Current Reviews


New X-Men #138

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003
By: Alan Donald

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Frank Quietly and Avalon Studios.

Publisher: Marvel

Okey-dokey, this is the concluding part of the 'Riot at Xavier's' story arc and it's a goody. I wasn't a huge fan of Morrison's style when this arc began, too much happened between the panels and I felt there were a lot of gaps in the narrative. All the same the story was still enjoyable, engaging and intriguing enough to drag me back the following month for more. As the story has progressed I've found myself being dragged more and more into the tale. Morrison has gradually filled in the gaps in the story and at the end of the tale I have found the style to be overall far more satisfying than a conventional one.

This story proceeds at a fast pace and it neatly ties up all the remaining loose ends. Morrison doesn't try to be too fancy in his overall narrative he simply takes each dangling plot thread in turn and deals with them. We open with 5 virtually silent pages of fast paced action with Beast, Cyclops and (my favourite X-Man of all time) Xorn doing what the X-Men do best, no words are needed they all know what to do. This is the New X-Men at their best, it's a simple action sequence, no big deal really but it's wonderfully executed and Quietly and Morrison control the pace excellently. One has to wonder how some of the X-Men writers from the past may have handled this scene? I shudder with horror at the thought of pages upon pages of Xorn and Cyclops discussing their origins, motives and exactly how they were planning on proceeding.

One question, Xorn. Didn't he spend most of his life in a Chinese prison cell or something? How the hell did he get so good? Frankly I don't give a damn, the bloke is so cool. It's like having (oh-oo, British old-man reference coming up) Tom from 'The Good Life' packing the power to destroy a planet, the guy is so laid back, so peaceful and so knowing, you should be terrified of him but as it's Xorn/Tom with the power it's ok...

Next up we tie up what happened to Quentin's co-conspirators. The mass murdering, uncontrollable killing machine (with a stupid bloody goatee stolen from the Ultimate Universe) that is Wolverine is chosen to lecture to them. Good choice on Prof. X's part, the baldy may be the most powerful mutant on the planet, he may have a gravitas and presence but, let's face it, if you want to scare the pants off someone you'd bring out the 7 foot tall Welsh Biology teacher. However seeing as the Xavier School doesn't have one of them Wolvie's a good second choice.

Next up we find out the Cuckoo's aren't happy and then we find out what's happening to Quentin. Both of these seconds make a nice end cap to the story arc. The former sets up events for later in the issue and the latter is no doubt a story that'll return to haunt the X-Men in the future.

As we approach the end of the issue we tie up another few loose ends, Emma looks for a new project, Xavier gets rid of the protesters, we have an awards ceremony (opps! did I miss the whole small matter of Chuck resigning? Ah, there you go there was that too), a pregnancy and the Cuckoo's revenge (told ya that story'd come back before the end).

We end with sex, passion and...well you go read it for yourself.

All in all I loved it, sorry.

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