Friday, November 9, 2007

X-MEN #16 – January 1993




Conflicting Cathexis
Credits: Fabian Niceiza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler, inker), Mark Pennington (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Joe Rosas (colorist)

Summary
Wolverine, Cable, and Bishop face the Dark Riders and a crew of MLF soldiers. The X-Men arrive with Apocalypse and force them to retreat. Stryfe carries Cyclops and Jean away from their cell to a separate structure on the moon. Apocalypse breaks away from the team, and is soon confronted by his former followers, the Dark Riders. Cable, Cannonball, Polaris, and Havok use Apocalypse’s craft to search the moon for Cyclops and Jean. They find Stryfe’s base, but Havok and Cable are the only ones able to enter through his forcefield.

Gimmicks
This is part eleven of the X-Cutioner’s Song. It comes polybagged with an Archangel trading card.

“Huh?” Moment
Wolverine claims that his “rib’s shattered” after being blasted by Gauntlet. Wolverine, in case anyone doesn’t know, has unbreakable bones.

Miscellaneous Note
According to a quick websearch, a "cathexis" is "the process of investment of mental or emotional energy into a person, object, or idea". I had no idea what this issue's title meant until I just looked that up.

Review
It’s almost over. This issue does a better job than the recent Uncanny issue of making the Dark Riders seem like a credible threat, but Apocalypse’s team up with the X-Men turns out to be a dud. You’d think at least something interesting would come from this idea, but Apocalypse is only given a few pages with the team before he goes off on his own. There’s still an attention to characterization, with Bishop surprisingly expressing sympathy for Apocalypse (Nicieza really doesn’t seem to have his character down at this point), and Cannonball confronting Cable on his insensitive behavior. In comparison to the Image books I read last week, I have to say that even this crossover takes time to properly introduce most of the characters and offer some characterization. The storyline’s fairly straightforward and not hard to follow at this point. It’s just too blasted long. This is the eleventh chapter, almost 250 pages into this story, and the heroes still haven’t confronted the main villain yet.

3 comments:

Justin Boatwright said...

This was the first time reading through these that I noticed Nicieza comment on how over the top Stryfe is when he says "As awkwardly, I imagine, as the analogies I spout". At least he knows he's a blowhard.

The crossover is certainly long at 12 issues but every time through it has managed to hold my attention to the end and after all this time building up to the confrontation with Strfye I feel like it gives the final issue that much more weight.

It did bother me a little bit that Apocalypse mentions a way to get to the moon and all of the sudden the X-Men are there. We later learn it is one of his ships but that is when Cable, Cannonball, Havok and Polaris are there with no explanation of how they got there.

It was nice to see Cannonball coming into his own as well with his relationship with Cable evolving more as peers rather than mentor and protoge. They seem to have quite a father/son relationship which is appropriate given the main themes of the cross over.

G. Kendall said...

In one of the letters pages before the crossover, the working title for the storyline was listed as "Sins of the Father", which I think would've been a better title.

Harry Sewalski said...

@Justin: This was the first time reading through these that I noticed Nicieza comment on how over the top Stryfe is when he says "As awkwardly, I imagine, as the analogies I spout". At least he knows he's a blowhard.

Which is hilarious in itself, since that's also an analogy!

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