Saturday, May 8, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #524 Review

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson
Apologies for the tardiness, I'm in the middle of wrapping up the semester and packing, but in the unlikely event that any of you wait on me to make your weekly comic purchases, it's all right because you didn't miss shit.

This issue's main idea is the reaction to Nightcrawler's death and his funeral as well as looking over what's been lost since the crossover began (RIP Ariel...and Karma's leg). Meaning a recap on the middle of the crossover. Do we really need it, Fraction? Do you really believe all of us have the memories of goldfish? This should have been saved for the last chapter of the story especially considering it's sure to be another recap with a few character moments. Why make a crossover 14 chapters if you clearly don't need them all?

Dodson's on art this issue. Which adds to the filler idea of this issue, and also prevents from taking any of the recapped events seriously. Not that I took them very seriously to begin with, no one's really done a good job of hiding that the crossover formula's being used.

And of course, everyone's dealing with Karma's loss delicately. I can just see the script Dodson was working off of just now: "Panel 3: Have Box bandaging Karma's stump in the least gentle manner possible with her having a hilariously crabby look on her face! Get it? 'Cause she's a minor character, so no one's taking her situation seriously!" Anyway...

The scene changes to everyone standing around Nightcrawler's corpse. Cyclops pokes it with a stick at one point, and Emma asks him if that's not being disrespectful to the dead. He yells at her telling her that he's doing it for the good of the mutant race, and he knows this is the right thing to do ....All right so maybe that didn't happen. But at this point with the uneven levels of power in Emma and Scott's relationship would you really be all that surprised if it did?

Instead, someone tells Hope to bring Kurt back. Someone tells them to back off of her, and Hope freaks out and has a pure Hot Topic-worthy rant about how she's nobody and runs away. Yeah.....I'm not making this one up. Here's the cringe-worthy proof:

I've never felt so embarrassed for a comic book character.
Not even Manhunter when she was late to a battle because she was changing in a car.
I'm just dreading the chapter where she decides to piss off Cable by starting to wear all black and changing her name to Despair. And just in case Fraction was attempting to appeal to the alternative youth of today, someone should alert him that self-loathing is out these days and judgmental narcissism is in (or so says Tumblr, this year's trendy site [yes, I have one. Whatever, it's easy for mindless blogging]).

Afterwards, Cable introduces Hope to Cyclops as his father. And Cyclops proceeds to be exceedingly awkward by talking to Hope as if she's 5. He then tells Cable and Hope to get to the medical bay to get their first checkups in forever. Scene shifts to Danger and her prisoners, who apparently are kept under control through the use of virtual reality goggles, and apparently Pierce, the villain who really needs to die soon, has escaped without her notice, and is the one screwing up things with the Dystopia.

In the war room, a plan is being made to retrieve Magik considering Pixie and Vanisher are the only teleporters left. Which may not be for too much longer considering the preview for Second Coming's next chapter. More will be gone over for that with Second Coming Revelations: Hellbound #1, which I may or may not review.

Back at the med place, Hope meets Magneto, Cable tells her to stay away from him, and it probably means that some dumb shit is going to go on between the unbelievably naive Hope and Magneto who hasn't done an interesting thing since he's arrived on Utopia.

The next scene is Nightcrawler's funeral, which Iceman is the priest guy for (since when is he a priest/in a position where he can perform funerals?). He rattles off some bland lyrics meant to be meaningful. I have no idea what they were because I automatically tune out someone using song lyrics to express themselves thanks to Facebook and the years of Myspace that came before that.

OH and Beast shows up to be pissy with Cyclops. This reappearance really did strike me though, and it left me with two feelings I feel deeply. 1. So glad this annoying fucker's been exiled off to the Secret Avengers, a book I have no intention of reading. 2. Why wasn't he kept around and killed off for this crossover? WHHYYYYYY?????

What followed was a two-page spread with Kurt's various past jobs of acrobat, swashbuckling sword guy, and priest covering the top, and various characters expressing their thoughts on him. Xavier's was a WTF considering Kurt is from the second generation class. I doubt that Xavier taught him the least, seriously.

Emma's was just funny to me because I expected her to follow it with, "It burned when I tried to enter all the others."

And then Colossus said the line I felt got the least attention which was about how everyone thought him dead once, so maybe this works out like that again. I can't believe the entire group didn't go, "Yeah, probably." Seriously, on that page alone we have Xavier who was shot in the head last year, Emma who's been shattered, Storm who's been zapped by Havok, Iceman who should've died so many times, Cyclops who was "killed" by Apocalypse, and Wolverine....who defies all the laws of life.

At the end of the issue, Wolverine is all manrage and tells Hope she better be worth it and storms off. And that's all. Hopefully next week something actually happens.


FSaker said...

Fraction knows how to ruin an event, doesn't he? It's quite surprising to see the man who is doing an amazing job in the Iron Man title being so lame with the X-Men.

But what REALLY surprises me is that you made no mention regarding the fact that the X-Men held a funeral for Nightcrawler but couldn't even say a farewell line about Ariel's death. It seems this week's New Mutants issue will have Cyclops mentioning her death to Domino, but the poor girl (or boy dressed as a girl, as you say you'd like her to be) was completely forgotten... I think she deserved a better posthumous treatment than that.

But on the other hand, Kurt's funeral had Emma joking about chapels, Beast throwing a tantrum on Cyclops (not that Cyke didn't deserve it, but it was an inappropriate moment to do that), Wolverine yelling at Hope... yeah, maybe Ariel got lucky for not getting a funeral, after all.

Mr. Hellfire said...

Yeah, it's weird because people LOVVVEEEE Fraction's Iron Man and it just confuses me. but then again Uncanny sometimes is written to be the book of Cyclops with some other characters on the side.

And yeah, I anticipated it to be that way, so I forgot to mention that. She does deserve better treatment since she's been more interesting than Nightcrawler in recent months, but whateverr.

And yeah, I'd imagine he'd be a little pissed at how cheap and dysfunctional his funeral was. You know someone's on a budget when Iceman is your funeral priest guy.

FSaker said...

Yup, he's actually quite good in the Iron Man title. Maybe because it's a solo book, but still, he does a great characterization to a lot of characters there, from Pepper Potts to War Machine, from Black Widow to Maria Hill (he's one of the only people who could write a bearable Maria Hill), from Donald Blake to the Ghost to Madame Masque and Tony's parents... and Tony herself, of course.

In Uncanny X-Men, his first problem is to treat the title as a Cyclops solo book with the other X-Men as secondary characters, but that would be forgivable if the characterization was still okay. Instead, we get Scott using slangs like a surfer dude (yup, because slangs make people really see you as their commander), Emma acting like a blonde Jean Grey, Magneto bowing down to anyone, Beast throwing tantrums all the time (and Nightcrawler doing the same in Beast's absence), Prof.X as a really stupid old man undeserving of attention or respect, Psylocke just posing, fighting, showing her ass and saying "As you wish"...

He does a good characterization job with Namor, though; I'll give him that.