Wednesday, March 6, 2013

X-MAN #60 - February 2000

Out of the Loop
Credits:  Terry Kavanagh (writer), Ben Herrera (penciler), Scott Koblish and Rod Ramos (inkers), Matt Hicks (colors), Comicraft’s Jason Levine (letters)

Summary:  X-Man finds himself in an alternate world, one in which he never existed.  He sees foes he’s defeated, such as Morbius and the New Brotherhood, killing innocent civilians and various superheroes.  After using his telekinetic powers to save Kitty Pryde, X-Man realizes that he must be dreaming.  He wakes, and realizes that Caliban has been working for Apocalypse all along.  As X-Man is chained to a machine, Apocalypse gloats about his master plan.

Continuity Notes:  This story is concluded in X-Men #97.

“Huh?” Moment:  X-Man remarks that Scott and Jean aren’t with the X-Men in this world…one panel after we clearly see Jean fighting with the team.

Review:  Wow, is this really Terry Kavanagh’s last issue?  Where has the time gone, am I right?  I could’ve easily read four more years of this insightful, understated piece of classic heroic fiction.  C’mon, Marvel…why ditch the guy just when things were starting to warm up?

I considered compiling a list of every Terry Kavanagh storyline that was never resolved, or never made much sense in the first place, and all of the brave new directions that went nowhere, but why bother?  This stuff is awful.  Kavanagh never found a legitimate course to follow while writing this book for years, and to add insult to injury, his final issue is a half-hearted It’s A Wonderful Life reflection on all the good X-Man’s done over the years.  (Specifically, the issues Kavanagh has written.  I guess if Terry Kavanagh won’t pay tribute to Terry Kavanagh, no one else will.)  Goodness, without X-Man, Morbius would’ve turned Spider-Man into a vampire, the deadly Coldsnap-9 would’ve killed thousands of innocent people, and the X-Men would’ve been murdered by the New Brotherhood.  

In other words, X-Man is absolutely delusional.  And an egomaniac, since this is his dream.  What other superhero would have an extended dream sequence dedicated to how horrible life would be without his immaculate presence?  There’s not even a Clarence the Angel to guide him through this journey – this is simply how X-Man views himself in his dreams.  

What a way to say goodbye, Terry Kavanagh.  Reminding us just how unlikable you’ve made this brat over the years.


wwk5d said...

So how much longer does the title sputter along until Warren Ellis at least gives the title some direction? Or does that start next issue?

Anonymous said...

I think it goes right into COunter-X. Speaking of - any chance you'll continue reviewing these books through their counter-x revamps? I'd personally like to see that. Also, I'm not sure if Cable was part of Counter-X, but I know the last dozen issues or so of his book had a drastic change from the previous issues on the book and set up his Soldier X book; I remember reading someone'e blog post about how that period was underrated, and I think your take would be interesting too.

G. Kendall said...

Doubt I'll do Counter-X. There's still a decent amount of material from the '90s I'd like to get to.

Anonymous said...

Cable was not considered part of Counter-X, but for all intents and purposes, it should have been included. It was just missing the Warren Ellis set-up.
Darko Macan took over the book around the same time, and then it was relaunched as Soldier X.
I really enjoyed that book.

The Counter-X run on X-Man was really good as well. I loved the Ellis issues.

Peter said...

Cable wasn't part of Counter-X per se (only the three Ellis-plotted titles were) but was part of Revolution, which overarched the Counter-X thingie. Bob Weinberg was the incoming writer (Cable #79, cover-date May 2000), followed by David Tischman with #97.

Darko Macan wouldn't come on until July 2002 with #105. Which was in the middle of the Quemas-renaissance of Marvel where a lot of books were trying to be interesting. Whereas Counter-X was one of Bob Harras's last gasps :)

Cerebro said...

G. Kendall, you're mistaken. This wasn't Kavanagh's last issue. He still has two more before "Counter-X" starts in issue #63.

And, yes, the two X-MEN titles (of which the promotional centerpiece was Claremont's return), WOLVERINE, CABLE, GAMBIT, and, I believe a MAGNETO limited series were all promoted as "Revolution" books. The "Counter-X" titles were X-FORCE, GENERATION X, and X-MAN.

You ask me, "Counter-X" was when X-MAN finally became interesting to read. Though, X-completist that I was, at the time, I still bought the previous 62 issues.

Matt said...

I never read X-Force or X-Man, so I can't speak for their "Counter X" revamps -- though I figure anything had to be an improvement for X-Man -- but I was profoundly disappointed when "Counter X" hit Generation X. I was really enjoying the Faerber/Dodson run at the time.

Anonymous said...

X-Force ended up being a big disappointment. I felt it was Ellis trying to redo The Authority.
The J.F. Moore run was far better.

X-Man was a huge improvement, which isn't hard, but I actually enjoyed the stories. Ellis turned X-Man into a post-modern shaman and used a lot of crazy ideas. It was fun stuff.

I really enjoyed the Gen X relaunch too. I liked Faerber, and the original Ellis Counter-X issues were...not very good. But, once Brian Wood took over, I didn't miss Faerber anymore.

Overall, I give Counter-X two out of three.

wwk5d said...

I always thought X-man was hugely, hugely overrated. Was it an improvement? Yes, but given the low standards we had before, that's not really saying much.

X-Force was a huge mess. The characters seemed a bit off in their characterization, and the art was just downright ugly at times.

Gen-X was the best one out of them all, and the only one I was sorry to see cancelled by the Jemas regime.

ray swift said...

"Goodness, without X-Man, Morbius would’ve turned Spider-Man into a vampire, the deadly Coldsnap-9 would’ve killed thousands of innocent people, and the X-Men would’ve been murdered by the New Brotherhood.

In other words, X-Man is absolutely delusional."

Oh man, you cracked me with this line...
It's true though. Painfuly, insightfully deducted, true.

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