Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Greg Land & Terry Dodson
I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the first issue of Warren Ellis’s stint on the X-Men flagship title Astonishing X-Men, so I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the new issue of secondary x-title Uncanny X-Men, which marks not only the 500th issue of the book, but sees Matt Fraction coming on to co-write with Brubaker (who has been writing the book for awhile now, starting with the mediocre The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire story arc). The two have collaborated before to some very nice results and this seems to be the case for the new pairing as well. Greg Land and Terry Dodson illustrate the issue, and there lies my biggest complaint. I don't mind so much the photo-referenced look of Greg Land's art like many people do, but what I do find quite distracting is when the art changes between two artists throughout an issue. It's bad enough when a storyarc can't be by a single artist, but not even an issue? That makes for kind of a rocky start. Constantly, pencils shift from Land to Dodson jarringly. I can only hope that future of the series see more consistency in this regard. But I like the story and the characters as they're introduced, even though I'm not familiar with all of them, like Pixie, who has a small scene at the end. It's nice to see the gang beating on Magneto and acknowledging things that are going on to the mutants at large, and discussing their move to San Francisco. Uncanny X-Men and X-Men have been in the shadows of the core x-title for too long - it's exciting to see one of them finally step up in quality to give Astonishing a run for its money.