REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #532
A mutant plague, the Black King falling, and a new team of “X-Men,” what is Scott going to do about it? Well, at least the parts he knows about.
UNCANNY X-MEN #532
Writer: Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Greg Land and Justin Ponsor
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Previously in Uncanny X-Men: Utopia has been hit by a plague that’s not just making everyone sick, but taking away powers as well. The same people that caused the plague have manufactured their own X-Men based off the original. The Collective Man is terrorizing Chinatown. And Emma has taken her secret prisoner to discard him.
SOOO MANY X-MEN
We have at least four different plot threads running throughout the book, maybe more. Some of them are so intertwined with others that I can’t tell one from the other, which is good. We open on E.V.A. shortly after Fantomex made the mistake of dropping the Black King’s kinetic self hundreds of yards to the Earth. Some pithy commentary between Emma and Fantomex later and Shaw is back in the air tearing them down. A quick jump to the current team of X-men (Angel, Northstar, Dazzler, Pixie, and Storm) as they take on the Collective Man. The fakes show up and are taken down immediately. Follow up with some good X-Man teamwork to take out the Collective Man and the fights up. Next a press conference shows the world that the plague is only affecting mutants with the recently hired PR rep taking a shot of it to show just how immune humans are.
Now we can start running in to some new story, Scott is contacted by Lobe, the man who is causing most of the current problems. He wants exclusive rights to the mutant genome so he can legally make more of the fake mutants. The fakes have been brought to Utopia’s brig and instead of giving out any real info are asking for autographs, time for a different interrogator, bub. Oh, and now we get back to the Black King story line, and my favorite part of the writing.
So, that is a giant mess of info coming at us, no? Of course it is, but the two writers handle it fantastically, I never feel that any one plot point is being overcast by the next; just that it was the logical flow of where we should be going. My favorite line is cut between the front and the back of the book, as while E.V.A. is going down Kitty starts to says “Cra-“ and when we com back to the crashed ship, in the very last sequence, her suit is shorting out with “—ap! –ap! –zzzssk! –ap!” That line tied the entire thing back together for me. Fantastic! The pair also do a great job of giving each character of the huge cast, seriously no X-Man is even remotely off limits for this title, there own time to shine.
AND HE LANDED IT
I’m reasonably certain that Land has been the artist at least since I started reading Uncanny back at ish 500, though I could be wrong. Either way, I have to say it still looks good and I would be disappointed to see another’s work on the title. I’d say the best I have to say here is that I can tell any one blond-haired, blue-eyed lady from the next, which sells the art.
BOTTOM LINE: GO FOR IT
The only reason I wouldn’t recommend this specific issue to someone is it does follow so many plot lines from the previous two issues in the arc. Instead, I would say go get those two first, and then continue on through. Well played dialogue and some great artistry earn Uncanny X-Men #532 4 stars out of the potential 5. I’ll be sad to see Fraction go soon, but Gillen looks good and if he can keep up the fantastic character intros, I’m still sold.