Tuesday, November 6, 2007

X-MEN #14 – November 1992

Fingers On The Trigger
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark
Pennington (inker), Lois Buhalis (letterer), Marie Javins (colorsit)


Summary
X-Factor and the X-Men monitor Xavier's status at the mansion. They
divide into two groups; Quicksilver and Beast join the gold team of
the X-Men to find Apocalypse, while X-Factor and the X-Men's blue team
search for X-Force and Cable. Bishop and Jubilee stay at the mansion
to look after Xavier. Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister trades Cyclops and Jean
Grey to the MLF for a mysterious genetic matrix. Cable returns from
the future to discover that he has been framed. In Egypt,
Apocalypse's Dark Riders awaken him early from his healing sleep to
tell him about his imposter. At the mansion, Sinister breaks in and
holds Val Cooper and Stevie Hunter hostage. In Texas, X-Force crash
lands and are confronted by the X-Men and X-Factor.


Gimmicks
This is part three of the X-Cutioners' Song crossover. It comes with
an Apocalypse trading card. It's probably the only trading card in
history to talk about "congealed, dry-caked ichor" on the back.


"Huh?" Moments
The recap says that Scott and Jean have been kidnapped by the Four
Horsemen of Apocalypse, even though there were only three of them.


Siryn and Sunspot have rejoined X-Force since they crashed in Texas.
They were left in Arizona during the last chapter.


Review
The X-Cutioners' Song now seems to bringing in every conceivable
character from the X-canon (even Stevie Hunter!). This issue mainly
serves to divide up all of the X-teams and send them on their
missions, while checking in on the various villains. Nicieza keeps up
the somber mood of the story, but his scripting it sometimes too
melodramatic. It's interesting that he hasn't taken this theatrical
approach to X-Force so far, but immediately lays on the purple prose
in X-Men.


This is also Andy Kubert's debut as regular artist. As a kid, I
didn't like Kubert's early issues. After reading so many smooth
looking issues by Lee, Williams, and Thibert, I considered these
issues too murky and rough. Looking back on this issue, it doesn't
seem that bad. The inking doesn't have the polished look of the main
X-Men titles of this time, so maybe I was reacting to that. Kubert
does seem to have an aversion to drawing feet, though (was this an
epidemic in the early '90s?).

4 comments:

Justin Boatwright said...

One of the things that stood out to me about this issue was how over the top and goofy Bishop was portrayed. He whips his gun out and points it at... no one to proclaim that he is going to protect Xavier only to set up shop outside the mansion far away from who he is supposed to be protecting. I remember these issues making Bishop seem especially inept, maybe Nicieza wasn't much of a fan of the character.

Kubert's art is so-so and he has obviously improved leaps and bounds from this issue but like you say, he gets the job done. There's a decent amount of posing, the open mouth snarl seems to be a favorite tool in his early toolbox and Bishop's thigh seems to be undergoing a secondary mutation on page 25 but overall he gets the story across which is the important part.

All that aside I am having a blast re-reading these issues and am enjoying them as much as I remember, purple prose and all. Damn you G, every issue I read of this get me more excited for the Messiah Complex cross-over which I had no intention of buying a couple months ago. Hopefully it lives up.

Teebore said...

I was in the same boat as you regarding Andy Kubert. When I first read this I was very irriatated by Kubert's art; after Jim Lee, it just seemed like a step down.

Of course, he grew on me, and before too long, Kubert was leaving and I was dissapointed in his successor.

Looking back, this stuff certainly isn't as good as he'll eventually get, but it isn't as bad as I thought when I was younger.

Kerry said...

I'm generally pretty positive on Kubert's art, though to this day I can't get past the way he draws eyebrows... it's weird to get hung up on small artistic quirks like that, I know. I'm the same way about Brett Booth's noses...

2badguys said...

This issue is the first X-Men comic I bought ever (I was 9). I was vaguelly aware of the X-Men from other things, but I loved all the random characters I'd never heard of in this.
I guess the old "every issue is somebody's first" rings true.
-VH

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