Catching Up on Reviews, Part 7 — Uncanny X-Force and X-Men

Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel) – Esad Ribic’s art, while good, is a step down from what had been appearing in X-Force’s earlier issues. Rick Remender’s writing is fine, but I don’t really care for the Deathloks or this particular storyline.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 (Marvel) – Rafael Albuquerque’s art has its moments, but I’m not a huge fan. It is good to see the return of characters like Gateway, Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, though, which make this an entertaining issue.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Uncanny X-Force #6 (Marvel) – While the idea of all of the Marvel heroes being turned into time-traveling Deathloks is interesting, it’s problematic, though, to think that after all of the enemies that these heroes have collectively defeated, they’d somehow fall this way. Not buying it.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Uncanny X-Force #7 (Marvel) – The Deathlok storyline finally concludes, which it couldn’t have done soon enough. While the creators of this series are good and they do good work, this is not the best use of the series, I think.

Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #8 (Marvel) – This is a transitional issue from the subpar Deathlok storyline to what looks much more promising with the Dark Angel storyline. The final page of this issue is chilling.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Uncanny X-Force #9 (Marvel) – Two issues into his run and I’m not sure what to think of Billy Tan’s art. There is definitely some good stylistic and structural stuff being done here, but I’m not sure about the faces and details.

Story: 8.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8

Uncanny X-Force #10 (Marvel) – The Dark Angel storyline is really starting to hit its stride in this issue and Bill Tan’s art seems to be improving. Overall, a good issue, on the verge of being great.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Force #11 (Marvel) – Mark Brooks provides the best art this series has had in a while and Remender’s storytelling is at its peak in this issue. The Age of Apocalypse was one of the better storylines to come out of the 1990s and it’s good to see it revived here.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #533 (Marvel) – Greg Land’s art continues to mostly impress while I can’t say I like the character of Lode. I do like the idea of the drug that gives people mutant powers, although it seems like DC already did this with Lex Luthor a few years ago, so the idea isn’t that original.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #534 (Marvel) – The parts of this issue that feature Paul Renaud’s art are noticeably not as good as Land’s stuff. The Quarantine storyline ends on a high note, though, with Cyclops once again shown to be one of the smartest and toughest characters in Marvel. I really like where Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillon are taking him.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5

Uncanny X-Men #534.1 (Marvel) – Great concept for this issue, what do you do to convince the world that Magneto has changed his ways and isn’t the evil bastard he used to be. Hire a PR firm, of course…

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #535 (Marvel) – Terry Dodson’s art isn’t perfect, but it is distinctive enough that I like it a lot. This issue ties back into the Breakworld story from Astonishing, and I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of that.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #536 (Marvel) – More Dodson and more Breakworld means more of the same quality work as the previous issue, but this issue’s somewhat expected twist is still entertaining.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #537 (Marvel) – Dodson’s art seems a little weaker in this issue and the Breakworld stuff is starting to drag on, right up until the last panel, which is an amazingly good shocker.

Story: 9.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.75

Uncanny X-Men #538 (Marvel) – It’s good to finally see the conclusion of the Breakworld saga, both this particular one and the original one, restoring Kitty to her natural state. A number of the recent X-storylines are ones that I don’t particularly like, even though they are very well-executed.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Uncanny X-Men #539 (Marvel) – Really one of the worst issues of Uncanny in a while, which isn’t to say it’s terrible, just that it isn’t that great, either. That may be because there is a whole lot of Hope in this issue and nobody has really figured out much of a personality or point to her character now that she’s an adult.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Uncanny X-Men #540 (Marvel) – Greg Land is back, which is awesome. Fear Itself is crossing over, which is pretty good. This issue doesn’t have much action, but it has politics and Juggernaut and character growth and all that. Very good issue for regular readers and X-Men fans.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (Marvel) – If Nick Bradshaw didn’t have to draw people, his art in this issue would be amazing. There are lots of people here, though, so it’s problematic at best. The story fits the recent Marvel trend of frequently matching up teams against someone else’s villains — in this case Blastaar — and I’m not sure that it works very well.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

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