By Matt Fraction (Writer), Greg Land w/Terry Dodson (Pencils), Jay Leisten w/Rachel Dodson (Inks), and Justin Ponsor (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I am so glad that Uncanny X-Men #511 finally ends the “Sisterhood” arc…

The Story: The Red Queen makes her final move toward taking over the body of Jean Grey as the X-Men retaliate against the Sisterhood.

What’s Good: Now that I’ve read the Sisterhood arc in it’s entirety, I can safely say that it’s not all that bad as a story or a concept. The arc’s conclusion serves its purpose rather well and does some pretty interesting things with some of the more obscure X characters (never thought I’d find Dazzler to be cool…And it’s always nice to see Psylocke given page space) so, in that sense, I have to call Uncanny X-Men #511 something of a success. HOWEVER, there’s that other stuff (like the writing and the artwork) that I have to take into consideration when grading the book…

What’s Not So Good: Matt Fraction’s writing is, once again, a source of frustration. He tries to be clever on nearly every page and, while some of it is funny (the Wolverine/Cyclops text boxes), most just fall flat. In other words, Uncanny #511 reads a whole hell of a lot like the last few issues of the series. In addition, the latest Uncanny feels ridiculously half-assed at times. Here’s two pages of dialogue (8 panels worth, in order): “Maddie,” “Deathstrike,” “Logan,” “Duck,” “Done,” “Die,” “No,” “Kill,” “You,” “GRRAAHH,” “YYAH,” “HIIIYYYY,” “KKKGG–,” “Madness,” “Maddie–ENOUGH–!!” – Seriously… Did his cat walk across the keyboard or something?! The biggest problem though, is that Fractions seems completely content to let Greg Land do most of the heavy lifting throughout the issue; which is never a good thing…

While Land’s work isn’t nearly as awful as it was in the last issue of Uncanny (mostly thanks to Justin Ponsor’s colors), it’s still quite rough. What do I mean by rough? Sometimes the art’s awkward, other times it’s far to static, and occasionally, scenes are completely incomprehensible. A scene with Northstar looks completely wrong (that can’t possibly be his fist), the female characters are difficult to tell apart (is that one of the Sisterhood?…Emma?…Dazzler?!), and, worst of all, the few genuinely nice panels wind up totally overwhelmed by the bad panels that surround them. Also, I have to mention that Terry Dodson’s small contribution in the issue makes Land’s work look even worse…

Conclusion: The Sisterhood arc ends decently enough, but Uncanny X-Men #511 is still a below average comic book.

Grade: C-

-Kyle Posluszny

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