If you a regular follower of The Revolution then you know that Ed Brubaker is currently my favorite artist. Brubaker has the Midas touch and is working the same magic from Captain America and Daredevil over here on Uncanny X-Men. I fully expect Uncanny X-Men #477 to be another fine read. Uncanny X-Men #477 sports a guest penciler in Clayton Henry and a guest inker in Mark Morales. I have some fresh brewed Café Bustelo and some ESPN on the TV and am ready for this review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Clayton Henry
Inker: Mark Morales
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Vulcan burning a hot trail to the Shi’ar throneworld. We get a flashback scene of his mother being killed by the Shi’ar and Vulcan being ripped from her womb and placed in an incubation-accelerator. Within months he grew to a suitable slave age. Vulcan’s only desire is to make Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken pay with his life.
Vulcan comes in contact with his first Shi’ar vessel and quickly destroys it. Vulcan allows one crew member to survive the attack so Vulcan can question him. The Shi’ar crewman tells Vulcan that the Shi’ar stargates will only work for Shi’ar vessels. That the stargates won’t open for Vulcan. The crewman then tells Vulcan that Emperor D’Ken has been in a coma for years. That Lilandra is Empress of the Shi’ar. The crewman tells Vulcan that he is raging at a ghost. Vulcan responds “No…I rage at you.” And with that blasts the crewman into a crispy fried corpse.
Vulcan then uses his powers to reach out and search the universe for a Shi’ar ship that he can commandeer. He senses three Shi’ar warships and flies off to intercept them. Vulcan knows that Shi’ar respect anyone that defeats them. That they respect anyone that they fear. So, Vulcan destroys two of the three warships. He then tells the third to surrender the vessel to his command or face death. The Shi’ar warship surrenders.
Vulcan meets privately with the captain of the Shi’ar warship. Vulcan asks the captain to give him a crash course in Shi’ar history so he knows what he is up against. We then shift to later that day with Vulcan sitting on the bridge in the Captain’s chair. Each time they use a stargate, they destroy it so the X-Men won’t be able to follow them. Vulcan knows that his legend is spreading and the rumors and fear of his approach has reached the Shi’ar throneworld. Vulcan fancies himself a modern version of his hero, Julius_Ceasar, who marched to Rome to take over the Roman Empire.
The Good: Uncanny X-Men #477 was a solid issue. I know many people will think this issue is a real step backward compared to Brubaker’s first two issues. I don’t think so. Brubaker has consistently shown that he likes to kick the story off with some fast moving issues and then slow things down in order to lay a solid foundation for his storyline and to put all his players in place and then let all hell break loose. He did that over on Daredevil.
Even though this was a slow issue, it was well constructed and had a definite purpose. Uncanny X-Men #477 was a necessary evil. Brubaker had to give some background information on Vulcan for readers who did not read his Deadly Genesis mini-series. Plus, Brubaker wanted to flesh out Vulcan a bit more and try and get the reader to understand his motivation. Brubaker is also laying out the extreme obstacles that lay in front of the X-Men and the immense power of Vulcan that the X-Men are going to have to try and overcome.
I know many people simply are not going to like Vulcan because he is a major retcon to the X-Men’s history. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me. Retcons have become a major part of comic books nowadays. Readers need to realize that writers are much more willing to retcon in order to implement the story that they want to write. And comic book companies have no qualms with massive retconning. While, rampant retconning gets old, there really isn’t anything I can do about it. So, I can either bitch about it and complain all the time or, I can just let it go and read my comic books and enjoy myself. After all, comics are just supposed to be entertainment.
I believe that Vulcan’s character has plenty of potential. I think Brubaker did an excellent job fleshing out Vulcan’s character in this issue. I feel more sympathetic toward Vulcan and am more interested in his character. I find myself rooting for Vulcan against the Shi’ar.
I really liked the ending. Even after a slow issue, Brubaker still hooks the reader at the end by teasing us with the appearance of the Imperial Guard. You know we are going to be in store for one hell of a brawl with the next issue. I have always liked the Imperial Guard so I’m looking forward to seeing them in action. Hopefully, we will also get some quality Starjammers action later in this storyline.
I thought that Henry and Morales did a very nice job on the artwork. I don’t like it quite as much as Tan’s art, but it still was pretty good. It definitely didn’t adversely impact the issue.
The Bad: I thought it was too early in Brubaker and Tan’s run on Uncanny X-Men for a guest artist fill-in. The issue was a bit slow, but as I said, I think it was a necessary evil.
Overall: Uncanny X-Men #477 was a solid issue. Even one of Brubaker’s slower issues is still far superior to the garbage that has been cranked out on this title over the past several years. Brubaker is building toward a wild ride and this issue was just the setting of the table for the fun that we are going to enjoy over the next several issues.