Monday, July 25, 2016

Uncanny X-Men #10 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Mondays

With a Whimper...

Uncanny X-Men (vol.4) 010
Writer - Cullen Bunn
Art - Ken Lashley
Colors - Nolan Woodard
Letters - VC's Vic Caramagna
Release Date: 07.20.2016
Cover Price: $3.99

There was a bit of a stir around the turn of the century over the way Marvel (and Chris Claremont) was handling the X-Books.  This was at the time of the first X-Men feature film.  The criticism had to do with the fact that the X-Men were receiving quite possibly the most mainstream attention that they ever would... and yet, their four-color namesake was a horrid and indecipherable mess of tangled continuity, hastily introduced (and underdeveloped) characters, and pretty bad storytelling.

The fear was new readers would come to see their new faves fight off Magneto and the Brotherhood... only to find Psylocke and Angel (who weren't even in the movie) fighting off such luminaries as the Neo, the Goth, and the Twisted Sisters... yeah... it was a bad time, and it led to Chris Clarmemont being unceremoniously removed from the titles.

Fast-forward a decade and a half, and we now sit in the shadow of the latest X-Film, X-Men: Apocalypse... and the X-Books are as new (and old) reader unfriendly than they'd ever been!  It's almost as though Marvel wants you to pick one of these up out of curiosity... just so they can say "See, we toldja the X-Men are a mess.  Here, have an Avengers (or Inhumans) book!"

Well all's well that ends...

The Uncanny strand of the Apocalypse Wars ends with a bit of a whimper.  Plenty of stuff goes down this issue, however, it still feels rather empty and uneventful.

We've got our same two concurrent threads woven throughout this one... and we'll take them one-by one.

As has become routine in Uncannyland, the Magneto scenes are where all the good stuff goes down.  Cullen Bunn appears to have a real affection for the character, making any scene he's in worth reading.  Here Magneto and Mystique decide to stop fiddling around, and just wreck Genocide.  Total bad-ass scene... likely the best of this whole event.

Psylocke does her astral planing thang to get into the head of Archangel.  This was a well put together bit, featuring Betsy cautiously exploring a ramshackle chapel... an ethereal temple of Apocalypse.  Upon returning to the physical world, she almost gets killed by Fantomex... yeah, again.  More on that later.

In the Morlock sewers, Emplate calls Monet on her bluff.  She had promised to stay with him, and allow him to feed off of her from that point on... however, when Marius asks her to put her money where her mouth is... she blinks.  Emplate vanishes in a cloud of green mist... after which, we find that Monet now has those troublesome hungry hungry mouth-hands.  An intriguing bit, I will admit.  Monet has always been about her perfection... adding a constant need for empathic sustenance is a pretty sizable flaw.

We end with Warren embracing his Archangel self.  He understands that his humanity is a necessary ingredient in the Archangel matrix.  Without his "goodness", his dark mirror would run amok, as it has over the past 700 issues.  He knows "Archangel" is his responsibility... and I can't help but think he's "figured this out" a time or two before.  Real big feelings of deja vu here.

While we're talking Warren, Marvel should really consider putting him back up on the shelf for a little while.  Nobody knows what to do with him, and outside of Rick Remender's excellent Dark Angel Saga a few years back, nobody has for decades.  Is he Angel?  Is he Archangel?  Is he a Biblical Angel???  C'mon... there must be more compelling stories that can be told here without playing off the "he's got wings" theme.  Apocalypse messed with his mind, body, and soul thirty years ago... it's time to move on.

While we're putting characters on furlough... Hey, Fantomex!  Can we do something other than have him point a gun at Psylocke?  People used to complain about the sameyness in the Gambit and Rogue relationship.  Seems like just about every time we see Fantomex, he's pointing a gun at Psylocke!

Overall... this would have been a decent capper to a two-part story.  Not worth building up for a five-part event.  I'm glad this is now behind us, and am looking forward to an actual "non-event" Uncanny X-Men story (until Death of X of course... ugh).

Bits and Pieces:

Certainly not worth the several months investment we made.  The art and dialogue while very nice, cannot make up for the overlong much-ado-about-nothing story... I'm hard-pressed to think of a worse contemporary X-Men event than the Apocalypse Wars, and I'm just glad it's finally behind us.

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1 comment:

  1. Agree so much with your Angel comments. No one knows what to do with him. We've had his transformation into Archangel twice in the comics, (well sort of three times now), in two different animated series, and now a movie. It's like the only thing anybody knows what to do with Warren is turn him into Archangel. He's had like one good story line the last 20 years.


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