Monday, July 10, 2006

Uncanny X-Men #475

A new creative team takes the helm of Uncanny X-Men with issue 475: Ed Brubaker and Billy Tan. The first issue of their run is the beginning of a bold 12-part story, The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, a title that promises a tale of epic proportions. Included in the new lineup of characters is Professor Xavier, Nightcrawler, Marvel Girl, Havok, Warpath and Polaris. Now, there have been some changes to the cast involved that have occurred prior to this story, the biggie being that Professor Xavier can walk again, but no longer has his powers of telepathy. I'm assuming this "trade-off" is something that occurred in Brubaker's follow-up to House of M, Deadly Genesis. I guess Polaris also lost her powers with House of M, but has acquired them again, most likely from the whole Horsemen of Apocalypse storyline since she makes reference to Apocalypse's people doing something to her, resulting in her powers being different now: wild and dangerous (man, can you get lost if you don't follow all of the books). Anyways, these things aside, this was a decent first issue. Billy Tan's art wasn't exactly spectacular, but there were some pretty scenes, particularly in the form of Polaris on the run from some hunters in the streets of Egypt. There were also some nice scenes between Professor Xavier and Warpath, and with Nightcrawler. I don't know much about Vulcan, Cyclops and Havok's brother, but he's the protagonist of the story, and we get a little taste of his potential for destruction as he makes his way to Shi'ar space. He seems like a vaguely lame villain, but the rest of the issue was executed pretty well, so we'll just have to trust Brubaker and Tan know what they're doing. The "other" X-books aside from the flagship title are notorious for being just bland books, even when a great creator like Peter Milligan comes on to it...we'll have to wait and see if this will prove to be the exception.

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