Uncanny X-Men No. 501
Published by Marvel Comics. Written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. Penciled by Greg Land. Inked by Jay Leisten.
The Deal: Presenting the second installment of the X-Men's new direction in their brand-new hometown of San Francisco.
The Good: I like what new writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are doing with Uncanny X-Men. The creative team that successfully relaunched the chronically unsuccessful Iron Fist, Brubaker and Fraction are skilled with building fictional worlds -- and that's exactly what they're bringing to X-Men. In the first two issues alone, the writing duo has introduced a new headquarters, new vehicles, new operating procedures, new characters and, in general, a new outlook for Marvel's mutant superstars. And all the new stuff couldn't have come at a better time. Just a few months ago, much of the X-Men's world was mired in stale, outdated concepts. This fresh approach to the X-Men mythos almost makes the comic feel like issue No. 2 of the series instead of No. 501. Oh, and the art -- by Greg Land -- is amazing; it's photo-realistic and lifelike but still incredibly clean and economical.
The Bad: This issue of Uncanny spotlights a new member of the team who was actually first seen (I believe) in a one-shot comic created for Free Comic Book Day. Of course if you never read the free one-shot, you won't be familiar with the character. So you might want to grab a copy of that comic after you read X-Men No. 501.
The Verdict: I'm liking the X-Men's new world. It was definitely a corner of the Marvel Universe that needed a fresh coat of paint.
Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.