Uncanny X-Men (vol.4) 009
Writer - Cullen Bunn
Artist - Ken Lashley
Color Artist - Nolan Woodard
Letterer - VC's Joe Caramagna
Release Date - 06.29.2016
Cover Price - $3.99
Does it really still say "Apocalypse Wars" in the bottom left corner? Boy howdy, this feels like it's never going to end. What is this... Forever Evil??? I kid, I kid...
Not much of a preamble for this one, however, I realize I neglected to discuss my "Marvel and Me" history during the Weird Science Marvel Mondays blitz last week.
I actually came into (hardcore) comics fandom through Marvel... the X-Men in particular. For better or worse, I've been keeping up with the Merry Mutants every month for almost thirty years. It wasn't until I had my first "real" job, that I broadened my interests to include books outside the X-Line of books and even into books of the... Distinguished Competition.
My main X-Men writers were Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza. Their stories will always be what I think of when the X-Men pop into my head... even some quarter century later.
After that bit of self-indulgence, let's get on to the review
Perhaps it's an unfair comparison, but as I read through this I cannot shake thoughts of the Dark Angel Saga from the Rick Remender run on Uncanny X-Force. That was an amazing story... this, however, just feels kinda warmed over. It's sad that this iteration of the X-Titles had so little time to establish their identities before being dragged into this overlong movie tie-in event.
We open up with Magneto being sprung from containment from our old friend Mystique. He and Psylocke had been desperately seeking Warren, and their search brought them to Colorado. Warren's wings are currently being used... being harvested to suit up a whole army of Archangels. An interesting idea, to be sure... and odd cults are always sure to be disturbing enough.
The second story continues the Emplate in the Morlock tunnels thread with M and Sabretooth. I did appreciate some of the verbal back and forth between Monet and her monstrous brother. M still maintains her sass, and although Emplate is a terrible threat, still kind of holds him in check. The way they left things, with Monet promising to remain at her brother's side is quite interesting.
In fact, Bunn's dialogue altogether has been a bright point in this arc. The three main female characters share a certain kind of sarcastic biting way of speaking. Between M, Mystique, and Psylocke... there's quite a bit of sass to go around. Rather than it feeling forced, or aimed at a certain demographic... it fits with each of their established characterizations.
We meander to the end of this issue as the army of Archangels descend upon humanity in order to execute divine judgment. A great cliffhanger!
Art throughout the issue was fantastic. Ken Lashley continues to deliver some absolutely beautiful work. Genocide, the army of Archangels, and even the Morlocks and Emplate all look sufficiently creepy and unsettling. If there's one positive to this crossover, it's that Lashley's on board. It would be great if he were to remain, but sadly, that isn't the case.
As in the previous issue, I'm more interested in what's to come rather than what I just read. That either speaks to a strength of the story, or simply my own intrinsic interests in these characters. I've left each issue of this story disappointed yet optimistic for the next chapter. I'm afraid that at this point I'm stacking hope on top of hope, in a wobbly stack that I fear will not stand much longer.
Bits and Pieces:
A slog doesn't even begin to describe this. The Apocalypse Wars drags on, doing absolutely no favors to this offbeat X-Force-y take on the Uncanny X-Men. The talents of all involved would be better used elsewhere or outside the constrictions of an overlong crossover event. I'm hopeful this will pick up in the next few months... at which time they'll probably reboot yet again or start a new event anyway.