As A.I.M. bee keepers extort money from San Francisco in order to prevent a earthquake, Magneto is hounded to make over his image. Will the City by the Bay fall into the sea? Will the Master of Magnetism bend to the will of a Publicist?
Uncanny X-Men #534.1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Carlos Pacheco
Inks: Cam Smith with Dan Green & Nathan Lee
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover: Pacheco, Smith & Sotocolor
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Story Pages: 22
Cover Price: $2.99 USD
Previously, in Uncanny X-Men: What few mutants left are living on Utopia, a island sanctuary located off the coast of San Francisco. The X-Men lead by Cyclops, are now joined by reformed villains Magneto, and Namor as they try to make the world a better place for both humans and mutants, and keep a positive PR image in the process.
NEVER TRUST A BEE-KEEPER
Agents of A.I.M. are using a earthquake machine to extort money from various businesses around San Francisco, and the core X-Men have to put a stop to it. Meanwhile Kate Kildare, publicist extraordinaire, is out to smooth over Magneto’s terrorist past, but clearly she has her work cut out for her, since Magneto would rather be feared than loved.
This is story was good, and was Magneto-centric, something that brought me to this issue, that and it being a part of the “.1” initiative, allowing a done in one tale that allows a gateway into the comic. The story itself was kind of on the stock side, but that is kind of what I expected. I didn’t think I’d get the most ground breaking issue of X-Men in the past 30 years. Now that’d be nice, but I am going to be realistic here. Having the disadvantage of not reading what came before, since I stopped reading X-Men regularly after Grant Morrison left many years previous. But within the X-Men universe everything seems to go turtle about every six months or so.
The characters, are pretty much how I remembered them to be. But Magneto does feel a bit out of place here, as does Namor, maybe I haven’t read any other issues, and as a result I don’t have a more fleshed out picture of their interactions with the team. With them here it kind of comes off as stunt casting.
ROCK AND ROLL IN SAN FRAN
It was a pleasant surprise to see that Carlos Pacheco was providing the pencils on this issue. My first exposure to his work was on X-Men from the mid to late 90’s, and he’s still a great artist. But the art in this issue seemed a bit rushed. It wasn’t eye bleeding bad, and Pacheco’s rushed art is better then most artists that take their time, but this isn’t up to the quality that he provided on projects such as Superman/Batman.
The best scenes in the book where the Magneto ones, it was simple, but very striking. With his helmet floating, and him manipulating a piece of the Breakworld Bullet that Kitty was imprisoned within was a nice touch, and flowed real well. As the last page closes out the book a problem popped up. The lettering was fragmented, maybe a file, or plate, got jarred at that printers but the balloons to me out of the story, and what was a well constructed page. In one panel in particular the dialogue balloons are covering Magneto’s face, when there is ample room on either side, and it’s not even his dialogue. One would almost think it was the attempt to cover up his face, like it wasn’t inked right, or not at all. I guess things do tend to fall through the cracks.
BOTTOM LINE: ON THE FENCE
This issue was okay, but not a stunner. If you are a fan of Pacheco you may like it, but it’s not his best art. The story isn’t something that you will be fawning over either. I view this issue as running the water and sticking you hand in to see if it’s just right, and it just doesn‘t really work for me. With all that has gone on leading up to this issue, I don’t have the time or the money to go back and read what has come before. On it’s own merits this issue is a little above middle of the road.
In closing, Uncanny X-Men #534.1 receives 3 Stars, out of 5.