Saturday, 22 October 2016

Amazing X-Men #10 - Marvel Comics

AMAZING X-MEN No. 10, October 2014
Containing plenty of action-packed dramatics, such as a seemingly one-sided battle between Rockslide and a Wendigo-infected Wolverine, in addition to some extensive cameos by the Avengers and Doctor Strange, it’s probably hard to imagine that the majority of this comic’s 36,405 readers weren’t satisfied with Craig Kyle and Chris Yost’s co-writing for Issue Ten of “Amazing X-Men”. Indeed, this furiously-paced third instalment to their “World War Wendigo!” narrative even goes so far as to feature a much-anticipated appearance by the (original) Alpha Flight members Guardian, Snowbird, Aurora and Sasquatch. Yet, for all the penning pair’s plans to make the much beloved characters within this twenty-page periodical “shine”, the disconcertingly haphazard nature of the collaborative creative team’s choppy storytelling arguably leads to a good deal of confusion as to just when within the plot’s timeline the depicted events actually take place and dispels much of the magic “the great hook” of a Wendigo plague creates.

So confusingly cluttered a chronology proves particularly painful on account of the comic’s promisingly explosive beginning, which depicts an exhausted and badly-beaten Northstar impotently staring up from the bottom of a crater at “some foul-smelling monster[s]” waiting to be eaten alive along with an unconscious young girl he was apparently trying to rescue. This thoroughly-enthralling splash illustration would arguably instantly draw any perusing bibliophile into the book, but it is then disconcertingly followed by an entirely different battle sequence involving a much-more formidable-looking Jean-Paul Beaubier “twenty minutes earlier…”

Admittedly these subsequent panels at least provide some explanation as to how the super-fast mutant came to be flying with a child in his arms, but disappointingly they are almost immediately replaced by a mass exodus of citizens across the U.S./Canada Border and then just as fleetingly abrupt, a trip to the Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Stephen Strange in Green Village, New York; “This is distasteful… It feels like retreat.” In fact, events don’t seem to really catch-up to the present day until halfway through the magazine, and then James MacDonald Hudson confuses the continuum once more by ‘flashbacking’ to a time when Shaman was able to trace the outbreak to “a meat packing plant [that] distributed tainted meat across the region.”

Such peaks and troughs within the comic’s plotting is, sorrowfully, mirrored by the inconsistent breakdowns of Carlo Barberi and Iban Coello, which prove wonderfully dynamic one moment and then amateurishly poor the next. It’s certainly hard to become enthralled in so irregular a tale when popular super-heroes like Sasquatch and Captain America are noticeably different in physical appearance dependent upon which artist has drawn them…
Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost, and Pencilers: Carlo Barberi & Iban Coello

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