Uncanny X-Men #521: Moving the Bullet

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Just doing the one review from last week, so here’s ‘Uncanny X-Men’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men #521 (preview)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Pencils: Greg Land
Inks: Jay Leisten

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Emma and Scott scaling a mountain to check on Magneto. He has put up a mental and physical barrier, however, to make sure his work is undisturbed.

Meanwhile, Wolverine, Betsy and Colossus are fighting the team that sent the Predator Xs. Unfortunately, the group has in depth information from the nanocameras and can predict all of the X-Men’s attacks. But then Fantomex joins the battle to and gives the fight a random element. Underwater, Jeffries meets with one of Atlanteans and offers their help to finish the pillar. The marine dweller swims off to get Namor’s consul.

Back in New York, the team is still not impressed with Fantomex’s arrival until E.V.A. blows up their computer and severs the link of data. Without that information on all the tactics, the villains are vulnerable. The three X-Men take them apart while Fantomex shoots their leader in the side of the head. The X-Men finish off their adversaries but the wounded leader releases an airborne virus targeted at mutants.

Fantomex makes E.V.A. save the X-Men knowing his artificial blood will protect him. The virus is a power dampening super flu that is confirmed to be effective for nearly all the known mutants and was designed by John Sublime. Unfortunately, the fight is over and Fantomex has no choice but to let the villains escape in order to save the X-Men. He calls Scott once they are airborne and relays the whole problem including having active samples of the virus retained by E.V.A.

Scott and Emma are unsure what to do about Magneto. His mind appears to be elsewhere and he is showing severe signs of physical distress. They decide to bring in the X-Club for advice. The X-Club considers the problem and comes to one nearly impossible conclusion. Meanwhile, somewhere deep in space, the enormous bullet containing Kitty Pryde changes direction.

MY TAKE: This is a pretty good issue although it travels some very overused ground. The ending has been spoiled too which always lessens the impact of a story. Still, it was well written and interesting enough to hold my attention. I really do like the idea of Magneto being the one to save Kitty. Although it does stretch the boundaries of his power, at least it is logical and a nice way to have him contribute to the team. It is definitely a better explanation then I was expecting for her return.

The fight scenes are not bad either and having the purpose of the nanocameras be to gather information on their moves and tactics is actually pretty smart. Although I would have thought such an important computer would have been off site to lessen its risk of damage,  it still allows for an interesting foe. It is a technological version of a telepath and it does give them a distinct advantage.

I did have an issue with Fantomex’s involvement.  I do not see a reason for him to have ever gotten involved in this. Of course it is no secret that I am not a fan of  his,  so that could just be my bias. But his presence does take away from my enjoyment. Still, to be fair, he is actually pretty decent here if you ignore the sillier aspects of the character. I would have preferred a little more for the X-Men to do, however. They are little more then window dressing in their scenes in New York.

My biggest complaint is with the unoriginality of using yet another anti-mutant virus. We have seen that story so many times and it always lingers on. While this seems to be a different type, it still made me roll my eyes. Especially, coming from a technology based group like this one. Even making it power suppressing nanobots would have been more original. It just seems like the Legacy Virus all over again and that is one story I do not want to revisit.

In the end it was a fast and pretty entertaining read. The New York scenes were the focus and had some great lines despite the virus sub-plot and the focus on Fantomex. Of course the highlight of the issue was Magneto’s quest and Kitty’s very brief return at the end of the issue. She is a personal favorite so I am glad she is returning. I would have preferred her return to occur at a more subdued time rather then being sandwiched in between events.  Still, there is hope that she will have a strong story and a memorable return for her welcome back present.

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.

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