Monday, October 21, 2013

Review # 63: "Uncanny X-Men - Lovelorn"

Matt Fraction is Marvel's golden boy right now with his acclaimed work on "Hawkeye" and "FF," but things weren't always rosy in the public eye. His run on "Uncanny X-Men" was not the most popular in the world and drove a few people away from the series. Frankly, I don't get the hate. Some criticize Fraction for making "Uncanny X-Men" the "Scott and Emma Show." But, really... who cares? They were the centre not only of the team at the time, but of mutantkind's place in the Marvel Universe. If you wanted Rogue and Gambit, there was "X-Men Legacy." If you wanted Nightcrawler and Colossus, there was "X-Infernus." Um... er... OK, maybe not. I'll get to that next time. If you wanted Wolverine, the man was EVERYWHERE, front-and-centre in his solo series and "X-Force," and it's not like he completely disappears while the X-Men are in San Francisco.

So after my pro-Fraction-emphasis-on-Scott-and-Emma tirade, let me say that "Lovelorn" is... actually, it's kinda average. I wouldn't have even bought this had it not been for the brilliant reintroduction of Dr. Nemesis. Resurrecting this WWII-era character who had only shown up in the 90s since then and giving him the bedside manor of Gregory House was a stroke of genius, though it doesn't pay dividends right from the get-go.

Beast is attempting to form a science team to solve the mutant gene repression problem, as he and Angel try to coerce Nemesis and Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi to join up be it through morality or through Warren's pocketbook. Of course, things like this are never easy for the X-Men as they have to battle Nazi genetic experiments and - later - a reptilian creature resembling Godzilla. Warren saves the day, but the way he does so is the eventual catalyst to Cyclops' mutant society splitting in two. It's a slow burn.

Meanwhile, Colossus is still mourning the loss of Kitty Pryde and Cyclops tries to get his head in gear by encouraging him to "hit who he needs to hit." Piotr ends up running into a ghost from his past and does just that. While that's going on, the X-Men compound is beginning to take on refugees and there's a bonus story where Emma Frost manipulates Sebastian Shaw and Namor.

While the writing is tight (I think Fraction writes Scott and Emma as well as anyone,) there's very little in the way of plot. I enjoy the pencils of Terry Dodson and he's practically Da Vinci compared to the great evil lurking in the immediate future of the X-Men.

Rating: 6.5/10

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