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New X-Men #152

Posted: Friday, January 30, 2004
By: Shawn Hill



“Surrender the Starlit City: Here Comes Tomorrow part 2 of 4”

Writer: Morrison
Artists: Silvestri and Studio

Plot:
We see some semi-cool (but highly derivative) flashbacks to the demise of the latest group of future X-men, as “final human” Tom Skylark relates his tale of woe to his new buddies by the campfire. Meanwhile, “Beast” hatches an egg.

Comments:
Really underwhelmed by this last Morrison story. It seems to be trying on all the familiar Future-X tropes, without taking them anywhere really fresh. If anything, it’s reminiscent of his coda JLA story, where Darkseid ruled everything (“Darkseid is!”), and all the heroes met their demise in a very DOFP way, come to think of it. First off, another bunch of heroes we don’t care about gets wiped out, by John Sublime’s U-men no less. They seem to have survived far beyond what their rampant paranoia sell-by date would indicate.

And while Silvestri is doing great, he’s also a big part of the problem here, as even wizened crone Cassandra Nova has hot legs and a saucy supermodel demeanor. His Image-identified style just doesn’t work with the irony Morrison always projects (whereas Jiminez’s articulate realism somehow did; at least he drew figures that seemed likely to get Morrison’s jokes, unlike Silvestri’s Super-Mod mannequins). The visuals are undermining the story, despite the beauty of Rover, the slowly decaying Sentinel who loves a human boy. Morrison’s art partners have sold his stories largely on facial expressions, and Silvestri only draws one very high-cheekboned face.

Really, when Rover is the most involving character in a story, something’s a little off. And the other most involving character is “Beast”, whose agenda remains unclear (well, apparently it’s the complete domination of all genetic evolution, no more rogue mutations allowed, so I guess instead I mean) or at least his motivation, as his identity is still one of those mysteries that Morrison manipulatively refuses to define.

While there’s undeniable coolness in the “we’re walking” splash page where the rag-tag remaining mutants begin their final stand, I’m really looking for more than small details as the reward for following this run to the end. I want to know what’s going on with Jean, Emma and Scott, dammit!



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