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The Uncanny X-Men #540 Review

3

While the rest of the Marvel Universe lies in flames, San Francisco is mysteriously untouched. How long can that last?

Fear Itself manages to rumble on, this time hitting the X-Men's home city of San Francisco. The X-Men have handled the Juggernaut before, but never with a giant hammer in his hands.

The Good

I really like Scott's interaction with the San Francisco mayor; it's kind of cool to see him in civilian garb, dealing with the diplomacy of the mutant population instead of the hands-on defense of it. I also think that suit must have gotten a little musky by now.

Namor's proposition to Emma Frost is great, as it shows the best characteristics of both characters: Namor's regal and pushes to what he wants, and Emma didn't quite say no convincingly enough. I've never likes the White Queen, and have always had a bad feeling about her: while this definitely affects my review a bit, I'll admit that it does take some stones to say no to the king of Atlantis.

However, Namor's "he married the redhead" cut a little deep; I loved it.

I like Juggernaut's human herald: I think that was something he needed. As Marvel can't really decide whether to have their hammer-bearers speaking English or in Runes, I guess Gillen's solution was to give him a mouthpiece. Juggernaut's really the only hammer-bearer to catch my interest (primarily because of this week's Thunderbolts 160) so I'll be following this situation with earnest.

The Bad

While the art on this issue isn't bad, I keep looking at specific character poses and thinking "Man, I could have sworn I've seen Greg Land draw that before". There's no shortage of evidence against his "referencing" but some characters just looked woefully out of place.

Overall, though, not a lot happens in this issue: it's more a stage for the chaos that's about to come. A lot of what happened just really doesn't have consequence, and that bothers me a bit.

Cyclops' verbal sparring with the mayor doesn't exactly get him anywhere; not even an intellectual high ground. Instead, he seems very vague, and continues to be, even on the last page of the issue. When you're writing like that, you need to give the readers some payoff, because we're likely to forget by next month.

Colossus talking with Illyana about how much she's "changed" isn't going to change Peter's almost-creepy adoration for her. Hell, she's done much worse and he's never gotten it through his steel head that she's not a "snowflake." The fact that Dani Moonstar, as a counselor, is saying she'd punch her in the face should set the tone that rehab is a bit fruitless.

The Verdict

Like I said above, this issue's more of a staging ground for the larger threat ahead. However, that shouldn't come at the expense of a solid story, which is what Uncanny X-Men has been, lately. It's a pity that the volume will be wrapping up soon: hopefully it will be with more of a "bang" than a "thud."