Spider-Man and X-Men(Kids) have been captured by the Chameleon and are transported to MojoVerse for a fierce round of entertainment, humor, bad jokes (Spider-Man at 11:30 p.m.), X-Babies, the Chameleon, and the Sinister Sixty-Six. What a hell of an entrance…right?
So Spider-Man and the X-Kids have defeated Stegron and Sauron and have been kidnapped by the Chameleon and are located in the MojoVerse (X-Men world universe) and are being placed in the T.V. show line-up for ratings. The MojoVerse is known for its brutality and violence as the audience demands it. This is not a very interesting X-Men universe and since the last issue is from Savage Island, it makes sense to switch it up. I am sure Elliott Kalan is playing up his Daily Show expertise in this issue by using the setting of a T.V. show. The comic begins with a quick upcoming list of programs that are about to start on the Mojo Video Network. First up, Late night with Spider-Man begins at 11:30 with Hellion and the X-Kids band! Spider-Man swings in with a three-piece suit and quickly is harmed as he makes an unwise crack joke at Mojo’s appearance. Eye-Boy is seen filming the T.V. show and is apparently working with Mojo. Could Eye-Boy be the mole that Spider-Man is looking for? Soon after, Spider-Man’s line-up of guest change as he is quickly greeted by the Sinister Sixty-Six!
The battle then escalates quickly and each of the X-Kids are in the fight going toe-to-toe with each of the greatest villains that Spider-Man ever faced. It is delightful to see Failla’s artistic abilities as he draws Kingpin, the Lizard, Hammer Head, the Jackal, the Beetle, and my personal favorite, Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man is continuing his wise crack jokes demanding a bigger dressing room and no green M&M’s, that is clever Kalan (I am sucker for these corny wise crack jokes…no really). As soon as Mojo demands her program cut to commercial, the enemies disappear as the X-Kids are fighting holograms. Meanwhile, Brain Bowl is being held captive as it is resisting the mind control of Mojo and Eye-Boy is actually being held prisoner as the Chameleon is playing the part of Eye-Boy. The Chameleon is quickly discovered and summons the holograms and the fight resumes in full force. In this issue, the X-Kids began to further their advancement in working as team as Rockslide has a theory that the hologram enemies are tied to the room as enemies are tied to the Danger Room. This theory proves usefulness as they break out of the studio and make a run into the city. The real Eye-Boy is being tortured by being forced to watch horrendous T.V. programs and is saved by………Wolverine?
The heroes are out in the city of MojoVerse and it is really strange as the city itself resembles New York. The X-Kids and Spider-Man are attacked as the people of MojoVerse want their body parts since they are famous celebrities. The heroes take flight and go into an open window as they are greeted by Remy LeBeau (Gambit). The X-Kids are pumped that they get to meet the legendary Cajun or as Rockslide states, “…a Cajun Pirate Ninja Thief. That’s four kinds of cool…” They soon discover it is not Gambit as he has to strike a match to light a card. It is the Chameleon and as soon as he is discovered, he holds Glob hostage (oh Glob and his luck). Chameleon is hell bent on finishing the time slot that was provided to Spider-Man as he is executive producer for the show. Eye-Boy comes in blasting and assist Spider-Man with the save of Glob. Chameleon uses his holographic technology to escape again. The X-Babies come in charging being led by Wolverine, sorry the other Wolverine is still dead, but it was good coy by Kalan to keep one reading. The X-Babies are a creation of Mojo and are clones of the X-Men, they first appeared in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12 by Chris Claremont and Art Adams.
These babies are quick, deadly and still children at heart as Spider-Man tells baby Wolverine what happened to the other Wolverine and baby Wolverine sheds a tear. This rekindles the thought to the reader that Ernst then shares with Spider-Man, “The professors are probably pretty worried about us.” Spider-Man assures her that “…they probably didn’t even notice we’re gone.” Oh Spider-Man and his careless thoughts, I wish I could be like this sometimes… The heroes all join forces, break into Mojo’s T.V. station network and fight Mojo. The Chameleon makes one last effort to kill Spider-Man and fails. The ending here feels rushed and it happens over just four pages of content. Mojo is thrown from the open hole that was made earlier and Spider-Man dashes to save Mojo. He still will not allow a villain to die and this falls within the Spider-Man persona. Mojo is in debt to Spider-Man and is willing to send them back to earth. The X-babies stay behind and there are three epilogues: 1) In MojoWorld, Chameleon and Mojo are ecstatic about their ratings while in some sort of prison. 2) Rachel Summers discover the identity of Spider-Man. 3) A guest villain has sent payment for a new body…?
This book is a delight to read for the young or the young of heart readers. I enjoyed most of the pages and it is not meant to be taken so serious; however, Kalan does a poor job with the characters and I am a bit disappointed with the Chameleon’s lack of disguises and that there was no focus on one of the X-Kids. In the last issue, the focus was on Shark-Girl and with her struggles as an X-Men and so I assumed that this issue would have that spotlight again, but it did not. Instead it tried to bond the entire team and it was too brief and then he introduced more characters and then it became too congested. Kalan’s writing is still humorous and child-like as with the previous books and he is fortunate to have Failla as an artist. The page that introduced the Sinister Sixty-Six is brilliant and I praise Marco Failla on his wonderful art. He draws each villain in their respective first appearance costume and they look amazing! I believe that Failla’s art just gets better and better with each issue. Nick Bradshaw and Ian Herring did a great job on the cover and it is eye catching. It is vibrant and rich in its approach as it showcases Spider-Man and the X-Kids.
The story that starts out with a slow and exciting Chameleon/Mojo entrance that quickly results in a gladiatorial free-for-all battle that ends very quickly and showcases little to no development of the X-Kids. Chameleon and Mojo create an unusual villain team-up and it works as I enjoyed it. This series is still a simplistic and fun read, do not pass it up if you enjoy a light read. The art cover is worth the extra half web, but it is starting to become too familiar in these past three issues. Let us hope that Kalan’s writing can serve up a kick-serve next time, but continue with the humor and art.