When I read a comic book I am constantly worried that the next page I turn will be the last. Not so with Uncanny X-Men #466, written by Chris Claremont. I actually found myself looking ahead repeatedly to see just how many torturous pages I had left to endure. I purchased it based on the description:
It all comes down to this! The Weapon X saga reaches its violent end. Who will be left standing, and at what cost?!
I bought it based on the cover art as well. It looked interesting… I thought I was looking at Jean Grey turning in to the Phoenix again or something. Wrong. Jean Grey is dead, this is her daughter. And that stuff about “violent end”? I would like someone to read this book and tell me where the action was. This was the absolute worst comic book I have ever read. I am a long time X-Men fan, and a long time Chris Claremont fan. He started writing for X-Men back when they were losing speed and looked to be at the end of their road. Chris joined forces with artist Dave Cockrum to release Giant Size X-Men #1 in 1975. This gave the series the boost it needed with a new group of heroes working as the X-Men under the mentorship of Professor X. It was fresh, fun and exciting. I enjoy reading those comics very much.
A few pages in to Uncanny X-Men #466 I knew what I was in for: garbage. I turned back to the cover very quickly to see who the writer was and found it was claremont. I was unaware that he is still writing for the X-Men… he shouldn’t be. The dialog is terrible, like you’re reading some kind of poorly translated Japanese anime. The story in this issue was unbelievably boring, basically a filler issue while some action builds up for later issues… which means zero action in this issue.
The art is an abomination as well. Chris Bachalo was obviously also inspired by Japanese anime. Take this page for example. Apparently Grandpa is getting ready to whip out some ninjitsu to win this little basketball war (last panel). Or how about these two panels? Is the art so bad that they had to put the character’s emotions in word balloons? Yes! And was Joe Caramagna (lettering) so lazy that he couldn’t draw the emoticons, but rather created them with Adobe Illustrator? Yes!
Another thing that struck me as odd: this comic had seven inkers… isn’t that a little on the excessive side?
What though of Chris Claremont’s future? No sooner had I read this comic than I received the following update from Marvel about Mr. Claremont himself:
By voting on Marvel.com, fans will have a chance to determine what 6-issue X-Men mini-series Claremont will tackle after X-Men: The End.
“X-Men fans are some of the most vocal out there,â€ says Paniccia. â€œWeâ€™re taking advantage of that voice and putting them in the driverâ€™s seat. By next week, weâ€™ll have a new X-Men book in the works from one of the industryâ€™s most influential authors.â€
All four of the possible title choices take place outside of current continuity, including stories from previously visited alternate universes as well as an entirely new X-Men universe.
And the four choices are:
- Days of Future Past â€“ This series would pick up the moment after Kitty Pryde sent Rachel Grey into the past from the original story. The world is under the rule of Sentinels, most mutants are either killed or in camps, and only a strange alliance of outlaws stand a chance at changing this dark future.
- Asgardian War Stories â€“ During the Asgardian War, the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the New Mutants all fought alongside the Norse Gods. But what would have happened if they never returned to Earth and stayed in Asgard?
- NEXT â€“ Witness todayâ€™s generation of X-Men if the Marvel Universe aged in real-time. Both the first and second teams of X-Men are approaching 50 and the New Mutants are now in their thirties. This series will follow this new generation of X-Men and the new reality they find themselves in.
- What If? X-Men – Continuing from 2004â€™s What If Magneto and Professor X Had Formed the X-Men Together?, this series would be a re-imagining of the X-Men in contemporary times from an entirely all-new perspective. Because of Magneto helping found the X-Men, not only has the history of the X-Men changed, but that of the entire world. Every characterâ€™s life and future is up for grabs here.
Itâ€™s up to you to decide what legendary X-Men tale Chris Claremont will pen next. Visit www.Marvel.com and let your voice be heard for which of these X-stories you would like to see.
So there you have it. Marvel can’t make up their minds where to shift the faltering Claremont to so they’re asking the fans to decide. How about giving us a fifth choice:
Sacked – The story of an old, former heavy-hitter from the Marvel universe that has sacrificed his imagination and charm for money. He couldn’t sell an issue and now he’s out of a job and trying to hock his collection of old X-Men comics at pawn shops just to get his next Mc-Meal!