Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Uncanny X-Men #505
Fraction, Dodson, Dodson & Ponsor
Lots of threads open up as this issue helps to anchor Uncanny at the center of X-Universe as well as create some interesting plots. The story is just starting out so this issue has some strong points but is kind of slow. The artwork suits the mood but doesn’t go out of its way to frame the story as something great either. This issue helps to build something that will happen down the line. It’s a good but not great issue.
Perhaps the main thread in this comic is the brewing storm against the mutants as a result of the massacre in Cooperstown during the Messiah Complex. The mayor of San Francisco pulls the X-Men aside to reassure them that she is backing them despite a government movement to have a government regulated birth control on mutants. If history is any indication I’d say the mayor will eventually pull the rug on them, but that’s a guess.
Another plot here is Colossus dealing with his own grief by taking a road trip. He finds a man from his past that extorted his father many years ago and it appears Colossus will use some form of vengeance to vault him back into a normal psychological state. This Colossus isolation has some possibilities that could become really good. The flipside to the solo story is Beast and Angel recruiting more scientists to help reverse the no mutant birth problem that seems to be the new status quo.
Finally, we have Emma coming to terms with the fact that Scott isn’t telling her everything. Whatever it is that he is hiding is driving her nuts and it seems this opens her up to the Dark Reign council seen in other Marvel Universe comics. It’s interesting that a mutant couple is basically breaking up of their own accord while the government is trying to prevent their reproduction.
The comic has other little tidbits here and there and many of them tie in other storylines from other X comics. For example, Cyclops and Emma discuss some Cable and the Messiah child, which is obviously happening in the Cable series. Pixie has some dealings with X-23 that seems to reference the X-Force book and the infusion of the Armor character seems to bring in the Astonishing X-Men comic. This is the first real effort I’ve seen to really position one of the X comic as the main anchor for all of the others.
The artwork has some strong points. Perhaps the best art in the book is the handling of Colossus and his tattoo villain and friends. The scenes help make Colossus look confident but still weak. He looks vulnerable and impressionable. Some of the lower points are the handling of the younger X-Men. Pixie still looks like a teen (or younger in the face) but X-23 appears almost as old or older than Emma which is really odd.
The comic has limited action but gives some decent confrontation, even if those confrontations seem out of the norm. The Beast and Angel recruitment scene isn’t nearly as difficult as the one in the previous issue which was a bit of a letdown. The Cyclops and Emma argument seems to give the upper hand clearly to Cyclops which seems out of Emma’s character, but it sets up her temporary defection to Dark Reign. For my money the Colossus storyline is the most rooted and could end a number of ways, which keeps it interesting.
The issue is a good issue and opens up a lot of story streams to play around with. The arc is just starting to get rolling and this issue offers multiple fronts to watch with some interesting characters involved. This issue keeps the ball rolling nicely for this series.
3 out of 5 geek goggles