The X-men are on the move as Dark Reign hits full swing
Utopia is a crossover between the X-men and the Dark Avengers and is apparently the first crossover between the two teams in quite along time. This story is the first major event of Dark Reign and I have say this in no way disappoints.
The story takes place in San Fransisco where anti mutant protests lead by Simon Trask cause riots throughout the city when they decide to march through the Mutant populated area of the city. Cyclopes tries to calm the riots using his X-men but they grow out of control so Norman Osborn director of Hammer sends his Dark Avengers in to provide crowd control and arrest any human or mutant they feel are breaking the law. Osborn then puts the city under martial law and and gets Mystique to pose as Professor X to provide fake support for the media. He then gets Emma Frost and Namor to lead his own version of Dark X-men under the agreement mutant problems mutant solutions. Tension begins to rise between the Dark X-men and Dark Avengers who were forced to take a back seat. After the Dark X-men defeat some of Simon Trask's sentinals Cyclopes calls in the X-Force to free the arrested mutants from Hammer and takes them to Utopia, Magneto's old base Asteroid M floating near San Fransisco bay. Osborn enraged by this sends both his Avengers and his X-men to take the X-men out and goes after Cyclopes himself. Osborn's X-men and Avengers and Emma Frost gets a fragment of the Void trapped inside herself and Osborn defeats Cyclops but is forced to retreat as he is being made look bad in front of the media. So Osborn gives his V for victory speech and the X-men settle into their new home
This to me has to be Dark Reign at one of its best moments. I think Matt Fraction does a great job mixing in politics and racial struggle with great story telling and Marc Silvestri's is one of the first artists to make the Iron Patriot armor look like an actual armor but the may favorite artist in this book has to be Terry Dodson. The one thing I was disappointed about was that Mike Deddato doesn't do the art for the Dark Avenger tie ins but I have to admit Luke Ross's art does look like Deddato's at times. The Dark Avengers seemed to take a back seat in this story
There is alot collected into this trade and I think that the stories collected in this that seem necessary is the Utopia story itself and Dark X-men the Confession, the rest of the stories are just filler but in saying that these are in no way unnecessary as the X-men leacy tie-in gives a better look into the seriousness of the anti mutant riots and the Dark X-men the beginning books show what kind of deal or how they were manipulated by Osborn into becoming part of the Dark X-men and even a story about the one that got away.
I give this trade 4.5 stars out 5 because it shows some of the true power of Dark Reign but it loses half a star due to the Dark Avengers taking too much of a back seat.
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