Saturday, July 31, 2010

X-Men: Utopia TPB (part 1)

Holy cow. This trade is ginormous. It's so big, it would be a disservice to just do one review, considering how much material is collected here. I'm going to split up my reviews between the three major sections:

  • The actual Utopia crossover in Uncanny X-Men and Dark Avengers
  • X-Men Legacy
  • Dark X-Men: The Beginning limited series
The Utopia crossover is interesting becaus Matt Fraction is writing the whole thing. He's got the voices of the villains down pretty well, but he does his best work with Norman Osborn (obviously, he's got the X-Men down). I still don't like Cyclops being quite so... jerky, but I suppose that's who he needs to be for the X-folks these days. I really enjoyed some of the pairing Fraction does with the two teams. The most interesting to me was that Colossus and Venom sort of had a thing going. They faced off at the beginning of the story, then sought each other out in the later issues.

The whole Dark X-Men idea is a neat one, since Osborn had his own Avengers, it makes sense he'd want his own X-Men too (and having Daken on both teams is a great wink to the readers). Mimic and Omega both make for interesting team members, since I think both guys might actually want to try and be heroes. They have screwed up so many times, they actually come across as misguided most of the time. (I still have fond memories of Mimic from Exiles, so I'd love to see him become a real hero.)

The story ends with Cyclops raising Asteroid M and bringing all the mutants out of San Fran to the island. It's an ending that lets both leaders save face, but really, I think it is a win for Osborn. He's run off the mutants, leaving his pet X-Men as the only X-team around.

Terry Dodson's art is fantastic in the X-issues, and Luke Ross does a solid job in the Dark Avengers chapters. Ross is trying to channel Mike Deodato, and he does fine. There is just no topping the way Dodson draws Emma Frost, and his Namor is regal and imposing. I love those Dark X-Men designs.


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