Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dark Avengers/ Uncanny X-Men: Exodus - Review

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus – Review

Written by: Matt Fraction Art by: Terry Dodson & Mike Deodato

Well the final chapter of Utopia arrived in an extra sized format for an extra sized showdown between the Dark Avengers & the X-Men, it’s the confrontation we have been waiting for in this whole story arc, but unfortunately this issue left out too many plot threads, the characterization was off and was pretty much all round poorly executed.

The issue starts with a flashback (I think) of Cyclops and Emma in their bedroom contemplating whether or not to reveal their individual secrets to each other about their recent shady actions (i.e. Scott forming X-Force and Emma meeting with Norman). But this is not resolved, this is basically a quick advert, and if we want to know the outcome on their discussion we have to pick up Dark X-Men: The Confession. How annoying!

We then switch to the Dark Avengers attacking the X-Men on their island; Utopia, and this pretty much occupies the remainder of the issue. While the action is enjoyable enough, we are let down on previous plot points, such as; we don’t find out what happens to Beast (he was recently depowered in previous issues and started loosing his blue fur, but we don’t yet know to what extent this has affected him), and we also don’t see anything of Mystique at all, who had been deceiving the public as Professor X.

Speaking of Professor X I felt Fraction really wrote him out of character. There was this one scene where Emma rescues Charles and he gives the impression that he and the X-Men must make sure Osborn pays for what he has done. That’s not the peace loving ‘All humans & Mutants need to learn to live together’ guy I know, that’s not the same guy who takes in feral killers like Wolverine & Sabertooth under his wing to try and rehabilitate them. And I’m pretty certain this was not Mystique in disguise as Charles’s telepathy powers were displayed.
One of the better scenes was the start of the confrontation between Angel & Hawkeye/ Bullseye. Warren flies the villain off the Island to keep him out off the way but just as they start to get into a great match up, annoyingly we cut away from the action. Then inexplicably at the end, Warren and Bullseye are seen back on the Island, with no explanation how they got there!

As for art duties, they were split between Terry Dodson & Mike Deodato. The two have very contrasting styles, but I didn’t mind so much as Deodato was used for the main story, and Dodson used for flashback/ side stories. While I think Deodato is a great penciler, I really didn’t like his panel lay outs on this, that really let him down.

All in all, this had sloppy execution, but quite an enjoyable big fight finale. It was just frustrating that a few plot points were still left dangling, but I suppose Marvel need to sell more X-Men books, right? They really do drag these stories out these days, and no last chapter is ever the last chapter. And likewise this story will continue next in Dark Reign: The List – X-Men & Dark X-Men: The Confession. I hope that those titles perform a bit better than this one.

Score: 2.5 out of 5.

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