Saturday, December 26, 2015

12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men #320 (1995)

I'm having a hard time remembering exactly how the rosters were working for the X-Men around these issues. I thought it was still X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold teams, but the groups have been all mixed up for both issues. Were we already in the era of no set rosters?

In any case, this issue stars Storm, Jean Grey, Iceman, Bishop, and Psylocke as they travel to Israel to take on Legion in Legion Quest part 1. I'm not sure why the X-Men would only send a small team to take on god-level mutant, but that is neither here nor there.

This is a marked improvement over the previous issue. Scott Lobdell gets a dialogue assist from Mark Waid, so of course the quality is going to bump up some. Unfortunately, some unclear artwork and a very non-linear story don't make for a good mix.

Roger Cruz is not bound by the normal rules of comic book storytelling, so odd-shaped panels bounce the reader's eye all over the place. There are arrows to help you find the next panel in some cases, but not all. Then there are some pages that go across two pages and some that don't, all in all, this is a very hard issue to read.

I forgot how much I used to like Jean Grey. As a noted hater of telepaths, that takes something for me to admit. But her competence as team co-leader, her immense power levels, and that sweet pouch-filled '90s outfit make her a pretty neat character. Teen Jean just can't cut it when compared with the original.

Bishop does little more than scream, Iceman and Psyclocke are window dressing. Jean Grey manages to take on Legion for a few pages, but most of the issue is Legion showing off his new power levels. He takes Storm on a little time jaunt to show that he can now go back in time. I really like that the X-Men have basically given up by page one, leaving the entire battle in the hands of Storm. Storm is powerful, of course, but I never dreamed she'd be the character best equipped to take on Legion.

David Haller/Legion comes off as a whiny kid, as he always does. There is often a kindness to his character too, but in this issue he doesn't exhibit much to sympathize with. He's pretty cruel when he taunts Storm with a chance to change traumas in her past. C'mon David, why go through that just to upset Storm?


No comments: