Welcome to the first edition of The Backlog in which I comb through my ridiculously long library of unread titles (and some slightly more recent comics) and ruminate on issues that have been out for years/decades.
How did we get here?
Last year. Marvel had a once-in-a-lifetime promotion in which they offered up digital copies of first issues for almost every comic book title they’d ever printed since the 90s. It was a glorious, gluttonous smorgasbord of titles and I grabbed nearly every single one. Many of them I’d read, many more I had not. This is my chance to go back and revisit and discover what’s been moldering in my digital long boxes ever since.
This is a solid first issue made of two parts. In the first, Captain American and Bucky team up with Cable in a time-travelling tale that involves Sentinels that run on punch-card programming and a hippie version of Bolivar Trask (who’s popping in and out of time frames to try and eliminate mutants at their source). Being only a few pages, we get right to the action and deal with only the most rudimentary of issues of time travel paradox (hey, it’s the X-Men, they go back in time when their toast gets burnt). But Cap figuring out how the Allies won the war is a nice acknowledgement that, no matter how hard you try, simply being there is enough to completely mess with time.
The second story has Wolverine and Hulk going up against…Wolverine and Hulk (well, Maestro; but he’s just Old Hulk, so…Hulk). Time travel is involved again; but at least we’re not given the whole thread of the plot like we are in the first story. You’re kept guessing as to what the purpose of the time travelling jaunt is until the last panel, and even then you have to wonder what their ultimate goal truly is. This one is a lot quicker and not as destructive as you’d expect, given the savage nature of the combatants; but at least there’s a subplot with cake. And who doesn’t love cake?
Altogether, the art’s solid, the writing is serviceable (if not a little simplistic) and the story arc hints at some greater complexities which could be fun down the line. Would I buy issue #2? Probably not; but I’d borrow it for sure.