Uncanny X-Men 522
Nation X comes to a close and Matt Fraction leaves the story on about as good a note as you can for the X-Men. This month's book leaves a sugary sweet feeling within the reader in the end, if you discount the fact Kitty pryde is perpetually intangible for the moment. If the concept behind "Nation X" was that it was to be the place for all the mutants in the world to gather, Fraction pulled in the last piece he could, with Kitty Pryde being the final mutant to call Utopia home.
Perhaps the only knock on the story was that it seems there is much more that could be told about living on Asteroid M than what Fraction covered given the page and monthly limitations. Now, if Nation X becomes more of a setting change than just a storyline, the possabilities are still there, but until the end of Second Coming we'll have to wait to read more about the 200 some-odd mutants living on a rock in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
The only other negatives generally are with charcaterization, specifically how much of a dick Reed Richards comes off as. But, c'est la vie.
The backup story was pretty good. The plot goes, "What if you knew when your world was going to die, and there was an appreciable amount of time. Could society keep itself together in the face of that knowledge?" Its always an interesting story because it is almost akin the the zombie movie genre in that if you focus on just a few characters it turns into them trying to maintain their ethics and a sensible morality in the face of the world going mad. The story adds a layer of irony because we know Kitty is in the giant space bullet and the aliens will actually survive the coming apocalypse just fine. I am actually pleasantly surprised with the ending to the story, too, as it maintains the sugary sweet feelings the whole book coaxes from the reader.
Sometimes I wonder if I should stick with X-Factor, given how niche it is within the X-Books. Then Peter David reminds me why I'm such a moron for thinking these things. We got Baron Mordo up in this book, man! Plus, there's some mindless ones, too.
Now, time for vaguely critiquing the writing of the book. Peter David probably uses a bit too many pages to get across the story he wants to here. The opening scene could probably have been done in 1 page. Readers can all see that something weird is going on with Monet by the end of that page. Guido's assault of the drug cartel could have been lessened by a few pages, and generally I seem to be frustrated with scenes I feel are going a bit too long than they need to be. I just get the impression that David had the idea of where he wanted to end the book and just kinda drug out scenes as much as he can until he had enough pages for a whole comic.
Now, one final note. Is it wrong that I can totally relate to Guido and the advice he got from "Legs"? 'Cause that's totally why I asked out my current paramour. Just another comic from this week that is enhanced by me having an emotional resonance with the characters.
Nation X 4
With this issue, the anthology comes to a close. Nothing truly advanced, nothing truly altered, but, over-all, some good stories and a chance for some talent to shine in a limited space.
In the frist story Michael Allred turns in some fabulous art for a story written by Peter Milligan that features Doop. WTF is a Doop?
Harvey Tolibad turns in som nice art for a good story about the Stepford Cuckoos and they give teaching a better name than it deserves by claiming how much it fulfilled Emma's life and can fulfill the lives of the three mischevious minxes.
Best story, bar none, was "Ice Cream Alamo". Though I question the sanity of kids willing to stab people just for Ice Cream. Not cool Loa. You lost, suck it up and learn from it.
"The King and Queen of Utopia" was a fine story, but Niko Henrichon's art is just a bit off for me. Check the chin on Namor. He's ready for Late Night. However, a good little wrap up of what was a very obvious theme between most of the stories in Nation X, the problem of food. Plus it spotlights Namor, who just doesn't get enough nods in Uncanny.