Written by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker
Art by Greg Land
The greatest thing I can say about this issue is that Cannonball is from Kentucky. I greatly enjoyed that since this blog is based out of Kentucky. That aside this issue has mixed feelings for me. Marvel attempted to turn the X-men into an action adventure team outside the mutant world and to do that they limited the number of mutants. Suffice it to say the results have been mixed. I think the thing I notice about this issue is not about the content but how it was written. The example I use is the dialog by Scott on the final page. He says his dead ex-wife (the clone of Jean Grey) is alive and for some reason that dialog was jarring to me. It seemed straight up from the 1960's or 1970's Spider-man comics. Summing up this issue is simple. The X-men are chasing Empath on a motorcycle while he is making people dream about the money, cars, and girls (TI reference) but making them think bad things as the X-men try capture him. Besides the fact the X-men seem inept and are unable to capture him even though Storm can't even make a tornado and opts to try to strike him down with lightning but Empath is bobbing and weaving lightning. Pixie ironically enough manages to man up and take down Empath while Scott is getting laid. I thought it was nice that some mutants are deciding that now since there aren't that many of them there isn't as much discrimination to deal with. Everything after that is extremely off putting, for example there is the subtle use of certain choice words by Dazzler while performing. Trying to not harp on Storm but really, I don't understand why she can't do anything and has to stand far away from Empath, she controls the weather, freaking smite him with thunder while he's standing there yelling exposition. Pixie then comes and takes care of Empath which when you think about it is quite interesting is because she is facing a villain whose power is to make people face their inner demons and she is facing her own demons while facing him (ahem, lame). The X-men don't seem to fit the style that Matt Fraction seems to write them in but hey what can you do. The X-men have always a somewhat politicized origin and there whole thing was all about tolerance and acceptance. When Marvel decided to reduce the mutant population you would think that would lead to more compelling stories about survival and such and they did that for a brief period of time before this kind of happened. The art is inconsistent and quite frankly it makes Scott look like a douche with some very interesting facial expressions. I do believe in Brubaker to able to turn this thing around because when he was alone on Uncanny X-men he was always so close to breaking through and was developing some great characters. This title has some limited upside but quite frankly the X-men seem to be in for a rough ride.
Art: ETCH a SKETCH
Overall: FORGET IT