• Review - Amazing X-Men #8

    Amazing X-Men #8

    Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
    Penciler: Ed McGuinness
    Inker: Mark Farmer
    Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
    Letterer: Joe Caramagna
    Cover: Ed McGuinness & Marte Garcia
    Cover Date: August 2014
    Alpha Appearances: Northstar, Heather Hudson (Vindicator), Mac Hudson (Guardian), Puck, Talisman

    World War Wendigo Part 1 of 5.

    Now follow me for a minute; I am going to give you a blow by blow of the opening because for the life of me I couldn’t understand the significance, but it plays a large role in the ending so follow me here! The issue begins with an argument between two butchers at a meat factory named Rick and Eddie, in regards to some infidelity with a woman named Sheila. Rick eventually gets upset enough to punch Eddie, who falls back and hits his head against a table – breaking his neck and killing him. In a panic, Rick puts Eddie’s body into a meat grinder - like I said, just hang onto this piece of information.

    When Wolverine arrives in Ottawa, Canada, he meets up with Heather at her cabin. The dialogue between them seems very natural, except for Heather saying her and Mac had a huge fight, how she’s not heard from him in two days; and how she’s not even sure he would come back, due to a very rough year that they have had.
    I thought that bit of dialogue seemed out of place; I believe it’s a reference to Heather’s last appearance, where she had been brainwashed and did some vile things.
    However, even with everything Heather and Mac have been through (talk about the couple that’s been through Hell and back) I just couldn’t even begin to imagine what kind of fight would ever make Mac leave her for good, so I am hoping this little bit is filled in later in the story.
    This was the only part of the issue I actually had any problem with because, as I say, it seemed out of character, but since this is Part 1 of a 5 issue storyline I am hoping we get to see what was so drastic that Heather would think Mac wouldn’t come back to her.

    The scene shifts to the Jean Grey School, where we see Colossus embracing Nightcrawler, thankful that he’s alive. The one page panel of this is a great shot that reminds me of classic X-Men in the way it’s drawn.
    I really enjoyed the dialogue between Nightcrawler and Colossus because there’s some witty banter about how each of them has died – and it seems to be the X-Men’s niche to die and come back.

    Another cool bit of the issue is when Wolverine and Heather go to track down Mac; we see Heather in her costume from Volume 2 (the white/green maple leaf costume).
    While I personally never cared for Heather being in costume (I thought this detracted from her character), if she was going to be in one I’d prefer it to be this one(though I disliked the power set for the costume, personally, but I get they wanted to make something different than Guardian/Mac).
    I thought the way they portrayed Wolverine tracking Mac was very well done; Mac technically has no speaking parts, since it’s Wolverine following Mac – but they do great “flashbacks” (for lack of a better way of describing how Wolverine “sees” Mac’s scent), and Mac is drawn perfectly.

    The intensity of the issue is portrayed excellently, through both the writing and the art. You definitely get a vibe that the town of Forrest has something very wrong going on. The art is drawn dark, to really bring in that creepy feeling. And since Mac has no dialogue in the “flashbacks” – you don’t get a sense of exactly what happened to him, which only mounts the intensity as it all begins to unfold.

    Wolverine suddenly picks up a scent and barks at Heather to fly out of there as fast as she can and to get Alpha Flight and the X-Men immediately.

    We see Heather flying, as she tries to call Puck.
    The scene shifts to Puck looking at his phone and seeing that it’s Heather calling – another voice says, “Don’t you dare pick that up.”
    And the next panel shows Elizabeth Twoyoungmen (better known as Talisman, daughter of Shaman) in bed, with the covers pulled over her bare body.

    Now we will stop here a second to consider this - We know that Puck is significantly older than Elizabeth, but we also know that Puck has been portrayed as quite the lady’s man and if there was ever a character who suffered “Daddy Issues” it would be Elizabeth Twoyoungmen. So while initially this scene seemed odd the more I thought about it the more it seemed to come across as they were there “to have fun” – sort of a “friends with benefits” type of feel. The more I considered it, the more I could certainly see this happening.

    We next see Heather fighting not one but two Wendigos! The Wendigos are drawn magnificently! The way they should be! Towering! Strong! Vicious! Lethal!
    The situation intensifies when Rachael and Storm are monitoring Wolverine using Cerebro from the Jean Grey School and Rachael notes that Wolverine appears to be expressing a sense of fear, which seems impossible for the man known as Wolverine, but is unmistakable. Storm tells Northstar to get the Blackbird ready...

    The flow of the story, the art, the intensity, simply keeps mounting in this issue.
    You really feel like the moment Wolverine showed up at Heather’s things were nice and calm, but as it progresses it just keeps getting worse and worse for the duo, like your typical 80’s slasher flick where a couple of people show up for a good time at the lake and things just begin going horribly wrong as a mass murderer slaughters everyone!

    The final panel – this is where, as I said in the beginning, I couldn’t figure out what the fight between Rick and Eddie was leading up to – we see Wolverine facing off with an entire pack of Wendigos, leading to the idea that those who unknowingly ate Eddie’s remains after Rick put him in the meat grinder suffered the curse of the Wendigo – those who eat the flesh of man or woman, shall suffer the curse of the Wendigo!

    Over all this was an excellent issue, as all of the Amazing X-Men issues have been so far.
    Though Mac got no dialogue the “flashbacks” as Wolverine was tracking him were quite nice.
    Despite disliking Heather in her any costume seeing her in her Volume 2 costume was nice – a great way to gently acknowledge that series.
    And then the surprise of seeing Puck and Talisman together was unexpected and yet I could see how it happened!

    I would highly recommend this issue – the writing, the intensity, the art – all create a wonderful atmosphere!

    Any and every Alpha Flight fan should pick this one up!
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Nicely done, Tawmis.
    1. rplass's Avatar
      rplass -
      Hey great review! Nice job. Keep 'em coming.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Good review.

      I thoroughly enjoyed the issue, too. Some of the back-and-forth was fun. I agreed it was nice to see Heather in a different costume to Mac, just for the difference.

      I'm always dubious when a storyline is 'if one of these guys was good, a lot of them will be awesome'; but that opening scene played it perfectly. I knew exactly what was happening as I read it, because I knew what the story would be like.

      ~ Le Messor
      "A yawn is a silent shout."
      ~ G.K. Chesterton
    1. sengsterooney's Avatar
      sengsterooney -
      Uh! Puck and Elizabeth Twoyoungmen?!?!

      The thing about Alpha Flight is that each time they guest feature in a Marvel comic, time has passed so you often get surprised by how much the team has changed! I wonder if Marrina will get a look in?
    1. Tawmis's Avatar
      Tawmis -
      Thanks for the comments!
      As for Puck and Elizabeth - we haven't seen much of Elizabeth, but Puck was in the Uncanny X-Force series that was (fairly) recently cancelled. So at least we got to see him recently. But yes, it was an initial surprise with Puck and Elizabeth, but like I said, the more I thought about it, the more I could see it.
    1. berserkerclaw's Avatar
      berserkerclaw -
      I really liked the issue. The set up was good. Puck and talisman in bed? Whoa. It was a cool development that sure will cause some laughs and tension when the rest of alpha join the fray.
    1. Alphan East's Avatar
      Alphan East -
      Great review... well done.
      Finally picked up a copy of this earlier today... its been on back order at my local shop for what seems like forever.
      Really enjoyed the story, and I thought the artwork was exceptionally good. It would have been nice to get a little more detail on how Heather returned from her brainwashing in vol. 4, but I'm just glad she's back.
      As far as Puck and Talisman hooking up, I'm perfectly fine with that. Alpha Flight has always had an unusual dynamic when it comes to relationships (Mac & Heather, Walter and Jeanne-Marie, Madison and Heather, Madison & Lil)... they definitely keep it interesting.
      Can't wait for the next issue.
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      I'll admit, I've mellowed on the whole Puck/Talisman thing since remembering these scenes in #23:

      Attachment 4310 Attachment 4311
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by berserkerclaw View Post
      I really liked the issue. The set up was good.
      Yeah, I agree!

      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      I'll admit, I've mellowed on the whole Puck/Talisman thing since remembering these scenes in #23:
      That's what I thought of immediately. I hadn't realised others had forgotten.

      ~ Le Messor
      "I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes 5 years in a row."
      ~ sign
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      I still think it's creepy, but at least it's continuity creepy...
    1. Sypes's Avatar
      Sypes -
      Oh wow, I love Elizabeth's look in the #23! I forgot that she used to look way more Native Canadian than her current look.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sypes View Post
      I forgot that she used to look way more Native Canadian than her current look.
      In Omega Flight she did. She didn't look at all native in her first appearances - one deviation from Byrne that I actually liked.

      ~ Le Messor
      "My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't."
    1. GingrBeard's Avatar
      GingrBeard -
      I loved this issue more than all of the other Amazing X-Men. To be honest, I'm fairly new in the comics scene. I've caught up on some major story arcs for X-Men and Avengers and stuff and know a little bit about most characters, but I'm not even old enough to have read those classics as they came out. That being said, the classic feeling of Amazing X-Men is a nice change from the grittiness that other comics seem to go for nowadays, but I don't like the mixture in costumes and I'm really only following this because Northstar is in it. Like most Alpha Flight cameo's or team-ups, they seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to attention. Northstar has done/said very little in this entire series, even an issue involving his home country, fellow canuck and fellow Alphans... Puck was technically the leader of X-Force but the entire thing was LOOK AT PSYLOCKES SILLY 4 WAY... It seemed like at the end of it all, Puck was the only one who didn't really get a proper send off. He just fell into comic book limbo again.

      I didn't like Heathers costume, I never have and especially the green and white one because.. why green and white? I can't argue with a red and white maple leaf though because the design is timeless. I do agree that she shouldn't really be in costume and if she is, it should be unique. You'd probably have lots of people rolling their eyes and saying something like of COURSE the lady isn't an awesome super heroine, but she never struck me as that type of person anyway. I also want to know how she got away with murdering her family members... where is their kid? Hopefully not with family members because they are becoming fewer in number and Heather The Psychopath Murderer Hudson knows where you live. O__O

      This story arc, World War Wendigo, makes a strong case for a solo Alpha Flight series, even if it ends up being cut short like Uncanny X-Force was. Maybe I'm just being a silly fan boy...
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GingrBeard View Post
      IMaybe I'm just being a silly fan boy...
      That's why we are all here!
    1. GingrBeard's Avatar
      GingrBeard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Flightpath07 View Post
      That's why we are all here!
      I suppose so, eh!?
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by GingrBeard View Post
      where is their kid? Hopefully not with family members because they are becoming fewer in number and Heather The Psychopath Murderer Hudson knows where you live. O__O
      Well, she did come from a big family!

      And, I agree with Flightpath! That's why we're here.

      ~ Le Messor
      "My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying."
      ~ Ed Furgol