Weeklies

Comic: "X-Men: Messiah Complex"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Multiple
Artist: Multiple

Reviewer: Max Burbank
Posted: 1/10/2008

Plot: In the wake of the “House of M” storyline, the number of Mutants in the Marvel Universe has been reduced to the point where the species will go extinct. Then this super mutant baby gets born and all X-Men associated heroes and villains go totally nuts trying to get their hands on it, to make sure the future they want is the future that happens.

Review: I am so breaking up with the X-Men.

I’ve been reading X-Men, my first favorite book for over thirty years now, but I’m sorry, I’ve had it. A guy can only take so much. I gather this overblown crossover fanboy punch up jizz fest is supposed to clear away a lot of the X-clutter that’s built up over the years, But a) I don’t think the patient can be saved and b) delicate surgery should be performed with a scalpel and this mini series is an industrial backhoe.

The problem is, the X-Men have more futures than the New York Stock Exchange. Ever since Chris Claremont wrote their brilliant two story arc “Days of Future Past” in 1981, every writer who gets their hands on the book feels obligated to add yet another possible future. And NONE of them remember that “Days of Future Past”, which was WAY better than a comic taking its title from a Moody Blues Album ought to be was BRIEF! A tight two issues. Twenty-four years later we have so many over the top, bloviated possible future scenarios even the loneliest X-obsessed basement dwelling fan boy can’t sort them out.

Marvel’s idea of how to sort this mess out seems to be a massive, multi team ultra violent game of ‘Capture the Flag’ except instead of a flag, use a mutant baby. And we know this baby is the key to the whole X-mess futures dealio because Cable, a time traveler from one potential future wants to take the baby into the future, and Bishop, a time traveler from another potential future wants to kill the baby.

It all reminds me of the classic caveman episode of ‘Spongebob’ where a pre-historic Spongebob, Patrick and Squidward run around stealing a burning log from each other. Just replace Spongebob and friends with about a zillion X-characters, the burning log with a mutant baby and the funny gags with page after page of tedious crap.

Oh, and the mansion gets destroyed for about the billionth time. If they throw in a plane crash they get the X-Men equivalent of a hat trick in hockey. I think. I don’t really know what a hat trick in hockey is.

Overall rating: Whole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

James Brown in hiding
Jan 11th, 2008, 08:26 AM
A hat trick is when the same player scores three goals in one game.
Clap if you love Dynamo
Jan 11th, 2008, 12:28 PM
I think the quality of comics nowadays (in the two big companies at least) is going downhill. I miss the late 70s and early 80s for many reasons, and comics these days is simply another reason to add to the list.
The Goddamned Batman
Jan 11th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-MoN View Post
A hat trick is when the same player scores three goals in one game.
Pssst! I think that was a joke!

And Max, I have to respectfully disagree. I think this is easily the best crossover or "event" the X-Men have had since "Age of Apocalypse" (though I realize that's not saying much) and I'll tell you why.

Yes, the baby football aspect is annoying, but I'm glad it looks like they're at least taking steps to move away from the "Decimation" clusterfuck resulting from "House of M". 198 mutants my ass. I bought the stupid "file book" that listed every single one of the 198, and it didn't seem that a week went by that some other oldschool mutant not listed in that book was discovered to still have powers whenever some writer suddenly decided they wanted to use that character. I understand the desire to clean house and get rid of some of the dumber mutants out there (so why'd they keep "Elephant Guy"? Why??), but they were retarded to paint themselves in a corner by assigning an exact number. Either that, or there was some other retarded explanation like how Iceman had a "mental block" on his powers and didn't really lose them at all or whatever. If they were going to stick a precise number on it, they damn sure had better stick with it. Otherwise, don't even go there.

But the one thing I have to praise the HELL out of is that this is one of the most organic, most naturally flowing crossovers I have
ever read. The X-Men editorial staff got it right, and everyone else in comics should take heed, because this is how it's done. Unlike some other crossovers I've read, every writer involved is clearly on board with this idea and wants to contribute to this story, and that makes all the difference. And they put enough thought into how the story was constructed that each individual team manages to be the focus of their own book without completely ignoring the rest of the story and sending it off the rails. In this way, fans of, say, X-Factor who don't care about the other books at least don't feel alienated so much, because they can still read about the characters they're interested in even if they won't understand the whole story.

Also, I normally hate Mr. Sinister, but he's not coming across as quite the wanker he usually does in this. I like that his direct involvement in the plot has been minimal, and it's kind of nice to see the Marauders back in action. I also thought the Cable and Bishop reveals were well done, but things can get tricky when you're dealing with two guys from alternate futures who each supposedly know how things will turn out. Overall I think it's a tremendous step forward in making the X-Men outside of Joss Whedon's hands interesting again.

I'll reserve my final judgment until the crossover is complete and see how things pay off, but based on what I've read so far (I'm about to dig into chapter 11 now), I'd give it the event-to-date 3.5 out of 5 pickles myself.


The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 11th, 2008, 06:09 PM
I just read chapter 11, and the main thing I learned was that the artist enjoys drawing professor X as Patrick Stewart. I'll agree that the writers at least seem involved, as oppossed to being dragged along kicking and screaming, but to me there's WAY to much noise here for anything interesting to happen. All of issue eleven is spent on X asking cable ""What the fuck is up with you?" and Cable goes "I don't have time to tell you, you just have to trust me!". It's like dialogue from Dark Shadows. They had a whole book for Cable to tell what was up with him and he spent it saying ""Can't you see I don't have time to respond?!" I think Cable just wants to take the baby into the future cause he was a baby that got taken into the future. And you know why marvel sends babies into the future? Cause they can't figure out how to write a baby.
Space Viking Repo Man
Jan 11th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mburbank View Post
I just read chapter 11, and the main thing I learned was that the artist enjoys drawing professor X as Patrick Stewart. I'll agree that the writers at least seem involved, as oppossed to being dragged along kicking and screaming, but to me there's WAY to much noise here for anything interesting to happen. All of issue eleven is spent on X asking cable ""What the fuck is up with you?" and Cable goes "I don't have time to tell you, you just have to trust me!". It's like dialogue from Dark Shadows. They had a whole book for Cable to tell what was up with him and he spent it saying ""Can't you see I don't have time to respond?!"
Dark Shadows? No. It's more of the Return of the Way Comics Were Written in 1992. The only thing that was missing was GW Bridge saying that Cable 'HAS TO BE TAKEN DOWN!!!"

It's Liefeldese, if anything.
pickled
Jan 12th, 2008, 12:08 AM
I have found that most comics involving Bishop and Cable hazardous to your health.
Tropical Viking
Jan 12th, 2008, 02:05 AM
Protoclown

I don't really care about comics for quite a few years now, but I'm anxious for your "tales from the longbox" rant on that Amalgam series. That was the ugly, lame, cheap comicfucking garbage that made me quit comics. Well, that and the clone saga.
The Goddamned Batman
Jan 12th, 2008, 11:59 AM
Hugo: the Amalgam comics are definitely on my "to do" list sometime this year. I bought them off eBay a year or two ago for the express purpose of doing a Longbox column on. (Why oh why didn't I just bittorrent them?)

And to you and Pentegarn, I will say this: Yes, there are LOTS of shitty comics out there, but like ANY other entertainment medium, it's probably 90% shit and 10% really fantastic stuff. So by cutting comics out altogether, you're missing out on some great stories. I know that I will be spotlighting a lot of my favorite series in this Weeklies section so that people who have been a bit uncertain about comics will be able to find out what the good stuff is without wading through all the crap. But I honestly do love the comic industry, even on it's worst days, so in a weird sort of way I enjoy wading through all the crap to find those rare gems.

Oh, and Max: After reading Chapter 11, I agree that it was STUPID that Cable didn't have "time" to talk while he and Captain Picard were stuck on a plane together. Honestly though, I think Peter David is the weak link in this story of all four writing teams. I've never seen what the big deal is about David; the only work of his I've really enjoyed is "Fallen Angel".
OH GOD
Jan 12th, 2008, 02:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protoclown View Post
Yes, there are LOTS of shitty comics out there, but like ANY other entertainment medium, it's probably 90% shit and 10% really fantastic stuff.
STURGEON'S LAW
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 12th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Theodore Sturgeon was responsible, sort of, for one and onjly one comic. He wrote the short story on which the very bad movie Killdozer was based, and which Marvel put out a one shot comic of. MAN, do I know a lot of useless shit.
Waiting for the worms.
Jan 12th, 2008, 08:15 PM
X-Men just suck lately. It all seems to be "Random Wolverine Appearances for the Hell of It". Screw Wolvie, I want more NIGHTCRAWLAH!
Official forum judge
Jan 13th, 2008, 02:10 AM
Part 1 of my rant:
I don't see how Mike Carey can justify having Gambit work alongside the Marauders, after being haunted by his memories of the Morlock massacre and stabbing his former teammates in the back, other than for trying to help Rogue and maybe being a little crazy from his experience with Apocalypse. It makes even less sense why Sunfire would work alongside Mystique again, considering the whole thing about her STABBING HIS SISTER TO DEATH.

The X-Factor portions piss me off the most, as it's been my favorite X book for a while now, and I lacks the mood and charm that is normally found in the series. The development of the whole romance between Wolfsbane and Rictor will be probably discarded with her joinning X-Force. I know that this has been explored in the past, but Peter David brought depth to the idea, and a sense of hope after Decimation. I thought it would be great for the development of the characters and would be a balance to the humor of the series. The art in X-Factor is probably the worst of the 4 books in this crossover. At least Jae Lee's art during Executioners Song stood out from the rest of the books back then. In this version of X-Factor we're treated to some generic superhero art.

I know this point isn't quite complete, but I'm too tired to finish it at the moment, so I'll have to continue this rant tommorrow.
Fookin' up planets!
Jan 13th, 2008, 05:15 AM
I can't read this current storyline because I can't afford comics right now. which makes me sad...

on the other hand, I can't afford comic books right now and thus will be missing this repulsive sounding storyline... which makes me glad I am poor and can't buy comics.
Forum Virgin
Jan 13th, 2008, 06:54 PM
I just wanted to say that as a complete comic noob/poor person I'm really glad that I can learn about how everything sucks before I spend any money. Huzzah!
Forum Chaos Lord
Jan 13th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Ah, House of M.

And you thought Crisis fucked everything up.
Forum Virgin
Jan 16th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Was Amalgam where DC and Marvel characters fused together to make another or am I thinking of something else. Also I was about to say how Messiah Complex was a good cross over but Protoclown beat me to it.
The Goddamned Batman
Jan 17th, 2008, 01:50 AM
No, you're thinking of the right thing; it was Amalgam. I purchased the entire line off eBay sometime last year with the idea of doing an eventual Longbox column on it. Who knows, maybe I'll team up with Max and we can both do a joint piece, but he'll need access to the comics for that to happen.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:51 AM
I bought them and read them at the time, but my memory (once a precision tool) is held together with spit and duct tape these days. I remember liking spider boy
OMNIVORBE
Feb 28th, 2008, 07:58 PM
I liked Amalgam. Maybe it was because it catered to 7 year olds and, hey, that's how old I was at the time?

There was no "This writing sucks" or "This is for the money."

Wolverine + Batman = 7 year old's dream comic character. I wish I had knew about Deadpool at the time.
What? Me worry?
Feb 28th, 2008, 08:20 PM
I wish more kids read comics than grown ups. It would make my life so much more fun. :/
You'll thank me later...
Mar 7th, 2008, 11:17 AM
There was nothing wrong with Amalgam as long as you took it for the tongue in cheek fluff fest that it was, sort of like when Stan Lee re-imagined some of DC's finest some years ago (for the life of me I don't remember what this set was called). I'm not saying they were good ideas, just the ideas at the time, good for a chuckle. Just trainwreck it, it's fine.