Uncanny X-Men #508 Review

Hi, folks…your friendly neighborhood Brian Knippenberg here! DiG has been kind and gracious enough to open the reviews up to others, so I thought to give it a whirl. Without further ado…

Uncanny X-Men #508 coverUncanny X-Men #508
(preview | thread)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciler: Greg Land
Inker: Jay Leisten

We’ll be breaking this review down into a quick play-by-play and then sum up with my thoughts.

SPOILERS BELOW…

MIDNIGHT MASS: The issue begins with a gathering of The Red Queen (Madelyne Pryor) and her Sisterhood at a gravesite. Madelyne explains to a skeptical Lady Mastermind (Regan Wyngarde) her plan to resurrect her father, the original Mastermind, but only more powerful than before. But to begin, her masterplan will kick-off in Tokyo…

SHOWDOWN IN BIG TOKYO: Domino is on a visit to Tokyo and stops at a very non-descript, private memorial cemetary with flowers, at Logan’s request. It turns out that this burial place is owned by Logan, a place where he can bury fallen friends and family. Her visit is cut short when she interupts Spiral, Lady Deathstrike, and Chimera as they attempt to take off with a casket. A brief battle ensues, with Chimera getting a blade to the chest, but a confused Domino is left behind as they escape. She quickly calls Logan to let him know something had happened and to ask, “Who was Kwannon”?

WEIRD SCIENCE: Back at Graymalkin Industries, Hank McCoy meets with his new science team–Dr. Nemesis, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, Madison Jefferies, and Dr. Kavita Rao–to discuss and tackle the inert mutant gene dilemma. Dr. Nemesis believes that science will triumph over magic.

THE VESSEL: The Red Queen heals Chimera and has the others prepare the “vessel”, which turns out to be Psylocke’s original body which was inhabited by the mind and spirit of Kwannon. Her plan is to restore and fill the body with a new mind and spirit…Enter: Psylocke, as she’s bound and brought into the room.

WELCOME BACK, EMMA: Nightcrawler convinces Emma to teach once more, but before class is in session, all the psychics at Graymalkin experience terrible feedback from some large-scale psychic event.

PLUS-ONE: Logan travels to Mt. Shasta in California to meet with Northstar and Aurora, partners in Team Northstar Extreme Snowsports. Logan extends an offer of X-Men membership to Jean-Paul, since they took a recent defeat without having enough speed and power on the team. Logan also hopes to make amends for killing him once before. Northstar accepts.

I AIN’T GOT NO BODY (OR DO I?): The Red Queen, with the help of the Sisterhood, unleashes enough power to do the impossible…Psylocke is once again within her own original body (leaving Kwannon’s body lifeless), with seemingly no memory of what has happened.

THOUGHTS FROM A HUMAN’S POINT OF VIEW: Matt Fraction and Greg Land give us an issue of evil machinations in play involving resurrections (Hey, everyone at Marvel’s doing it!) and plans afoot by the good guys to tackle the threat of extinction to all Mutantkind, thanks to the Scarlet Witch. We learn something new about Logan in the process and watch him bring back into the fold an old friend. And for the conclusion, we get an unexpected body swap that would make ’80s movies of the same nature jealous.

Uncanny X-Men #508 is an interesting read, however filled with a bit more set-up than execution. I’m kind of anxious to see it move on, which it looks like it promises to do so based upon the ending. Fraction’s strength in this issue lies in his dialogue and interplay between characters, but I’m missing the dramatic tension that his Invincible Iron Man carries. One little thing that had me scratching my head was in one scene Logan receives some distressing news over the phone and the next time he appears it’s for a casual trip to recruit a member for the team. I would have expected Wolverine to kind of jump into action and rally the team, but it looks like they’re going to take a defensive position and wait it out.

As for Greg Land’s art, all I can say is that it always pulls me out of the story every time by keeping track of all the Sports Illustrated Models’ faces he adds to all of the women’s bodies.

This is my first review for The Wolverine Files, so, what do you think? Feel free to let me know how it strikes you…Do you like the recap? Is it unnecessary? Share your opinion (or your own review), but please be kind, otherwise you might find me huddled in a corner sobbing naked with my clothes burning in a wastebasket…

Facebook comments:

  1. Welcome, Brian, and a big thanks for taking some of the reviewing chores off DiG. Since I started checking out this site nearly a year ago, the site has really exploded in terms of coverage of all things Wolverine, links offered, has gotten an award, has updated and expanded the chronology, added a forum, and added advertising. In a relatively short time, this may have gone far beyond what only one creatively active guy can do. I’ve followed many of your posts on the forum, and your contributions here are especially welcome. You really did an in-depth job here on your first entry. I have to say, I’m not familiar enough with all the female characters to tell who is who on the cover of this, but that’s just me.

    BTW, is this the first reappearance of Northstar since going insane and being straitjacketed at the ending of “Agent of SHEILD?” So, it’s all hunky-dory between Logan and Northstar after Logan killed him — after all, it wasn’t really Logan’s fault — he was under Hydra control. Is there some rehash of that “incident” (“Sorry I killed ya, bub. No hard feelings?”) between them? Seems kinda weird…

    Anyway, don’t burn your clothes…ya done good!

  2. Pamela, thank you for your comments!

    As for your questions regarding Northstar, I did not follow too closely with what happened to him after Wolverine: Enemy of the State/Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but this should help fill in the gaps for you as it has for me…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northstar

    Within Uncanny X-Men #508 itself, Logan tells Jean-Paul, “Jean-Paul, we wantcha on the X-Men. We could use you. You’d fill a power gap in our line-up. And I feel a little bit weird about killin’ you that one time, so I’d like to make it up to you.”

    Funny enough, Northstar’s main concern was that he didn’t want to be considered the team’s token gay member, nothing about the killing.

    As for the ladies on the cover, we have (Clockwise From Top): The Red Queen (formerly Madelyne Pryor), Lady Deathstrike, Lady Mastermind (Regan Wyngarde) and her half-sister Martinique Jason, Chimera.
    (Center):Spiral

    Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks, Brian, for the link on Northstar. It’s not that I care all that much about Northstar, just that I didn’t know anything further about the character after Agent of SHIELD, and thought it a bit weird that he and Logan seemed to be ok after Enemy of the State.

    Thanks also for identifying the women. Funny thing about the art — looks like they all wear exactly the same bra size and style!

  4. They’re wearing bras?!?

  5. Did Daredevil ever call Yuriko after their little hook-up back in ’83?

    How’d you like to run into that at the grocery store 26 years later?

  6. Pamela, no problem. I really didn’t know what had happened to Northstar after that particular Wolverine arc either. I pretty much learned what had happened after reading that Wiki page and thought to share.

    As for the art, yeah, Greg Land’s biggest weakness is that he tends to rely way too much on using photo-references from swimsuit mags, lingerie mags, celebrity photos, etc., especially for his depiction of women. I mean, when has Spiral (center) ever looked like Cindy Crawford?

  7. Nice review dude.

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