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New X-Men #145

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2003
By: Shawn Hill



ďAssault on Weapon Plus 4: The DevilĒ

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Chris Bachalo (p), Tim Townsend (i)

Publisher: Marvel

Plot:
Cyclops, Wolverine and Fantomex follow Weapon 15 to an orbital space station full of nasties. There Logan learns about his past, while Scott and Fantomex explore the details of their dire location. Meanwhile, Weapon 15 still hasnít bought a clue.

Comments:
Iíve been trying to think of who Bachalo is reminding me of in this arc, and itís finally come to me. He almost has a Michael Golden quality in some of these shots (especially still ones dealing with the various Weapon # Whatevers standing about). Thatís high praise indeed.

Storywise, Morrison takes his boyís adventure tale to some very dark ends this issue. Fantomex (to the glee of his many detractors, Iím sure) suffers a particularly gruesome injury, while Wolverine figures out some things (even though we donít really get to share what they are, as usual). And Weapon 15 still, even after coming home to his masters, fails to get it. You know, life, the universe, the meaning of everything. Heís terminally nonplused.

Itís funny that the whole satellite setting allows Morrison to parody his own JLA Watchtower phase, as Dr. Exposition clues us in that this orbital platform was all about assembling a hellish version of Super-Frankensteins, each bent on eradicating the world of mutants. Iím not sure if focusing that much wild power all at once is such a practical idea for the pseudo-military-industrial-complex goons seemingly running this show, but it does add some irony to the infernal setting. Colorist Chris Chuckry keeps us in the reds and oranges, which along with Townsendís pitch-black inks recalls the ominous Hellfire Club setting of this arcís first issue.

Itís pretty unfair to end a supposed final issue on such a big cliffhanger (Wolvy gets really pissed at what he learns in the satellite computer files, and overreacts as always), but Morrison canít help pulling that trick time and time again. He does it so well; he practices the cliffhanger ending almost as a lost art form. No matter what else is happening in the title that month, youíre more likely than not going to get one.

The fact is, while the focus and intent of this surprisingly workable teamup of Scott and Logan is clear, dealing with only the boys away from the Mansion just isnít as fun as having the full-complement of teammates on hand. Morrison has written an action-heavy X-men side adventure, but heís dropped all sub-plots to do it. Itís time to end this little offshoot of his odyssey and get back to the big picture.




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