makes up for that is the artwork, which was simply outstanding. I've always loved Olivier Coipel's art, especially on the likes of Thor, Siege, House of M, and The Mighty Thor, but his art on this issue may have even been better. Everything about Coipel's art was amazing, and although there were the very odd imperfections, you need to really look to find them, and they in no way take away from the rest of his fantastic artwork. The two things I probably love most about Coipel's art in this issue is the way he draws the female X-Men, and the way he handles the facial expressions. I've always loved the way Coipel draws female character's, but he's really outdone himself this time, as he's made all these lovely ladies look amazing, especially Jubilee, and Kitty Pryde. The facial expressions were also on the mark, really suiting the fun feel of this issue, and showing exactly what the character's are thinking. The way Coipel laid out his artwork was also brilliant, adding more drama to the story, whilst also adding a dynamic edge, which really makes the issue that much more enjoyable to read. The small bit of action was also perfectly handled, and I look forward to seeing Coipel get a chance to work on some proper action sequences, although the small one in this issue was amazing.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.7 - 
(Buy X-Men #1) SAVE 30%


Age of Ultron #9 - Book Nine


To save the planet Earth - and maybe the entire galaxy! - the heroes of the Marvel Universe made the most controversial decision of their lives. The results have brought disaster the likes of which they have never seen before. And now, with one final chance.

Preview




Making Things Right


This series has been nothing short of disappointing, and after all the time it took to come out, having originally been announced a couple of years ago it's a real shame. With only a couple of issues left I seriously hope that it goes out with a bang, but that's asking a lot from this series.

Plot

After the hero's of this new world have been destroyed by Morgan Le Fey, and her army, Iron Man warns Wolverine not to try and change time back to the way they were. Meanwhile as Wolverine is about to kill Hank Pym in the past, another Wolverine interjects, having something to say.

Review

To be honest I wasn't sure whether to love this issue, or hate it, as it started terribly, but then really picked up, becoming a very interesting issue, and if it wasn't for the terrible start it could have been the best in the series so far. Brian Michael Bendis did an excellent job of changing the past sequence that appears later in the issue, but the first seven pages having little to no dialogue, something that Bendis has done previously in this series, wasn't a good thing, and really hurt the overall quality of the issue. This also didn't allow for much to happen, which yet again showed that the series has been way to long, and could have easily been better at a shorter length. It's a real shame really, as Bendis can produce brilliant stories, having written some amazing crossovers in the past, like Siege, and House of M, whilst also currently writing fabulous series in the Marvel NOW! concept, with All-New X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy both being brilliant, making me question what went wrong here. I do however have to give him some credit, as although the start was terrible, the dialogue throughout the rest of the issue was brilliant, and although the issue overall was slightly dull, it did have it's moments, and could have easily been better with minor changes.

I was really happy with the art on this issue, as Carlos Pacheco returned to do art in the past sequences, whilst Brandon Peterson once again did the art for the present sequences. Pacheco's art on the past sequences was one of the things I loved about the last few issues, and although Peterson's art is still brilliant, Pacheco's is much better, and I really missed it on the last issue. Now before I continue talking about Pacheco's art I'll talk about Peterson's, as considering his art opened the issue it's the natural place to start. I actually much preferred Paterson's art in this issue, as although it wasn't quite as good as Pacheco's, it was much more impactful, and dramatic, and the way he drew the decimated New York City, and it's fallen hero's was brilliant. I also loved the layout in this sequence, as it as well added more drama, and overall Peterson did a fantastic job. Back to Pacheco's art, which although not as impactful as Peterson's, was much smoother, and appealing. I really loved how Pacheco redrew this amazing sequence, showing different view points this time round, which really made it much more unique. I also loved how he drew the two Wolverine's, and loved how the second had a more retro costume on, which was awesome. Pacheco also did a brilliant job of showing the character's emotions, and especially on Pym, who you could tell was both confused, and conflicted.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5

Verdict - 3.1 - (Buy Age of Ultron #9) SAVE 10%


All-New X-Men #12 - All-New X-Men vs.Uncanny Avengers


The All-New X-Men find themselves face-to-face with the UNCANNY AVENGERS!

Young Cyclops meets the adult version of the little brother he thought he may never see again.

Preview




Brotherly Love


This has to be one of my favorite series in Marvel NOW!, and although it's not the best, having had a few poor issues as of late, it is still a fun series, and NOW! seems to be a good time for the X-Men.

Plot

When the Avengers Unity Squad pay the younger X-Men a visit, which gives the young Cyclops a chance to meet the grown up version of his brother, Havok. Also Mystique continues her robbing spree.

Review

This was an excellent issue, and although not quite perfect, the series is definitely back on the right track. Brian Michael Bendis has been all over the place lately, with this series having been average for the last couple of issues, Age of Ultron being terrible throughout, and Guardians of the Galaxy being amazing, so I'm not likely to say the same thing about his writing twice in a row. Anyway, it's nice to see this series back to the level of quality it deserves, as well as Bendis on average producing good comics. What I loved most about Bendis' writing in this issue was how he handled the emotion, and character interactions, as they were just perfect, and were what made the issue as good as it was. I also liked how at the same time Bendis managed to add some excitement, and drama to the issue, by having some volatile interactions, which really livened the issue up. At the same time this storyline with Mystique has been progressing a bit slow, and although it has been interesting, it has been dragged out slightly, and I'm happy that it appears to be coming to a head.

Stuart Immonen once again did a phenomenal job of the art on this issue, and this may be the best work he's done on the series so far. Immonen's art throughout this series has been amazing, and although there's always some minor imperfections in his artwork, it always amazes me, and the brilliant art outweighs them small imperfections by miles. The detail in Immonen's art in this issue was however much better than it's been in the last couple of issues, not looking as rushed, and looking like the fabulous art that you expect from Immonen, which was nice. The thing about Immonen's art that probably amazed me the most in this issue had to be his layouts, as although I've loved his layouts from the previous issues, there were some panels in this issue that blew me away, with the second and third page spread of Wolverine's X-Men, and the younger X-Men meeting the Avengers Unity Squad being the one that stood out the most. Besides that Immonen did a brilliant job of showing the emotions that the character's were feeling, especially between the young Jean Grey, and the Scarlet Witch, as well as the young Cyclops, and Havok. This along with other aspects of Immonen's art also added more drama to the story, which is always nice.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.9
 - (Buy All-New X-Men #12) SAVE 10%

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John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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