Review by: flapjaxx

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 3.5
Users who pulled this comic:
Users who reviewed this comic:
WRITER: Matt Fraction
PENCILS: Greg Land
LETTERED BY: VC - Joe Caramagna
COVER BY: Greg Land

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Wow, this was the best issue of this series in a looong time.

By my count there are ZERO Fraction mischaracterizationisms in this issue. It’s almost as if Fraction recognized a few out-of-character turns of the past few issues and went a fair distance out of his way to set things right. Example 1: Xavier, citing “stress” on his part as an explanation, admits that it was out of character for him to have yelled at Magneto upon first seeing him, and then to have preemptively hit him with a mental blast. Example 2: Last issue Fantomex’s dialogue made him kinda seem like a typical touchy-feely do-gooder for “people like us [i.e., mutants]”–but this issue he’s back to being the selfish, morally questionable mercenary thief he’d always been written as in the past. Example 3: Cyclops finally seems as skeptical of Magneto as he should have been in the first place. Maybe he’s a bit TOO skeptical now? If so, that just makes up for how completely UNskeptical he was at first.

(Note: Another iFanboy reviewer deemed the characterizations in THIS issue to be mischaracterizations because they break with some of the characterizations of Fraction’s previous issues. I completely understand this perspective, but in my opinion THESE HERE ARE FINALLY THE TRUE CHARACTERIZATIONS. Yes, in a sense it’s still frustrating that the characterizations in this issue don’t gel with those of the last few, but I think the bigger picture is to realize that this is an almost necessary shift back to believable, legitimate, continuity-grounded characterizations. If Xavier in this issue was STILL screaming wildly at Magneto and attacking him for no reason, and if Magneto was still literally bowing real low, getting on his knees and holding out his arms in supplication to Cyclops–then yes, that behavior would indeed gel with what happened a few issues ago. But what happened a few issues ago was actually totally out of character (at least as far as I and many other reviews were concerned). So I’m glad those ridiculous characterizations are gone. Very glad.)

So, just the fact that Fraction’s characterizations didn’t pull me out of the story–that’s a huge plus. But then what Fraction actually DID this issue–that itself was pretty great in its own right. Definite progress was made on several narrative fronts. No characters felt like they got short-changed on panels. A lot of detractors of Fraction’s run have said that he just can’t juggle a cast this large. In some issues in the past, I think that’s been true. In the past, it seemed like half of the dialogue consisted of one-liners: most of the cast would just get one nearly interchangeable line of smarmy/witty dialogue per issue. But in this issue it isn’t like that, at all. All the things people say actually mean something. What a character says actually seems in accord with the character’s personality. What they say BUILDS their personality. And what they say seems in context of the given scene. The dialogue keeps furthering the plots, bit by bit. And the plots themselves proceed at a sensible pace–nothing too out-of-the-blue happens, but no line of narrative seems plodding (the “island is sinking?!?!” thread mercifully wraps up in this issue).

Now, I’m pretty sure Matt Fraction didn’t go through and meticulously “fact check” every line of dialogue and every plot point in every scene, ticking off different criteria from a checklist to make sure that it all made sense or whatever. But it just seems like he really had his head in the game this time around. This was quite stellar writing. If every issue of Uncanny was like this, I’d be very happy.

And while I’ve never actually LIKED Land’s art, I never really HATED it, either. So the art here isn’t a minus for me the way it is for many other readers. I think what Land does here is serviceable enough. Since it’s NFL playoff time, let’s use a football metaphor: Land is like a mediocre quarterback whom you nonetheless shouldn’t mind all that much because he’s able to MANAGE THE GAME..Imagine Mark Shlarith (or whatever his name is) or Jon Gruden emphatically telling you the viewer not to be so down on Greg Land, because all he has to do is MANAGE THE GAME, okay? Sometimes he gets too distracted by too many porn star silhouettes and omnipresent creepy frozen smiles to manage the game, but that isn’t the case this time around, at least not for me.

This was a very solid issue. 4/5

going to slap my forehead if, next issue, Fraction ruins this forward momentum by turning
Magneto into a quasi-Zen Buddhist Shaman. But for now, good show.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 3 - Good


  1. Glad someone is enjoying this issue. 

    I agree that, for the most part, the X-Men behaved truer to their pre-Fraction characterizations than they have previously in the run.  Unfortunately, that means his run is now not only inconsistent with previous runs, but now the issues read like they were written by people with different motivations and story ideas.

    To expand on the football metaphor: were Fraction the qb, he has been spending the last few issues throwing ill-advised Hail Marys.  This issue was fourth and ten, and he decided to run the ball.  Yea, he gained four or five yards on the play, but it’s still time for him to give the ball to another team.

    Ugh.  I hate to hate on a creative team, especially when it comes to the X-Men, but I think this is going to be remembered as worse than the Austen run.   It does, however, really make me want to check out Invincible Iron Man to see if it’s Fraction in general, or just this title that I don’t like.

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