Tag Archives: professor x

Review: House of X #2

After House of X #1’s worldbuilding and ideological treatise and Powers of X #1’s time-skipping narrative, Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia settle down into what looks to be a character study of Moira MacTaggert, long time, underrated X-Men supporting character. On a very surface/spoiler-free marketing level, House of X #2 is this. However, in actuality, this is the first issue of Hickman’s X-Men story that will be in the proverbial history books, and the changes can already be seen on Moira’s Wikipedia page.

In effect, he makes Moira MacTaggert, or X as she is known in the comic, the new center of the mutant universe taking the crown away from Xavier and Magneto, Cyclops and Wolverine, or even Apocalypse and Sinister. Her perpetual, yet unfortunately invisible connection to the X-Men ends up becoming her power. House of X #2’s main reveal is that Moira is a mutant with the ability to reincarnate, have all memories from her past life in her new one, and have her mutant nature be undetectable. Hickman and Larraz showcase this final power in a throwdown between Moira X and Destiny where they use a nine-panel grid to flex Destiny’s ability to sense when Moira reincarnates and take her out every time Edge of Tomorrow style.

At its core, House of X #2 is a wonderful speculative fiction story about how you would add differently in your life if you already knew the outcome of your decisions and relationships. Moira’s ideology and her relationship to the major X-Men universe players, including Professor X, Magneto, Apocalypse, and Sentinels, evolves throughout the issue as she plays a variety of roles from housewife to her previously canonical one as a support scientist to co-founding the X-Men with Apocalypse and being the Terminator to the Trask family.

Larraz and Gracia keep these sequences lively with an ever-shifting visual style, especially in layouts. They can go from a three-panel progression of X-Men history a la Kirby, Cockrum, and Immonen to diagonal panels to show Moira gripping with the inevitability of AI and utter darkness when she teams up with Apocalypse. But House of X #2 also has a lot of conversations, and Pepe Larraz nails the shifts in body language in the interactions between Moira and Professor X, which range from slowly building a bond to complete disdain and finally creating the world of House of X.

Moira’s lives are truly the hidden part of the metaphorical iceberg that is the world of House of X and attempt at utopia that is Krakoa. She has seen how mutant history has developed nine times, and the tenth time is the charm as she is back to Xavier’s dream, albeit, in a radically different way from a school of gifted youngsters or team of superheroes. Moira X is the container of potential and the results of ideological struggle, and the multi-page timeline at the end of House of X #2 is a fantastic representation of this and one of my favorite Hickman diagrams this side of Black Monday Murders.

House of X #2 seamlessly works at two levels. On one level, Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz are telling the life story of Moira MacTaggart, who has played a pivotal role as a bridge between humans and mutants for decades of comics, and what you think about her is all wrong. Finally, on a macro level, they craft several visions for how the relationship between humans, mutants, and machines plays out and begin to provide a reason for why the world is like it is in House of X #1 and how it ends up in Powers of X #1.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Pepe Larraz Colors: Marte Gracia
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marvel Legends Ultimate Action Figures with Vehicles Wave 2 is Available for Pre-Order

If you missed Professor X when he was released in the first wave of Marvel Legends, you can get him now in the second wave of figures. Professor X and Captain America with Motorcycle make up the release.

With Marvel Legends Series 6-inch-scale figures and vehicles, kids and collectors alike can start a legendary collection of comic- and movie-based Marvel characters. With these 6-inch-scale figures and vehicles, featuring classic design and premium articulation, Marvel fans can imagine recreating the arcs from some of their favorite Marvel comics. 

Marvel Legends Ultimate Action Figures with Vehicles Wave 2 case includes 3 individually packaged action figures with vehicles:

  • 2x Professor X
  • 1x MVL Legends Vehicles Vintage Captain America

The wave of three figures retails for $119.99.

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Professor X

Every once in a while, there’s a consistent, ongoing call for a figure to get made. Since the beginning of Marvel Legends, one of the most relentlessly demanded figures has been Professor X in his hover chair. A Professor X in his conventional wheelchair was produced in 2005 as part of the Galactus wave, back when the line was made by Toy Biz. A movie version in the film chair was also produced early in the decade. In the 1990s toyline based largely on the animated series, we saw the only American mass market version of the Professor in the hover chair. But no longer! The brand-new Ultimate Riders Professor X in his hover chair is here. I could do this review in one word, and that is: DAMN.

Hasbro knocked this out of the park. I know I’ve been high on their work lately, but that’s because they’ve been delivering consistently. This particular item is a step above that. The accessories are clever (one is outright brilliant), the chair design is detailed and extremely well-made, and the figure is solid. It’s high-caliber work.

First off, check out the box. The hover chair is in two pieces; it easily and cleanly fits together. Yes, there’s a seam on the back, but if that’s your biggest gripe, it’s really minimal. The “hover stand” (of, what? Compressed air? Energy? Doesn’t matter) gives the chair an elevated feel. The chair pads fit in easily and sport some crazy detail for pieces that you don’t see much of with the figure in place. The “blanket” helps keep the figure in place. There’s the Cerebro helmet with a power effect, and finally, there’s the Shadow King head.

I’ve praised these before, but I’ll do it again: creating extra accessories and swappable body parts for value-adds that create “new” characters is a brilliant idea. The Shadow King head goes perfectly with the BAF Kingpin, and I’m keeping it there. (I have an early Kingpin. It’s fine. Head stays. In fact, a major driver of my interest in the Kingpin BAF was the fact that I’d be able to make him into the Shadow King; if you’re not familiar with the character, look him up and watch Legion).

The hover chair itself is well-made, with a pair of sliding panels revealing instruments underneath. It’s super-easy to slide the figure in; you more or less “lock” him in place (though its not a true locking mechanism) with the blanket. The chair is big, but not disruptively big on the shelf.

The figure itself has a standard ML suit body, but they killed it on the head and hands. Those crazy eyebrows look like the early Kirby take on the character, and hand gesture positions are perfect. I photographed the figure with the helmet and without. I’m going to display without, but I think it looks decent; the effect isn’t as good as Psylocke’s psionic butterfly, but it’s decent.

Professor X looks great on his own, but he really comes to life when you put some of his X-Men around him. Here he is with the recent Cyclops, Jean Grey, my favorite of the Wolverines (because he’s short) and that dick Hank McCoy (what? I’m a big Cyclops fan, and he owes Scott a big apology). Since I have a new Charlie to put with my modern X-Men, I moved the old Chuck up to what I call my “First Appearance” shelf.

Overall, this is terrific work. The figure is available now. It reads “sold out” on Hasbro Pulse, but it’s popping in and out on Amazon (I got mine there for regular price; just be patient) and also showing up at Target and Wal-Mart, along with the Deadpool/Scooter box. GameStop lists them as arriving by the weekend, but your location’s stock may vary.

Professor X and Gabrielle Haller are Cast and Coming to FX’s Legion

The third season will be the final one for FX‘s Legion based on the Marvel characters by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. But, it’s going out with a bang as we’ll meet David’s parents, Professor X and Gabrielle Haller.

The two actors who will bring the characters to the small screen are Harry Lloyd as Professor X and Stephanie Corneliussen as Gabrielle.

The third and final 8 episode season will debut in June on FX.

FX's Legion

Review: X-Men Grand Design- Second Genesis #1

X-MEN GRAND DESIGN SECOND GENESIS #1 (OF 2)Cartoonist Ed Piskor leaves the Silver Age and enters the Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne era in X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 retelling the story of the X-Men from Cyclops and Professor X’s assembly of the “All-New, All-Different” team of Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Sunfire to rescue the original X-Men from the mutant island Krakoa to the conclusion of the classic “Dark Phoenix Saga”. The comic’s biggest strength is Piskor’s meticulous attention to craft including panel layouts and lengths, color choices, and lettering. With so much material to cover, there are no wasted beats in his storytelling, no filler. This does harm its emotional resonance which pales in comparison to Claremont’s original saga that partially worked because the longform storytelling created a connection between readers and characters and developed various relationships in more depth, like Wolverine and Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Cyclops, and Professor X and Lilandra to name a few in this time period.

However, for the most part, Second Genesis #1 is beautiful, yet streamlined take on one of the most important pop culture icons from a talented writer/artist. Even though there are appearance from various secondary foes and antagonists and even mentions of and cameos from heavy hitters like Magneto and Galactus, Piskor establishes from page one that the Hellfire Club will be the chief opponent of the X-Men in Second Genesis while continuing the larger Ur-narrative of the Phoenix that he hinted at in the first volume of X-Men Grand Design. And the force or character that these two powers rotate around is Jean Grey and later the Phoenix force taking on the appearance of Jean Grey as Piskor agilely summarizes the retcon that allowed for Jean Grey’s “ressurection” and absolving of a murder of planets in a sequence of dark panels that show her go from a powerful mutant to almost a fetus. He even shows his horror chops in his recreation of the famous scene in the “Phoenix Saga” where Jean absorbs radiation and crash lands the X-Men team after they rescue Professor X from mutant hater and experimenter Stephen Lang. A classic countdown sequence combined with some shocked facial expressions builds the suspense that culminates in a firebird rising from Jamaica Bay.

Although Second Genesis #1 is much more plot-driven, and the best X-Men stories I would argue are more character driven (And Claremont managed to cram a lot of plots in too.), Ed Piskor still takes care to flesh out the individual X-Men’s flaws, personality traits, and memorable moments. There’s a baseball game with Nightcrawler playing catcher, early in the book, Colossus and Wolverine link up in a trademark fastball special, and there’s even a panel with Storm’s claustrophobia. Piskor writes and draws Kitty Pryde as plucky and ingenious without being annoying and accidentally saving the X-Men with her phasing ability as Claremont and Byrne were trying to finish off their great epic while also introducing an actual student for the Xavier institute per editorial mandate. She adds bursts of joy and energy between the shadow and flame of Dark Phoenix and whited out psychic duels between Mastermind and Cyclops. The Phoenix and Hellfire Club predominantly take center stage while Professor X’s deal with Lilandra and Shi’ar runs off to the side, and even though some of my favorite X-Men were on this incarnation of the team, they lack a strong identity unlike the original five plus Havok and Polaris in X-Men Grand Design.

Don’t get me wrong. For all its flaws in the characterization department (For example, Piskor puts Professor X and Cyclops at a graveyard at the top of the page, and Thunderbird’s death at the bottom and barely hints at his headstrong nature.) and lack of focus on the Jean/Scott dynamic when Jean is at the center of the story, Second Genesis #1 is the rare mainstream comic created auteur style by a single creator. Ed Piskor gives the subplot heavy, soap operatic narrative of the X-Men a strong thread to follow and lets his nostalgia and love for the source material shine on every page. His art style is retro without being simplistic, and there is a kind of minimalism to his use of captions and dialogue, especially compared to the overwrought style of Claremont. In fact, his strongest emotional beats involve few words at all like Jean and Scott spending one last night in bed before the X-Men’s honor duel against the Shi’ar, and he punctuates these emotional crescendos with the use of black and white instead of the colorful costumes, spaceships, and energy bursts that permeate this book and the X-Men canon as a whole.

Even if it focuses more on singular narrative building than the growth of one of superhero comics’ greatest ensemble casts, X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 is a wonderful example of the cyclical nature of myth as Ed Piskor filters the beginning of Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men through a lean, visually striking storyteller’s lens or his childhood fantasies through a steadier, yet no less energetic hand. I’d probably rather reread the “Dark Phoenix Saga” though.

Story/Art/Letters: Ed Piskor
Story: 7.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Funko Reveals Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool and Pop! Marvel: X-Men

Remember when Deadpool joined the X-Men? Funko sure does! Today the company revealed their Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool. Did someone say chimichangas?! The figure will be available this month.

Pop! Marvel X-Men Deadpool

Not leaving out his fellow X-Men, Funko has also revealed Pop! Marvel: X-Men, featuring Storm, Cyclops, Professor X, Colossus, Mystique, and Magneto! They’ll be available in November.

Catching Up on Reviews, Part 9 — X-Men and X-Men Legacy

X-Men #8 (Marvel) – Chris Bachalo’s stylized art is near perfect in this issue and Victor Gischler’s story is both action-packed and a touching story about youth and alienation, making it one of the more thought-provoking stories from Marvel in the last year or so.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

X-Men #9 (Marvel) – The strange thing is that in the early days when I first saw Bachalo’s art, I wasn’t a big fan, thinking it was a bit too anime-like for my tastes. The more I see it, though, the more I like it and I’m starting to think that he might be one of my favorite artists. This issue is just as good as the predecessors and this particular X-Men-Spider-Man team up is one of my favorites in recent years.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

X-Men #10 (Marvel) – Paco Medina joins Bachalo on art duties this issue and, while it is still quite good, it isn’t as good as Bachalo’s previous solo work. I’m sad to see the end of the Spider-Man crossover, although I will say that I’m not a huge fan of the characterization of Emma Frost during this arc. It seems consistent with past portrayals of her, but she’s still a bit to stereotypically “female” for a woman of such stature.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

X-Men #11 (Marvel) – Gischler’s side-story here with Professor X is a bit subpar and the art just isn’t that great. This is an exception for this series — an issue that is pretty weak.

Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5.5

X-Men #12 (Marvel) – I really like Christopher Yost’s story here and, despite my normal disdain for retcons, this one works out pretty well. It fits and it makes sense. The art is split between two different artists based on the flashbacks and the present and Medina’s present art is the better of the two, although far from perfect. There are a few epic shots, though, that make it worthwhile, though.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

X-Men #13 (Marvel) – The Eternals-oriented story continues here with the same creative team and Yost and Medina do even better this time around, but I still don’t like Dalabor Talajic’s art much.

Story: 9.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 8.25

X-Men #14 (Marvel) – Everyone’s work in this issue continues to improve and I’m even okay with most of Talajic’s art, although I think his weakness is really close-ups of people’s faces.

Story: 9.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Men #15 (Marvel) – After a really strong story about evolution and mutants, the ending is a bit of a let-down. Hopefully this will also end the split artist trend that had dominated recent issues. Can we get Bachalo back?

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

X-Men Giant Size #1 (Marvel) – This annual is part of the Eternals-related storyline and it has the best art that Medina and Talajic did during the story and there is some epic art here. The story is still more-than-capably handled by Yost.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

X-Men Legacy #245 (Marvel) – If there are two things I love more than the X-Men and post-apocalyptic stories, I don’t know what they are. It’s hard to think of anything I’d like more than a comic that combines the two. Over the years, the X-Men have given us a lot of post-apocalyptic things and Age of X is one of the better entries in a series of great stories.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

X-Men Legacy #246 (Marvel) – Clay Mann’s art isn’t my favorite, but it’s more than good enough and it’s appropriate to the Age of X story. Mike Carey’s writing is great, though, and I really like what he does with Scott Summers here, showing us what Scott would be like if he was just as bad-ass as he is now, but without the restraints he has as the leader of the mutant nation.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

X-Men Legacy #247 (Marvel) – Carey really goes a long way towards answering the question: “what’s better for mutants: isolation and protection or finding a way to live with humanity.” The idea of Moira McTaggert as a villain is quite interesting, too.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

X-Men Legacy #248 (Marvel) – Dealing with the aftermath of Age of X is handled well here by Mike Carey, although the story is, by necessity, a letdown. Jorge Molina’s art is a step down from what Mann was doing.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

X-Men Legacy #249 (Marvel) – I’ve never really liked the storylines that provided a romantic link between Rogue and Magneto and I really don’t think we need any more recaps of Magneto in Nazi Germany. I do, however, like the exploration of Legion as a character, since he is too powerful and has too much potential to be ignored as much as he has been over the years.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

X-Men Legacy #250 (Marvel) – In this giant-sized issue, Carey continues both the aftermath of Age of X and the tracking down of Legion’s escaped personalities. Neither story has great art (although neither has bad art, either) and the Legion story continues to be better than the Age of X aftermath. A reprint of an old New Mutants issue is here to remind me how much I never liked Bill Sienkiewicz’s art.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

X-Men Legacy #251 (Marvel) – Carey ramps up the intensity and quality of the Legion tale, but Koi Pham’s art is mixed in quality.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.75

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