krisis's The Uncanny X-Men #380 - Heaven's Shadow review

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Davis & Kavanagh Rush Back to Status Quo

Alan Davis and Terry Kavanagh resolve their final X-arc with a issue crammed with expository dialog and little else.

Story & Script
This final issue of the Powerless mini-arc exposes just how poorly planned the entire story was from the start.

The X-Men, who were apparently totally cool with all mutants losing their powers, are suddenly up in arms because the entire world might rapidly evolve with unchecked mutation. Really? No one thought to hold a similar strategy briefing after High Evolutionary broke up their baseball game in the last issue?

Even simple details are misaligned – the lack of power here is labeled as ongoing for a week, whereas in the preceding X-Men #99 Colossus suggests it may have been ongoing for as long as a month.

Kavanagh Is at this utter worst, slamming out paragraphs of expository dialog into any mouth that can fill a word bubble. The entire team exposits for Beast in a panel so crammed with bubbles that you can't even make out who is saying which out-of-character statement! Later, in the hangar, there are more bubbles than art – but no one says anything beyond recapping recent plot points.

That's the hallmark of this issue – interesting situations killed by bad scripting.  I was willing to put aside all of my complaints in exchange for seeing the unpowered team in a fight. Instead, we get to witness a mere three panels of that potentially riveting (or hilarious) action, before Wolverine saves the day.  Rogue's phone call to Mystique in prison is pointless. Sinister is set up to fail mostly through his own monologuing and uncharacteristic poor planning. And I just don't buy Storm with a gun.

The one salient plot point is Polaris posing as Magneto, and the pair of them engaging in a bizarre power exchange – made all the more ooky by the eventual revelation of Magneto as Polaris's real father.

Tom Raney utterly embarrassed himself in the last issue, but here holds his own. He has a better grasp on our heroes in costume than he did on them at rest, and draws a decent Kitty throughout. Facial features don't seem to be plaguing him as much as they were before. It's an adequate job, on the whole.

The cover image of a cornered Wolverine is absolutely iconic. I suspect it's by typical cover-artist Adam Kubert, but there are no credits to confirm or deny that supposition.

Bottom Line
Between the rushed script and the line-wide X-Men reboot one month later, this lame duck issue offers little long term interest or suspense.

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