The Revolution has been looking forward to Uncanny X-Men #475 for quite some time. I have not been shy about my disappointment over the lack of solid writing on this title for quite some time. With Brubaker taking over the writing chores, I have no doubt that we are going to get some solid stories. Uncanny X-Men also marks the return of the old school Marvel tradition of placing the head shots of the characters appearing in this issue in the upper left hand corner of the cover. All right, let’s hit this review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Billy Tan
Inker: Danny Miki
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Polaris being hunted by some Anti-Apocalypse strike force.
We then shift to the Xavier Institute where Professor X is talking with the Beast. Beast is attempting to repair Prof. X’s communication device with the Shi’ar. Prof. X tells the Beast that Cyclops is no longer talking to him and that Cyclops wants him out of the institute. Prof. X leaves the Beast and walks into Nightcrawler’s room. Prof. X tells Nightcrawler that he needs to stop his past mistakes from destroying everything left that he cares about. Prof. X asks for Nightcrawler’s help. Nightcrawler gladly offers to help Prof. X with whatever he needs.
We then cut back to Polaris battling the anti-Apocalypse strike force. Suddenly, the X-Men are on the scene. Nightcrawler teleports the bystanders out of the scene of the battle. Warpath engages the strike force and we have a braaaawwwl!
We then shift to Professor X meeting with Warpath outside of the Xavier Institute. Warpath is practicing with the new knives that Storm gave him. They are made from vibranium, are perfectly balance, and can cut through almost anything. Because of Warpath’s heightened reflexes and hand-eye control makes these knives aim almost perfect in precision. Warpath tells Xavier that he is not happy being at the Institute now that it is just a refugee camp with Sentinels keeping watch. It reminds Warpath of when he grew up on a Reservation. Professor X then asks Warpath to help him on a mission. Warpath asks why since he is not one of Xavier’s inner circle. Professor X says he wants Warpath to help him because none of the other X-Men have ever hated him as much as Warpath did.
We cut back to Warpath kicking butt on the strike force. Havok then approaches Polaris. Havok tells Polaris that the X-Men are here to save her. We then see Rachel join Warpath in the fight against the anti-Apocalypse strike force.
We then shift back to the Xavier Institute where Rachel tells Professor X that she will gladly help him with his mission.
We then cut back to Havok and Polaris. Polaris says that her new powers are dangerous and harder to control. Havok says that Polaris deserves a second chance and that the she is coming with the X-Men. Havok then blasts the last remaining portion of the strike force. With the brawl over, Nightcrawler teleports the X-Men into the Blackbird piloted by Professor X.
Professor X engages the auto-pilot and then addresses his team. Professor X tells Polaris that this is her chance to redeem herself. That they are headed to Shi’ar space in order to stop Vulcan’s mission of vengeance. But, the first thing that the X-Men must do is steal a spaceship.
We shift to Vulcan racing into Shi’ar space. Vulcan crosses paths with a Shi’ar spaceship and destroys it killing everyone aboard. End of issue.
The Good: Uncanny X-Men #475 was a pretty solid issue. I like how Brubaker started with the X-Men’s mission to rescue Polaris and mixed in the flashback scenes of how Xavier assembled this particular team of X-Men.
I loved seeing Warpath in action. I’m a huge fan of Warpath and it was nice to see him kicking some butt. The scene between Professor X and Warpath was nicely done. I like that Brubaker illustrates the difference between the characters inside Xavier’s inner circle and those on the outside. It only makes sense that the Xavier Institute would be cliquish. Brubaker serves up some nice dialogue. Warpath speaks to a Xavier in a fashion that we almost never see with the other X-Men. Warpath sliced Xavier to the core when he informs him that Xavier’s passive-aggressive thing doesn’t work now that he can’t read minds. It is interesting to see an X-Man who doesn’t particularly hold Xavier in terribly high regard.
I liked the scene between Havok and Polaris. I have always liked these two characters and prefer to see them together. No matter what, Havok is never going to leave Polaris’ side. Brubaker writes some nice dialogue between these two long-time lovers.
The final scene where Xavier reveals his mission is no surprise. The mission to travel to Shi’ar space and stop Vulcan is the continuation of Brubaker’s storyline that he started in X-Men: Deadly Genesis. I think it is going to be a pretty interesting and exciting storyline. You have Prof. X riddled with guilt making a desperate attempt to stop a monster in Vulcan that he helped to create. Plus, that Prof. X used to be married to the leader of the Shi’ar that he is now trying to save. And of course, that Rachel is on this team to stop Vulcan from destroying the Shi’ar who were the same people who recently slaughtered almost every single Grey family member. And add some definite family drama with Havok confronting his brother, Vulcan and an appearance by the father Corsair. This has all ingredients of a highly complex, interesting and exciting storyline.
Brubaker has a nicely plotted issue with a good pace. Not too fast and not too slow. I also dig Brubaker’s dialogue. It has a nice flow and has a natural feel to it. Plus, each character has their own unique voice.
I like the characters that Brubaker has chosen for his X-Men team. And Brubaker shows that he has a great feel for each character and the interaction between all the characters is very well done. Professor X, Warpath, Havok, Polaris, Nightcrawler are all good selections. I like how Brubaker writes all of the characters. Brubaker’s Prof. X is very interesting. I like how Prof. X has gone from one of the most powerful men in the Marvel Universe to a rather pathetic old man. Stripped of his powers, Xavier comes across as a sad broken man who is paying for the sins of his past. It is such a refreshing take on a character that is almost always written as the highly regarded and powerful patriarch. As I said before, I love Warpath. He is a very cool character with tons of potential. I’m excited to see how Brubaker is going to flesh out and grow Warpath’s character. Havok has always been one of my favorites and I’m glad that Brubaker chose Havok instead of Cyclops. I have also always liked Polaris. I’m glad that Brubaker is bringing Havok and Polaris together again as teammates if nothing else. Nightcrawler is an old favorite who is a welcome addition to any team.
I enjoyed Billy Tan’s artwork. Tan draws an awesome Warpath and a fantastic Havok. I love the way Tan draws Havok’s costumes and energy blasts. I also like that Tan isn’t afraid to bust out some action lines in some of the panels during the fight scene. That is a nice touch. Tan’s art has nice rich detail and is very dynamic. Tan’s art makes Uncanny X-Men a visually appealing book. Tan’s art compliments Brubaker’s strong writing and makes Uncanny X-Men a very enjoyable book to read.
The Bad: My only complaint would be the addition of Rachel on this team. I blame Chris Claremont for this complaint. Claremont succeeded in turning me off of this character by constantly shoving Rachel’s character down the reader’s throat during his last run on this title. If I never see Rachel again it will be too soon. Plus, I think it stinks that a cool character like Jean Grey got replaced by a lame ass character like Rachel.
Overall: Uncanny X-Men #475 was a very solid read. As I expected, Brubaker delivered a well written comic with good dialogue and nice character development. Brubaker and Tan make a nice team and I am looking forward to their run on this title. For the first time in a long time I am actually looking forward to the next issue of Uncanny X-Men. If you have stayed away from Uncanny X-Men over the past several years, now is the perfect time to hop back on to this title. Brubaker is going to make Uncanny X-Men a good read once again.