Still Feels A Little Weird
Once again, Marvel was kind enough to let me read this issue in advanced.
It does feel like we almost have a new comic. This is a great jumping on point for new readers. It makes perfect sense for the X-Men to get out of New York and try a different part of the country. At first I thought this move was to get away from their enemies. Everyone knows where they were living since they decided to go public.
Now in San Francisco, it's not fully clear (at least to me) whether or not their "base" is a complete secret. They've announce that San Francisco is to become a haven for all mutants. They're basically telling the world that this is where they're staying now. With Angel buying huge chunks of land, it won't be hard to figure out where exactly they're calling home.
I have to say that I have some mixed feelings about this new direction. We start out with the brutal beating (continued from last issue) of Pixie courtesy of the new Hellfire Cult. This will have obvious future ramifications. The rest of the issue feels a little...fake. Greg Land's art looks great, even though it feels like we've seen some of it before. I'm not too crazy with the way Cyclops looks. A little too pretty it seems. Same with Angel, but he's supposed to be. There's just a little too much smiling, too much teeth. Feels weird.
When the X-Men have their downtime, their conversations and way they talk to each other is great. The way they give each other little jabs really conveys the sense that they are more than just a team. I also have to say I really like what Wolverine and Nightcrawler come up with.
I'm giving this a 4 out of 5. I almost gave it a 4.5. The art is just a little distracting. Again, while it looks really great, often when familiar characters appear on the page, you don't always know who they are since they seem to have become so pretty. Regardless, I cannot wait for the next issue.
Uncanny X-Men #501
Things start out grim for the newest X-Girl as the team gets settled into its new secret headquarters. Scott and Emma do what Scott and Emma do best-- but what's the secret project Scott's been building? And is anyone prepared for the menace of the Hellfire Cult? Mysteries, riddles, enigmas, and pain freaks all converge in the brave new world of San Francisco-- read SFX 1: ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES!