Thursday, 9 July 2009

Uncanny X-Men #513 - Review

Uncanny X-Men #513
‘Utopia’ – Part 2

Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Terry Dodson

Score: 3.5 out of 5

The second part of this crossover begins straight where the first ended, with the introduction of Charles Xavier to the public and press where he voices his concerns for Cyclops recent actions as mutant kinds ‘leader’. Very unlike Charles, he commits himself to Norman Osborn’s ‘Mutant Solution’ and for most of the first part of this issue Fraction uses Normans voice in the captions which accompanies Dodson’s scenes from the riots the X-Men are involved in, in and around San Francisco. This is an effective way of getting Norman’s points and mission statement across without boring the reader.

One of the highlights of this issue was the introduction of the Dark X-Men. As Osborn’s explains to the press in this issue, his theory is ‘mutant problems, mutant solutions’, and the Dark X-Men are that solution. The team consists of Cloak & Dagger, Mimic, Daken, Omega, Dark Beast, Namor & led by Emma Frost! Fraction gives us his usual funny captions to introduce the characters which are always great and Norman gives us a further bit of background on each character when he introduces them to Emma. We are not sure at this stage whether Emma has turned sides against the X-Men or whether she is undercover as an X-Men operative waiting for the chance to stab Norman in the back. This is one of the more interesting storylines in this issue and I look forward to seeing how it plays out. Oh and spoilers on………… the sneaky and un-characteristic Charles Xavier is in fact none other than the shape shifting Mystique in disguise, working for Osborn. The fact that Charles was a shape shifter was made pretty obvious early on as it seems the real Prof X is locked up in a H.A.M.M.E.R headquarters. Another nice part of the story, one that is sure will be addressed in further chapters.

At the end of the issue the Dark X-Men are drawn out on their first mission to control a rouge group of mutants including Hellion, Sunspot, Avalanche and Adam X (blast from the past!) who want to make a stand against the way Norman and other humans are treating them and their fellow mutants. The two groups meet in Union Square and begin to battle, but we are stopped by seeing the outcome until the next chapter, which is continued in Dark Avengers #7.

This issue was mostly more set up of the storyline but it was well executed by Fraction, his handle of characters like Osborn and Emma was very good and I’m very excited about the introduction of the Dark X-Men and how their story will continue. I’m also confident that lots of action and plot twists will follow in the following chapters and this story will continue to get better.

The art by Dodson is excellent, with the Dark X-Men new costumes looking particularly cool. He does draw a strange looking Venom though, that would my only complaint from his work on this issue. 

Overall good stuff, X-fans should defiantly be reading this.


  1. Yup. Dodson's Venom was like a cross between a dog and duck mixed with symbiote....