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Uncanny X-Men #451

Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Impediments"

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

Publisher: Marvel

Plot:
After X-23 makes it clear she's not about to be taken into custody by the X-Men, we see she does manage to lead the group on a merry little chase that in turn leaves them right at the doorstep of the group that has kidnapped the young woman the X-Men were brought into rescue. After battling the mob agent that is looking to bring the kidnapped girl home to her father, we see the X-Men rescue the girl, while X-23 vanishes into the night.

Comments:
Let me see if I understand the plot of this arc. The X-Men were called in when a group of young men were sliced and diced by an attacker sporting a set of adamantium claws, and further investigation has reveal the presence of another victim who we learn is the daughter of a prominent crime boss, who in turn dispatched his own agent to rescue his daughter. We than learn that the young woman has been kidnapped by group of armored women, but before the X-Men can rescue the young woman they are attacked by the agent the mob boss had brought in to rescue his daughter. We also learn the killer is seemingly part of the Weapon X program that produced Wolverine, and that while she did butcher those young men the X-Men let her depart at the end on the adventure, because they believe she was acting to protect the young kidnap victim. Now I applaud Chris Claremont for offering up an exceptionally busy story line, as there's a flood of plot threads vying for attention, and this makes this book a bit of a rarity in today's comic marketplace. However, the problem that I find myself having with Chris Claremont's writing is that it displays a willingness to shift its attention from one idea to the next without any seeming regard for the idea that the readers might've invested some of their attention in the plot threads that he has seemingly abandoned. He also has the annoying habit of bringing in plot elements that he hasn't introduced, as apparently we're supposed to understand who these armored women warriors are, and it never really answers the question of why the mob agent decided to attack the X-Men beyond the action scene it provided.

Alan Davis is one of the main reasons why I enjoyed this issue, as he does a wonderful job on Nightcrawler's rooftop battle with X-23, and the art does manage to sell the idea that Geech could very well give the Juggernaut a run for his money in a slugfest, as the brute tears into the X-Men. The art also does a nice job of suggesting that Logan has had half his face torn off, without getting overly gruesome, as Nightcrawler's initial reaction perfectly sells the extent of the injury. There's also a nice little display of power as we see the X-Men wade into combat against the armored women, as I rather enjoyed the visual the energy blasts bending around Storm to strike Bishop, combined with the impact shots of Nightcrawler's presence. It's also nice to see the cover images are starting to reflect the story one should expect to find inside, though next issue's cover shot looks like this trend is short-lived.



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