By Matt Fraction (Writer), Greg Land (Artist), Jay Leisten (Inker), and Justin Ponsor (Colorist)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: Uncanny #509 was a step in the right direction for the series. Time to find out if Fraction and his art team can capitalize on it.
The Story: Uncanny X-Men #510 is one big fight scene between the X-Men (veterans and rookies) and the Sisterhood. That’s really all you need to know…
What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: Let me start by saying that I have no problem with comics that are all about nonstop action. That said, I do have certain expectations of comics like that because, let’s face it, their quality depends almost entirely on how the visuals look. The action needs to look good, be well choreographed, and have a certain flow that tells the story in a way that makes up for the lack of actual written storytelling. In addition, whatever writing there may be it must not distract from the intensity of the action or break its flow.
Uncanny X-Men #510 is a textbook example of how not to handle an all action comic book. The visuals are stiff, distractingly inconsistent (Emma has three or four different faces), far too clean looking considering the chaos, and, worst of all, pretty boring all around. While I will admit that some panels do look pretty solid, they are an exception as opposed to the rule. As for the writing, it is simply annoying. Every character seems to talk in clever, hip, or witty quips and let me tell you, it gets old really fast.
While I realize that the way the writing reads is consistent with how Uncanny has been under Matt Fraction, I can safely say that after reading issue #510, I’ve had my fill. The comments and quips aren’t nearly as annoying (or noticeable) when there is story being told through the dialogue. In Uncanny #510 there’s very little story so the book reads like a string of (sometimes terrible) one-liners. And what the hell is up with the fairly timid Elixir being a Zen pacifist tantric sex god to the Cuckoo triplets? Is it funny? Sure somewhat…But it totally goes against how I’ve come to understand the character and feels almost painfully forced (also, out of place).
In all honesty, the only reason to bother with the latest issue of Uncanny is so that you can check out the cliffhanger. It is pretty interesting and definitely has me curious about what is to come in the future.
Conclusion: I can’t believe I spent so much time writing about such a bad comic. But hey, at least the series is consistent. Every time it looks to be turning a corner, a bad issue comes out so that they can climb back up and start all over again. The book isn’t a total loss though, thanks to the ending and a few worthwhile panels, but it could have been a whole hell of a lot better.