Monday, November 30, 2009

Secret Invasion: X-Men TPB

Hmm. This is my second trade of the San Fran-era X-Men, and this is the second time I've been under whelmed. Mike Carey does a nice job with some of the individual scenes, but there are just so many characters it seems like no one gets a real starring role. The closest thing to a lead would be Cyclops, who as always makes tough decisions and keeps his troops moving like an army. I loved the way he sent the X-Men out on assignment and just didn't worry if any of them were disguised Skrulls. He tells the team it doesn't do any good to second-guess each other, so just do your jobs.

Nightcrawler gets some page time as he struggles with an alien orb that is some sort of space-Bible or something. I know now that the orb represents God, not some oddball space alien deity, so that is a bit of a let-down, since I think a weirder influence might have been more interesting for the character. Beast navigates yet another moral quagmire as he provides Cyclops with a retooled legacy virus to wipe out all the local Skrulls. Having Cyclops tell Beast that he relies on him as a moral compass was a great touch. Overall though, the threats never seemed that dangerous and the stakes never seemed that high. Maybe this is one instance where reading the trade a year after the event robs the story of any driving force. Carey obviously knows his X-history and has the characterization down, but the overall plot here was rather mundane.

Cary Nord's pencils are always a treat, although he has a tendency to soften everything up quite a bit. I'm not sure he's the best fit for a massive X-crossover book.


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