Greg’s Three Cents – X-Men #7

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Writing a review of an X-Men comic is hard for me. Much like Batman, I have such a longstanding love for the character(s) that it makes it difficult for me to see the work with an unbiased eye. When it’s good, it’s good, but when it’s bad, I almost take it personally.

That said, X-Men #7 was a joy to read, and, after so many years in a relationship with my beloved mutants, it’s nice to see that love reciprocated. I was happy to see an advance retailer copy of the new issue wrapped in a gorgeous Terry Dodson cover arrive in the mail, so I thought what better way to kick off my comic reviews than this?

Issue 7 picks up directly after the very enjoyable Curse of the Mutants story arc, and, while writer Victor Gischler touches on that story briefly so as establish continuity, but moves on from it as well, in an effort to attract new readers to a new arc. Depending on how much you liked the Curse storyline, that could be a good thing or a bad one. I personally wish there was a little more mention of past events.

In a move that both pays attention to and compliments Matt Fraction’s work on it’s sister Uncanny title, this issue begins with a montage of events depicting different members of the X-Men doing there best “every day hero” routine: catching bank robbers, saving citizens, etc. It’s explained that Marvel’s Merry Mutants are now exploring the PR side of super-heroing, and Cyclops has hired a firm to represent them in the public eye. They’ve decided to pay as much attention as possible to more down to earth threats and helping the common citizen. A clever idea, to be sure, but one I feel will backfire on them ala multiple Spider-Man tales.

Before long, the X-Men are appraised of a threat that only they can handle back in there old stomping grounds of New York City. Storm and Gambit are dispatched along with other team members who’s specific talents will compliment the mission. Or at least what they think the mission is…

The Good

  • Gambit’s dialogue is written in English, not the phonetically challenged garbage most writers use.
  • The surprise villain is actually a surprise. And it makes sense.
  • Storm and Gambit long time friendship is paid attention to.
  • Storm’s claustrophobia is also touched on.
  • Matt Fraction’s Uncanny X-Men run fits nicely into continuity with this issue.
  • The montage doesn’t suffer from DC-like ADHT channel surfing. It flows nicely.
  • Chris Bachalo’s backgrounds are richly detailed and don’t look rushed.
  • Wolverine drinks beer. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in the age of ridiculously PC comics, it’s nice to see. It’s part of his character, after all.
  • It ties in nicely with Amazing Spider-Man without making ASM required reading.

The Bad

  • Although it is mentioned briefly, I wish there was a bit more attention paid to the Curse of the Mutants story arc. I realize it’s intended as a new arc and a jumping on point to new readers, but let’s not forget the people that bought the first six issues.
  • Bachalo’s background are beautiful, but his main characters and depiction of action is a little muddled and confusing sometimes.
  • The price is still $3.99. Come on, Marvel. If DC can do it, you can too. Disney’s bigger than Warner Brothers, you know.

The Fugly

  • Only one fugly here. Why in the name of God does everyone suddenly draw smashed french fry fingers like John Romita, Jr.? It seem like ever since the Avengers became a top draw with JR, JR’s art, a good portion of Marvel artists have forgotten basic anatomy. You know, like fingers have to be thick enough to contain bones!

Final Answer:

All in all, this was a good comic. I enjoyed it a lot. I’m going to give it 8 mutant black cats out of 10. Well worth the time and money. Still, drop your prices, guys. Really.

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