Review/RANT: Uncanny X-Men #500

WHAT A ### OF ### ### YOU, BRUBAKER AND FRACTION! I HOPE YOUR ### OF A MOTHER ### GETS ### AND ### DIES… and here’s why!

First, the new X-Mansion…

Hmm, ok. Looks… is stupid the right word?

Really? Just how exactly are you keeping this shit a secret? You already told the entire world where you live, stupid!

Built by whom? The actual US Military or independent contractors!? Have they all been cleared by “X-Security”? as if the US Military would allow your asses to build to “military spec”…

Beast? STFU with the Al Gore agenda! Go die, tree-hugging scum! I find it very hard to believe that the X-Men are concerned with global warming; it just boggles the mind that a group of walking atomic bombs are talking about saving the planet by going green. What about all the property damage you guys cause every time you suit up to fight the “bad guys”? You think that shit doesn’t increase the size of your carbon footprint exponentially? And don’t even get me started on how idiotic it is when super heroes choose a political affiliation. UGH!!!

Um, can I ask yet another question? Why do the writers feel the need to rub our noses in this shit? Yes, the X-Men have money, but here they come off like spoiled rich bastards. This is not a reasonable way for the writers to endear a fundamentally difficult to identify with group of characters with their readers. This is just plain insulting. I don’t envy them, I hate them. “Nice clubhouse, and also… fuck you.”

So, throughout the first few pages of this book, we are led to believe that the “new” X-Men are all about the Liberal agenda, but then as soon as they are confronted with something that personally offend them, they literally go wild shit crazy, demanding that said offensive material be removed from public display. Hmm, I thought the X-Men were always about tolerance.

Now, it occurs to me that perhaps Brubaker and Fraction are trying to cleverly point out the hypocrisy of these X-Men, or the inherent hypocrisy of anyone proclaiming to be utterly tolerant of his fellow man. Well, I’m not buying that, and I’ll explain why when we get closer to the end…

Oh, speaking of intolerance…

Yes, that is an X-Man saying that. Which X-Man is literally anyone’s guess seeing as how every single one that appears in this issue is written horribly out of character.

So, that crack about the wheelchair is offensive, but one of your team using the word “retard” is okay? Hello, Hypocrisy, I’d like you to meet Emma Frost and her friend, Scott Summers. Once more, we have a stunning example of the X-Men as “Role Models for Tolerance”.

…and back to my suggestion that Fraction and Brubaker are somehow trying to point out the X-Men’s hypocrisy? Yeah, not so much. In order for that to be true, the X-Men’s paranoia would have to have been shown as a gross overreaction. No, instead, the writers decide to prove them right. So, class, are you paying attention? It’s okay to destroy or deface “art” if you don’t agree with it. Got it? Sure, they put on a good show, after all, Magneto is attacking again… which in and of itself screams Dues ex Machina, seeing as how Magneto is supposed to be de-powered… and of course he needs to be put down by any means necessary, and if that means destroying some decommissioned Sentinels, which happen to be private property, so be it. “But, but, but, but we need him for the big issue 500 extravaganza!” Shut. Up. Cheap tricks, guys. Very, very cheap.

…sigh. Really? More on this so soon? PUSH THE AGENDA!!!

Yeah, I know, but I just couldn’t leave it out. I mean, I gave the “letting your freak flag” line a pass. What do you want, I’m human!

Shut up, pornstar-Storm. Although, the self-righteous thing is definitely a part of her character, so fine.

Angel takes out a Sentinel all by himself… NO.

As if you weren’t thinking of doing the same thing, Scott!!!

Magneto is dead-on here, and I’m hoping the writers have a plan to use this later. Maybe they really are trying to shame the X-Men? We’ll see.

Oh, great! You mean the sanctimonious X-Fascists are building an army to impose their pseudo-tolerant worldview? SWEET! Can’t wait to read more about the X-Men’s adventures in the Fourth Reich! I can totally see them changing the title of Young X-Men to “X-Youth” any day now.

(I kid, of course.)

I’m done now, I think. I said enough inflammatory things and maybe I should quit while I’m ahead (and perhaps I’m not even that). I leave you with this bit of nonsense:

17 thoughts on “Review/RANT: Uncanny X-Men #500

  1. I was starting to write a big thing about this but what’s the point? I’d just get insulted. Just remember, it’s only the first issue, you don’t know what they’re building to. I had fun with the silly gimmicks in here. Was some of it stupid? Maybe, but I like Sentinels, Magneto, and anything Hellfire. And I like really really really pretty art. So I gave some of the absurd stuff a pass. Now if that continues I’ll be right there with you. But this was the start of their run, and it was a 500 issue. What are the odds that a centennial issue will be good? Didn’t you talk about this on Battle of the Century too? So you can hate it if you want to, but cut them a little slack ok?

  2. cut them slack? why? this issue was ABSURDLY bad. these aren’t first time writers. these guys have chops, and as such, i expect more. and, if they suck, i’m sure they want us to tell them. they’re tough, they can take it.

    who cares if it’s an anniversary issue? it’s not even the start of a run, as Brubaker has been on for almost 2 years, it’s more like the start of a new direction. well, that direction blows. it’s not just this issue, it’s Astonishing as well.

    so, maybe they are building to something, but to me, right from the get-go, their foundation is questionable, and judging by that, i’m not sure i want to read what they’re building to. and i’m not the only one. there’s been plenty of backlash on this issue and the new direction.

    sure, you can like the corny stuff… hell, i like corny stuff too. but this… this is not tongue-in-cheek writing, these guys have an agenda. that “going green” garbage? they’re not poking fun at it, they are pushing it.

    a big problem i have with this “new direction”, that i didn’t mention here, is that it’s just a bastardization of the Morrison/Casey era. i know some of you weren’t around for that, and hardly anyone remembers Joe Casey’s forgettable run on Uncanny, but this is just a lame update of that. It’s “Poptopia” all over again, but this time on a grander scale. but, it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. the X-Men don’t work as celebrities, no matter how much Ellis wants them too. they work as outlaws, hated and feared, much like Spider-Man. hell, imagine how boring Spidey books would be if everyone loved him? sure, One More Day sucked, but i’m damn glad we have Brand New Day. i’m glad the writers are back to kicking Parker’s ass, regardless of how regressive it is. yes, hypocrisy, i know thee well.

    did Morrison’s run make them into celebrities and therefore less hated? in a way yes, but also no. he managed to raise their profile yet still maintain the public’s hate for them. and, he ended his run with a BANG that firmly put them back in the “hated and feared” camp. will Fraction and Brubaker do the same? hard to say for sure, but all signs currently point to “not talented enough to pull this off.”

    i mean, have you read their interviews? these guys are more interested in fucking around with their favorite X-Men than they are with telling compelling stories. there was absolutely nothing compelling or groundbreaking about this first issue. you can’t say the same about the first issue in Morrison’s run, can you? does Magneto and a couple of decommissioned Sentinels really compare to Casandra Nova building an army of Wild Sentinels to kill every mutant in Genosha? i don’t think so. let’s not even talk about the second issue, where Nova programed them for genocide. what have they got in store for us in issue 501? the murder of Pixie? OH! time for more “CSI: X-Men”!

    so, lesson: if you’re going to bite a more accomplished writer’s work, please, at least improve on it.

    and don’t take it so personal when someone on here disagrees with you, it’s just part of the game, dude. you put your opinions out there and you better damn well expect that not everyone is going to agree with you. hell, that’s where the fun comes in!

  3. @PROF: same level of bad, but for different reasons. Ellis take is totally a slap in the face to long time X-Men readers since he is definitely writing his book from the Frank Miller Dark Knight Strikes Again! POV, meaning, “big fuck you paycheck time!”

    (although i don’t think i mind that as much, as long as it’s fun. see the end of Wanted. Millar, you bastard. hah.)

    Ellis is appropriating the X-Men to tell wacky sci-fi stories. he doesn’t actually give a fuck about the characters, their fans, or their history… which is the difference between Ellis and Morrison. you can tell that Morrison gives a shit. he does the research and he loves the characters, meaning, his stories resonate. Ellis work-for-hire stories just don’t, because he’s too busy trying to be clever and push his own writing agenda, everything ends up ringing false. but, i digress…

    i hate the coloring on Astonishing. too dark. like Sean said, you have to turn on every light in the house to read it! at least on Uncanny you can see what’s going on, even if it sucks. 🙂

    does that answer your question, or did i rant too much?

  4. I mostly agree with you here.

    The X-Men are rarely (if ever) accepted by a larger community, whether it be the city of San Francisco or even other superheroes. I saw all of the ‘Green’ nonsense as the X-Men simply trying too hard to fit in. As history has shown countless times, it’s the self-righteous and hypocritical actions of the group that alienates them more than their genetics. Magneto’s little speech was right on the mark, and also proven right by Cyclop’s invitation to all mutants at the end of the issue.

    I haven’t read an X-title outside of UXM since 2000, but still found everything pretty accessible and entertaining. Most of the sub-plots introduced caught my attention, especially the promise of a High Evolutionary/Magneto pairing. If the two characters are genuinely working towards a higher purpose (as opposed to just pissing on the X-Men) it should be a good opportunity to expose our heroes as the useless and self-obsessed babies that they are.

    It’s not that I don’t like the X-Men, I’m just sick of the masturbatory nature of most of their storylines. If nothing else, I find the change of setting and tone welcome.

    Plus it promises to have Dazzler. I don’t see a downside.

  5. So is it the coffee? Is that the problem? Anyway, no I don’t hate you Billy. You and I can always be friends as long as we have Ennis’ Punisher to share. Oh wait….

    Thankfully, I’m not that sensitive. It just it seemed like from that stuff about Thor that you were in one of your FUCK YOU modes. You seem to get into one of those once a month so I just tried to avoid poking the bear. On a side note, you really can’t be too sensitive on the internet or you’ll be eaten alive. Either that, or go nuts. Did anyone hear about that girl who got beaten up because she was talking shit on MySpace? Or does anyone remember Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back? I digress.

    As I said Billy, I do agree with some of the stuff you’re saying and kudos to you for seeing it. I think I was too high on Comic Con when I read this issue. Yes, Fraction and Brubaker are big boys that need to be told when they suck (not Fraction 🙂 ). I said this was the start of the run because of Fraction starting, but go ahead and give Brubaker some shit. As I try to tell everyone, outside of Captain America and maybe Criminal he’s not that great of a writer.

    C’mon Billy you know I loved Morrison’s run. I have the gargantuan Omnibus resting proudly on my shelves. But isn’t it a bit much to even breathe this silly first issue and Morrison’s legendary run in the same sentence? Did I at any time say that this was on that level?

    I did read one of Fraction’s interviews and I don’t remember hearing anything about the green thing. But what I did read is that San Francisco will actually love the X-Men. Don’t get too mad yet because he did say something about soon the rest of the world will hate them. So is it ok if everyone else hates them except San Francisco?

    Oh and again, I liked Astonishing too. I’ve read the second one as well and again I enjoyed it. Ha Ha! I read one review of Astonishing X-Men #26 and that guy did compare it to Morrison’s run. So I guess he is lucky you don’t know him.

    So we’ll see how it plays out. Oh could you do me a favor Billy and explain a little more why Uncanny and Astonishing go together as being horrible. I mean I know they’re both San Francisco X-Men and you think they’re both awful, but it seems like you were saying something about them being related and how that was terrible. They aren’t building a story together or something are they? Anyway, I thought you said something about them being related.

  6. um, i compare the Morrison run with the Fraction/Brubaker run (yes, only one issue so far…) because the comparisons are and will be inevitable. Frac-baker are treading the same ground as Morrison. it seems a very obvious comparison to me.

    Astonishing and Uncanny, more so than any other two X-Books, are related in tone, characterization and direction. this too, seems obvious. Astonishing isn’t the separate book it was during the Whedon era, not because Ellis is hewing more closely to continuity, but because Frac-baker have chosen to follow his lead.

    i’m positive that this will become more apparent over time.

  7. Obvious is a pretty pompous word Billy. It’s just hard to enjoy a book if you keep comparing it to something phenomenal. Shouldn’t that be obvious to you? heh

  8. But you’re right, If Brution (Mine is better 🙂 ) attempt to have a run like Morrison then yes they are in for a hell of a whuppin.

  9. dude, call me arrogant if it makes you feel better, but the comparison is obvious. like, so obvious it is FACTUAL. period. end of sentence.

    also, your mom.

    and also, it doesn’t have to be great to be enjoyable.

  10. Oh well, agree to disagree. Wait, I don’t agree with that!

    It doesn’t have to be great to be enjoyable. If that was the case, we’d both be crucified upside down for liking Hulk. Actually, I wouldn’t rule crucifixion out if Desiato ever finds out where we live. I enjoyed this issue, it wasn’t great but I had fun with it like I have fun with your mom. See that’s what you get for dragging mothers into this.

    So how long are we going to drag this out? Let’s just hope both Astonishing and Uncanny get better.

  11. I didn’t buy this, in part because I haven’t been keeping up with X-Men (though Mike Carey’s been quite good, from what I’ve read), but also because I generally refuse to support a Greg Land book. Looks like I made the right choice.

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