Uncanny X-Men #513 Review: Dark X-Men Rise…

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here…I only have one review for the week so I can get some much needed rest. But first we have the second part of ‘Utopia’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men #513 cover Uncanny X-Men #513 (preview)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciler: Terry Dodson
Inkers: Rachel Dodson

Note: Wolverine does not appear in this issue.

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: This issue picks up right where the ‘Utopia’ one-shot left off. Norman and ‘Xavier’ are having a press conference, Cyclops is running from the authorities and Colossus is fighting Venom.

Scott makes his escape while the Avengers confront the crowd. Colossus batters Venom and then gets picked up by Iceman, fleeing to the base.

We shift to the Beast and Xavier in prison. Hank is obviously suspicious of the Professor but Xavier warns him about the Omega Machine just before he is taken to it. The device is being run by the Dark Beast and is apparently what is removing their powers.

We flash to Norman showing Emma Frost her new team of X-Men consisting of Mimic, Cloak and Dagger, Daken and Michael Pointer. He gives a little history on each of their motivations when Dark Beast enters and takes Michael to work on upgrading his powers.

Emma confronts Norman and ‘Xavier’ about the ‘Professor’s’ identity and it turns out to be Mystique. She is being controlled by nanites and her purpose is merely to pretend to be Xavier. Emma then introduces her addition to the team, Namor.

We then flash to the hospital where Trask is being treated. It turns out he is an Omega Sentinel and he has been infecting and controlling those around him.

There is another press conference where Emma and her team are introduced. Scott and the X-Men are watching it although they are not sure what to do. A curfew is being imposed and if they follow it, the streets are given to Trask, but if they do not, then they are the bad guys. Scott wants time to plan and look at his options.

Across town, Hellion is gathering a group of mutants to make a statement and defy the curfew and the new team. He has Match, Lorelei, Avalanche, Adam X, Sunspot and Meld. Although several members are not sure about it, they decide to hit Union Square Park and call out Emma’s team.

The ploy is a success. With the world watching, they make a mess and force the untried team into the field. Emma herself declares Hellion to be under arrest. Cyclops is watching on TV and decides he needs to talk to Osborn before things get worse.

MY TAKE: This issue continues the rather interesting story line setup from the last issue. In fact it adds several new wrinkles that could lead to some great story potential and even long term impact to the characters. Unfortunately, there is still very little here that is new. The series was simply too widely publicized. But we are starting to get to the meat of the story.

I was impressed at the setup last issue and the story continues to be well written and even thought provoking. We are starting to see the characters come through and so far they have all been well done and the overall framework is believable and nicely set up. It has capability to be truly epic as well.

Most of this issue was given to the formation of the new team. I am not sure if this group will continue after the arc but it certainly has potential. Most of the characters are interesting and very underused. I am not sure if they are worth their own series but the dynamics are already complex and noteworthy.

The biggest problem I have with this issue is it feels too short. Already there is so much going on and so many characters to try and balance, we are getting a lot thrown at us. So pretty big events are given no more then a mention or a panel or two. I would prefer they had added comics or removed some pieces of the story to make it fit better, but this is still the beginning. It may find its balance.

Scott and Emma continue to be the key players in the story so you have to wonder what the fall out between them will be. Scott is being publicly branded as the villain and Emma the hero in a fascinating turnabout. In fact there are several surprising dynamics set up here from Trask and his Sentinels to having Mystique back in the X realm.

In the end this is a fast paced but well-written and interesting story. There is a lot happening so I hope there is enough time and space to give all the characters and plots the chance to shine. But so far the story has been very well done.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

Facebook comments:

  1. I loved this issue. I have no idea why I loved it so much, but everything about it just read true to me. From the actions of the individual mutants to the specific Dark X-Men team choices. They even followed up on Weapon Omega’s power source from the recent Marvel Comics Presents series. And hey, Adam-X cameo! I’m sure a lot of people will be happy about that.

    The only thing that held this issue back was the art, in my opinion. The Dodsons were definitely off their game. I’ve seen them draw Venom before in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, and it looked absolutely nothing like that horse-faced monstrosity they portrayed here.

    Not to mention the bizarre goofy grins the entire Dark X-Men team has in that one particular panel. It wasn’t a “We’re so badass” sort of grin, either. It seemed more like they were on prozac. So all in all, the gripes I have with the art mostly come down to the faces.

  2. The story is good I am mostly wondering if they were too ambitious with the project. So much is going on already, plots characters etc, that I don’t see how it can do any of them justice. It reads more like ‘This is the new status quo, let’s get there quick.’ But it is still enjoyable I just think they are tackling too much.

  3. Could this be the chance for them to change Cat!Beast back to Ape!Beast? I hope so . . . .

  4. It would be nice to have Beast back to more normal. I could even live with him becoming his mostly human looking original self again. The cat Beast is definitely not a favorite.

  5. I prefer the feline form, and this is coming from someone who grew up with the ape look.

    I find that his original form looks very bizarre aesthetically. It’s true that many mutations look quite strange, but the size and shape of Hank as he first appeared never seemed quite plausible to my eyes. Even in the realm of comics that form stood out as particularly inhuman.

    As for his ape form, that boils down to one simple factor: Logan hair. In that form Beast always seemed like a poor man’s deformed Logan, and that bothered me to no end.

    When he developed into his feline form I found myself quite taken with the nobility that was inherent to the look. He seemed like a proud, majestic, noble creature; rather than as the deformed (in a negative way) thing that I perceived him as beforehand.

    On a related note, I wish they’d change his color. Grey or white like his alternate future Sublime form would be preferable, to me. I’m so very tired of everyone being blue.

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