Best Shots Extra: UNCANNY X-MEN #515 - "Color me X-Cited!"

Best Shots Extra: UNCANNY X-MEN #515

Uncanny X – Men #515

Written by Matt Fraction

Art by Greg land

Published by Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Brian Andersen

Asteroid M! The return of Professor X! A googolplex of mutants (almost)! Magneto! Uncanny X-Men comes out of the multi-part "Utopia" crossover full guns blazing with a whole new status quo and the return of X-Men Baddie Numero Uno! Three cheers to writer Matt Fraction for not only pulling off a rather exciting and entertaining crossover with those wily buggers over in Dark Avengers – with so many moving pieces Fraction was able to keep the pages turning and the action moving while never spoiling the big surprise at the end – but for also having the crossover mean something.

Too often comic book crossovers amount to a whole-hell-of-a-lot-of-nothing-special, with characters just fighting, interacting, and then, once the crossover ends, everyone heading back to their own respective corners of their comic universe as if they hadn’t fought and interacted in the first place. But thankfully, with the Mutants now having a land mass to call their very own in the former forgotten rock that was Asteroid M, the "Utopia" storyline actually means something by changing the X-Men and their mission for years to come. It’s like an all new, all different Genosha 2.0!

Although this issue opens up with the emergence of a rather interesting (and odd) band of superpowered newbies (at least I think they’re new, but one never knows as they could just be polished off, refurbished characters) engaging in an all out battle royal with someone I’m not too familiar with who says he’s killed many a Mutant in the past, most of this comic is heavy on the talky-talk. But at least, for the most part, the chattiness is engrossing, as most speechy moments result in terrific, combative verbal throw-downs. When laser beams aren’t being fired and/or the team isn’t training in the Danger Room (which I know hasn’t happened in years, but hey, I still miss it!) give me characters verbally bashing each other any day!

Case in point: Emma vs. Storm! Verbal daggers, steely gazes, ah, I’m so loving this Emma vs. Storm cat fight! More, more, more. I want more emotional outbursts now that Emma is bitchier than ever – she’s like the old snarky, snotty Emma we love to hate. Thanks to that “S” shaped piece of the Sentry’s evil “Void” thinger being stuck in her head causing her to be trapped in her Diamond form, the girl just can’t seem to bite her tongue and not say whatever rude thing that springs to her mind. Awesome! Love it. And caught in the middle of it all? The weary Cyclops struggling to be the leader everyone expects him to be – including himself. Poor, poor boy.

As for the rest of the issue, after some old dude bites the big one – and for the life of me I just can’t remember who he is and why he’s important (and I’ve been reading all of Fraction’s X-Men run) – and as everyone gathers to remember him they’re suddenly interrupted by the shocking last page return of Magneto – soaring down from the sky, fully re-powered. The shiz-nit is gonna hit the fan folks!

All in all not a bad comic. I could use some more peripheral appearances by one of the 227 mutants/peeps on the new X-Base/X-Nation, X-Whatever it’s going to be called. One of the charms of the current X-Men book is seeing all your fave mutants, past and present, showing up sporadically and having their moment in the spotlight. But aside from this ity-bity snip the ground work in this issue is set for an all new era of X-Greatness. There are just so many questions now to figure out about the future of the X-Men. Are they now a ghettoized people living in one small spot of land floating apart from the U.S.A.? Or are they a triumphant sovereign mini-nation standing proudly alone? Are they are a safe haven for mutants or a localized spot for their enemies to take them all out at once? So many excellent questions can only lead to great stories. Bring it, Fraction! Color me X-Cited!

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