Tag Archives: x-factor

The Haul – January 21st, 2015

The Weekly Haul Header
Welcome to the first installment of The Weekly Haul for 2015!  Yeah, sure, we’re actually at the third Wednesday of the year, and okay, it’s been a few months since we’ve done a Haul, but…ummm…I don’t know.   Thanksgiving turkey coma?  Holidays wrapping paper industrial accident?

Whatever excuse you’ll take, I’ll sell.  Let’s get right to it, shall we?

To The Haul!

The Top 162 X-Men: 80-71

Welcome back to the Top 162 X-Men Countdown!  Since their creation in 1963, the X-Men have gone through many changes, incorporating new team members crucial, inconsequential, and all that grey area in between.

Today we are diving into more of the top half, taking a deeper look at Professor X’s son, Wolverine’s once-presumed dad, a guy who is his own grandfather, and a, uh, strong guy.

162 X-Men Logo
See our introduction here to understand why we chose these X-characters for inclusion and how we determined their ranking.  Check out our previous entries about X-Men #162-151, #150-141, #140-131, #130-121, #120-111, #110-101, #100-91, and #90-81.  As always, we (JK and Remy) would love you hear your opinions — leave a comment and join in on the fun!

Continue reading The Top 162 X-Men: 80-71

The Top 162 X-Men: 90-81

Welcome back to the Top 162 X-Men Countdown!  Since their creation in 1963, the X-Men have gone through many changes, incorporating new team members crucial, inconsequential, and all that grey area in between.

We encroach upon the top half of the X-characters in this installment, taking a deeper look at some super hero power set archetypes — a fire-guy, a speed-guy, a healer, a shapeshifter, and an alien.

162 X-Men Logo
See our introduction here to understand why we chose these X-characters for inclusion and how we determined their ranking.  Check out our previous entries about X-Men #162-151, #150-141, #140-131, #130-121, #120-111, #110-101, and #100-91.  As always, we (JK and Remy) would love you hear your opinions — leave a comment and join in on the fun!

To The Countdown!

The Top 162 X-Men: The Countdown Begins!

Since their creation by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963, the X-Men have gone through many changes.  From the expansion of the original team of five “gifted youngsters” to include new recruits, adjunct teams, and other schools, the X-Men mythos has, over the past almost 51 years, grown to include more mutants than you can shake a ’90s-era belt pouch at.

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Are we sure that mutants are even a minority anymore? (Art by the fantastic Bill Walko)

So, having been motivated by all the X-Buzz going around courtesy of the excellent X-Men: Days of Future Past movie, we here at The Weekly Haul (meaning two shlubs from Long Island with a collective 40+ years of reading X-comics) have undertaken the daunting task of methodically ranking the X-Men from worst to best.

To Me, My X-Men!
To Me, My X-Men!

With nearly a gabillion (realistic estimate) of characters to go through, how could be possibly decide who makes this list?  After much thought, here’s our criteria for inclusion:

1. The character must have been (or currently is) a MEMBER of either a major X-Team or logically associated team, which for our purposes includes:
– X-Men (Uncanny, New, or Adjectiveless)
– X-Treme X-Men
– X-Factor
– X-Force
– Excalibur
– New Mutants
– Generation X
– X-Corporation
OR a student at one of the X-related schools including:
– Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters/Xavier Institute for Higher Learning
– Jean Grey School for Higher Learning
– New Charles Xavier School for Mutants

That seems pretty reasonable, no?  Not too many surprises here, maybe except for the fact that we’re not counting long-standing X-Men wards Leech and Artie, X-Factor receptionist Pip the Troll, government “liaison” Val Cooper, and fake out Summers brother Adam the X-Treme.  We are also not counting the Genosha-based comic “Excalibur” as a true team, taking out the Claremont-fandom loved (?) Wicked, Freakshow, and Shola Inkose.  We are also not including X-Statix, who are X-related in name alone.

This also implies that we’re only including main Marvel 616 teams.  If they’ve crossed over from an alternate universe and joined a team (i.e. X-Man, Nocturne), that’s okay.  But no alternate world-only characters.

Here’s the clincher, though, which knocked out a bunch of characters from contention.

2. The character must have more than one storyline appearance as a team member/student.

The real purpose of this is to a) limit the numbers a bit and b) get rid of one-and-done story tools, like ForgetMeNot from X-Men Legacy #300.

ForgetMeNot
No thank you.  So, in one fell swoop, there goes 3/4s of the Deadly Genesis team, the Morph-inspiring Changeling, Mimic, Wiz Kid (I know you’re upset, 3 Wiz Kid fans, sorry), memory-wiped Sebastian Shaw, most (if not all?) of the non-other team X-Corporation members, and an OBSCENE number of students.

Sorry, fans of strange looking characters that exist because Morrison/DeFilippis/Aaron needed background characters to show just how CRAZY the school was/is (or needed cannon fodder) — they are not included here.

That gets us down to 162 X-characters!

Screenshot 2014-06-01 09.03.20Over the next few weeks, we’ll reveal who they are counting down from the “worst” to the “best”.  In an effort to make this as unbiased as possible and as far away from a popularity contest as we can get (and to prevent JK from making this a Generation X love letter and Remy a Goldballs tribute), we’re going to be thinking about “best” as a combination of:

1. Importance/Significance to their team
2. Importance/Significance to the X-Universe as a whole
3. Place/Role in their “story” — “Without the actions of this character, would this story have the same weight and would the repercussions be different?”
4. And, of course, a general gestalt.

Many of these X-characters have done very famous things, good or bad, in other titles either prior to or after they were members of X-Men teams.  For our purposes, we are ONLY considering their time while active members of the X-Men.  To take an example — Juggernaut, while undoubtedly super-important to the X-Universe, has been a contributing X-Member (I love putting “X” in front of words but I know that instance was a bad decision) only during his time with the X-Men and the short lived New Excalibur team.

Well, that’s our reasoning for what you’re about to read.  We’ve put at least some thought into this and we hope you agree with EVERY SINGLE THING WE WRITE, but at the least, we hope we don’t irritate you to the point you have to throw your computer out of the window.  Let us know your opinions as we go — hope you survive the experience!

– JK and Remy

The Haul Catchup – April 3rd, 10th, and 17th, 2013

Well, obviously things over here at The Weekly Haul have been pretty quiet for the past few weeks.  I should really just stop calling attention to my inability to keep up with reading my comics — is it a function that I’m buying too many books?  Or that I’m just not that excited in the titles that I’m reading?  I’m going to take a look at that very thing in the rundown.  But first…

Here’s something I got excited about the other day — another one of the fantastic (typed stuffed with sarcasm) Marvel-sponsored children’s prose stories based on their characters.  This time it’s not Namor in his panties, but rather good old Tony Stark AKA Iron Man!  He’s turning out to be one The Boy’s favorites (though he picked up a Mr. Sinister action figure this past week at the comic shop)

The Offending Object
The Offending Object
In the next installment, we learn about the villainous Mandy Mandarin.
In the next installment, we learn about the villainous Mandy Mandarin.

Anyway, past the jump, I’ll break down the past three weeks’ 51 (!!! so close to having DC sue me!) comics into my version of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  For the sake of your sanity and my fingers, I’ll talk about only the highlights and lowlights.  And holy god, there were some real lowlights…

I also want to give a quick plug for a project over at Kickstarter.  Ray Sumser, a really excellent NY-based artist, is working on his newest adventure, an all-original all-ages comic called LYK and Bear.  Ray’s a real talent (and a nice guy), so go make his dreams come true, support his comic, and get some great rewards out of the deal.

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At the homefront, The Boy is still having a good time terrorizing his little sister, collecting Squinkies, and getting ready for his upcoming dance recital.  That’s right, he’s still lacing up slipping on his tap shoes and fa-lapping across the studio each Saturday morning.

This photo will certainly haunt him in his teenage years...
This photo will certainly haunt him in his teenage years…

And The Bull?  She’s also pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself…

cuddlemecrochet.etsy.com -- advertising at The Weekly Haul for your convenience
Hat by cuddlemecrochet.etsy.com — advertising at The Weekly Haul for your convenience!

Okay, enough child pimping.  Let’s get to these books.  Again, I’m going to do things a little bit differently this time.   I thought it would be interesting to see if my lifelong hobby is still providing a good ratio of excitement per dollar.

To The Haul!

The Haul – March 20th, 2013

Things at the house this past week have been pretty chaotic.  This year marked the first big Seder (the Passover meal) at our house and my overachieving wife wanted to prepare everything herself.  The Boy wanted to make the Seder plate though:

No actual living things were harmed in the creation of this Seder plate
No actual living things were harmed in the creation of this Seder plate

Yup, the contents of the plate are all courtesy of Toys R Us by way of his play kitchen foods.  Anyway, we had 12 adults and 4 children at the Seder and the night went without a single argument or food fight, a great achievement if you ask me.  And the food was excellent!

Besides Passover, this past Monday was my wife and her mother’s birthday, which means planning some kind of night out.  This has become more difficult to do as our schedules have gotten busier.  Oh, and since the addition of those two other humans living in our house.  Thankfully, Dawn is in agreement with me that adults shouldn’t need birthday presents (especially those who have the means to get their own things) so I don’t have to worry about the gift hunt like I used to, but getting the kids to behave in a restaurant on the first night of Passover?  I’d almost rather panic while searching Zales.com…

Basically?  Tiring week.

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And for the non-Jews out there, Happy Almost Easter!

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To The Haul!

The Haul – February 20th, 2013

This past week marked my return to work after a week vacation, which of course, leads to something that looks like this:

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HIPPA Compliant Photo

Yeah.  A stack of labs to go through so large that it took me all freaking week.  Blech.

Meanwhile, besides working this week, comics came out.  That’s about it — getting back into the swing of things after time off has always been a difficult task for me.  Though almost as a reward, X-Men First Class, the best superhero movie made (go ahead, bring the debate), has been on TV almost non-stop this week.

Freaks and CliquesMan, I love that movie…

To The Haul!

The Haul – February 6th, 2013

Two great things happened today.  First of all, today was the official start of my vacation.  Fellowship has been great, but being on service for the whole year can be a bit exhausting.  Putting that away response message on my work e-mail was one of the more satisfying things in a while.  No big plans for the vacation — work around the house, get beat up on by the kids, read some comics — but it will be nice to be woken up by a screaming infant or a tapping 3 year old instead of my alarm.   Whoa.  No it won’t.

The second great thing that happened today?

NemoThat’s right, the historic Winter Storm Nemo, which dumped about one and half feet of snow in my area.  The office shut down early yesterday so everyone could get home safely — a far cry from my residency days when the threat of bad weather would commit you to what amounted to a prison sentence, having to stay at the hospital until further notice.  The drive home was long, but not terrible, and for a while last night it seemed as if Nemo (the fish, the sea captain, or the early 1900s little boy in Slumberland) would be a lot of hype.  Well, color me completely wrong, because by this morning, things were COVERED.

Photo taken while panicking about how long it would take to shovel
Photo taken while panicking about how long it would take to shovel.  Arms already hurting…

Even though living on Long Island is not the greatest when it snows this much, there’s just something about a snow day (and, yes, even though I’m 30 years old, I still call it a snow day) that I really love.  I could do without all the shoveling (and today really cemented my need for a snowblower), but going outside and goofing around in the snow is just a blast.  The Boy, though, has mixed feelings about this.  Yesterday, he was very excited to, and I quote, “build a snowfamily and make snow angels”.  Today?  A bit of a different tale.

The Many Moods of a Snow Day
The Many Moods of a Snow Day

See?  We started off pretty strong, but the happiness was pretty short lived.  Jacob has inherited a lot of my OCD and, once his hands got wet, we spiraled downhill pretty fast.

"Daddy, why is there only one set of footprints?"  "Well, son, because you forced me to carry you because you were too afraid of, and I quote, getting snow in between your toes."
“Daddy, why is there only one set of footprints?” “Well, son, because you forced me to carry you because you were too afraid of ‘getting snow in between your toes’.  Diva.”

The daredevil, the steamroller, the Juggernaut — AKA The Girl — has no problems with snow.  You know, if it was lava instead of snow, she probably would have jumped right in as well.  Doesn’t matter.  No fear, that kid.

 

I've realized that it's a near-impossible feat to get a picture with the both of them looking at the camera at the same time.
I’ve realized that it’s a near-impossible feat to get a picture with the both of them looking at the camera at the same time.

And, for good measure, here’s a shot of the oldest child enjoying the SNOW DAY!

Unkempt mane blowing in the breeze...
Unkempt mane blowing in the breeze…

As for me, my arms and chest are on fire from shoveling — time for the ritual hot chocolate reward!

To The Haul!

The Haul – January 16th and 23rd, 2013

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Forced into Marveldom by his father

Let’s start off this post with an adorable picture of The Boy.  Yes!  Relish in his cuteness!  Soak in that Spider-Man pajama suit!  Be distracted that I am behind two weeks!!!

The Jacob Trail: You may not die of dysentery, but you will have to memorize pony names
The Jacob Trail: You may not die of dysentery, but you will have to memorize pony names.

So, the first picture is obvious evidence that I’ve so far successfully brainwashed Jacob into becoming my comic protegee.  The Boy has really taken to his new role and is slowly amassing his own (and stealing my) superhero toys.  It’s even started to infuse into his reading habits.  Every night before bedtime, we read two stories — the routine since he was an infant.  Now that he’s picking out the stories himself, it’s been a pretty consistent 50% superheroics rate.  We’ve been into this one, an anthology book with about 10 or so different stories:

5 Minute Marvel StoriesWhich includes such great visuals for young minds, such as this one:

IMG_1793Looks like a great story, huh?  Classic Avengers (including, as Jacob calls him, the Huk) beating up on the obnoxious Namor, which in about 2 pages leads to the dramatic reveal of the frozen Captain America.  My kid?  Focusing on this panel:

IMG_1795To which my genius kid asks, “Daddy, where is that guy’s pants?”  I mean, if a 3 year old is questioning the validity of Namor’s fashion decisions, who am I to argue?

Oh, and so as not to show my obvious Marvel bias, he’s also learning about Batman and his rogue gallery, such as The Cat Lady (Catwoman), Two-Man (Two Face), and Crocodile (Killer Croc).  He’s getting there — give him another week.

The Joker and the Slightly Misnamed Gang "At A Picnic"
The Joker and the Slightly Misnamed Gang “At A Picnic”

Since it seems I’m blabbing a bit here, so I might as well go off on an even crazier tangent.  I need to vent on something that drives me absolutely crazy.  There’s no good place for me to do this but here, so if you don’t want to read the ramblings of a rabid lunatic, you can just skip ahead to the jump.

Plastic.  Clothing.  Tags.

Yes, those pieces of thin plastic that hold tags onto your clothing.  I don’t know if they have a better name — I really don’t care if they do.  All I know is that they are ALL OVER MY FREAKING HOUSE.  The floors, the couch, the table, floating weightless through the air — they are EVERYWHERE!!!  I haven’t bought new clothes in about a year, so I am EXTREMELY confident that they are not from me.  Dawn, the primary buyer of new clothes, and the kids, the primary wearer of said clothes, are my obvious archenemies.  Without fail, I’ll come across at least one piece a day.  I don’t think that there are even that many new clothes around to support this many tags!  There must be some, I don’t know, plastic clothing tag gremlin or something roaming the house in the dead of night, giggling and grinning while he (or she, hate to be gremlin-ist) plants them like crappy Afikomen at Passover (though both matzah and plastic have a similar flavor).

The evidence:

The Nightstand
The Nightstand
The Kitchen Mat
The Kitchen Mat
The Changing Table
The Changing Table

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.  I AM LOSING MY MIND.

To The Haul!

The Haul – December 19th and 26th, 2012

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Courtesy of (AKA stolen from) Paul Layzell

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!  If Santa was really that cool, maybe even I’d get a tree?

We’re still recovering from holiday-time toy overload.  Holy Good God, the house is bursting with new toys (admittedly, not just for the kids — I got the Loki Break Out Lego set, amongst other comic related joys).  I always get a little frustrated, though, because with all the new stuff, all those old toys that we spend so much money on tend to get forgotten.  Thankfully though, The Boy is still very much into his ponies.

Lining up for the "gala", he says...
Lining up for the “gala”, he says…

On the work front, things have been very busy this past week.  Six months of straight service with no vacation time may have been a bad decision in retrospect.  I had to add two photos to my desk to cheer me up on those down days…

God knows I needed that positive life affirmation...
God knows I needed that positive life affirmation…

To The Haul!