In Defense Of Matt Fraction's Latest X-Men Story Arc Quarantine

Posted by Jake Fury (19258 posts) - - Show Bio

I come to you today fellow Viners to defend one Matt Fraction. Universally praised for his work on Iron Man and universally panned for his work on the Uncanny X-Men, I want to state a case that his newest work on the Uncanny X-Men comic is indeed praiseworthy.  
 
The biggest complaint I've seen against Fraction is that he focuses too much on Cyclops and Emma Frost, leaving the other characters in limbo. His latest story arc "Quarantine" (it begins here) not only delivers the saga of Cyclops & Emma but *GASP* there are other mutants involved as well! Angel, Pixie, Northstar, Dazzler, Storm, Fantomex & Kitty Pryde all get quality face time.  
 
There are 3 main story lines going on in Quarantine. The main story is an outbreak of a virus that only seems to be affecting mutants so far. The mightiest of the x-Men on Utopia have all been affected, especially mutants with mutations that affect their entire body. Even the mighty Namor and Wolverine have been humbled and bed ridden by this virus. Due to these circumstances a quarantine has been placed with no mutants allowed in or out.  
 
The 2nd story line involves Lobe of the Sublime corporation and the Collective Man. Lobe has used drugs to give 5 humans the powers of the original X-Men. Using them in publicity stunts, they are seeking to capitalize on their newfound powers and become the darlings of the San Francisco media. This will bring them into conflict with the Collective Man who has been acquiring a power base by killing criminals in the city. A team of X-Men not on Utopia have become the by default field team of x-Men and are investigating this new team of Sublime's experiments. This X-team includes Angel, Northstar, Pixie, Dazzler & Storm. 
 
Finally this brings us to the saga of Emma Frost & Sebastian Shaw. Emma used her mental powers to make Namor believe she had killed Shaw and the fact that he still lives will make Namor an enemy of the X-Men. She has enlisted Fantomex to help her kidnap Shaw from the prison under Utopia and plans on eliminating him. However, Kitty Pryde is in solid disagreement with these tactics and is along for the ride to make sure nothing of the sort happens.  
 
All in all, the story arc so far has been rock solid and I am enjoying it. 
 
Edit: Thanks to the lovely Xerox Kitty's keen eye, she also pointed out that Kieron Gillen is now co-writing this with Fraction. Perhaps, thats why I've enjoyed it. 
#1 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio

Unfortunately, the Cyclops-centric stories are quite low down my list of 'reasons I refuse to buy Uncanny X-Men until the current creative team is completely replaced'.  In the past, Fraction has himself defended his work by stating that he had Dazzler appear to blow off half of Psylocke's face (Betsy's resurrected original body in the Sisterhood storyline).  THe problem there is, when he uses other characters they are reduced to meagre cameos.  They often act out of character, demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge & understanding of continuity. 
 
Sorry, but if there are any redeeming features to the current Quarantine story, then it is because Kieron Gillen is co-writing at the moment.

#2 Posted by Mercy_ (91887 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.     

Moderator
#3 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate?
#4 Edited by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio

Scott has always been the best X-Character, it's nothing new, but Emma needs to be written well too. Namor should be dead. 
 
Other than fixing Emma and killing Namor, I don't care what he does with the pitiful franchise that used to be my one true Marvel love.

#5 Posted by Mercy_ (91887 posts) - - Show Bio
@InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate? "
Here's an example. During Second Coming when Scott and Logan were dealing with Bastion and trying to help out Hope, Scott told Emma to basically stay out of it and get to safety. If she was written in character she would have switched over to diamond form and completely disregarded the order. But she wasn't written in character and she just stood there. 
Moderator
#6 Posted by Son Of Storm (11187 posts) - - Show Bio
OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
#7 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
" @InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate? "
Here's an example. During Second Coming when Scott and Logan were dealing with Bastion and trying to help out Hope, Scott told Emma to basically stay out of it and get to safety. If she was written in character she would have switched over to diamond form and completely disregarded the order. But she wasn't written in character and she just stood there.  "
Scott: "Stay away, Emma, get to safety" 
Emma: "Oh, darling, it's so sweet of you to say that, but you're not Cary Grant and this isn't 1962" (Diamonds up) "So kindly go to Hell, now, let us teach this mechanical philistine why a true villain should drink champagne rather than kill children, honestly, is there no class left in the world?"
#8 Posted by Mercy_ (91887 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" @InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate? "
Here's an example. During Second Coming when Scott and Logan were dealing with Bastion and trying to help out Hope, Scott told Emma to basically stay out of it and get to safety. If she was written in character she would have switched over to diamond form and completely disregarded the order. But she wasn't written in character and she just stood there.  "
Scott: "Stay away, Emma, get to safety"  Emma: "Oh, darling, it's so sweet of you to say that, but you're not Cary Grant and this isn't 1962" (Diamonds up) "So kindly go to Hell, now, let us teach this mechanical philistine why a true villain should drink champagne rather than kill children, honestly, is there no class left in the world?" "
You need to start writing X-Men. 
Moderator
#9 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" @InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate? "
Here's an example. During Second Coming when Scott and Logan were dealing with Bastion and trying to help out Hope, Scott told Emma to basically stay out of it and get to safety. If she was written in character she would have switched over to diamond form and completely disregarded the order. But she wasn't written in character and she just stood there.  "
Scott: "Stay away, Emma, get to safety"  Emma: "Oh, darling, it's so sweet of you to say that, but you're not Cary Grant and this isn't 1962" (Diamonds up) "So kindly go to Hell, now, let us teach this mechanical philistine why a true villain should drink champagne rather than kill children, honestly, is there no class left in the world?" "
You need to start writing X-Men.  "
LMFAO, YES HE DOES! xD
#10 Posted by danhimself (22720 posts) - - Show Bio

it's not all Matt Fraction's fault that the X-men books aren't very good....lets be fair...the X-men franchise hasn't been good since the 90's...it doesn't matter who was writing it

#11 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio
@InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" @InnerVenom123 said:
" @The Dark Huntress said:
" I hate what he's doing to Emma. That's my biggest gripe with him. Scott's a bad@$$, we get it. He has a jetpack, he out-planned Norman Osborn etc etc. You don't have to relegate Emma to this out of character mess to make Scott seem like more of a man, though. It's starting to tick me off.      "
Please elaborate? "
Here's an example. During Second Coming when Scott and Logan were dealing with Bastion and trying to help out Hope, Scott told Emma to basically stay out of it and get to safety. If she was written in character she would have switched over to diamond form and completely disregarded the order. But she wasn't written in character and she just stood there.  "
Scott: "Stay away, Emma, get to safety"  Emma: "Oh, darling, it's so sweet of you to say that, but you're not Cary Grant and this isn't 1962" (Diamonds up) "So kindly go to Hell, now, let us teach this mechanical philistine why a true villain should drink champagne rather than kill children, honestly, is there no class left in the world?" "
You need to start writing X-Men.  "
LMFAO, YES HE DOES! xD "
Haha, I wish, but thank you very much :)
#12 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself said:
" it's not all Matt Fraction's fault that the X-men books aren't very good....lets be fair...the X-men franchise hasn't been good since the 90's...it doesn't matter who was writing it "
No, but it IS his fault that Uncanny X-Men (the so-called flagship title of the X-Men books) has dropped to the standard of a high-school fan-boy's fan-fic.  
#13 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7968 posts) - - Show Bio

I followed Uncanny for a few months having never done so before and largly thought it was ok (Don't kill me i didn't know any better) but one of the constant annoyances for me was Emma's characterisation, It just seemed like no one knew what to do with her from one month to the next.

#14 Posted by Jake Fury (19258 posts) - - Show Bio
@xerox-kitty said:
" @danhimself said:
" it's not all Matt Fraction's fault that the X-men books aren't very good....lets be fair...the X-men franchise hasn't been good since the 90's...it doesn't matter who was writing it "
No, but it IS his fault that Uncanny X-Men (the so-called flagship title of the X-Men books) has dropped to the standard of a high-school fan-boy's fan-fic.   "

>_< What does that say about me then? :P
#15 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jake Fury said:
">_< What does that say about me then? :P "
That you've enjoyed the issues co-written by Kieron Gillen :)
#16 Posted by Jake Fury (19258 posts) - - Show Bio
@xerox-kitty said:
" @Jake Fury said:
">_< What does that say about me then? :P "
That you've enjoyed the issues co-written by Kieron Gillen :) "

If he stays on I'll be a happy man. I LOVED his run on Thor. Latverian Prometheus was awesome.
#17 Posted by War Killer (20293 posts) - - Show Bio
@FadeToBlackBolt said:
" Scott has always been the best X-Character, it's nothing new, but Emma needs to be written well too. Namor should be dead.   Other than fixing Emma and killing Namor, I don't care what he does with the pitiful franchise that used to be my one true Marvel love. "
I just want him off the X-Men, do that and I'll be fine.
#18 Posted by Jake Fury (19258 posts) - - Show Bio
@War Killer said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:
" Scott has always been the best X-Character, it's nothing new, but Emma needs to be written well too. Namor should be dead.   Other than fixing Emma and killing Namor, I don't care what he does with the pitiful franchise that used to be my one true Marvel love. "
I just want him off the X-Men, do that and I'll be fine. "

QFT.
#19 Posted by The Umbra Sorcerer (8149 posts) - - Show Bio
@Son Of Storm said:
"OFF WITH HIS HEAD! "

HEAR HEAR
#20 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio
@War Killer said:
" @FadeToBlackBolt said:
" Scott has always been the best X-Character, it's nothing new, but Emma needs to be written well too. Namor should be dead.   Other than fixing Emma and killing Namor, I don't care what he does with the pitiful franchise that used to be my one true Marvel love. "
I just want him off the X-Men, do that and I'll be fine. "
Agree. Pray to the Gods!
#21 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio

Matt Fraction is a poor writer at the very best, yet he is billed as someone with a lot of talent. This baffles me. His work on Uncanny and Thor has been absolutely terrible across the board (even when Brubaker was carrying him). I didn't care for his Iron Man either (not even Larroca could make that turd shine), but to be fair, I don't like Iron Man to begin with. I haven't been following Uncanny for some time, and much like XK, I won't be picking it up again until Fraction/Land/Dodson are off the book. Fraction has no respect for continuity, the characters he is writing, or the people he is writing for. Screw him.

#22 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg said:
"Fraction has no respect for continuity, the characters he is writing, or the people he is writing for."
Or the others writers on other X-Titles.  I'm still amazed at how Magneto & Xavier can establish a peaceful truce in Mike Carey's X-Men Legacy, but all that is instantly forgotten the moment that Fraction takes the characters over in Uncanny.  
#23 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
@xerox-kitty said:
" @Korg said:
"Fraction has no respect for continuity, the characters he is writing, or the people he is writing for."
Or the others writers on other X-Titles.  I'm still amazed at how Magneto & Xavier can establish a peaceful truce in Mike Carey's X-Men Legacy, but all that is instantly forgotten the moment that Fraction takes the characters over in Uncanny.   "
That too.
#24 Posted by kingoftheworld (254 posts) - - Show Bio

Ive always enjoyed Matt Fractions writing on anything hes done. ive loved his X-Men run the most. I dont understand why everyone hates it?
#25 Posted by FortressoftheMoon (677 posts) - - Show Bio

I really didnt care less about Fraction until Second Coming. My stepstser is a hardcore Ironman fan said she couldnt read IronMan anymore cause of Fraction. She calls him the "Joseph Loeb of  Marvel 616" 
 
At first I thought she was just overreacting until I read Second Coming. I don't know she might have a point. I'm hoping that he is not the one responsible for Nightcrawler and......Hope Summers acting like Samus in Metroid: the Other M..

#26 Posted by digimod (234 posts) - - Show Bio
@xerox-kitty said:
" @Korg said:
"Fraction has no respect for continuity, the characters he is writing, or the people he is writing for."
Or the others writers on other X-Titles.  I'm still amazed at how Magneto & Xavier can establish a peaceful truce in Mike Carey's X-Men Legacy, but all that is instantly forgotten the moment that Fraction takes the characters over in Uncanny.   "
Well, I may not like Fraction's Uncanny run but maybe he is the one sensible writer with respect to Magneto.  I know a lot of us like Magneto's current status but I for one miss the days of the evil world conquering X-Men villain.
#27 Posted by Baddamdog (2212 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think Kieron is that great either :/ but the problem may not be with the writers but with the franchise. The X books (excluding X-Factor, X-Force and kind of New Mutants) are overcome with mutants and have no specific cast. Something that has been consistent with X comics since their creation. Marvel needs to sort this out instead of having a revolving door of cast members and should have a specific book in each book. I know I'm stating the obvious here, but this is almost every X fans main complaint? Marvel fans get so annoyed at them because they don't listen to the fans. They need to go back to when they had a core team for each book, remember the gold and blue teams? The teams most of us grew up with and made X-Men #1 sell a MILLION copies? Hindsight is always needed, especially when it comes to writing such established characters

#28 Posted by SC (13409 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually don't find his Iron Man to be too universally loved. Iron Man just went though a period of being written poorly overall in Marvel comics (or interestingly for a lot of people) and poorly for the life long and dedicated Iron Man diehards), and also having a popular movie out and otherwise (not for that necessarily) picking up a lot of new readers. What I mean is, I know a lot of Iron Man fans who don't like Fractions work, a lot that find it average, and a lot of people who have picked up the book while Fraction was writing it and liked it. I like it myself too, I like Ellis Iron Man more though that being said, and I have not read every single Iron Man book.  
 
Uncanny X-Men and Thor I have read every issue. I also get this really, really strong impression that Fraction hasn't. Hasn't read any issue of either lol, well not as much as I think one would need to in order to be a great Thor or X-Writer. At least for those who read deeper into characterizations and to a degree continuity. Nothing heavy handed, but it really takes you out of the story to see characters act inorganically just to move a plot along or reposition a character into being 'I'm the king of the world ma!' in Thor, the title character actually told a recently revealed half brother by blood (by another writer, and carried on by another wrtier), one who was still coming to grips with this revelation, and fact such fact was hidden from him, he was told by Thor that Thor missed his brother. His Real brother, speaking of the same guy that stole the body of his girlfriend to wear like a coat? LOL 
 
Fraction is a good plot and story writer. Characters can be used as tools for those things, but stories can also be written, so that the story and plot is there to serve and best highlight the characters. In comics, the characters are usually the high point and selling feature really? Do you buy Hulk to read a good story, or do you buy Hulk to read a good Hulk story? The two are not exclusive, you can have both, and stories that use each other as tools to aid both, after all X-Men themselves often aid and are used for stories about racism, and intolerance etc, but for me its telling that Fractions best works, Casanova and Iron Fist don't rely on continuity or characterization. One is original, and the other the character was being redefined after a period of neglect.  
 
@kingoftheworld said:

" Ive always enjoyed Matt Fractions writing on anything hes done. ive loved his X-Men run the most. I dont understand why everyone hates it? "
 
You might just be a reader who appreciates the plot and story mechanics more than the aspects that us people who criticize him do. I loved Fraction's writing of Thor in a few one shots, a few years back, the narrative technique employed was that of third person for a few as well, Fraction writes a terrific Thor in that mode. Those stories were also set in the past. Thor did not utter shut up, and he was meant to come off as a bully jerk type of character, sleeping around and devastating Frost Giants because he didn't hold back. However his recent ongoing run, he has made one of my favorite characters sound like ignorant bully hipster lol, its a weird combination, and could make for an interesting story... just not for fans of Thor. Likewise, he made my other favorite character Emma, sound like insecure snobby defensive fan girl her views Cyclops as a quarterback she hopes will ask her to prom. (The tricky thing is, Emma is snobby, and she can be insecure and she can be defensive, but in much more complicated and interesting ways than presented by Fraction. Anyway, I hope that helps shed some understanding at least as to why some don't enjoy his work? 
Moderator
#29 Posted by kiss_lamia (1231 posts) - - Show Bio
@Son Of Storm said:
" OFF WITH HIS HEAD! "
Tottally agree and put it on a spear and put infront of marvel HQ as a warning ROFL :P

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