Tag Archives: magneto

XH1-XH5 – HOLOGRAMS

5 Sep

With the checklist card I feel like we’d already reached some form of closure so I figured I would just review all the holograms together.

WOLVERINE

As I mentioned in the Danger Room collage, I always loved Lee’s rendering of Wolverine outside the costume… it was just the perfect depiction of a man wrestling with his animal side, and he always just looked badass. And Wolvie was always getting in the nastiest of scraps which gave ample opportunity to see him in tattered rags (I’ll switch topics now lest this get too homoerotic).

The hologram effect for this card especially is disappointing because Lee’s drawing has a lot of depth, and adding the 3d effect for a 2D drawing will inevitably neuter the 3d effect. You can’t tell in that screenshot, but while the 3d effect IS there, it seems more like tiny slivers of art stacked on top of each other no deeper than a few millimeters between them. Wolverine’s hand and claws as rendered on the same plane which actually RUINS the illusion of depth the original 2D drawing establishes.

Meanwhile, the bio on this card is almost exactly the same as bio in his individual card, except the original card refers to his savagery as that of a “wild beast” where his hologram refers to a “jungle beast.” Wonder where the distinction comes from. At least the Danger Room card makes an effort to convey unique information.

CABLE

This is a terrible drawing of Cable, which is to say it looks the most like Liefeld’s rendering. Cable’s aforementioned bulging thighs are in full effect here, and his crouching pose looks absolutely ridiculous in both 2D and 3D versions. Also the color aberrations of the hologram mean that Cable’s trademark white hair looks purple.

Unlike the Wolverine card, Cable’s Hologram card bio is word-for-word the same as his individual card. Minus the X-Tra fact, of course.

GAMBIT

Finally we get an action shot of Gambit throwing his cards. It’s a pretty good, standard pose, too, and if you were into Gambit you could imagine that frontmost card was ejected from his crotch. The strong negative space in the background also gives the hologram a more pronounced 3d effect, even if Gambit and the throwing cards themselves all look like they’re on the same plane.

Gambit’s hologram bio rephrases the last line of the bio in his individual card… The original says “he uses his phenomenal power to protect people in need– both mutant and nonmutant!” while the hologram says “he uses his phenomenal power to protect man- and mutantkind alike!”

MAGNETO

This image of Magneto plays almost like a more action-packed version of his individual card. This might seem cool, but as I’d mentioned in my review of the first card, I vastly preferred the regal, almost defensive Magneto poses to the action pose. I’m also not crazy about having his eyes shrouded in darkness; as my favorite villain of all time, his greatness comes from his humanity and dignity; he does not need to have a darkened face to seem badass, and doing so almost reduces him down to the level of the forgettable psycho killers of the 90s.

Like Cable’s Hologram card, Magneto’s bio is an exact copy of the bio in his individual card.

X-MEN

I apologize for the different look of this scan compared to the others; ComicCovers.com is missing this final card, and I could only find a scan of the front online, so I had to scan my own card from inside its sealed bag. Really I should just open the seal and scan them each myself. If I wasn’t ready to close the books on this blog with this entry (which has already taken up much of my free time :) ), I might still go about doing this.

The card actually depicts the Blue Strike Force, despite the card name not making such a distinction. This makes sense since Lee’s art duties focused on said team, but it would’ve been a fitting end to see both strike forces together in one card. The comics certainly had no problem mingling teammates even after the separation was made, and the separation didn’t last long anyway. Too bad, cause the art in this card is pretty decent, except for the weird business of Beast‘s legs.


OVERALL

It’s hard not to be mesmerized by holograms as a kid; hell, it’s 20 years later and we’re still immaturely obsessed with the 3D gimmick. The fact that 3D actually hasn’t evolved much from these 20 year old cards makes the cards themselves hold up better than they deserve to. Hell, I still don’t know how they make holograms.

That said, I vastly prefer the holograms that look more like actual 3d models, laser scans of sculpted versions of the cards. They’ve done this before on other card sets (and the hologram comics), and it would’ve kicked ass to see someone sculpt Lee’s drawings.

Anyway, that does it for all the cards. Stick around for one more entry that wraps up the entire experience one last time, and then we can all finally move on!

78 – BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS

25 Jul

Subject: Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Roster: Toad (Team Leader), Sauron, Phantazia, Thornn, Masque, Blob, Pyro
First Appearance: X-Force #5, December 1991

I’m back from a whirlwind weekend at my very first San Diego Comic-Con, and since this week is a living hell of catching up with work, my recaps will have to wait til next week. Of course, little guarantee that next week will be any better as far as my free time goes, but now I’ve made a verbal contract with you.

This is without a doubt the worst incarnation of any villain team in the history of comic books. When your team leader is Toad, you’ve both hit bottom and not hopping your way out. I don’t even much have of a memory of when this lineup debuted in X-Force #5, but man it can’t possibly have lasted long.

Of course, the traditional lineup with Magneto at the helm hadn’t really existed since the 70’s, having been replaced by Mystique’s incarnation during the fantastic Days of Future Past storyline, and the movies’ lineup featuring allstars like Magneto, Mystique, and Sabretooth never existed at all (Sabretooth only became a member in the mid-90’s). Maybe even by the 90’s the concept of a group calling themselves “Evil Mutants” had become passe (I will admit there is something enticing about a group called the Mutant Liberation Front).

The art here suffers from the same lack of detail and compositional clarity that plagued many of Jim Lee’s less iconic cards in this series. The card is far too bright (seemingly from Pyro’s flames) that it’s just kind of hard to really make features out. It doesn’t help that many of these characters were those most susceptible to gross visual anatomical exaggerations. Also, team member Thornn (the sister of Feral) not only doesn’t get her own individual card, she doesn’t appear on the team card either.

76 – HELLFIRE CLUB

20 Jul

Subject: Hellfire Club
Roster: Sebastian Shaw, White Queen, Selene, Magneto
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #129, January 1980

I do not remember when Magneto was a member of Hellfire Club, but the dude was all up in everyone’s business, so you know, who knows.

Notes: Despite being a team predicated upon a strict heirarchy (the members are each assigned a chess piece, like Emma Frost as the White Queen), this is the only Team card (so far) that wasn’t designated a team leader (duh, it’s Sebastian Shaw, the guy in the middle of the freakin’ team portrait). And who the hell is that guy in the top left?

Incidentally, Sebastian Shaw and Selene are so far the only members of a team card that do not have their own individual card (I wouldn’t count Valerie Cooper, aka X-Factor‘s government liaison, since she’s not a superhero; I’m surprised she was mentioned in X-Factor’s card at all). Kevin Bacon does not approve.

Meanwhile, aside from the chess analogies, what else is Hellfire Club known for but the crazy Victorian costumes, so why the hell do we get a drawing of the group from the collarbone up? This is the second time we’ve been gipped of Emma Frost hotness, yo.