Posted on August 21, 2013 AT 08:42pm
In preparation for the upcoming “Battle Of The Atom” event, Brian Wood’sX-Men is taking an issue to really work on some team-building before the start of the major event. This leads to some traditional X-Men conflict, some very sweet moments, and some major throwbacks in an issue that sees the team separated, with Logan and Jubilee making their way to Southern California with baby Shogo, and the rest of the team helping out a crashing airliner.
Brian Wood has always done well with character building, and without a major conflict, his skills shine, showing off the long-standing friendship of Jubilee and Wolverine, as well as a major team-building exercise run by X-Men “Leader”, Storm. While Storm and Rachel fight, Kitty, Rogue and Psylocke enact their plan to save a crashing ship. The building of a team dynamic and further friendships in nice to see, especially when it comes to Wolverine and Jubilee, who visit the very mall where Jubilee made her first appearance in the Uncanny X-Men series, almost twenty-five years ago.
Wood is showing off a better grasp of the series with this issue, focusing on the team itself instead of whatever they’re fighting. Bringing in the team on a relatively simple mission, and getting some very sweet bonding time between two old friends was a great move, despite the lack of major plot development. Setting up an easy story for the team before the big event was a good move, especially with the ten-part “Battle Of The Atom” event coming in a few weeks.
The art team got a bit of an update as well, with Olivier Copiel and the army of inkers and colorists getting a bit of a break on this issue. Instead, David Lopez comes in on pencils with Cam Smith and Norman Lee on inks and Cris Peter on colors. With the style that was used in the last few issues in comparison to this, the characters and shading looks much nicer that the more painted style of the previous issues. This looks more like a standard Marvel comic than the others, and it seems to lend itself to the content in a much smoother way than the last art team. It looks great, helping make the pretty standard story much more interesting looking.
Summary: With the next event coming, not a lot happened in this issue, but it seemed to all improve for the better. The art team did a great job in improving the aesthetic of the book, and writer Brian Wood told a sweet and engaging story as a placeholder story before the next major arc arrives. With a lot of heart, great art and a fun story, this issue paves the way forward for this series, which was looking as though it may fall flat.
Pros: Fun Story, Much Improved Artwork
Cons: Lack Of Plot Development
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