Comics Review: Onslaught, X-Men, Prelude to Schism

And it’s over….
X-Men: Complete Onslaught Epic # 4 – Volume 4
So, here we are. The end of of a huge Marvel crossover that led directly into Heroes Reborn. (And maybe even was created solely for that purpose?) This thing went back a few years if you count all the hints they were dropping – even if they hadn’t figured out the entire plot yet back then.

Fantastic Four #416 – Franklin’s attempts to get help manifest as bad guys because Onslaught mucks about with them. This issue has no progress on fighting Onslaught… Awesome personal growth for Ben Grimm. Dr Doom is so awesomely bad ass! I love the way he talks and the way he speaks. It’s so awesome whenever he’s there. And this plus FF signals at least twice that they’ve had to join forces. Slightly pointless other than to gather all the heroes at FF Tower as more and more super heroes keep dropping in.

X-Men #56 – We end up with strange bedfellows. Also, Rogue and Magneto continue to get close. This is kinda neat because it means that even though there are separate story reasons for why Rogue and Magneto are together in the current X-Men: Legacy story arc (starting at issue #250), it seems less contrived having read this storyline. Nate is added to Onslaught. AWESOME ending to that issue!

Marvel Onslaught Universe – awesome battle! Love the way it was narrated by Uatu. The climax was awesome! And so the non-X-Men die for Heroes Reborn. This is what makes me think that either Onslaught was always meant to lead to Heroes Reborn or was coopted into it partyway through. Why? Because, coincidentally, only non-mutants can go on the suicide mission and only non-mutants were getting rebooted. I guess that Franklin will probably bring them back since he can alter reality. (Also, that’s a crazy power to have. I’m curious how they keep it from being a balance breaker) Wow….there’s so much more to this volume….How much story could they have left to tell?

Cable #36 – dealing with Cable’s virus. Cool resolution and now he is reset for future issues.

Uncanny X-Men #337 – a bit of a pity party for Xavier. Haha, love that Creed is on Fox News. Also, looks like mutants are going to pay for Onslaught’s destruction. The politics are REALLY against them now in a way they never were before. Interesting that in Marvel parlance, The X-Men aren’t heroes. Heroes are the non-mutants. Love the way Beast Speaks. “A google thank yous” Love Cyclops, Ice Man, and Beast. It’s great to have some more normal home-stuff for once. It was a part of comics that I always liked. I mean, I think that a comic that was only about the home-life of super heroes would be an interesting deconstruction, but that’s not my ideal. It’s just that these guys are people, too so it’s nice to see issues where they just relax at home. (Especially after all they’ve been through) Some major fan service with Jean in her bathrobe! Love the lampshade hanging on Gambit’s trench coat. Also loved the line “Gambit? No I’m James.” Another hilarious lampshading. And a perfect ending.

X-Men #57 – Another pity fest kicks it off. Charles is to be arrested? Yay for Beast in Washington Square Park and what he does there. J Jonah Jameson standing up for mutants? Awesome! And Charles must go to be studied?

Onslaught: Epilogue – We find out what happened to Charles for accepting his fate. Let’s just say, it’s not what you thought. Pretty awesome overall.

Epilogue – and as I knew would happen, Franklin was the one that kept the heroes alive to come back to the 616 universe.

Great explanatory docs at the end. They do a good job explaining Onslaught’s motivation. I’d say that, from the comics in the collection, they were like 85% successful in getting that across. Unless they changed their mind partway through?

Overall, it was a GREAT set of stories. I really enjoyed seeing the X-Men and all the rest of the A and B-list Marvel characters go through that.

Great Insight into the Past
X-Men: Prelude to Schism # 1 – Part One
Between this mini-series and unbranded X-Men’s current story arc, we’ve been delving into the past quite a bit. I’m really curious to see just how the fact that they forgot that info gets retconned – although Scott did already hint at Jean. Even this part 1 of Prelude to Schism has Prof X lampshading a supposedly common manta that no one’s ever heard by saying he’s full of surprises.

I read this book after issues 2 and 3 because it was sold out at the local comic shop by the time I got back into comics. It’s funny because people have expressed annoying at all these books being the same, but there’s a key difference with this one. Issues 2 and 3 feature the personal histories of the person on the cover. #1 is about Xavier’s early teachings with Scott. It was a very touching issue to read. Scott was orphaned at a semi-young age when he was on a plane that was about to crash and he and his brother were sent out of the plane. (I think this was already known canon, but it’s also revealed in issue #3) so Scott views Charles as his father and this issue reveals that Xavier reciprocates the feeling. It was very touching issue to read because it’s about Prof X realizing that his son has finally grown and learned everything the father can teach. He has, in fact, surpassed the father and achieved the goal his father never could. Whether it was all pride or the slightest twinge of jealousy I couldn’t tell. I’m not a father yet myself, but I imagine most parents whose children surpass them probably feel a mix of both.

The Exposition Continues
X-Men # 12 – First To Last Part 2
Considering that almost all of X-Men Giant Size was an intro into this storyline, I’m surprised this one is also mostly exposition. A lot of the next issue is like this as well. I wonder if this is the huge story that leads into X-Men Schism? I don’t see them resolving this any time soon unless things quickly come to a head in X-Men #14. It’s also interesting that between this story arc and Prelude to Schism we’re getting a lot of back story to the original X-Men. The one that seems to be progressing forward the most (rather than dwelling in the past) is X-Men: Legacy.

Well, it IS a neat issue in that you get to see a contrast/comparison between young leader Scott and mature leader Scott. Both this issue and the next one also detail how things can get out of hand when everyone gets too tense to listen to the leader.

Oh man, STILL TALKING?
X-Men # 13 – First To Last Part 3
This is the third book that is mostly exposition although there is also quite a bit of frenetic action. Also, how many times do they have to do to 2.5 million years ago? Still, I can feel it coming to a head so I think we’re still in good shape pacing-wise. I liked that the Evolutionaries went from Xavier to Magneto. Also, having just read Onslaught and how Scarlett Witch dealt with her self esteem, etc while part of the Brotherhood, I think they got her characterization perfect. Also, considering what they believe in, it’s funny the reject Apocalypse in favor of Magneto.

The one thing that didn’t make sense to me was that they chose the Homo Sapiens precursor to be the one to ensure evolution goes forward. Doesn’t that seem like a conflict of interest? Wouldn’t he try and sabotage humans?

The only thing I don’t like about this whole storyline is the premise behind the actions of the Evolutionaries. Evolution is supposed to be based on the strongest and most beneficial mutations survive. If they are being aided by these entities, then how do we know they are truly the best genes that deserve to survive. It’s like creationism masquerading as evolution. And maybe that’s the dichotomy the writers mean to strike. That these Evolutionaries are being hypocritical.

Author: Eric Mesa

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