Uncanny X-Men #540

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

Story by
Kieron Gillen
Art by
Greg Land, Jay Leisten
Colors by
Justin Ponsor
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Greg Land, Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics
Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Jul 6th, 2011

Sun, July 10th, 2011 at 8:26PM (PDT)

I'm a sucker.

I grabbed this book mainly because Juggernaut (a.k.a. Kuurth, breaker of stone) was on the cover. That and I wanted to check in on the X-Men, as it had been a while since I cracked the cover of this title.

Kieron Gillen has his hands full with the X-Men, themselves, and their attempts at polishing their public appearance. Now he's been given the task of tying his story in to "Fear Itself." The end result is a comic that is fractured so badly that none of the stories really seem to matter much, at least not at this point. There is one scene with Peter and Illyana that brings poignancy to this issue, but otherwise, it's a single issue full of set up.

I know Greg Land is the poster child for phototracing and some of the evils that it has brought upon society, but I have to add my two cents on this one. I'm not a fan of phototracing as a concept. In some rare instances, it is a style that has merit, but when dark sunglasses on a character's face look like the graphitti-doodling of a middle school student, then the style begins to fall apart and it becomes a distraction, challenging the reader to care less about the story and more about picking the art apart.

I avoided that trap, and plowed on, looking for merit in the art. I found plenty that I think is worthy of merit. The parts that simply could not be phototraced – Kuurth's appearances – were electrifying and "worthy" of the "Uncanny" label on the cover of this book. These are good moments to be sure, but the characters and surroundings nearby Juggernaut were not as enticing as those pure Juggernaut/Kuurth moments.

Those moments were not as plentiful as I would have liked, so I returned my focus to the story at hand. And I was quite bored. This is a four dollar issue filled with nothing of substance. The Worthy chosen by the Serpent have set the world into chaos, Namor wants to have one last go with Emma Frost, Cyclops is posturing, and Colossus feels his sister is being treated unfairly. Oh, and Juggernaut is coming to San Francisco and has picked up a remora of a character that will quickly be forgotten once this story ends. In other words, next issue might be interesting. This issue? Not so much.


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