By: Kieron Gillen (writer), Greg Land (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), Joe Caramagna (letters), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor) & Nick Lowe (editor)

The Story: Fear Itself-bedazzled Juggernaut battles the new champion of Cyttorak.

What’s Good: It was kinda fun to watch Colossus beat down Juggernaut. There’s gotta be a lot of penned-up frustration in the big Russian from all the beatings he’s endured from Juggernaut’s fists.  Even Greg Land did a pretty nice job of capturing these two behemoths smashing the crap outta each other.  That’s really the one cool thing that happened in this issue and it was cool enough to make up for a lot of the other stuff that was annoying.

What Wasn’t AsGgood: Let’s just make a list….

  • Greg Land’s art: I don’t care if it is a broken record.  He should have more professional pride as an artist than to continue turning in these pages where every woman looks the same AND where he has ~3 facial expressions for women that will be used regardless of what is going on in the comic.  Combine that with all the out of place smiles from Cyclops (because men also have a limited selection of expressions) and it is just annoying as hell.  The editors should be ashamed to put their names on this book because I don’t think you can call yourself an editor and allow that kind of lazy art to continue.  And Gillen needs to be more aware of Land’s limitations.  Working with Greg Land is a handicap, so much like a one-legged man shouldn’t be challenging people to foot-races, writers working with Land need to limit the number of female characters in the story and definitely must refrain from using multiple blond women.  You can have ONE from the list of Emma, Illyana, Dazzler, etc., but not more than that.
  • The Namor-Emma kiss: Ugh….  I really don’t like romance in my X-comics.  I’m not anti-romance because I DO like that angle in a Spider-man story, but I don’t want it in my mutant comics.  Your mileage may vary.  And, if we do have to have romance, I just don’t think it works to have Emma be conflicted emotionally.  She’s sure of herself, dammit.  If she wanted Namor, she’d just ditch Cyclops and go with Namor, not give into a kiss in a moment of weakness like she is a confused housewife who doesn’t get enough attention from her husband.
  • The Kitty-Peter drama: I get it, they’re not fated to be together.  First Peter was dead.  Then he came back and they got together for real as adults.  Then Kitty was stuck on a bullet.  Then she came back, but was intangible.  Now, she just get’s tangible and Peter has made himself the champion of Cyttorak.  Sigh…won’t they every be together????  Who cares!  It would be more interesting to see a writer tackle their time together than keep coming up with ways to yank them apart.
  • The way Cyclops treats the mayor of San Francisco.  I’m actually rereading the early part of Matt Fraction’s run and there are a few scenes there that made it pretty clear that Cyclops was willing to leave town rather than endanger SF.  So, why the huffiness with the major now?

These don’t really combine to make it a dreadful issue, but they are annoying plot points that makes me a little more worried about where Gillen wants to take us.

Conclusion: Any issue drawn by Greg Land is going to have trouble getting a good grade because it loses a full letter grade immediately.  Gillen does a bunch of little things that I don’t like and one big thing that kicks ass.  I guess that averages out….

Grade: D

– Dean Stell

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