Monday, 23 May 2016

Amazing X-Men #9 - Marvel Comics

AMAZING X-MEN No. 9, September 2014
Whilst it’s somewhat clear from a creative perspective as to just why collaborators Craig Kyle and Chris Yost penned the script for Issue Nine of “Amazing X-Men” to flit along its “World War Wendigo” timeline, it’s doubtful many of this title’s 40,562 strong audience appreciated it in July 2014. For although the narrative provides the comic with an introductory hook courtesy of its portrayal of the X-Men’s Blackbird unexpectedly crashing into a Canadian residential area "Forty Two hours after [the] initial outbreak”. The fact the book then takes its audience rapidly back in time to “one hour earlier…”, then “Fifty minutes ago”, “Forty minutes ago…”, “Four minutes ago”, “Three minutes ago”, and then “Two minutes ago…” within the space of a handful of pages arguably makes what follows both incomprehensible and unenjoyable.

Indeed despite depicting Wolverine bloodily raking the bodies of numerous Wendigos with his Adamantium claws, as well as the highly anticipated arrival of Alpha Flight’s Talisman and Puck, it seems highly unlikely that much entertainment was actually garnered by this magazine during its first reading as a result of its audience frequently having to turn back to previous panels in order to work out the storyline’s actual sequence of events. It’s certainly hard to appreciate the X-Men battling to save the life of a luckless Canadian pilot from the fangs of a horde of white-furred monsters or the unexpected cameo by Avengers Thor and Captain America, whilst having to repeatedly reread what has previously occurred before…

Fortunately once Kyle and Yost’s writing does finally start to portray ‘present proceedings’ and the Mutant super-team actually begin brutally battling the cannibalistic creatures en masse, the pace of this twenty-page periodical really takes off and contains some genuinely impressive punch-ups as the likes of Iceman, Storm and Firestar bring all their powers to bear upon the ferocious Wendigos. The “fan-favourite” authors even manage to end the comic on a cracking cliff-hanger as Elizabeth Twoyoungmen is potentially mortally wounded just as she is about to successfully cast “a powerful counterspell to the curse” which would suppress the infestation; “It’s happening… I can contain it, I feel it working, the spell is -- Hkk!”

Possibly also contributing to the initial confusion of this books’s opening half is Carlos Barberi unexpectedly taking over this story-arc’s pencilling duties, despite his predecessor illustrating the title's main cover. The former Mexican Independent Comics artist arguably provides something of a “seamless transition from Ed McGuinness’ work in the last issue” in the majority of his breakdowns. But seemingly struggles when it comes to depicting the likes of Colossus and Captain America.
The 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' variant cover art of "AMAZING X-MEN" No. 9 by Mike Perkins and Andy Troy

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