UNCANNY X-MEN #7
The quartet of teen X-Men have been transported to the Age of Apocalypse by Legion, along with a considerably weakened Nate Grey. To make matters worse the team have somehow been split over an unconfirmed time period by a disagreement that sees Armor and Glob protecting him, while a drastically changed Rockslide and Pixie hunt them down, with final decisions being made.
While it was a brave move having the story focus completely on the ‘Futurekind’ with no inclusion of any of the seniors, I felt somewhat disassociated from the story this issue due to a lack of background information. Confuddled as I was by the time lapse I was left even more in the dark by the changes, both physical and mental, that the teens had gone through. As we fast forwarded an indeterminate length of time to be thrown into whatever present dilemma the kids are involved in, the stark and shocking image of the finale of last issue that was the pull for me to begin with as this issue opened was completely brushed over. And this was a mistake in my humble opinion. Let’s remember these aren’t AOA alternate versions we are seeing. These are known entities who have been changed by the world they have been thrown into and as such some background needed to be established to ensure we invest in the narrative here. With no explanation as to these physical changes other than it was caused by Legion, there was little to no intrigue as to how it all occurred in the first place.
From Pixies demonic appearance, a cross between Mohawk Storm and the Fallen of Mutant X, the fiery tear in Rockslide’s chest and even Glob looking buffed up with his eyeballs no longer comically hanging out, these were some drastic alterations to the intrinsic look of established characters. The jaded part of me is thinking it was to tag on to the old changes made to AOA Wolverine and Cyclops, the missing hand and eye of each. But those characters were of that world and so it was only natural they were different. Here we are expected to accept the changes and we possibly could, had they been explained or even mentioned in passing. And that’s the least of it. The attitude of each of them is merely brushed over and we are supposed to just get on board with the debate raging between the opposing factions, which in itself had some problems for me. For months/years (???) they have been divided in their beliefs on what to do and then all of a sudden Pixie convinces Armor that she was right all along? It took a whole issue to get to this decision and she turns on a hare-pin when even the disintegration of the K’Kraan Crystal didn’t sway her, whereas before her opinion caused them all to go their separate ways? I am not so easily convinced as Hisako, sorry.
The most confusing thing though is the sudden lack of power displayed by Nate himself. A shadow of his former self, he is left completely powerless and totally different from the so called Messiah we have been shown so far. It is confusing to see how this could be, given his imminent death was supposedly the reason for his change in power status as well as mental degradation. And I have to say the return to the AOA also had a similar effect on me. My inner fanboy became ever so slightly lessened by seeing only the Infinites and an all too brief glimpse of Colossus.
Even the introduction of Firestar as human lightbulb was not enough to spark my interest. However the art saved things a little and kept me reading til the very bitter end. What began with the cover by Elizabeth Torque, which afforded the kids a more forceful and believable appearance than we saw in their characterisation, was continued admirably with the internal art. As the kids fought not only the Infinites, where we were rewarded with a battle that gave Glob an edge we haven’t seen before, but also each other for the fate of their world. As empty and devoid of characters as this world was, Pere Pérez still managed to make it at least look the part artistically even if the writers couldn’t do it narratively. Added to this Rachelle Rosenberg gave the world at least some semblance of being fleshed out and feeling realistic. The imagery of the empty streets and the spy within the ruins also offered some insight into the world the x-kids had been stranded in and the ruins of Sinister’s lab definitely added to that lost and hopeless feel.
And speaking of the lab itself the final fight scene was at least memorable in that we saw something we can never unsee. As boundaries are crossed and Vic and Robert exchange blows I’m sure that when the dust settles there will be some emotional fallout from this whole saga for the two of them.
And the same has to be said for Pixie and Armor. Remembering the knock on effect of Magik and Pixie and the ripples that caused there has to be some comeback here also, given the dramatic physical change in Pixie alone. And not to mention with Armor now taking things into her own hands and crossing the ‘no kill’ boundary even if we already know it won’t happen, they have all said and done things this issue which must have repercussions, at least I hope so.
I had been greatly anticipating seeing what had occurred to this world since we last saw it. No grim and dark X-Termination here, or even the Bachalo 10th Anniversary look. Just a fiery ruin of a supposedly empty world. And that is the feeling I was left with reading this story.
Uncanny X-Men #7: Shades of Grey
Writing - 4/10
Storyline - 3/10
Art - 8/10
Color - 7/10
Cover Art - 7/10
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