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AlphaFlight.net - Amazing X-Men #9 Review
  • Amazing X-Men #9 Review

    WARNING: This Review contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the issue.

    Amazing X-Men #9

    Writers:
    Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
    Penciler: Carlo Barberi
    Inkers: Walden Wong, David Meikis, Carlo Barberi
    Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
    Letterer: Joe Caramagna
    Cover: Ed McGuinness & Marte Garcia
    Cover Date: September 2014

    World War Wendigo! Part 2 of 5

    The Wendigo outbreak we saw at the end of last issue really ramps up from the very start of the issue and is told out of sequence in a very horror film-esque way, which essentially is what this arc is playing on.

    Artist Carlo Barberi, with Walden Wong & David Meikis, captures these scenes really well, in a very 'widescreen' film way, showing the isolation and desolation of the towns.
    There are a lot of scenes very similar to contagion films such as Outbreak, 28 Days Later and well, World War Z that go on to show how serious this all is; the police force and the Avengers are shown as unable to cope with the forces of the Wendigo as Canada starts to fall.
    This is a Canadian problem and it's up to Canadians to solve it. Oh, and the X-Men who are inadvertedly trapped in Canada after rushing to Wolverine's aid. But hey; it's their book and that's understandable.

    Craig Kyle & Chris Yost have woven a very solid tale here, that has echoes of the films/genre mentioned above and I was nostalgically reminded of the classic X-Men Brood saga, which also played off horror and sci-fi themes. I like the fact that the Wendigo are a deadly threat.

    The team dynamic works really well here and gives off that 'old-school' Claremont vibe. Maybe it's simply Nightcrawler's return, but this book definitely feels like the X-family should; Kurt and Piotr work so well together, Ororo is a firm but caring leader, and Iceman provides his pivotal role of comic relief.

    But enough about the X-Men.
    Well, to a degree anyway; we've got an inside man now!

    Northstar isn't given a great deal of panel-time/lines, though that's due to the size of the cast and he gets equally as much as the others, but what he does get is classic Jean-Paul snark and sarcasm.
    The notion of him flying within the Blackbird, whilst flying, was a really nice touch (although he's happily sat in the plane before many times) and to me show that Kyle & Yost actually get the character. Which I'm grateful for.


    While we don't get to see the fate of Guardian & Vindicator we do get Talisman and Puck stepping in to save Wolverine's (Canadian) bacon, presumably following on from Heather's voicemail in the previous issue, or maybe just because Liz could sense what was going on. Or maybe they just had access to a TV with the news on, who knows?

    I'd like to think that they alerted the rest of the team and that they're on their way to help. Hopefully we'll get to see some more Alphans next issue, but given the size of the cast already I can understand keeping the guest stars to a minimum.

    Talisman is shown in her Omega Flight-era costume which fits with when we last saw her (with speaking lines anyway, ignoring her cameo in Uncanny Avengers) and Puck is back in his uniform, which... I'm actually sort of saddened by.
    I'd gotten quite used to seeing Puck in street clothes over in Uncanny X-Force, especially not having a headcap. Alpha's uniforms don't match each other anyway (apart from the 90's, obviously) so Puck having an X-jacket wouldn't really be too out of place, but I suppose a classic is a classic for a reason!

    Talisman is shown as a serious contender in the magical world (which makes it strange that her father's not mentioned at all) with a nice nod to her She-Hulk guest appearance, as the last time she fought Wendigo and it's good to see an Alphan being shown as powerful and with respect, as opposed to Dr Strange showing up and waving his magic fingers all the time.

    However, that respect leads me to the last page...

    The solicitation for #10 includes the line: "As the Wendigo virus runs rampant through Canada, one of the X-Men falls prey to the deadly plague!"
    We get to see the start of that here as Wolverine becomes a Wendigo (Wendirine? Wolvigo?) and snikt's Talisman right through the chest before she's able to complete a curing spell.


    I had surmised (and feared) after reading #8 that the Puck/Talisman relationship (or hook-up) seemed a bit forced and that it was there just as a fodder to future drama and I really fear that that was because Liz is going the way of Diamond Lil.

    This does nothing to help alleviate that fear I'm afraid.

    However, we all know about comics' revolving death policy, especially where magic is concerned.
    The solicitation for #11 supports this "the X-Men take the battle to a new front—the Spirit Realm!" which makes me think we'll get a deus ex machina that'll bring Liz back to life.

    As mentioned above, the artwork for this issue comes from Carlo Barberi who provides a very seamless transition from Ed McGuinness' work in the last issue; a very classic superhero look - not too cartoony, not too gritty. The action scenes are very dynamic and the Wendigo look bloodthirsty and a definite viable threat. There's also a very nice panel featuring Nightcrawler reflected in Colossus' head which I really appreciated for some reason.
    There seemed something slightly off with the angle of Puck's head on the splash-page he first appears on, but his other appearances don't suffer from the same thing.

    Colours for the issue are once again provided by Rachelle Rosenberg who makes Talisman's magic stand out well, especially in that last page, using a blue hue to stand out from earlier pages focusing on the bloodthirsty Wendigo where a lot of red was used and the pages showcasing the Blackbird exploding where orange filled panel borders to great effect.


    As I mentioned earlier there's nothing within the issue regarding Heather & Mac, however the fact that Wolverine has become a Wendigo implies that there'll be an easy fix because we all know he's not staying as one, so there's a good chance we'll see them both back. (And maybe then we'll get a reunion with Claire.)

    Although if the two of them survive that makes me think Talisman is less likely to...
    There has to be some kind of gravitas and loss from this outbreak.
    Having it all just go back to exactly the way it was would take away the impact from what is a very decent written X-Men story thus-far.
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      Because none of the X-Men have magical powers that could stop the curse.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mokole View Post
      But why stab Talisman? Why not stab an X-Man for a change? If you're going to sell a story stab someone who Wolverinedigo would want to stab, and have repercussions.
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      Because none of the X-Men have magical powers that could stop the curse.
      Nor, indeed, were they actively trying to stop the curse at the time of the Incident.

      I don't like having an Alphan stabbed, but I do agree that it was tactically the best manœuvre. Which, if you think about it, is a sign of SOME respect for Alphans - the Wendigo went for the biggest threat, and that was Talisman.

      ~ Le Messor
      Imperial Officer #1: "He's drifting slightly to the left!"
      Imperial Officer #2: "That guy knows some manœuvres!"
      ~ Family Guy Star Wars
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      Because none of the X-Men have magical powers that could stop the curse.
      They should have had Magik with her sword on speed dial. In their defense they didn't know until it was to late

      Your spot-on though, she was the only one that could have quickly dealt with it and had to be removed
    1. Flightpath07's Avatar
      Flightpath07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Le Messor View Post
      the Wendigo went for the biggest threat, and that was Talisman.
      if they (not Marvel; the Wendigos) read this site, they'd know that WE are the biggest threat!
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by -K-M- View Post
      They should have had Magik with her sword on speed dial. In their defense they didn't know until it was to late
      Isn't she spending the year dead for tax purposes?
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      Quote Originally Posted by -K-M- View Post
      They should have had Magik with her sword on speed dial.
      She's on Cyclops' X-Men though, not Wolverine's.
      The two still aren't playing nicely.
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
      She's on Cyclops' X-Men though, not Wolverine's.
      The two still aren't playing nicely.
      Oh, so she is alive at the moment?
      I lose track.

      Which team is Colossus on? Wolverine's or Cyke's? (Cyke's, isn't it?)
      Does Deadpool play for both teams?

      ~ Le Messor
      "NASA Announces New Deck Chair Arrangement For Space Station Titanic. "
      ~ Tom Neff
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      Colossus is (presumably now) on Wolverine's X-Men, as of Amazing #8.
    1. -K-M-'s Avatar
      -K-M- -
      They kind of buried the hatchet with the recent Cyclops and Wolverine crossover. Highly doubt they would simply say no they wouldn't help...Magik may, but Cyclops would order her
    1. cmdrkoenig67's Avatar
      cmdrkoenig67 -
      As for the Puck/Talisman relationship, there was a bit of flirtation back in the Byrne days. I forget the issue #, but Eugene and Elizabeth were sparring.

      Dana
    1. Le Messor's Avatar
      Le Messor -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmdrkoenig67 View Post
      As for the Puck/Talisman relationship, there was a bit of flirtation back in the Byrne days. I forget the issue #, but Eugene and Elizabeth were sparring.
      Dana
      Yeah, that IS true.

      It makes it a little easier to take here; though there's a difference between a little flirtation and actually doing the deed.

      ~ LM
      "There is an Irish way of paying compliments as though they were irresistible truths which makes what would otherwise be an impertinence delightful."
      ~ Katherine Tynan Hinkson
    1. Phil's Avatar
      Phil -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmdrkoenig67 View Post
      As for the Puck/Talisman relationship, there was a bit of flirtation back in the Byrne days. I forget the issue #, but Eugene and Elizabeth were sparring.
      Yeah, I remembered that later on.

      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:

      Attachment 4310 Attachment 4311
      I'm still not 100% on it(even under Byrne), but it's not completely out of place.