Review: Uncanny X-Men #535

Published on April 19th, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #535 just hit the shelves less than a week ago and with this issue Kieron Gillen has lost his training wheels and is writing the book all by himself. Luckily, we got Terry Dodson handling the penciling duties for this story line and I couldn’t be happier about that. I haven’t been the biggest supporter of Gillen, mostly because I hated Generation Hope. So, obviously, I’ve been a little bit skeptical about him writing my favorite comic book since I was a little kid.

uncannyx-men535This story is pretty much a sequel to Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run. After saving the entire world from a giant bullet, Kitty Pryde was lost to fly around aimlessly in outer space, trapped inside the bullet. A while ago, Magneto was able to locate her and bring her back to Earth. Since then, she’s been completely unable to get out of her “phasing” form. She hasn’t even been able to speak without a space suit that is basically used to contain her.

It’s business as usual for the X-Men until Agent Brand from S.W.O.R.D. contacts Cyclops and asks for the X-Men’s help. A warship from the same alien race that sent the bullet to destroy the Earth has just entered the solar system and without the necessary resources to take care of the problem, Brand requests a team of X-Men to meet them. Cyclops assembles a team consisting of himself, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Magneto, Colossus, Kitty, and Danger to confront the aliens from Breakworld. When the X-Men make contact, what they find are a bunch of aliens who would rather find asylum than a war.

The best thing about this book is Dodson’s art. Look at the way he draws Colossus, there’s some amazing detail in his metal skin. Not to mention the way he draws Kitty Pryde. I would do almost anything to get the original art for this cover hanging on my wall. It makes the poster art for any of the Star Wars movies look like something you’d leave in a waste basket.

After reading this book, my fears of Gillen’s capabilities have mostly dissipated, but I wouldn’t put it up to the usual standards just yet. One thing Gillen is good at is dialogue. I really got a kick out of the banter between Namor and Colossus in this issue when they’re fighting this crazy mechanical mantis shrimp that got loose from Namor’s weapons storage. I actually liked Namor in this book, which is a rarity for me. I did have a couple of issues though, mostly from Emma Frost. Every comic she’s in, she complains about what she’s wearing and when she wears the same thing in every issue, it starts to get old. I could really use a vacation from Emma Frost.

I think Gillen’s run is off to a promising start, I just hope he can keep it up. I definitely think he’s capable, I just don’t want Uncanny X-Men to become something that I dread reading.

Ken Zeider