Review by: comicBOOKchris

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Avg Rating: 3.6
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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Up to this point, UNCANNY X-MEN has been on a real roller coaster of quaility. Issue #516 was a pretty low point, featuring a lackluster script staring an out-of-character Magneto and an even more out-of-character Proffesor X. Then out of nowhere comes issue #517, which skyrocketed up the track with great action scenes and suprisingly servicable art by Greg Land. It’s because of this that I now no longer know what to expect from this title, as the story can go from great to crap between a few issues, which are all in the same story arc. So naturally, I had no idea whether or not I’d be enjoying #518 or if I’d be wanting to rip it up before I bought it.

My reactions after reading it? Somewhere between praise and dislike. I didn’t hate #518, but I certainly didn’t love it. This issue features the return of Terry and Rachel Dodson to art duties, which is kind of fitting as this issue is sort of a spiritual successor to a recent issue they drew where Emma was exploring Cyclops’ head, and it resembled a hotel featuring all the X-Babes. In this issue, the tables are turned, and Cyclops must enter Emma’s head to investigate that pesky Void parasite that has become a part of her at the end of the Utopia crossover. Which brings me to my major gripe about this issue: I fucking hate The Sentry. I hate his character, I hate any issue of any comic which revolves around his complicated mental state involving The Void, and I hate the fact that Fraction found it necessary to bring this “character” into UNCANNY X-MEN. I feel that The Void is not a well explaned character (or parasite, or whatever it is), and his inclusion really drags down any story he’s involved in because a good chuck of the issue always involves trying to explain to the reader what he is, and the explanation is always vauge.

So naturally, since The Void was a major part of this issue, I couldn’t fully enjoy it. I did, however, like other aspects of it. The Dodson’s art is well done, as always, and they depict the psychic plane quite well. It’s also always a delight to see Beast contribute to the story, as it’s evident that Fraction knows how to write him well. I don’t think he has a good handle on writing Magneto, however, and there’s something that rings phony about he recent depictions. I always saw Magneto as more willful and headstrong than Fraction has been writing him, as he appears to be a bit of a wishy-washy wimp. Who knows though, perhaps this is just a facade he’s putting on. Either way, I hope he becomes more exciting.

So while I really hate all the Void-centric plot points that have been in the issues lately, it didn’t completely damper my liking of UNCANNY X-MEN #518. It was a fine servicable issue that moves the overall story along in a decent manner. Like I mentioned before, this series has become the real wild card in my pull list, so who knows whether or not the next issue will be outstanding or just plain crap.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 4 - Very Good

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