DARK AVENGERS UNCANNY X-MEN UTOPIA #1
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Over the last year, writer Matt Fraction has been setting up a new paradigm for the X-Men, establishing the mutants as part of the larger community in San Francisco. Over the last several months, Brian Bendis has been setting up a new paradigm for the greater Marvel Universe, with Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers in a powerful role. There have been a few bumpy spots along the way, but as I read this complex, ambitious comic book, I was struck by how well these elements are coming together and paying off. That’s not to say that you have to have been following ‘Uncanny X-Men’ and ‘Dark Avengers’ from day one to dig this issue. In fact, I think this could be a great jump-on point, now that all the pieces are in place; it’s just a bonus that I can think back and see how well everything is fitting together.
There’s a lot going on in this comic — the push and pull of political forces within and outside the mutant community coming to a head in a very plausible crisis — but at the same time, there’s plenty of room for character moments. I love seeing the contrast between the senior generation of X-Men and the younger mutants, some of whom are more combative than their leaders, and others who are just trying to follow orders but don’t quite know where to look. Meanwhile the leaders — Cyclops, Emma, and Beast, particularly — seem to be at cross purposes, and each of them in a little over their heads. (There’s a showdown between Cyclops and Toad that I particularly love). They’ve been holding themselves out as the leaders of the mutant race, and now it’s time to put up or shut up. It’s a moment of truth for the X-Men and I’m fascinated to see how they’re going to handle it.
Art: 4 - Very Good