Review by: rwpos

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Avg Rating: 3.4
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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Greg Land’s art is beautiful to look at, and completely awful to read.  There’s a reason why lingerie catalogues and fashion magazines aren’t sold as sequential art stories, and Land goes out of his way once again to demonstrate with brazen repetition why that is.  The strangely happy expressions on the unnaturally beautiful and homogenous looking characters detracts even from the smug and cutesy dialogue written by Matt Fraction.  It’s actually hard for me to believe that this was produced by half of the storytelling crew from the last arc – Fraction’s story didn’t seem half this trite with the Dodsons on art.

All in all, this was not fun to read, and it was not a very good X-Men story either.  Who were these characters, wearing costumes that looked familiar but acting in such a strange and repulsive manner.  Maybe Emma frost seemed liked I’d expect, but that may have been it.  As a generic “you’ve-never-seen-these-characters-before” kind of story it might have been okay (well, except for the visual part of the storytelling), but as an X-Men story it was simply too much of a departure to ever draw me in, and by the time I’d reached the last page I simply felt grateful that it was such a fast read.

And the little intro-boxes that “pop” up for the first panel of each character were simply repulsive:  Domino’s “a little O.C.D.?”  What is that, cute?  Wolverine is “hirsute?”  Ha ha.  I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.  This tone may appeal to a new generation of X-Men readers, but I’d much rather see it impressed on a new book, with new characters, where the author’s storytelling style is a more natural fit.  Trying to remold the X-Men into the Order is just a plain bad idea in my book.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 2 - Average


  1. Meh, I liked it, and the intro boxes are fun.

    (Not counting the art, though. Not much I can say about the art that hasn’t already been said.)

  2. As a long time X-Fan and a big Fraction fan, I actually like the info boxes. They get a nice little chuckle out of me sometimes. And in a book like Uncanny with so many characters, it’s nice to have, especially with the shifting art teams. While I can understand you’re annoyance with them, it’s better than the oft dread "I AM BATMAN" where Batman is spelt out in the same font that adorns the front cover of that character’s book.

  3. It’s not the info boxes themselves that I intensely dislike, it’s how hard Fraction tries to make the character descriptions "cute" or amusing.  For me they’re very distracting at best, and outright offensive at worst.  The casual pop use of OCD as a punchline these days rubs me wrong, and its use here was absolutely unnecessary and so unrelated to the character that it wasn’t even close to funny.  Fraction is a gifted writer but really hasn’t shown himself to be a very diverse writer.  And I find myself not really liking how his one-note plays in the X-Men universe.  I’m more interested to see if this is the kind of change of pace that will grow – or shed – readers.  Morrison took the series in a whole new tonal direction and that really proved to be successful (commercially).  In this case the jury’s still out, but for me it’s not working that well at the moment.  Land’s one (wrong) note art only compounds the problem for me.

  4. "The strangely happy expressions on the unnaturally beautiful and homogenous looking characters detracts even from the smug and cutesy dialogue written by Matt Fraction."

    ^Perfect description of how I usually feel about this title lately. I haven’t read every issue since 500, only picking up several of them when I see them in the dollar bins, but, wow, is it…weird…weird that this is a great title. I don’t think it’s a horrible title, not even "bad", but sometimes I think that it’s interesting, or amusing, to me for all the wrong reasons.

  5. ^Ha, I meant "weird that MANY SAY this is a great title". Or maybe that’s a Freudian slip that means I secretly think it’s great too…but for all the wrong reasons.

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