The premise, (that Beast brought the original X-Men to the present so that adult Cyclops can feel bad about his current situation) certainly seems to be a thinly-veiled commentary on the sad state of the modern X-Men timeline. Bendis handles the original X-Teens reacting to their future selves quite well and their interactions feel genuine, especially the Beasts. I did find it odd that Angel was basically ignored, but perhaps that’s a seed for future events. As someone who hasn’t read any current X-Men in quite some time, it was easy to jump into, despite all their convoluted recent history. I always enjoy Immonen’s art and he continued to deliver.
I love Thor tales without much interaction with the rest of the Marvel universe. Normally that means stories set during Old Norse viking times. But this series found a way of taking mythology and thrusting it into a universe-wide space opera. It uses a simple folklore-like structure, but what truly drew me in was its exploration of a sort of pantheon of pantheons, wonderfully demonstrating how sci-fi and mythology can coexist. It weaves its three different timelines back and forth for maximum intrigue and suspense.
Warren Ellis often has a formula. And it often works. This time we have Norse dragon-god babies turned into Nazi living weapons. Though it’s clearly influenced by their movie personae, most of the Avengers gets some good micro-arcs, especially Bruce Banner. He gets the right voices for Wolverine, Hawkeye and Iron Man too. The story could be more exciting, but it’s a like a really good filler episode for a non-existant Marvel cinematic universe Avengers TV series.
Warren Ellis needs to be given more free reign to wage war with (and against) Marvel’s minor characters. And Immonen works perfectly with the style, most awesomely demonstrated by the penultimate issue where the team fights through wave after wave of insane and parodical opponents for 8 hilariously glorious 2-page spreads. But every issue is great, dripping with dark humor and frantic absurdity. Action comedy at its finest.
The Oath is a great introduction to Dr. Strange and a decent detective story. I hadn’t noticed how similar his origin is to Iron Man’s, but it’s a good formula. It had several great moments, and each issue knew how to end in cliffhangers. The arc flowed as you’d expect, nothing astounding but worth a read.
This collection is just another example of this series’ artistry. The design of the pages retains its unique charm. The dialog remains strong. This volume is more of a collection of one shots though, which honestly isn’t much of a detriment.