A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #35 (1996)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

This is it! The thirty-fifth and final issue of the X-Men 2099 monthly series from Marvel Comics is at hand. How times have changed in the American comic book industry back in the 1990s. When X-Men 2099 #1 was released in 1993, there was still good demand and room for expanding the 2099 imprint beyond the pioneering characters Spider-Man 2099, Punisher 2099, Ravage 2099 and Doom 2099. By the time the X-Men 2099 series came to an end, Marvel Comics was in turmoil internally and several 2099 series talents behind the scenes left as a result of the termination of 2099 line editor Joey Cavalieri.

With the short history lesson done, we can now take a look back at X-Men 2099 #35, published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore (who wrote ALL the series’ issues) and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with some members of the X-Men facing off with Darkson (his name is Joaquim, the accelerated grown-up son of Metalhead and Rosa) and his evil mentor Vulcan. Following Vulcann’s command, Darkson lets go of Luna (who was carried earlier by him) who lands on the ground in a weakened state and was approached by Krystallin. In reaction, Krystallin launches some crystals to Vulcann and Darkson but got blocked by a protective aura.

The X-Men realize that Darkson is as potentially dangerous as Zhao. Darkson then strikes at Bloodhawk with a psionic blast and then attacks the other X-Men…

Quality

7
Two X-Men veterans and one X-Nation member in a scene.

In terms of storytelling, John Francis Moore did what he could with all the plot details and with what was built up during the previous issues leading to this issue’s final conflict. The problem, however, is that the pay-off was ultimately unsatisfactory.

Firstly, having Vulcann and Darkson parallel God and Jesus (complete with doing something about the destiny of people who need saving, which in this comic book referred to the futuristic mutants) in a twisted fashion was just hollow and never engaging. Secondly, the way the X-Men members got together was very rushed in execution. Thirdly and more importantly, the final conflict was pretty shallow and only led to a sequel-bait ending designed to lead into 2099: World of Tomorrow #1.

If you are looking for superhero spectacle, you will find some here but they all feel rushed and unsatisfying. If you care about key X-Men 2099 characters like Skullfire and Xi’an, the way they developed and appeared here will disappoint you. In fairness, Shakti remains the strong-willed mutant as before.

To say the least, there was an effort to emphasize what was at stake for the mutants of 2099 living in Halo City and there was also the idea that the world was coming to an end. The problem here was the execution as the comic book basically showed the X-Men in the presence of Vulcann and Darkson. There was no epic battle here at all and the climax at the end clearly showed rush and even a lack of creativity (note: most likely due to the internal turmoil at Marvel at the time).

Conclusion

2
Vulcan and Darkson (carrying the X-Men’s Luna).

I should say that X-Men 2099 #35 is indeed a disappointing conclusion not only to its series but also in the final conflict the X-Men had with Vulcann and Darkson. The pay-off was very unsatisfying and it did not help that this comic book served as just another build-up leading to another Marvel 2099 publication. By the time the conflict ended, I did not care much about the X-Men which, for the most part, became irrelevant. This is too bad because in issue #1 they were very interesting and (after some stories of misadventures showing the X-Men members separated) they became interesting again with the events in issue #25.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #35 (1996), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $17 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $51.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #35 (1996) is unsatisfying. I don’t recommend spending a lot of money for it. Better save your money.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at Hardcase #9 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Having reviewed the first eight issues of the Hardcase series, I should say that the title character is easily one of the best protagonists of the entire Ultraverse and the late author James Hudnall deserves credit for the storytelling and character development. Hardcase made it in CBR’s 2016 article about what is being missed from the Ultraverse.

As written in the said CBR.com article: Created by James Hudnall, Hardcase was one of the first superheroes in the Ultraverse, forming a team with some other early superheroes. They called themselves “The Squad,” and soon became extremely famous. However, tragedy struck when the team took on a powerful villain, who killed almost all of them, with only Hardcase remaining as The Squad’s only surviving member. Of his three other teammates, two died and one was comatose. He retired from being a superhero and instead became an actor, portraying himself in major motion pictures. When the Ultraverse officially began, Hardcase was pulled out of retirement to become a superhero once again.

Before he passed away on April 2019, Hudnall expressed his support for US President Donald Trump and pointed out that the media has been lying and the ones who are fascists are the rioters who attacked people since the 2016 election.

With all that information presented, let’s take a look back at Hardcase #9, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Hudnall and drawn by Brent Anderson (the same guy behind the 1982 graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills).

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Tom Hawke/Hardcase spending time with the comatose Linda. He tells her about what he went through recently. The narrative shifts to a few days back with his work in filmmaking. He meets with Choice whom he has gotten close with for some time.

Inside a trailer, the two discuss relationships and the complexity that comes with acting with regards to emotions.

A short time later, a huge monster attacks Hardcase in public. The monster tells him: “You’re as egotistical as all the rest. It’ll be a pleasure to send you to your grave.”

Quality

9
This is one of many scenes of action brilliantly drawn by Brent Anderson.

As the adventures with the Strangers and the Solution are over, this particular comic book served its purpose well – the further development of the relationship between Hardcase and Choice. The way Hudnall scripted this comic book showed a nice balance between romance, superhero spectacle (note: this comic book is loaded!) and the key element of maturity (with regards to dealing with love from both the past and the present).

With regards to the art, Brent Anderson’s debut with the Hardcase series is pretty solid. I like the gritty touch of the visuals he used on the characters, most notably Hardcase and Choice.

Conclusion

5
Hardcase and Choice in Hollywood.

No doubt that this is another solid Hardcase story. I enjoyed this from start to finish (which was emotionally powerful and symbolic). Hardcase #9 marks a new turn in the life of the the title hero.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Hardcase #9 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $7.

If you are looking for original Hardcase #9 art by Brent Anderson, click here.

Overall, Hardcase #9 (1994) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at X-Men Adventures #14 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Last time I reviewed an issue of X-Men Adventures, it was the 13th issue which served as the first half of a two-part adaptation of the animated series’ adaptation of the literary X-Men classic storyline Days of Future Past. It was a compelling and fun comic book to read.

Then I saw the cover of X-Men Adventures #14 which had a nicely drawn cover but instantly spoiled key elements of the 2nd part of the Days of Future Past adaptation. What does the comic book have left to show?

We can all find out in this look back at X-Men Adventures #14, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Ralph Macchio and drawn by Nick Napalitano.

Cover
The spoileriffic cover.

Early story

The story begins with Bishop (who came from the dark future on a mission to change events and prevent the darkness from taking over by aligning himself with the X-Men) attacks Gambit whom he identifies as the traitor responsible for the downfall of the X-Men and society. In response, Rogue, Jean Grey and Jubilee intervene to disrupt the conflict paving the way for Wolverine and Cyclops to restrain Bishop.

Bishop insists that everything will change for the worse if Gambit lives to fulfill his destiny: to kill a prominent politician who opposed mutants.

After some squabbling between the X-Men, the situation cools down and Professor X/Charles Xavier announces that he and some members will travel to Washington, D.C. where he will address the senate committee on mutant affairs…

Quality

2
Chaos in the headquarters of the X-Men!

In terms of writing, this comic book carries a lot of punch on its own. It’s a compelling read and like the animated series episode that served as its source, it took its time to build up tension before a twist or a scene of spectacle happens. As expected, it is not a scene-per-scene recreation compared with the animated episode and that’s just fine for me. I only wished the comic book creators retained the animated episode scene in which Bishop tells Wolverine that Gambit’s destined act was the Canadian’s fault, which led to Wolverine memorably saying: “I still can’t believe it.”

More importantly, the story offers readers a nice exploration about how the public and the Federal Government of the United States would react with mutants. To see US Senator Robert Kelly harshly question Professor X if his school functioned for pro-mutant propaganda is quite striking.

When it comes to the art, Napalitano’s work here is a drop in quality and style when compared to Andrew Wildman’s art. His art is not terrible and he exerted effort on translating the script into images but the work looks rushed. There were some weirdly drawn faces of Rogue, Xavier and Wolverine to name some. The action scenes meanwhile lacked punch.

Conclusion

3
The dark future of the X-Men and their society.

While X-Men Adventures #14 served its purpose on completing the adaptation of Days of Future Past, it failed to deliver the great stuff even though the script was strong. The sub-par art of Napalitano really dragged the presentation down making the comic book end with a whimper.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men Adventures #14, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $6 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $21.

Overall, X-Men Adventures #14 (1993) is satisfactory.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at X-Men 2099: Oasis

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

According to the online edition of Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an oasis is something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast. In the case of X-Men 2099, the open areas of the southwestern region of the United States is a dangerous place to be in even though they are free from oppressive systems of control that dominate cities. As such, it is the southwestern region in 2099 can be compared to the Old West in history where there are lots of desolate places as well as lots outcasts and outlaws. Unlike their mainstream counterparts, the X-Men of the far future are nomads and they don’t have a long-term place of residence they could call home. Considering how dangerous the region is for the mutants, a haven of peace, security and prosperity is always ideal to them but only if it is indeed real.

That is what we will explore in the one-shot comic book X-Men 2099: Oasis here.

But before proceeding with the review, it has to be emphasized first that the one-shot comic book which was made special with the painted art of the Hilderbrandt brothers Greg and Tim. For long-time X-Men 2099 scribe John Francis Moore, Oasis was like a big dream come true. When asked during an online interview about his recollections on making X-Men 2099: Oasis and working with the Hilderbrandt Brothers, Moore stated:

I was a fan of the Hildebrandt’s fantasy illustration, and I was blown away when Joey told me that they wanted to do an X-men 2099 project. I met with them in Joey’s office and they were both really great guys. I think they said they really liked Bloodhawk, so I knew he’d be a major player in whatever story we developed. They didn’t enter the project with a lot of conditions. They seemed genuinely happy to get to play in this corner of the Marvel universe.

I can’t remember ever writing a full script for any of my Marvel work. I gave them a plot and sometime later received Xeroxes of pencil art (Hildebrant art!) to dialogue. Then it went back for them to paint, and they did a phenomenal job. I only wish that it could’ve been published before the 2099 line was axed. It was a beautiful book that I think was sadly under promoted.

To find out if it is any good, here is a look back at X-Men 2099: Oasis published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and painted art done by Greg and Tim Hilderbrandt.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The comic book begins with a flashback set in Hong Kong in the year 2090. A much younger Shakti/Cerebra is on the loose trying to reach a ferry to Kowloon with a plan to hide in the back alleys of Tsimshatsui. Suddenly Lokjaw intercepts her and grabs her. They had a short history together and Lokjaw insists that Shakti should be grateful to her father who raised her to run his bio-shops. After a brief chase, something hits Lokjaw who fell into the water. It turns out Ryu Kobolt helped Shakti, and he has been instructed by his boss to offer her asylum.

11
Luna and Skullfire explore a place.

In the present day of 2099 in New Mexico, Bloodhawk flies to his desert home not knowing he is being monitored. Two people, an old man with white hair and a lady, work together to stun the X-Men member and take him with them. A short time later, inside a high-tech facility, Bloodhawk wakes up finding himself restrained and being watched over by the lady and the old man. They tell him he is in the Promised Land, a place where the sins of the old world will be washed away. Using her powers, she touches Bloodhawk’s head and slowly turns him into his normal human form.

Meanwhile outside a deserted town near the border between Colorado and Kansas, Shakti, Tim/Skullfire and Luna arrive riding motorcycles. They are checking the potential presence of a mutant nearby…

Quality

15
Really great visuals by the Hilderbrandt brothers!

It is very safe to say that this is one very ambitious X-Men 2099 story ever told by John Francis Moore. It sure has an epic concept showing that Oasis in the open region not only exists, but also serves as the closest thing humanity in America has to imitating Heaven built on top of the land. Oasis is the indoor paradise where mutants and humans gather together, live in peace and work together in tremendous ways that the X-Men could only hope to achieve in Halo City (note: this story is set some time after X-Men 2099 #25).

The titular place is clearly the centerpiece of the story backed with characters and threads from the past that explain how it got established. Part of the creation of Oasis is connected with Ryu Kobolt whom Shakti got close with many years back. Of course, someone else got involved with Ryu which directly connects with the creation of Oasis.

While it is also clear that the story took some inspiration from Christianity, I should say that the approach was done by rehashing old storytelling concepts like emphasizing a charismatic person who looks godly or messianic, people getting converted with ways that are not holy, false prophets misleading those seeking salvation, etc. With the ages-old concept of the mad scientists added, then there is conflict here for the X-Men to engage with. The story touches on themes like destiny, conversion, having the power to judge people and committing genocide.

As for the characters, John Francis Moore made the right move to utilize Shakti, Bloodhawk, Skullfire and Luna of the X-Men, however the other new characters such as Memphis, Pandora and Ryu pale in comparison with regards to importance (even though Memphis and Ryu each had a good amount of the spotlight and even some character development).

When it comes to the artwork, this is one great looking superhero, sci-fi story in painted form thanks to the Hilderbrandt brothers! Not only is their painted art beautiful to look at, there are also eye-catching shots of scenery, very detailed facial expressions and a very lively presentation of the action scenes and explosions! Each and every character painted – specifically Shakti, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Luna, Memphis, Pandora and Ryu – has that touch of visual realism (note: not photo realism) that make them look more human to the eyes (especially the X-Men members when compared to how they were drawn by Ron Lim and Jan Duursema in the monthly series). This is one great looking comic book and easily one of the very best of the X-Men of 2099!

Conclusion

16
The Oasis!

X-Men 2099: Oasis is a one-shot comic book that almost matched its high ambition. While it has some of the best painted superhero art of the 1990s ever, the storytelling just did not engage me that much. For one thing, its approach on taking inspiration from Christianity is very flawed not only due to rehashing storytelling concepts but also due to the fact that everything – including the titular Oasis – had to be concluded already. Even though there was a build-up leading to a final conflict, the payoff was not that great and ultimately there was a sense of rush in the 2nd half of the story.

What is also disappointing is the fact that the events told here did not really impact Shakti, Skullfire, Luna and Bloodhawk at all, nor was there anything added to the narrative of the X-Men 2099 monthly series. This is too bad because the existence of a haven where people can live in and be protected from the prejudice and violence in the region fit nicely with the concept of X-Men 2099 in the first place. Even though there was a reference to issue #25 during the first half, this comic book ended up looking like a dream story or a parallel universe tale with a $5.95 cover price! It seems to me like this was more like a cash-grab attempt to exploit comic collectors and the fans of X-Men 2099.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099: Oasis, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $14.

Overall, X-Men 2099: Oasis is a serviceable one-shot comic book. That being said, if you really intend to buy it, you should not pay more than $5 for it.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #34

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Even within the Marvel 2099 universe, the concept of the messiah figure arriving to change people’s destiny has been used. What is notable about this concept, apart from being a cliché, is that it was implemented so close to the end of the X-Men 2099 monthly series in the mid-1990s and the 2099 editor Joey Cavalieri was fired by Marvel Comics at a time of corporate turmoil. The firing led to the resignation of other writers who were sympathetic with Cavalieri. It should be noted that the last time Cavalieri’s name was listed on the credits was in issue #31.

As such, things went downhill for Marvel Comics and the 2099 line as a whole. In retrospect, did the messiah concept result any improvements for the quality of the X-Men 2099 franchise?

This is my retro comic book review of X-Men 2099 #34, published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the monstrous-looking Vulcann instantly transforming Joachim (the son of Eddie/Metalhead and Rosa) from infant form into an adult. When asked by the now-grown Joachim who he is, Vulcann lies to him saying: I am your lord and master. My word is absolute as is my love for you. Obey me and I will give you a world that will worship at your feet.

Meanwhile during a stormy day just outside of Halo City, Skullfire, Luna and Krystalin arrive in floating motorcycles. Their new task, which is very daunting, is to help as much as possible as the sea level has risen so much it has flooded the city they are responsible for (as the protectorate).

Shortly after, the X-Men and others meet in Halo City’s tower digitally communicating with Savant who explains that weather patterns around the world are equally aberrant as the storm affecting the city. He also mentions that based on the findings of Alchemax Geotechs, the polar ice caps were melting at an alarming rate…

Quality

16
Shakti returns in this comic book.

First of all, I should say that effort was made to raise the stakes within the story. The introduction of the adult Joachim guided by the evil, over-sized Vulcann was meant to show a twisted take of Christianity’s God and Jesus and turn it into a new anti-hero force against the X-Men.. Then there is the shock on Joachim’s parents, Xi’an’s return to the city and the global weather instability caused by the arrival of another moon orbiting Earth.

The problem here is that the story as a whole was not very compelling, even though the creative team brought heavy spotlight back on the X-Men after spending it on Xi’an and the Lawless. Speaking of X-Men relevance, the creators also brought Shakti back to this monthly series ending her absence (note: she was with the youth team X-Nation which had its own series). Granted, the stakes were raised but the payoff was not too strong specifically for this comic book.

Along the way, Jan Duuersema did what she could to make this story look good.

Conclusion

7
The analysis of a moon-sized satellite orbiting earth makes a good build-up for a mission.

To put it bluntly, X-Men 2099 #34 has the weakest story since before issue #25. In this comic book, I did not care much about the rushed return of Xi’an and Shakti in Halo City. I should also state that having Vulcann and Joachim parallel Christianity’s God and Jesus was done in a very bad taste even though the purpose (apart from giving the X-Men opposition) was to show that the X-Men themselves are no longer worthy to be mutantkind’s standard-bearers right in the city filled with many mutants and other outcasts. The portrayal of the X-Men, meanwhile, felt hollow and not worth caring for which makes the return of the spotlight on them a waste.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #34, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $6 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $21.

Overall, I don’t recommend buying X-Men 2099 #34 above fifty cents. Better save your money.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #3

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Right from the start, I got hooked with The Strangers and kept on anticipating the next stories. When it comes to superhero comic books, I am fond of superhero teams like the X-Men, the Teen Titans, Freex, Justice League and WildC.A.T.s

One of the things I enjoyed most from The Strangers #1, which was one of the launch titles of the Ultraverse, was the characterization. Each member of the Strangers was efficiently introduced and his/her uniqueness (apart from having a special ability) caught my attention. And then there was the plot structure that kept me reading for more.

When it comes to the very good quality of storytelling and characterization in The Strangers #1, it should not be much of a surprise since the author Steve Englehart worked on Marvel’s The Avengers, The Defenders and the West Coast Avengers. Englehart also wrote Justice League of America for DC Comics.

With that short history lesson done, we can now take a look back at The Strangers #3, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and illustrated by Rick Hoberg.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the Stangers already in battle with a group called TNTNT composed of Tyrannosaur, Naiad, Torso, Neu-Ronnie and Tugun. The heroic ultras find themselves struggling with their opponents. Just as Tyrannosaur punches one of the Strangers, he states: We want our victims to know us! The work we do precludes us from receiving our proper recognition elsewhere! We are the kings of destruction and death!

The fight goes on…

Quality

14
Really in-depth characterization in this flashback.

Let me make it clear to you all that this comic book is mainly a huge battle between the Strangers and TNTNT. However, it is not exactly the overly long, battle royale at all nor is it a brainless story. In fact, at key segments of the comic book, the narrative switches between the battles and flashbacks that not only explain what happened since the end of issue #2 but also showed other events that happened during the Strangers’ free time.

The flashbacks showed the Strangers interacting with each other like normal people. There was this nice scene showing Atom Bob and his teammates visit his parents’ home and have a nice dinner together. It was also during the flashbacks where the character development really got deep and by the time the story ended, I got to know the Strangers even more.

Going back to the long battle, it is clearly a showcase of spectacle in the form of superhero action and the use of their special abilities. Unsurprisingly, Rick Hoberg’s visuals really brought the script to life here. Really good imagery here and there! Also I should say that Hoberg’s designs on the members of TNTNT were really good, even comparable with the Strangers’ designs.

Conclusion

7
This is just a taste of the action-heavy battle.

The Strangers #3 is fun and compelling to read. What makes this different from issues #1 and #2 is that following the narrative (which switches between the present day battle and the character-driven flashbacks) can be challenging at first. As such, this is a comic book that needs to be re-read in order to fully understand the story. It has a lot of action, super powers showcased and enough character development! Finally, I should say that Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg crafted a pretty powerful build-up leading to the last page.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #3, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $8.

Overall, The Strangers #3 is recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At X-Men 2099 #33

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

When I first read X-Men 2099 #1 way back in 1993, I found Xi’an a pretty interesting team leader. He was a reformed person driven to help not only his fellow mutants but other people described as outcasts who are all unwanted by what he referred to as corporate structures that look down on them. The big speech he delivered in issue #1 technically highlighted diversity which reminds me of how the Political Left of America emphasizes it for their self-serving socio-political agenda. Of course in the comic book, Xi’an did not highlight diversity for political gain but to help the outcasts live on with hope and move forward to choose their destiny.

Several issues later, demons from Xi’an’s past with the Lawless caught up with him and made his leadership of the X-Men questionable. Xi’an then became more impulsive, more violent and a less compassionate person.

This time, as I’m about to do this retro comic book review, Xi’an past with the Lawless finally got him and anyone who liked him as X-Men leader will find him very alienating.

Here’s a look back at X-Men 2099 #33, published by Marvel Comics in 1996 with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Jan Duursema.

Cover
Perhaps this comic book should have been re-titled as The Lawless…

Early story

The story begins with Xi’an and the Lawless on the move searching for the Foolkiller who captured their teammate Mongrel (who strongly resembles Hank McCoy/Beast of the mainstream X-Men). As Mongrel and the Foolkiller exchange words with each other, the Lawless arrive to get their teammate back and fight.

Elsewhere in Halo City, Eddie/Metalhead and Rosa enjoy the nice new place with their baby. They have a friend accompanying them. The peace gets broken when two beasts suddenly appeared to attack them…..

Quality

16
Some dynamic action by Jan Duursema.

Even though John Francis Moore continued to write consistently and proved to be knowledgeable about all the characters introduced in this monthly series, I should say that the concept of this comic book did not interest me that much. Like the previous issue, this one was less about the X-Men and more about the Lawless (with the continued spotlight on Xi’an) but the more I read it, I found myself becoming less interested. Nothing here impressed me.

As for the art, Jan Duursema’s work here showed how quickly she adapted the established look of not only the characters but also Halo City. Her art here is pretty good. She was a worthy replacement for Ron Lim. John Francis Moore himself stated in an interview that Duursema did an admirable job.

Conclusion

2
The blue-skinned character is NOT Hank McCoy/Beast.

After the dramatic turn of events for the mutants of 2099 told in issue #25, X-Men 2099 #33 is so far the weakest follow-up. It’s not a terrible comic book, it’s just not too interesting and not too compelling. Anyone who is dedicated with the X-Men team will be disappointed with the shift of the spotlight moved to the Lawless.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #33, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #33 is serviceable. If you intend to really spend money on this comic book, better buy it below its cover price. Really, you should be conscious about your money when it comes to collecting back issues of this past monthly series of the 1990s.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #32

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

If you were one of the early fans of X-Men 2099 and you admire Xi’an a lot, then this next comic book I’m about review may interest you. For one thing, a whole lot has changed during the first year of the X-Men 2099 when demons from Xi’an’s past caught up with him. Since issue #25, he became much less prominent until something started building up in issue #31.

That being said, here is a look back at X-Men 2099 #32 published by Marvel Comics in 1996 with a story written by John Francis Moore and illustrated by Jan Duursema (replacing Ron Lim).

Early story

The comic book opens with a flashback set sometime in the year 2094. There on the streets of New Hope, Texas, was the gang called the Lawless led by Xi’an accompanied by his teammates including Junkpile and Ten Eagles. As a badly wounded man points his gun at him, Xi’an strikes him hard boasting supremacy.

In the present day over at Halo City, members of X-Nation spend time at a bar called The Negative Zone. They turn away a drunk blonde guy (a mutant actually) who tried to meddle with them. As the said guy leaves the bar, he bumps into a large guy who reacts by striking him. Elsewhere in the city, a large man-like beast arrives to meet Maim, Xi’an and Ten Eagles…

Quality

12
Jan Duursema’s quite good on flashy action as well as capturing the look of Meanstreak.

While the writing remains engaging and balanced with spectacle, be aware that this comic book is essentially more about the Lawless than the X-Men themselves. On face value, it looked like this was a clever set-up for a potential project featuring the Lawless complete with a villain called Foolkiller who was portrayed to be very menacing and has a major plan of his own.

Those who are followers of Xi’an will have a lot to enjoy as he slowly starts regaining the spotlight but with his old gangmates. Quite symbolically in this comic book, Xi’an even said: “It seems I cannot escape the violence of my past.”

Regarding the X-Men of 2099, their presence in this comic book is pretty short but there is a very nice reunion (note: the cover of issue #31 was technically a giveaway) that makes this story worth reading. As the reunion connected to the past, there is something brewing that would impact their future.

When it comes to the artwork, I find Jan Duursema’s work here quite good to look at. Her take on the existing X-Men members like Meanstreak, Krystalin, Metalhead, Luna and Bloodhawk was solid, and I easily recognized them. Like Ron Lim, Duursema is quite capable of visualizing action scenes. Finally, her drawing of a very angry Xi’an at the end of the story is eye-catching.

Conclusion

7
That blue-skinned beast is NOT Hank McCoy/Beast!

Given the fact that this is a story more focused on Xi’an and the return of his old gang, it’s clear that X-Men 2099 #32 will satisfy fans of the character Xi’an as well as those who want to take a short break from the main X-Men team. The short appearance of X-Nation members should delight followers of the X-Nation series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #32, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $9 and $11 respectively.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #32 is satisfactory. It is enjoyable to a certain extent but don’t pay too much for this comic book.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #31

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

As mentioned before, much of the stories of X-Men 2099 were set in the southwestern region of the United States which gave the team’s adventures and misadventures a unique setting completely different from what was shown in the stories of Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099. Along the way, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim crafted stories that made the mutants of the far future unique when compared to the X-Men of the 20th century. Stories were, for the most part, original.

Historically speaking, the X-Men 2099 monthly series ended with a total of thirty-five issues. As such we are gradually nearing the end as we take a close look back at X-Men 2099 #31 published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Ron Lim.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Mexico. There a Metro Express train moves on its track smoothly until it comes close to hitting Skullfire who was just standing in front of it. Suddenly, Meanstreak grabs Skullfire moving him out of the path of the train and on to a safe spot where Luna is. Luna reminds Meanstreak that Skullfire has not been himself since their team took out the Graverobber. Meanstreak is not convinced that Tim/Skullfire has returned to normal, and he stressed that their team almost fell apart only because one leader fell off the deep end.

4
Meanstreak, Skullfire and Luna on a mission in Mexico.

As it turns out, the three of them are on a mission searching for a mutant who sent them a message claiming he was being held against his will. They start moving towards to the headquarters of the Quetzalcoatl Corporation and their mission is to raid it.

Meanwhile at another location in Mexico, a gray, rock-like mutant is held prisoner in the dark. Chairman Belize contacts him via live video asking for the market overviews he requested. The imprisoned mutant does not want to cooperate.

Back at Halo City, former X-Men leader Xi’an talks with Ten Eagles (note: Krystalin met him in the wasteland some time ago) who now has a brand new cybernetic arm…

Quality

There was no surprise that John Francis Moore confidently crafted another story showing members of the X-Men separated and placed in different situations far away from each other. As such, the characters got developed more while the plot (or in this comic book, tales of each group of X-Men) thickened.

Without spoiling too much, it was refreshing to see renewed spotlight on Xi’an and Ten Eagles, which helped flesh out the personality of Krystalin. As for the mission of Meanstreak, Skullfire and Luna, it’s nice to see them out of Halo City and take things seriously to accomplish something very important.

Regarding the mysterious mutant imprisoned by a corporation’s leader, the story emphasized once again the theme of the state of mutants in 2099 – mutants are of a lower social class disregarded or exploited by the people who have more money and power (try comparing this to the classic mutants-and-humans conflict of the classic X-Men). To analyze things a bit, there is a bit of Political Leftist influence in the presentation. Come to think of it, the concept of so-called progressive diversity within the X-Men of 2099 had started since the beginning of this monthly series. I’m confident that today’s self-proclaimed socialists, social justice warriors (SJWs) and liberals will find something to relate with in this comic book.

Regarding the art of Ron Lim, he delivered solid visuals as expected. He also exerted effort on visualizing futuristic technology that made sense within Marvel 2099’s fantasy.

Conclusion

X-Men 2099 #31 is fun and worth spending time to read. Just don’t let the cover art mislead you on what to expect with the story.

15
An action scene.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #31, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $7 while the newsstand edition’s near-mint copy costs $21.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #31 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at X-Men 2099 #30

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

With the conclusion of the 4-part storyline involving the Undead gang, the X-Men of 2099 find themselves literally back to Square One complete with Skullfire having returned. The team also accepted that their former teammate Serpentina has really come to an end. As the security handlers of Halo City, the X-Men find themselves dealing with responsibilities.

Here’s a look back at X-Men 2099 #30, published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story by John Francis Moore and art by Ron Lim.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins at a medical center in Halo City where Shakti/Cerebra watches her father in a coma. Her teammate Krystallin is with her. Shakti shares some threads from her past and admits to Krys that her father represented everything she despised. Suddenly their boss Morphine arrives, turning off Shakti who abruptly leaves him and Krys.

Walking alone in a part of the city, Shakti notices that some – a mutant – has been following her. She turns and sees Billy, one of the Free Radicals Krys encountered in X-Men 2099 #19. He gives her a high-tech coin. Upon receiving it, Shakti gets transported elsewhere in a flash.

Elsewhere, a ship full of passengers arrives at a dock. Among them are two young guys named Clarion and Nostromo. Even Clarion told him he will take him to Halo City, Nostromo is very uncertain of himself stating that he should not even be alive. After being told of gaining a second chance, Nostromo decided to go down the ship and join Clarion for the journey…

Quality

14
Nothing like getting cornered during your first ever visit to a city.

After going through all the battles and intrigue between the X-Men and the Undead in the past few issues, X-Men 2099 #30 is literally a breath of fresh air. This comic book has a well made story by John Francis Moore emphasizing youth mutants, Halo City’s continued development as a key destination diverse people, and most notably the coming of anticipated messiah among the mutants. What I also enjoyed here is the renewed focus on the state of mutants in 2099, specifically in the southwestern region of the United States.

Without going into spoiler territory, I can confirm that X-Men 2099 #30 serves as a set-up for X-Nation, which is arguably the futuristic X-Men’s version of The New Mutants. That’s not to say that this comic book is just a set-up. Other than that, its focus on Shakti and the important role she’s about to have with mutants is quite engaging.

Conclusion

11
This is one of the few visual references to the 20th century X-Men.

Other than being a very good comic book on its own, X-Men 2099 #30 clearly showed that John Francis Moore was very confident on taking the monthly series on yet a new direction while paving the way for expanding elements of the Marvel 2099 universe which eventually led to the establishment of a short-lived series called X-Nation 2099.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #30, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $7 while the newsstand edition’s near-mint copy is worth $21.

Overall, X-Men 2099 #30 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com