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Uncanny X-Men #451

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2004
By: Mike Gentile



“The Cruelest Cut, Part Two”

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Alan Davis (p), Mark Farmer (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
The X-Men are in New York to investigate some murders that lead them to X-23, a young mutant girl who displays a lot of similarities to Wolverine. Meanwhile a group of warrior women clad in futuristic armor also search for the girl, and Sage apparently makes a very big decision about helping a former employer.

Comments:
In the six months since Claremont has taken over he has begun ten years worth of plot-lines. So much is dangling right now that I have a difficult time being interested in the current story.

Here’s a quick rundown of subjects that are NOT addressed in this issue:
What brought the Fury to this dimension?
What’s going on at Braddock Manor?
Why did Viper attack the X-men?
What’s going on with Rachel and Nightcrawler?
What’s going on with Storm and Nightcrawler?
What’s going on with Storm and Wolverine ?

Instead, we’re introduced to group of warrior women who hang out in mansions in Manhattan and a giant, mutant bouncer character who beats up on the X-men.

To his credit, Claremont does wrap up the murder mystery plot-line, but he does it all with the characters standing around and talking while cutting to flashbacks. Everything wraps up neatly, and he does it with the flair and style of a typical episode of Scooby Doo. I’m still not sure what happened or why, and I don’t care.

All of that aside, Uncanny X-Men still has some positive qualities. Claremont has recaptured the traditional feel of the X-men, and Davis is producing the best artwork of his career. Some of his panels are jaw-droppingly good. In the X-23 chase scene, he employs some dynamic “camera angles,” including varying shots from the rooftops and the street. Throughout the sequence, he manages to maintain the action and displays it against detailed backgrounds and architecture. If you ever were to buy a comic simply for the artist, do it for Davis.

Uncanny X-Men has been frustrating lately but still offers a bit of nostalgic charm. However, as of now, there is no indication that Claremont plans on tying up any loose-ends, and he appears to be more than happy to plow forward and not look back.



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