Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ONSLAUGHT Crossovers Part One -August 1996

AVENGERS #401 (Waid/Deodato/Palmer/Oakley/Kalisz) – Following Uncanny X-Men #335, Gambit joins the Avengers as they track Magneto's energy signature to the Southeast. The rest of the issue mainly consists of Rogue and Joseph fighting off the Avengers, who think that Joseph is still his old self. Rogue's afraid that if Joseph finds out about his past, he'll revert into Magneto again, so she spends a lot time yelling at the Avengers and telling them to shut up. The conflict ends when the Scarlet Witch recognizes that Joseph isn't the man she knew, and convinces everyone to calm down. This is the classic "heroes fight over a misunderstanding" issue, but Waid's characterizations keep it from getting too dull. As far as crossover tie-ins go, this isn't so bad. There's some nice work with the Scarlet Witch, and a few amusing interactions during the fight scene. Pairing Mike Deodato with Tom Palmer is an odd look, and Palmer's influence unfortunately doesn't tone down some of the more egregious '90s poses and anatomy.

Fantastic Four #415 (DeFalco/Pacheco/Wiacek/Starkings/Comicraft/Lenshoek) – Carlos Pacheco was taken off of Excalibur in order to draw these final two issues of the original Fantastic Four series. This issue contributes to the plot by re-establishing Franklin Richards’ latent mutant power (which is described as the ability to “restructure matter”) and sending Onslaught after him. Onslaught reverts to Xavier’s form and tries to convince the Richards into sending Franklin to his school, as a team of Avengers and X-Men members arrive to stop him. There are also a few pages dedicated to resolving storylines from DeFalco’s utterly bizarre run on this title (although editorial restraints seem to have calmed him down by this point). The rest of the issue is mostly a large fight between Onslaught and the various Marvel heroes. There’s a clever bit that has Onslaught clouding Franklin’s mind while he plays a card game as the battle goes on around him, but Pacheco’s art is the only real redeeming aspect of the fight. If Onslaught is such a devious, cunning foe, it seems like he would’ve had a better plan than just knocking his way through any heroes who happened to be in the FF’s headquarters that day. Since he’s supposed to be the most powerful telepath on Earth, he could’ve used his mental powers in a variety of ways to easily get Franklin away from the team.

4 comments:

The Estate of Tim O'Neil said...

I quite liked DeFalco's run on FF, but it was bizarre. I remember at the time being disappointed that all the long-running subplots got wrapped up so abruptly in time for Onslaught.

Chris said...

Heh, wow, if you think the X-books had it rough in the mid-90s you should take a look at the poor Avengers. Even though I enjoyed reading it in sort of a "rubbernecking a car crash" way, "The Crossing" makes the X-Men's *worst* crossovers look like Watchmen, lol.

wwk5d said...

I agree with Chris. "The Crossing" is probably one if the worst things Marvel has EVER done.

PeterCSM said...

I'm now going to have to look up DeFalco's FF run and The Crossing..

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