ďThe Underground part 5Ē
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Georges Jeanty(p), Dexter Vines and Scott Elmer(i)
Thereís trouble brewing at Weapon X, and the Underground is coming to try and smash things up.
Hmmmm. That was the easiest plot summary Iíve ever done. I want to be clear before we get started that I am at a complete disadvantage here. Iíve never read this book before; I donít recognize more than two or three of these characters; I donít know whatís going on; and itís part 5 of a 6 part storyline. That said, This Ainít Your Daddyís X-Title! Oh waitaminute. Yes it is. This is very much your daddyís X-Title. In fact titles like this are what helped drive me away from anything with an X in it (except for movies, heh heh), way back when. But to be fair, even though I was going into this fairly blind and completely disinterested, the only thing that confused me were the voice-overs and that was apparently intentional since whoís speaking is revealed at the end of the issue in a dramatic pull-back.
The actual dialogue in the book is functional, but doesnít really show much diversity among the piles and piles of characters. And the ďIíve done a bad thingĒ line was maybe one of the silliest lines in the book. For some reason I immediately imagined Fiona Apple filming home-made porn in the basement, so I guess it wasnít that bad a line. Having not been around for the previous issues, Iíll give Tieri the benefit of the doubt and wonít make a point of complaining about what seemed to be a trivialization of spousal abuse. For all I know, this will be addressed in more than a voice-over sometime later on. I hope so. The tendency for actions to not have any realistic repercussions is another thing that drove me from this type of book long, long ago. Itís not my cup of tea, but others love it. Itís so Old-School.
It was entertaining to see some old villains pop up here and there, but not so much that I cared what was happening to them. Apparently thereís a concentration camp for mutants somewhere and the Weapon X program is involved in its cover-up? Thatís what I got from this issue, so Iíll go with that. Itís an interesting idea that I hope gets more attention as the series goes on. This was also a refreshingly creative issue in that the main focus is on the villains. Maybe thatís the point of the whole series, I donít know. Regardless, it is a good perspective to tell a story from and is probably the most inventive aspect of this particular issue.
Thereís not much to say about the artwork, other than, like the writing, it is Old-School. By this I mean that it relies mostly on realism with the old mid-nineties exaggerated body-types that seem to have disappeared in most other mainstream books. Itís very Image looking, if you will. The figures are a little stiff and the storytelling tends to rely on the dialogue to keep the reader on track of whatís going on. At times it seemed a little sloppy, if that makes sense. Jeantyís characterizations of some classic characters like Mesmero, Sauron, and Sabertooth are interesting if not overly imaginative. Sauron in particular seemed more like a guy in a pterodactyl mask than heís ever looked in the past. Of course my main reference is back when Byrne was doing X-Men, or his appearance in the first run of Marvel Fanfare, so thatís a pretty high standard to try and live up to. Has something happened to him that he doesnít have to suck the life-force out of people now? If not, then it seems like that would be a drawback for a henchman.
If you are resistant to change and like your Marvel eighties- and nineties-style then this is the book for you. There really wasnít anything here that I havenít seen before and there was nothing to hold my interest to the next chapter. But then Iím an old fart.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!