April 2019



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Aug. 3rd, 2018


| 216 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design - Second Genesis (X-Men: Grand Design)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 1.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: August 3, 2018
Book Summary: The sequel to the critical smash hit X-MEN GRAND DESIGN is here - and it's ALL-NEW and ALL-DIFFERENT! Witness Wolverine, Thunderbird, Colossus, Storm, and Sunfire suit up as X-Men for the very first time all over again! And then the Shi'ar! The Brood! The Starjammers! Watch as Marvel's merry mutants take to the stars. See the first X-Men adventures of Kitty Pryde and Carol Danvers. Marvel at the conclusion of the now-classic DARK PHOENIX SAGA. All through the lens of indie auteur ED PISKOR, who lovingly researches, writes, pencils, inks, colors and letters every page just for you! This volume also includes an issue of Giant Size X-Men and pinups by Art Adams, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and Joe Madureira masterfully recolored by Ed. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree (9" x 13").
Book Review: I wish I could say something good about this comic book.

Okay I can say something good. This issue follows the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas - two of my favorite X-Men storyline.

Unfortunately the art leaves something to be desirable. I feel like a three-year-old could draw better than this. Jean's Dark Phoenix face in several panels looks awkward and just plain weird to the point of being almost creepy.

This was the one comic book I was looking forward to but there isn't much more of the Phoenix entity and it really honing in on Jean. I see it seems to make a connection with her during the period of radiation in the solar storm. But in the last issues we got panels of the Phoenix as it traveled; I saw none of this in this issue.

So disappointed. :/

Jan. 14th, 2018


| 153 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design (2017-2018) #2 (of 2)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 4/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 14, 2018
Book Summary: Revisit all of X-Men history with Eisner-winning writer/artist Ed Piskor!!! Relive the biggest moments in X-Men history: The flight of the Sentinels! The discovery of the Savage Land!! The death of Charles Xavier!!! For the X-Fan inside everyone!
Book Review: "Until the Universe blinks out, there is always more to the story"
-Uatu the Watcher

This issue picks up right where the last issue has left off. Where issue one introduced the stories of mostly Jean and Scott, this one kinda moves toward the X-Villians as well as the X-Men as a team. Of course, we do see more of the Phoenix here as well.

Our first villians are quickly introduced as Mesmero, Mastermind, and Magneto. Magneto is a mutant who has the ability to deal with the electromagnetic energy. He can manipulate to his whim and he is considered one of the most powerful mutants because of it.

Xavier pushes his X-Men into battle against Magneto but whether or not they have won against him is really not known. Magneto has put up a battle and so did the X-Men. In the end, Magneto's departure has left questions that have no answers at the moment.

Their next opponents did not give the X-Men much of a chance to recover from Magneto. Much like Magneto, these mutants were angry at being outcasts in human society and did their best to upset the delicate balance that the X-Men were trying to thread together that would keep war from happening. Although these mutants were often defeated and put away for some time, it did not necessarily mean they had changed their colors. They continued their war against humanity and the X-Men as much as they could.

Magneto's complete hatred of humanity is well documented throughout his course of run-ins with the X-Men. In the beginning, he held a team called the Mutant of Evil Mutants and had them carry out his agenda to destroy humanity. Unfortunately some of Magneto's plans often tried changing those non-mutants into mutants themselves. He wanted to make a society filled with mutants and he the ruler. Of course, the X-Men were not about to let this happen and clashed heavily with the Brotherhood time and time again.

Magneto was not one to take a beating and simply disappear forever. No, that was not Magneto's character at all. He believed in trying to get other mutants to join in his crusade against the human population. Unfortunately he did not count on others to be there to help out such as the Fantastic Four, whom battled against Namor's anger for humanity.

Magneto continued on recruiting for his cause unaware that there was another mutant waiting in the shadows and bidding his time. The mutant named Mutant Master whose interested reigned upon the Phoenix Force. He sent out his leiutenants out in search for ways to gain information to the Phoenix Force. Unfortunately they often meet up against the X-Men with no chance of gaining any sort of information Mutant Master required.

When their plan crashes, the X-Men find themselves in a new world called The Savage Land. Here the world seems locked in time to millions of years ago. Here dinosaurs and ancient humans roam the land battling to be the dominant species. They are unaware that the outside world is under attack by an invader named The Stranger has learned that the Mutant Master may have an idea on whom the next Phoenix host may be on Earth. Unfortunately he is not quite welcomed by Magneto and the two battle it out.

And this leads to Mastermind being turned into stone.

The X-Men's next opponent is Xavier's half brother, Cain Mako aka the Juggernaunt. From there, it becomes Trask and his robots called the Sentientals.

It is not long before Jean has had enough and decides that it has come time for her to leave the X-Men. After having villians try to discredit them and their cause and to be public enemy with the Avengers determined to capture them and bring them forth to justice, Jean believes that it has become too dangerous for her to continue. She leaves the X-Men and transitions into civilian life. Here she finds herself leading a normal life and finding love unaware that Mastermind has been trying to get his hands on her.

With Jean gone, the X-Men are continued to be hunted and are introduced to a new villian named The Banshee. He attacks the X-Men and is taken down by the new member named The Mimic. They learn that Banshee has been brainwashed by a mutant named Master Mutant, whom they discover, is still trying to find clues as to whom the Phoenix Force is coming for.

Mimic is quickly removed from the ranks of the X-Men and Jean returns after having her own battles against other mutant villians. During the time, Cain is put up to wires and finds himself yelling "It's here! I can feel it!" Xavier has no idea exactly what his brother is yelling about.

Cain escapes the X-Men and meets up with Banshee's evil cousin named Black Tom.

During this time, Xavier vanishes off the face of the Earth and no one has any idea where he may be. Jean does her best using Cerebro in hopes of finding him but even that turns out to be useless. As she is in communication with Banshee, she tries to warn him to watch out but Banshee is hit from behind by a bolt of energy and crashes below.

We find out that Mutant Master has Xavier, whom Mutant Master believes is one of the most powerful mutants and is the one the Phoenix Force will be seeking out. A battle between ensues between the X-Men and Mutant Master but the X-Men are captured. Jean uses what is last of her power reserves to awaken Banshee and Xavier. The X-Men free themselves and another battle ensues again and the Mutant Master is revealed to a space alien. As his co-horts turn against him, He does the one thing he believes that will keep out of their hands - he destroys himself.

I think I have shared enough on this issue. The rest will be up to you to read. We know that the next issue will deal with both the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas.

Once again, I must say that this was indeed a worthy issue to pick up. I love how Ed Piskor is compacting the X-history into these issues and giving us a bit more of the Phoenix Force than I expected. There was so much information to wrap my head around that I came out from the last page wishing that the third issue was out but I will have to wait until the coming week. :D

My only harp is the art. In one of the panels, Jean's hands looked huge and so out of place within the panel. I think that has been only grip with these issues is the art doesn't feel up to standards. I am quite sure it is just me and just my pet peeve. :D

Here is to the next issue!

Jan. 13th, 2018


| 151 |

Title: X-Men: Grand Design (2017-2018) #1 (of 2)
Author: Ed Piskor
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: January 12, 2018 to January 13, 2018
Book Summary: From Eisner award-winning creator Ed Piskor (Hip-Hop Family Tree) comes a thrilling new series chronicling all of X-Men history! X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN stitches together the most important moments in mutant history, creating a comprehensive narrative celebrating the X-Men's past, present, and future. The first in a trilogy, GRAND DESIGN returns to Charles Xavier's assembly of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and Beast! A must for fans looking to brush up on their X-Men lore or as jumping-on point for Marvel's merry mutants.
Book Review: In this new series, we find Uatu the Watcher observing the Earth and it's inhabitants. He calls over Recorder, a small little human-like robot, that lands on his shoulder. Recorder tells him that another Watcher by the name of Eternity had been a bit concerned about him.

Uatu seems to ignore the concern from the other Watcher and decides that the time has come for them to begin their story of Earth.

And he begins to weave his tale of the inhabitants of Earth, speaking of the mutants that had been part of Earth's history for as long as humans have been on the planet.

Then his tale turns to the Mutants such Namor and Howard Stark, whom had bought a powerful technology from the Xaviers.

And this, my friend, is where our story really begins to take root. We see Xavier and Storm herself as a child on the streets of Cairo. Xavier is determined to save her from Amahl Farouk, the leader of the thieves, aka The Shadow King.

After he returns to his home, Xavier begins to work on a project called Cerebro. Here he will be able to find other mutants and be able to offer them help.

And one would be in need of his help as a young child - Jean Grey.

She and her friend were playing when tragically her friend was hit by a car. Jean felt guilty for not being able to save her friend and withdrew into the recesses of her mind in trying to cope with her death.

Several light years away from Earth, a powerful deity named the Phoenix Force was scourging around galaxies in search for the one who would be able to host her powers. But in a single moment, it would change direction and head toward the galaxy that encased Earth within having felt the energy coming from one Jean Grey. It knew it had found it had the right host.

It is then the story turns to Scott Summers' family. Here we find that precisely after the Phoenix Force has felt the powerful energy of Jean Grey, the Shi'Ar have captured Christopher and Katherine Summers. Unfortunately the couple would watch their plane, a Cessna, blow up taking their kids with it. Katherine, distraught by the thought of losing her children, made the decision that she would never allow anyone to take her and the Shi'Ar responded by destroying her.

Here we continue the mutant history of others such as Angel and the arrival of Magneto's team, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

This was an interesting condensing version of the mutant universe of the X-Men. I love how we get a bit more fresh information upon this universe. We see things that only Uatu has been able to see from his vantage point. Here he is the observer over history. He tells you how things have been since the beginning of humanity and how mutants had become part of that history - the good and bad parts of it.

I really enjoyed this one. I am not a fan of the art though. I did like the way the pages seemed rather old as if we are looking back at older comics that have since yellowed with age. But I do suppose that with Uatu behind the scenes giving us his take, that it was made to be this way.

I am looking forward to seeing how the last issue comes out.