Friday Fights#21: House of Magneto vs. House of Vader

vaders-vs-magnetosIt’s time for some villainous family feuding! What would happen if Magneto and kids tussled with Darth Vader and his own set of twins? The two sides have a pretty elaborate and expanded family tree but we’re focusing on Magneto, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch going up against Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

What you get with both families is a lot of dysfunctional relationships. Both the Vaders and the House of M have a lot of similarities. Both of them are headed by a father with some serious emotional issues, who have really strained (at best) relations with their children. After all, they have tried to kill them several times over the years! Luke and Leia are more stable than Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; unfortunately the Skywalker twins accidentally made out! On the mutant side of things, it’s not much better as the twins are always trying to gain their father’s acceptance, even though they consider him to be a threat to the universe!

Ultimately both groups would have to coexist among themselves. The battle isn’t a matter of the Force vs. magnetism; it’s once Scarlet Witch uses her reality warping to take out her Jedi combatants. And after that, Magneto will take his kids to McDonalds for a Happy Meal.

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Uncanny Avengers: Thor Drinks Lattes And Brainsnatching Fun

Uncanny Avengers #1 reminds me of one of those comics that reminds me of my childhood when my brother and I would pool together all of our super hero toys and make up our own groups. Is USAgent in the Justice League? Sure. Does the Avengers consist of Iron Man, Thor, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Savage Dragon? You betcha. What writer Rick Remender did in this issue was brought together that spirit of non-traditional team ups.

The Marvel Universe is still recovering from the whole Avengers/X-Men feud, and this book sets the stage for the two team’s first real joint partnership. Captain America and Thor are really giving Havok the hard sell on how much they respect him and Charles Xavier’s legacy, and how both sides need to put them past them. And unlike his brother Cyclops, Havok sees the value in working with non-mutantkind. The three get to team up for the first time to stop a lobotomized Avalanche.

The mutual admiration doesn’t extend to Scarlet Witch and Rogue, who will not forgive Wanda for intentionally almost eradicating the mutant population. This all takes place at Professor X’s grave site, which is something he would have never wanted to see. Before they can resolve their differences, Red Skull’s forces arrive to not only take them out but take the Professor’s corpse. Red Skull needs it for some diabolical plot to exterminate the mutant race.

Remender puts this together in a really fun, only in comics way. We have an awkward team up (that is surely to improve as the series go by as they grow personally), lots of big characters and a plot that is simply ridiculous, but in a good way. All the while, he finds a way to make the dialogue work. The only thing that came across kind of odd was the scene where Cap and Thor are talking about stepping out to get something to eat with Havok, and Thor talks about how much he likes lattes. Very silly yes, but it would work. I could totally see the character get into really weird human food like that.

The art is by John Cassaday is great as usual. This is definitely a fun book and I’m sure I’ll catch up with it once it comes out in trade format.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade Review

The 2000s were a terrible decade for the Scarlet Witch. She finally gas a nervous breakdown from when the children she had during her marriage with the synthezoid VIsion (having babies from your robot husband would be enough for most people); finally taking out her rage on her Avengers pal and later reshaping reality in a way that would make her father the villainous Magneto proud. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade is her chance at redemption.

It turns out that the Young Avengers Speed and Wiccan really are the reincarnated souls of her sons William and Tommy. They never really explain how this happened; I guess the writer Allen Heinberg had more interesting things to work on. With them believing that the Scarlet Witch is their mother, they set out with the rest of their team and an oddly helpful Magneto to find her. Obviously, the Avengers proper see this as a threat, especially with them not wanting her or the similarly reality-bending powered Wiccan to recreate the events of Avengers Disassembled. The X-Men have an interest in finding the Scarlet Witch too, as Cyclops in particular wants her punished for her forever changing the lives of mutants, when she was able to wish away most of their mutations.

Eventually, the young heroes find an amnesic Scarlet Witch about to get married to Doctor Doom, who has been protecting her and giving her refuge  the last few years. When I read that, it was a double take moment…he was doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, nothing that Doctor Doom ever does is for purely nice reasons. He caused her to have the crazy destroy everything nervous breakdown, and pretty much is the root of all evil in the Marvel universe the last few years. After he steals her powers, it is up to the Avengers young and old alongside the X-Men to stop him. And along the way, Iron Lad returns briefly (engineering some plot that will be revealed in the future when he returns as Kang the Conqueror) and there is a switch with the living and dead members of the Lang family–they are able to resurrect the father Scott (better known as Ant Man) but his daughter Stature is killed defeating Doom.

Children’s Crusade unfortunately has an ending that I still don’t completely understand. If you remember, the following people were after Scarlet Witch:

  • The Avengers wanted her in custody so she could never cause an Avengers Disassembled like crisis. Wolverine takes it one step further, wanting to kill her and letting this never be an issue again.
  • The X-Men want her tried (and implied her death) as punishment for her wishing away the overwhelming amount of the mutant community.
  • X-Factor even gets in the act, with her reappearance leading to a bounty being placed on her head.

So what happens? Scarlet Witch winds up going on a journey of self exploration–they let her go. Really? REALLY? Since then, Scarlet Witch hasn’t made a peep in comics.

Ending aside, I really enjoyed this. At its heart, it’s a family story with a boy and his grandfather teaming up to save his mother. It’s very heartfelt, everyone from Quicksilver to Captain America, all play their part very well. And the art by Jim Cheung was killer.

Avengers West Coast #60

So this was a weird issue. Avengers West Coast #60 was the pack in comic that comes with the Quicksilver and Wonder Man Marvel Universe action figure set. Reading it was like catching a movie after missing the first 35 minutes.

The issue starts with time traveling villain preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy–with no reason given. Just as you process that, the story jumps to the Avengers West Coast’s base in California which was damaged from a recent attack. They really don’t explain what had happened, but the point is made that everyone thinks that USAgent is a bit of a tool and that they want Hawkeye to take a more active leadership role in the team, which anyone can understand.

The story then jumps again to Asteroid M, where Magneto and Scarlet Witch are trying to get Quicksilver to join their latest evil family scheme, to which he says no. They battle, Quicksilver pulls the teleporting Inhuman dog Lockjaw out of his belt (apparently Pietro likes to carry this poor animal around at all times), and they all reappear at the West Coast compound. There’s fighting and the book ends with Immortus claiming Scarlet Witch as his bride. Wow.

Writers Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas seem to have written this issue in the story of what would be known as crash television in professional wrestling circles. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the style of writing a wrestling program where things are constantly happening in a jarring manner that was super popular in the late 1990s. This comic–even though it debuted way before the crash tv era in wrestling–is a perfect example of it.

I’m all confused now so I think I’ll take a nap.