Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back of the Bin Wednesday Reviews..!

by Chris Grisby

In honor of the X-Men winning the CBNAH Avengers vs. X-Men Tournament, it’s a mutastic week for Back of the Bin. As usual, Dig is a recommendation to look for the title, Sift is to look for specific or interesting ones only, and Bury is to avoid the title at all costs…

This mutant-related stack:
New Mutants # 6, 7, 9 (1983)
Exiles # 61 (2005)
X-Men Prime (1995)
Excalibur #74 (1994)
X-Men Classic #90 (1993)
Deathlok #5 (1991)
New Warriors #’s 10, 51 (1991, 1994)
Howard the Duck #33 (1986)

New Mutants # 6, 7, 9
Consider these early issues the origin of the New Mutants as a group. The sprawling tale interweaves all of their past lives into one current cohesive adventure. The DC creators for the big team books could’ve learned from these issues, complete stories in one issue that still tie to previous and future issues. You definitely get an understanding of each character and why the group is still a tight knit team in recent comics. Dig… One thing I always seem to notice in old New Mutant books are “missing” or solid color backgrounds (though I’m sure other books did it). I wonder if this could be acceptable nowadays if it saved time and money? I think I’d go for it…

Exiles # 61
Much like the Exiles, I was popping in and out (mostly out) of this series by this point. It’s pretty standard fare for Exiles. “How do we save this universe? Do we listen to this side or this side? This issue seems smack dab in the middle of a story arc and I’m not really following/caring about the plot. The mix of characters is always a fun read. I’d say Dig… but make sure you get surrounding issues...

X-Men Prime
This book is all over the place with x-goodness. I guess it served as a “state of the union” issue after the Age of Apocalypse ended. You literally get a glimpse of all the x-teams (and various villains) and what each is preparing for the future. The art in some places is a bit off but overall so… X-Men-y: colorful and engaging. Definite Dig…

Excalibur #74
Excalibur… one of those books I love the idea of but can’t seem to find many issues I actually enjoy reading. I picked this issue up because it had Mr. Sinister on the cover. And while his two or three pages were the highlight of the book, this issue overall left me unsatisfied. There’s some character development with Rachel and Meggan but nothing special. I did notice I was distracted by the art which featured extremely gaunt characters with long faces/chins. I can’t remember when heroin chic was in style but that could’ve been the influence. I’m going to say Bury this issue (even with a Sienna Blaze cameo) but Sift for other Excalibur that may be of interest…

X-Men Classic #90
Fuck the haters, Mohawk Storm rocks, lol. This is kind of appropriate since members of the CBNAH Facebook book club just read the Storm trade that depicts Storm’s background with the Black Panther. It was in general panned as unenjoyable and disingenuous to the characters. This issue of X-Men Classic focuses on the relationship between Mohawk Storm and Forge. And while not your typical love story (a bit twisted actually), there’s certainly more substance to their relationship than with Storm and Black Panther. Character development galore AND a side story with the pre-emo, I’ll smack a bitch, butch Rogue… Dig!!!

Deathlok #5
Bought this for a couple of reasons: Deathlok’s recent involvement with the X-Men and Wolvie and Storm are on the cover in their blue and gold spandex uniforms (I’m still waiting Emma Frost…). I was actually quite surprised by Deathlok’s dialogue and moral summation at the end of the book. It read very much like the books in previous Back of the Bin reviews featuring the Beyonder. It had a bit of an examination of human nature while still maintaining humor and action throughout the book. Plenty of cameos and super hero-y stuff to keep you interested while giving you a little something to think about. This is an early issue so I don’t know how long this tone carried on throughout the series so I’d say Sift this title and look for interesting covers and cameos, I don’t know how well Deathlok does on his own…

New Warriors #’s 10, 51
These two issues are a bit on the opposite ends of the New Warrior spectrum. Issue 10 involves a battle with White Queen and her Hellions (I squeal and cream myself whenever I see Queen with her Hellions). It represents the Warriors at the core of what they were; underdog heroes hanging out and beating up bad guys with a hint of sinister plots running in the background. Issue 51 shows signs of the team problems that end up causing the “Stamford Incident”. A ton of rando team members, as well, as news coverage and publicity. In the issue, they actually try to trim the roster but still end up with 12 members. It promises to get back to the core of the New Warriors but I don’t know if it delivers on that in future issues. Sift for this title, pick up early issues for sure but try before you buy any later stuff...

Howard the Duck #33
Bury… I’m done. Seriously, buy every copy of this title you can and bury them deep within the Earth. I absolutely LOVE Howard the Duck the movie (yes, I’m serious) and was completely dumbfounded by how bad this comic was. The art is passable and had a cool style to it but horrific dialogue and story kill any ability to enjoy it. I didn’t even make it halfway before I was skimming and not long after that before I put it down altogether. Bury this comic… “THIS, I COMMAND..!”

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