Tuesday, December 25, 2012
12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men: Fear Itself TPB
Kieron Gillen seems to be doing a much stronger job when he is writing this book solo. Gillen goes all-in with Matt Fraction’s jerk Cyclops. Cyke gets to fly his jerk-flag high when Juggernaut starts marching on San Francisco. The mayor of SF, normally an ally, makes the mistake of “almost” crossing Scott Summers, and he gets some great moments to show how he feels about that. (The best being when Greg Land shows Magneto looming in the background while Cyclops puts in minimal effort to allay the mayor’s fears about Utopia.)
There is almost nothing present in this collection to explain what’s happening in the greater Fear Itself storyline. Instead, this is almost like that old Chris Claremont issue where Psylocke, Rogue, Dazzler, and Longshot tried to take out ol’ Jugsy. Only when Cain Mark is amped up by the Serpent, it takes all 200 mutants to make it a fair fight. I loved the way Gillen and Land give us so many of the X-Men’s plans broken down to one panel each. Heck, Adam X gets a shot! Who even remembers that guy?
Perhaps my favorite part of the issue involves the fall of Colossus. Colossus has always been my favorite X-Man, so I’d been bummed to see Peter acting so evil recently in other books. It turns out he never really had a chance to do anything different. When Cain Marko started working for the Serpent, Cyttorak got jealous. Cyttorak wants a new avatar of destruction, and Colossus ends up being a pretty solid choice. His throwdown with Juggernaut is nicely handled by Land; some of those punches look truly epic.
Because this is a Greg Land-drawn comic, Emma Frost must appear on a certain number of pages, right? She has some good character development with some flirting with Namor and some temptation that ties pretty directly into the AvX return of Phoenix.
It’s pretty clear who Gillen is going to focus on with the Extinction Team in the new Uncanny title.