Monday, October 15, 2012

X-MEN UNLIMITED #28 - December 1999



In Remembrance
Credits: Joe Pruett (writer), Brett Booth (penciler), Sal Regla (inker), Marie Javins & Jessica Ruffner (colors), Sharpefont & PT (letters)


Summary: After discovering Wolverine is alive, the X-Men reflect on his past with the team. When Jubilee learns that the X-Men were unable to rescue Wolverine from Apocalypse, she angrily walks out. Marrow volunteers to speak to her, which inspires Jubilee to write a letter detailing what Wolverine means to her.

Review: This is the first issue of X-Men Unlimited’s new direction as non-filler, and it’s a weak start. Aside from the fact that Brett Booth is not an artist suited for quiet conversation scenes, the story largely consists of unimaginative flashbacks to old stories and lengthy homilies about Wolverine’s importance to the team. It seems like the X-Men would be more likely to be having these conversations back when they still thought Wolverine to be dead, but even overlooking that, the dialogue is too wooden to make the characters believable. Actual dialogue from this issue: “Chere, th’ look on your face reveals a lot ‘bout th’ passion in your soul. I know in times like t’is it’s best t’let you work it out for yourself -- don’t mean I gotta like it, though.” There are a few decent ideas, such as Marrow unexpectedly volunteering to calm Jubilee, or Jubilee writing a letter to Wolverine similar to the one he left for her in Wolverine #75, but the execution is faux-Claremont at its worst.

Game
Credits: Doug Moench (writer), Mark Texeira (art), Marie Javins (colors), Sharpefont (letters)

Summary
: Wolverine encounters a group of illegal trophy hunters in Canada. He scares them off into the woods and creates a funeral pyre for the animals they’ve killed. Reflecting on the differences between animal and man, Wolverine decides that he doesn’t want to go to Heaven if animals don’t have souls.

Continuity Notes: There’s no effort made to identify when this story is supposed to take place, although Wolverine does have his adamantium claws.

Review: It’s another Wolverine vs. Hunters story, although this story puts more effort into elucidating Wolverine’s stance on hunting. His issue with the “hunters” in this story is the callous way they kill animals only for sport, leaving the actual meat behind for scavengers. The fact that they’re doing this illegally gives Wolverine a nice Comics Code approved excuse for attacking them. Throughout the story, Wolverine reflects on the differences between animal and man, debating under which group he belongs. It’s a fairly stock Wolverine plot, but it’s executed inoffensively, and it’s always great to see Mark Texeira draw Wolverine.

9 comments:

Teebore said...

Huh, I feel like I was still reading X-Men Unlimited at this time (God only knows why), and if I hadn't been the "it's not just filler anymore!" new direction would have sucked me back in, but I have no recollection of this issue.

Not that it sounds like I'm missing much...

Anonymous said...

Brett Booth was pretty back in those days, but I have to say his recent JLA run and his current run on Teen Titans have been really good, and consistent. He's gotten down the better parts of Art Adams while at the same time it's uniquely his work.

I'd love to see him get a second pass at doing an X-Men book now that he's worked out his style, I think he'd fit right in with NAte Bradshaw on Wolverine and the X-Men.

Anonymous said...

*pretty BAD

Dan Lichtenberg said...

I never read XMU consistently; I'd pick up an issue every year or two and then wonder why. There were some good ones, though. I remember that Juggernaut issue during Onslaught being particularly interesting considering how much the crossover itself sucked balls.

Anyway, I never knew there was an official line between filler and no filler. This was advertised as such? Interesting that Marvel would admit that the series had been more or less irrelevant. I do remember buying the first few issues and considered them *very* relevant (Magneto, Sabretooth, Nightcrawler's origin), but I guess things went off track quickly. But I wonder, is the Unlimited concept really so awful? Remember, just about every major Marvel book had one at one time. They were fluff, and expensive fluff at that, but at least they were contained and occasionally fun to read and pretty to look at. I'm not sure how they're any worse than the barrage of miniseries and one shots that more or less fulfill the same function.

Tim O'Neil said...

I remember when the UNLIMITED line started, they actually did make an attempt to make the books "count" - the first three or four X-Men issues were all big, self-contained stories dedicated either to doing serious continuity patches or showcasing relatively high-profile creators. (How the hell did the book last until 2003?) Spider-Man started the same way - not necessarily as a "good" book, starting right at the beginning of MAXIMUM CARNAGE, but an "important" book nonetheless. As one of the few and proud 2099 fans I can also report that 2099 Unlimited had some very good, very eclectic material.

Of course, they all went downhill fairly quickly . . .

Teebore said...

Yeah, I seem to recall that Unlimited at least made an effort to remain "relevant" through the first dozen or so issues (the Onslaught issue, #12, being the last such issue). Then it went through varying periods of filler and non-filler, with Marvel always trumpeting it when it returned to relevancy.

Dan Lichtenberg said...

Personally, I think they were done after #5. 8 and 9 were filler of the highest order (and not even good filler), 10 and 11 were relevant to current stories, 12 was the Juggernaut issue, and that's about when I quit. After that, an issue here and an issue there. A couple crossover tie ins here and there, and occasionally an issue that looked neat. I will say this, though, as the series went on the covers got weirder but good weird (you know, like Joe Casey Uncanny weird). At least they were trying different artistic styles, but yeah, the book didn't amount to much.

I tried only the first issue of the relaunched series (and considering it was canceled at #14, I'm probably not alone). As soon as Bishop used the words "I'm a cop" in his narration, I was done. And I like Bishop.

Back to the first series, does anyone wonder if the continuity debacle that was #4 had anything to do with them backing off on relevance? That, or being a quarterly series, maybe it was just too difficult to make the book timely.

Teebore said...

@Dan: #6 and #7 were slighty more than filler, tying up Sauron's last appearance and dealing with the whole Gambit/Storm/Candra thing, and #8 was a filler story that became more important when the seemingly one-off character it introduced became the co-star of the short lived Maverick solo series.

#9 though is indeed complete and utter filler.


I tried only the first issue of the relaunched series (and considering it was canceled at #14, I'm probably not alone).


Man, I don't even remember there being a second series...

That, or being a quarterly series, maybe it was just too difficult to make the book timely.

That was probably a good part of it, especially with so many X-books each month.

ray swift said...

Fffft... Marrow being all gentle and sensitive... Yeah, I know she had turned down a tone or a hundred since her psycho days but this is just plain ridiculus... Has to be the biggest character change since Collosus turning bad.
"I just thought you might want to talk to someone. You know, open up a bit."
Marrow.
Really.
And why? When did she ever spoke to Jubilee before? Why would Jubilee would open up to her? Why would she even see herself as fit to be the one person to be opened up to?
This makes no sense!

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