UNCANNY X-MEN #5
As Beast is on a mission to discover who broke into his lab, the kids at Xaviers take matters into their own hands and release Legion and the senior squad face multiple dangers caused by Nate’s Horsemen. Nate himself has made Kitty, Apocalypse and Senator Allen his unwilling guests in order to pick their brains and allow them to tell him what they think he should do as the X-Men are finally compelled to face their loved ones, taking action which results in some apparently disastrous consequences.
The thrills keep getting ramped up as the threat level rises exponentially and how it came to this is no surprise. The X-Men vs the Horsemen and among them are of course some familiar and familial faces. Betsy facing off against Angel and Lorna against Magneto was inevitable but at the same time it was kind of saddening to see. Now we have scratched the surface of the Horsemen and found that beneath the facade of pious righteousness there is at least some semblance of their real personalities. From Warren’s drastic about face at the end, which I was equal parts shocked and relieved to see it, to the oh so satisfying sight of Lorna rebelling against her father, almost hilariously hitting back with all the missed opportunities of petulant adolescence, this was a feast of angst and drama as only the X-Men can do.
And though there was comment of wavering from Lorna I think she handled herself admirably under the circumstances. With the obvious humor inherent in that scene there was also some balance with the pathos of Betsy and Warren, which was truly heartbreaking. The status of this couple has been in severe flux for several years now and it would have been nice to have Warren at least comment on her change in appearance. Is it so commonplace now for the Merry Mutants that it doesn’t even warrant even a raised eyebrow?
I had to shake my head in confusion as to why Beast searched the computer records for surveillance footage of those accessing the refrigeration unit, yet for some inexplicable reason omitted any instance of himself. Does he really not recall there is an exact copy of himself out there somewhere? After all, we are dealing with one escapee of the Age of Apocalypse and though WE know Dark Beast is on the run, he doesn’t. And Hank….shape changers? As investigations go I have to say, don’t give up the day job. Come on mate, think.
R.B. Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto deliver a grittier and more explosive sight than last issue, with seemingly more threat level for the X-Men. Whereas previous issues relied heavily on facial expressions to relay the emotion and threat, here the confrontations are more resoundingly dynamic and the facial expressions are just the icing on the cake. The lettering of Chris Eliopoulos also lends some truly awesome effects to the action and Psylocke has clearly gained some impact with her latest expression of power.
I had worried about the art of Silva in issue #2 as I’m not a fan of those pin prick eyes. But that was kept to a minimum here and the fight sequences distract heavily from it, so here I barely noticed it and focused instead on the action packed scenes as the always Uncanny X-Men do what they do best and fight to keep the peace between the species.
And still manage to get in the looks of wonder from X-Men who have seen it all but still have room to take in the spectacle and awe, with discussion about the rights and wrongs of taking action to preserve that which is a destructive force to the very planet they inhabit. And with Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors adding to the beautifully rendered imagery of nature in flux and thriving, expertly showing how the world would be without the influence of mankind, a beautiful and equally intriguing sight.
And as well as the message of how the world could look without the destructive actions of mankind we also get the other side of the equation and the obliteration of religion. And this leads to some extremely compelling drama as we see Kitty and Apocalypse in conference, something I never thought anyone would ever witness, with En Sabah Nur almost diplomatic in his indulgence of Kitty. And how chilling that he calls her an adorable child.
The destruction of religious iconography and symbols across the world is a state of affairs that induces true shock and outrage from Kitty and clearly shakes her to the core. Yet it does offer the compelling argument that the very system of belief is something that has been the root cause of much of the wars in the world and also the problems humankind has in its very existence.
Some truly contentious arguments are raised and with catastrophic results as mankind is set between a rock and a hard place as the pawns in the battle of might vs right.
Uncanny X-Men #5 There Must Be An Angel
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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