Comics Review: Uncanny X-Men, FF, and Amazing Spider-Man

Glad I Waited
Uncanny X-Men # 535 – Breaking Point, Part One
I just got back into comics in May after a 10-12 year hiatus. boy have I missed a lot! So I’ve been working my way through the trade paperbacks and hard covers to get caught up on just what happened to one of my favorite Marvel teams. I was going to read this issue when I saw in issue 534.1 that it involves the Breakworld which was mentioned as returning for the first time since Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men. So I put this issue aside and finished reading my Morrison New X-Men so I could read Astonishing X-Men. All of this is a very roundabout way of saying – it’s perfect for me! It’s as though things are picking up where that story left off. We have Kitty still intangible and even Danger (the embodiment of The Danger Room) still around. The only thing different is that Beast is gone because he is now with the Secret Avengers. (And Armor was left behind on purpose) And so this storyline is awesome for me, but what about the regulars?

I mean, for anyone that’s been reading X-Men for the past seven years, the story won’t be fresh. And for people who came in some time in between, they may be much more lost.

Now, this issue doesn’t require intimate knowledge of what happened back then. But there are lots of little things I’m picking up on because I just finished Whedon’s book today that most people won’t. For example, the fact that Dr Rao, who was kind of a bad guy in Whedon’s book is working in their lab. It’s a shame because part of Morrison’s manifesto was to be careful about stuff like this – very long continuity stuff. Then again, nowawdays with websites like ComicVine, the reader doesn’t have to be completely lost.

Overall, I LOVE the art and the story is very well written. I noticed that Kitty still has a similar speech pattern to when Whedon was writing here – that’s pretty neat. (Kinda Buffy-speak) I also love the way Namor talks. I’ve not dealt with him much in my past with comics, so it’s fun to see someone else who, like Dr Doom, is royalty and so speaks in a very different manner to everyone else. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next issue later tonight or tomorrow.

Very interesting developments
Uncanny X-Men # 536 – Breaking Point, Part 2
Gillen continues a good run on Uncanny X-Men. Although I could see the plot twist coming a mile away, the technique the villian uses is great. Again, as I said in my review of the previous issue, I’m not sure those who haven’t read Astonishing would understand exactly what’s happened, but them’s the breaks.

So the Breakworldians are given refuge on Utopia because Scott feels they caused what happened. (Although technically it was a setup by one of their precogs) Will they accept or not? The cover lies, but not as much as you think.

A GREAT Build to Climax
Uncanny X-Men # 537 – Breaking Point, Part 3
So the Breakworlders are out to get bloody revenge. Kruun has disabled all of the X-Men by various means including zapping their powers. He took Kitty out of her suit so she is intangible and no one can hear her. It’s like a great horror movie. There’s a monster and you can’t call for help. Overall a great continuation of the Gillen run. There was just one little plot device that pissed me off and almost soured me on the whole issue. The knife Kruun makes can hurt Kitty. That makes sense given her history with the metal they use on that planet. But she can’t grab it? That was just dumb. How is it only tangible when someone else is putting it into her? Argh! It was only the great tension the writing builds up and the great art that saved this issue from a lower rating from me.

A Fitting End, If A Bit Rushed
Uncanny X-Men # 538 – Breaking Point, Part 4
I don’t know how much time has passed in Marvel – probably a year or so, but in the real world, Kitty has been intangible since 2004. Will she finally be cured? This issue gives the answer as well as, hopefully, solving the Breakworld issue once and for all. Of course, since Astonishing is a bit behind the other X-books, Kitty will be intangible there no matter what happens in this issue. Since this issue is the final battle and resolution, there isn’t a way to mention too much without it being spoilers. I’ll just end by saying I think the way the story is book-ended (ie the way it started and ends) is perfect. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue. They mention something about Rachel Summers – but in X-Men: Legacy she’s in space, I think. I’m really curious how it all fits together.

Good, but still not yet at the Climax
FF # 5 – …The Sound of War
This is definitely the Fantastic Four fanboy’s series. People and relationships are brought up without explanation – you’re supposed to know who’s who. Like I don’t know why I should care about the people that arrive at the end. And it’s sci-fi and confusing as heck. I re-read all the previous four issues today to make sure I knew what was going on – especially since I read them 3,4,1,2 because of when I bought the issues. It works together very well. Again, I think still story will end up making a great trade, but as individual issues on a monthly basis, it’s a lot to keep in your head.

This issue more or less picks up where the last one left off. So, by definition, there’s some battling going on. But it’s just the local war that Susan, Spidey, and Alex went to deal with. The conflict with the actual Reeds has not yet taken place. The villians are still unable to figure out how to defeat The Other Reeds. The writing is amazing and so is the art, but I’m kinda itching for the resolution to this story or at least a first confrontation with The Other Reeds.

If you like the Fantastic Four but aren’t the biggest fan, I think I’d wait for the TP or HC for maximum enjoyment.

A Good Resolution to the Li Story
The Amazing Spider-Man # 664 – The Return of Anti-Venom, Part 2: Revelation Day; Infested, Stage 5: Wall-to-Wall
This issue is classic Spider-Man. He and Anti-Venom trade barbs as Anti-Venom tries in vain to convince Spider-Man that he was right to attack Mr Li – AKA Mr Negative. I was chuckling almost the entire time. The Wraith story from the last issue continues, but it appears to be a red herring – it wasn’t anywhere near as important as the previous issue made it seem. Finally, it appears that, for Spidey, being part of the Avengers has its perks!