The Revolution was probably my favorite issue of Brubaker’s run on Uncanny X-Men. For the most part, I have been rather unimpressed with Brubaker’s work on this title. However, Brubaker seemed to hit a groove with the last issue. Hopefully, Brubaker can continue this trend and deliver an enjoyable final issue of this story arc with Uncanny X-Men #486. Let’s hit this review and find out.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Billy Tan
Inker: Danny Miki
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Darwin inside of the M’Kraan Crystal searching for the Professor. Darwin finds the Professor and notices that Xavier’s screams are inside of Darwin’s mind. Darwin grabs Professor X and knows the way out of the crystal. That the crystal does not want them.
We cut to Vulcan standing triumphantly over Lilandra. Corsair intervenes and tells Vulcan to stop and listen to him because he is Vulcan’s father. Vulcan responds that he has no father and blasts Corsair and kills Corsair. Alex yells “NO!” Vulcan comments that now Alex no longer as a father, either. Alex powers up and angrily attacks Vulcan. Vulcan comments that Alex cannot hurt him.
Deathbird then tells Gladiator that Vulcan is the rightful Emperor and that the Imperial Guard had better protect him. Suddenly, Korvus takes down Gladiator. Korvus then attacks Deathbird. Vulcan shrugs off Havok and attacks Korvus. Rachel then comes to Korvus’ aid and repels Vulcan’s attack.
Polaris then uses her powers to crush Vulcan’s armor and injure him. Alex then begins punching Vulcan as the two brothers continue fighting. Nightcrawler tells Lilandra that he must get her to safety. Suddenly, we see Darwin along with Professor X emerge from the M’Kraan Crystal. Nightcrawler teleports Professor X and Darwin back to their ship. We see Havok absorb Vulcan’s blast that was meant for Polaris.
We cut to the X-Men’s ship where Nightcrawler and Lilandra place Professor X and Darwin in the medical bay. Lilandra then teleports back to the battlefield. We see Hepzibah loading up with every weapon possible from the ship’s weapons bay. Nightcrawler tells Warpath that Lilandra activated the ship’s computer so that it won’t drop its shields and allow them to teleport. Also, that Lilandra activated the ship’s jump engines. Warpath comments that Lilandra is trying to save the Professor. Nightcrawler says that Lilandra has locked the controls to the ship.
We cut back to the battlefield. Deathbird grabs the seriously wounded Vulcan and tells the Imperial Guard to retreat. With that the Imperial Guard and Deathbird’s soldiers retreat from the battlefield.
Major-General Ka’ardum informs Lilandra that this was just the first battle and that their victory was far from clean. We see Havok holding Corsair’s body. Havok is crying over his slain father. Polaris sits by Havok’s side. Rachel then notices that the X-Men’s ship is missing.
We cut to the X-Men’s ship crash-landing on Earth. Nightcrawler teleports everyone to safety. Hepzibah comments that the destroyed ship was her only way home. She comments that it doesn’t matter anyway since there is nothing left for her back there now.
Darwin then informs Nightcrawler that the M’Kraan Crystal gave Professor X his mutant powers back. Professor X comments that they must make contact with Alex and the others immediately.
We shift to Alex burying his father, Corsair. Havok asks Polaris and Rachel if they should follow the others home or stay and fight. Polaris says this has to be Alex’s decision. Rachel says that Alex is the leader of this rag tag band whether he likes it or not. Alex then decides that they stay and bring his brother the justice he deserves.
We cut to two days later. Professor X and Beast receive a transmission from Alex. Professor X asks when the transmission arrived. Beast answers last night and that Alex isn’t answering any replies. Alex states that they are staying to help Lilandra reclaim her throne. Alex says that Vulcan must die and since X-Men don’t kill then he says that they are no longer X-Men.
Alex says that if they fail then the X-Men must send someone else to stop Vulcan. Because Vulcan is insane and if they don’t stop him then the Shi’ar Armada will certainly head for Earth. End of issue.
The Good: Uncanny X-Men #486 was a solid issue. Brubaker delivers a well plotted and paced issue. This was certainly the fastest issue that Brubaker has given us so far on his run on this title. We got plenty of fighting, drama, the death of Corsair, Professor X gets his powers restored and half of the X-Men get returned to home along with one of the Starjammers. Uncanny X-Men #486 was certainly Brubaker’s grand climax for this story arc.
Brubaker crafted his usual quality dialogue. The various X-Men have their own unique personalities and it is reflected in their distinctive external voices. Brubaker also manages to create some nice chemistry between the various characters. I’m looking forward to seeing how this relationship between Warpath and Hepzibah goes. Clearly, Warpath has romantic feeling for the cat-lady. Now, is it possible that Hepzibah may seek comfort over the loss of Corsair and hook up with Warpath? Possible. They definitely make a good couple and very similar attitudes.
I am enjoying the nice character growth that Brubaker is delivering on several underutilized X-Men. Both Havok and Polaris are great characters who have plenty of potential but have never gotten much attention from most X-Men writers. Brubaker is putting forth a strong effort to flesh out both of their characters and elevate their status within the X-Men hierarchy.
I love the evolution of Havok’s character. We are witnessing some serious growth on part of Alex Summers. Havok is beginning to become the man that his father, Corsair, was. Brubaker is showing the reader the strong leader within Alex who is willing to sacrifice himself in order to defeat evil. Havok just gets better and better with each issue. And there is still plenty more room for further character growth.
I believe that we are just getting the beginning of the man that Havok is going to evolve into. It is vitally important that Brubaker manage to make the reader view Havok as something other than Cyclops light which is the perception that has dogged Havok’s character for a long time.
I dig that Polaris is standing by her man. For me, Havok and Polaris go together like peanut butter and jelly. I didn’t really get into it when they were broken up and Polaris was paired up with Iceman. It just didn’t work for me. These two characters belong together and it is cool to see Polaris willing to sacrifice her life in order to support Havok. Brubaker has done a nice job capturing the emotion and depth of the relationship between Havok and Polaris.
Of course, Brubaker not only provides the reader with solid character work and dialogue, but he also delivers tons of kick ass action. The fight scene pitting Havok and Polaris up against Vulcan was pretty sweet. There is no doubt that Brubaker got across the point that this newly re-powered Polaris is one serious force to be reckoned with. Polaris certainly kicks some ass in this issue.
It is nice to see Professor X get his mutant powers back. The X-Men just aren’t the same without Professor X. Yeah, it was painfully obvious that Professor X was going to get his powers restored by the M’Kraan Crystal. The M’Kraan Crystal was such a convenient plot tool for Brubaker to pull of restoring Professor X’s mutant powers. Even though it was all extremely predictable, I’m still happy that the Professor has his powers back.
Tan’s artwork is solid. I’m not crazy about his style of art, but it works with the mood of Brubaker’s story. And Tan can certainly draw a dynamic enough comic book to capture the reader’s attention.
The Bad: I can’t say that I’m digging the fact that Brubaker killed of Corsair. Of course, that is because I’m probably the only Corsair fan in the world. I’ve always liked Corsair’s character and liked the fact that Scott and Alex had an ass-kicking father adventuring across the universe. Plus, it was cool that Scott and Alex had a father. I dig it when comic book characters have a family outside of whatever super team they are involved with. It is so rare that a comic book character have parents that are still alive much less are also costumed heroes.
I also thought that Corsair kind of went out like a bitch. I mean, that was one un-dramatic and quick death. And I’m not too sure that killing Corsair was necessary to advance Havok’s character. That is such uncreative writing to think that you have to kill off the father to progress the son’s character. That is such a hackneyed path to take to develop a character. You have seen that formula a million times before. I would have thought that such a talented writer like Brubaker could have been more original when trying to further Havok’s character development.
Uncanny X-Men #486 also was a rather unsatisfying conclusion to this story arc. In fact, there was no resolution at all to this story arc. Just how long will Brubaker let this plotline going to dangle? I feel like we spent 12 issues and didn’t really get anywhere. Ten issues is an insanely long story arc and to have it end without any form of resolution at all was disappointing. If Brubaker wasn’t planning on resolving this Shi’Ar plotline with this story arc then I don’t think we needed to draw it out over 12 issues. It should have been delivered in a much shorter and concise fashion.
Also, the fact that we got no resolution means that I have to look forward to even more Shi’Ar related storylines in the future. Loyal followers of The Revolution know that I am completely burned out on the Shi’Ar. And to think that I’m going to have to put up with even more of the Shi’Ar makes me less than thrilled.
Overall: Uncanny X-Men #486 was an action packed issue. Brubaker pulled out all the stops in this issue to deliver a very entertaining story. I wish we had a bit more closure to this 12 issue story arc, but I’ll just have to trust Brubaker that he has something grand in store for us. I still view Uncanny X-Men to be far inferior to the other titles that Brubaker writes. However, Brubaker’s Uncanny X-Men is still better than any other version of the X-Men that we have gotten in a very long time.