Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist(s): Billy Tan, Danny Miki (i), Allan Martinez (i)
Iím reviewing a Marvel book, of my own free will. I think this is a first for me at SBC. The last time I regularly read X-Men comics the storyline of Apocalypse and the Twelve had just finished, Xavier was off hanging out with a colony of Skrulls off-world and the Neo story line had just started. I was burned out on X, everything X. So I took a break and went back to the DC Universe (from which I was absent for much longer).
On and off I have kept up with things, and I have, for the most part, caught up on the general ďdoings and transpiringsĒ in the Marvel 616 Universe. I know about M-day, Civil War, and Iím enjoying seeing the Hulk smash a whole lot of stuff. However, with so many changes in the X-world, it was immensely difficult to understand what was going on in that part of the universe. I did not even know a lot of the characters that were at the school.
However, here we are, on the cusp of the next big X-event. I love the idea of this story, with all of the rules of what makes a mutant being thrown out the window. I love the idea of a race to capture and control a new mutant. I also love seeing all of my old school X-Men working together, fighting familiar foes with new twists, and the new mutants that I do not know being introduced in a controlled method so that I can keep up and understand their role in the story.
The writers of Countdown #26 need to chat with Ed Brubaker on how you can catch people up on a story line and keep them in the story, moving forward. No lengthy speeches in this book, just enough information to catch you up on the major points. Things like Xavier walking, being on the outs with Scott, Maddrox running his own team and so on. You do not need every single plot point, just enough to set the tone for the book, and then move forward.
Brubaker writes the dialogue of the classic X-characters that I am able to slip right back in to reading them as if I had never been away. Interactions with Wolverine and Nightcrawler for example while working on the investigation, and their interplay in combat. Even the simple aspects of the book, like Colossus bashing his way through a wall to the acolytes and then standing there nonchalantly taking all the punishment they can dish out.
All of this material, and more, is beautifully rendered by Billy Tan and his team, with classic X-men looking great in classic costumes with modern updates (like the lack of collars on Colossus and Nighcrawler). Powers look unique, and yet recognizable (I havenít seen Projector in years in a comic), and the colouring/inks provide a feeling of motion, such as the Angelís dive bomb attack. The scenes are unique, with the Alaskan devastation looking distinct from the mansion, which is distinct from the urban feel of the city. The final page of panels with Predator-X left me with chills.
I would like to personally thank Ed Brubaker and his team for making me interested in the X-Universe again. Iím intrigued, and cannot wait to see where this is all going.
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