Thursday, June 26, 2008

Uncanny X-Men #499 review

Think Marvel would have fixed their website and properly listed this cover as the cover to #499 and not #498.

Overall, I liked this issue even if it was a mixed bag. Mike Choi's art was fantastic. At first I wasn't sweet on his stuff but he really kept the action flowing nicely. There is a good amount of detail without being cluttered. The fight with Omega Red was great, especially when he shows Omega Red pulling the metal off of Colossus's leg. That was cool! Watching Nightcrawler teleport Omega Red up into the sky and droipping him from a great height? I dig it. Like I said, I wasn't sweet before, but I really am starting to dig how Choi uses that whole cinematic style of laying out the action on the page. I guess it had to grow on me. I'm starting to think he should be the regular artist, but instead they have Greg "Porn face" Land instead, which is a shame.

The story events of the issue are fairly simple, we see the wrap-up of the last few issues with nothing but fisticuffs. I dig. Cyclops was fighting his team mates while Emma Frost was was digging around the head of Martinique Wyngarde. The reason this issue was such a mixed bag is that everything ends way way too cleanly. Omega Red is carted off by SHIELD in the end. In Russia. Well there's a diplomatic incident if I ever saw one. Also, once the rest of the X-Men are released from Wyngarde's illusion, Angel is suddenly talking with the mayor of San Fransisco (not Gavin Newsom, strangely) about relocation plans. When the hell have there been relocation plans? The fucking team was broken up! It's like, "Okay, people, drop everything, we're back together and living in San Fransisco." This sort of comes out of nowhere so the arc can end with the characters rocketing off inexplicably in a new direction just in time for issue #500. It ends the same way Messiah Complex ended, with everyone just hanging on the whim of whatever Cyclops wants to do. It would have been funny of Wolverine had said at the end, "Yeah, like we could ever really be broken up," or something like that. A wink and a nod at the reader kind of thing.

I did really like one thing on the last page. There's a shot of a newspaper touting that San Fransisco is the new home of the X-Men and just below that is a little blurb that says, "SF Rejects Initiative." I thought that was pretty funny. SF half thinks they can secede from the Union, why not reject the Initiative? It fit perfectly with the stereotypical perception of SF. Very cute. Strange that the X-Men might consider taking up residence there. Rejecting the extremely liberal East Coast for the extremely liberal West Coast? Too tough out there in New York?

Probably just looking for warmer weather and to see the X-Ladies run around more naked. That would be my reason!

One thing I would like to see more of is more stories featuring a smaller cast. I don't know who's actually going to be featured in Uncanny, but a smaller cast like what they've been doing with Wolverine and Colossus and Nightcrawler would be great. Same with X-Men: Legacy, the stories seem to have vastly improved when they're focusing on smaller groups of characters. Let Astonishing be the big team book since it's the core X-Men title now, but let the other's breathe on their own with more personal stories. It's been really good for these titles right now.


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