Thursday, July 31, 2008

Uncanny X-Men #500 review


The story is really simple. The X-Men move to San Fransisco. They're setting up shop. They attend an art exhibition that uses two decomissioned Sentinals. They fight Magneto, who is using a suit created by the High Evolutionary that mimics his powers. The fight is a distraction so that the High Evolutionary can meddle around with the Dreaming Celestial. They both escape. Later, the artist who created the exhibit is found murdered and Pixie, the soon to be newest X-Man, is assaulted by members of the Hellfire Cult.

The issue is written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction with art chores alternating between Greg Land and Terry Dodson. It's part one of an arc, but really it's more of a prelude setting the arc up while establishing the X-Men's new setting.

Overall it's just boring.

I've been following Brubaker's run since his first issue with #475. I really enjoyed it up until the last part of the Shiar story when it all completely fell apart. Either editorial is meddling massively, or Brubaker can't get a handle on this franchise, but it's safe to say that since I'm already dropping this title I know I'm not gonna miss a thing. Shiar? Fell flat. The Extremists? Sucked. Messiah Complex was okay, but the whole Divided We Fall thing was a sham and this issue reads like ass. It's not fun, it's formulaic and on top of that inexplicable. So, when Cyclops said the X-Men are no more, he was...just...talking out of his ass? The whole move to San Fransisco was baffling enough, but with this issue they really go out of their way to make it seem contrived. Look, Astonishing X-Men #25? Great introduction to their new setting. We don't need a double sized issue filled with Greg Land's porn face tracing (more on that in a second) to know what's going on. Well, actually, it would have been nice to know why Cyclops suddenly changes his mind on the whole disbanding thing, but Brubaker lost his chance to do that in the last arc. And since this is a team book, can we at least establish the team? Is the cat-girl from the Starjammers still there? Characters are just thrown in at random is seems. Well, Cyclops, Emma Frost and Wolverine are a sure thing. Beast, yeah, okay. Colossus and Nightcrawler, alright. Storm? Um...oh, Cannonball! He literally just came out of nowhere. The fight scene that was, I suppose, supposed to introduce the new team (which is apparently the same team as in Astonishing with one difference) was a complete waste. Not an ounce of excitement. This isn't the artists' fault, this is the fact that I couldn't bring myself to care. The whole issue was about going through the motions. Magneto was cool, granted. Him and the High Evolutionary? Alright, cool. But his dialogue? Ugh! Why does he keep calling Cyclops "boy?" Magneto speaks haughtily, and this dialogue really threw me. He almost seemed out of character.

As for the art, we had Greg Land and Terry Dodson. I like Terry Dodson well enough. His art is fantastic, but his style doesn't fit this book. And to put him with Greg fucking Land? What, did editorial just pick two names out of a hat? Dodson is a capable, talented artist who I respect. Greg Land traces. Badly. And to top it off he traces from porn. All his women look ridiculous. His characters hardly make eye contact. Ninety percent of the expressions he uses are completely inappropriate to what's going on on the page (cause I think he can do, like...two). Seriously, when Emma Frost reacts to the news of the art exhibit, I can't tell if it's murderous rage or anal entry. Dude, Google "indignant" and trace that. I would stay away from this title just for the art alone.

If you're still interested in picking this title up, you can feel safe passing.


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