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X-Men #202

Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2007
By: Bryant Frattalone



Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Humberto Ramos

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Plot: The Marauders and The Acolytes continue to assault the X-teams. Sam, Bobby and Emma continue to be our heroesí only hope. Sinister shows himself.

Commentary: Carey and Ramos continue to give us classic X-Men goodness. The team is divided and beleaguered as their most formidable foes rally against them. However, the object here is not to kill the X-Men and their extended family but to blind them to ďwhatís comingĒ. Whatís coming is only hinted at this issue but with Mr. Sinister at the forefront itís sure to be disturbing and upsetting to the X-Men world at large. Like DCís ďSinestro Corp WarĒ this new storyline has the feel of something big and earthshaking for the X-Men. This book hasnít had this vibe to it in quite awhile. Carey is even making me like New X-Men; characters and a team I was never interested in before.

Cannonball and Icemanís interrogation of Shiro is great. Shiro is the consummate jerk heís always been characterized as and Sam is showing the strength and leadership chops heís gleaned from all those years of mentoring under Xavier, Magneto, Scott and Cable. All these influences have made him quite a man. Something startling but welcome is revealed this issue. The Destiny Diaries which dominated so much of X-treme X-Menís (a disastrous series under Chris Claremont a few years back) adventures are revealed to be just books with blank pages. Everything the X-treme X-men read in those books was fabricated and a result of some sort of mass mind control. Sinisterís two pronged assault on the X-mansion and the precogs of the X-men world was for the simple reason of blinding them to his plans for the future of mutants. One of his targets was the diaries. Exodus opens the books and sees only blank pages but some of the X-men still see them as being written on. The conclusion is that there could only one psychic talent who could have done this. It remains to be seen if the suspect is guilty or not and I wonít tell you who it is here.

These developments along with one other means there is hope for the X-Men to put a halt to Sinisterís plans by finding the real diaries before he does. And so, the hunt is on! This also means that the poor storylines of the X-treme X-Men days are not written in stone and perhaps Carey can salvage the ideas into something worthwhile. Iím enjoying the recent retro personality given to Kitty here and in Astonishing X-Men. Sheís been given her classic personality back while moving her and Colossusís story forward. I can do without making her into a female badass with ninja combat training and the attitude to match. She may still retain these skills but they are not emphasized under Whedon and Carey. We have enough Elektras and Psylockes at Marvel already. Another female character Carey is working well with is Emma Frost. The intriguing thing about her is that she still maintains her scheming and manipulative ways even though sheís on the side of angels now.

The best art by Ramos is at Sinisterís lab cum hideout. The villains, especially Gambit, Raven and Sinister, all look good. The only thing Iíd say to Carey and Ramos at this point is that they need to slow down a bit and answer a few questions: What turned Gambit and Shiro to the dark side? What motivated Mystique to join the ranks of the bad guys again? These are all good developments story-wise but the readers need to know the motivation.

Final Word: Carey and Ramos give us another good X-Men issue. Thatís something I havenít said about two issues of the X-Men in a long time.



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