Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Pretty much one extended fight sequence, as the ever mysterious Fury continues to mow through the X-Men, for little better reason than the X-Men needed someone to fight. Yes the Fury makes for a less than interesting villain thanks largely to the simple fact that Chris Claremont doesn't really develop the character into anything more than a seemingly unstoppable force of destruction. This issue also suffers for the heavy focus on the character of Sage who I suspect was introduced and developed in the pages of X-treme X-Men, but has yet to be introduced to readers like myself who didn't pick up that series. From this issue I get the sense that she's a mutant who is able to form a connection with mechanical devices, and this of course makes her the ideal pawn for the Fury who is revealed to be able to take control of machines, an ability he uses to turn Sage into his puppet.
However, for a pointless slugfest I can't deny that there were a fair number of enjoyable moments that left me with a generally favourable impression of the issue. I mean it's been quite some time since I've seen Sam in action, so I rather enjoyed his solo efforts against the Fury in this issue, and I was delighted to see he wasn't killed off. I also have to say that it's great to see Nightcrawler back in action as the character had gotten buried under religious ties, that it had been quite some time since a writer played up the fact that the character is the X-Men's answer to Spider-Man, as he bounces his way across the battlefield. The book also has the X-Men making an attempt at strategy, which is a welcome move, as most times they are a bit predictable bunch.
Alan Davis and his partner in crime Mark Farmer are one of the best art teams in the industry, so I have no complaints about their work on this series. Now this issue is a pretty action intensive affair, and the art is more than up to the task when it comes to the delivery of the high intensity moments, from the reveal shot where we see the steps that Wolverine took to free himself from the mental control, or the ever classic shot where he pops the two claws. There's also a great looking sequence where Sam's blasting ability is put to good use, as he battles Fury, and Nightcrawler puts on an impressive display of his high agility nature, as be bounces around the panels.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!