Kneel Before Kruun!!!
former Powerlord Kruun and a host of refugees from Breakworld petition Scott for asylum on Earth. But are his pleas for his people sincere or a ruse to strike back at those he deems responsible for the fall of his empire and the source of his personal shame?
This issue's light on action but heavy on characterization, interaction, and dialog. And Gillen has a firm mastery of all three of these elements.
The meeting between Kruun, Scott and Agent Brand is very well written. I never read Whedon's Astonishing X-Men so this is my first time being exposed to the Breakworlders and Kruun, but I got a really good feel for them and their culture from Kruun and Haleen's attempts at diplomacy. Another thing I want to applaud Gillen for is showing the consequences of heroes actions. So often we see them do massive amounts of property damage, save the day, and then that's it. Gillen show's us the fallout of the X-Men's intervention in Breakworld and Colossus' decision not to remain and rule. There's a really great moment here when Kruun checks Brand by telling her that her models and statistics are being played out and affecting the lives of real people.
Colossus and Kitty walk amongst the refugees where they talk to the citizens and we're treated to some great dialog via man on the street style panels. This section even more so than the former shows us the psyche of the denizens of Breakworld and puts a face to all the discussions about planetary civil war, social unrest, economic destabilization.
There some very tense moments between Colossus and Kruun in which Kruun reveals just how Colossus was resurrected and what that means about how "his" citizens truly feel about him.
The way that Gillen's writing Kruun has really made me connect with the guy. He's not just a power thirsty despot, but a fully fleshed out emotionally complex character. He has a warrior code of ethics and honor and relatable internal issues. If Gillen keeps writing him this well he just may steal the show this arc.
Dodson's artwork is a big step up from Land's. While Dodson has his own downsides they are minimal. I like the animated series vibe that his art gives the title.
I just do not like the way that Dodson draws fingers, they just aren't anatomically correct and it's really, really distracting.
Not a lot of action in this issue
A X-Men heavy hitter get's taken off the board this issue and I feel it happened a bit to easily. Even if the assailant had the element of surprise working in their favor.
Buy This Comic!!!
If you're like me and have become disenchanted with Uncanny over the past two or three years, than now is the perfect time to give the title another look. Gillen get's it! He get's the individual mutants and what motivates their actions. He balances drama and humor. He balances focus within the team. All things that I find of the utmost importance in an X-Men title. So far the X-Men stories he's written(and co-written) have been character and not plot driven. This more than anything is his books biggest strength. Also, he's turned X-Men back into a team book. For years we've been watching the Scott and Emma show and I for one was sick and tired of it. With centering this arc around Kitty and Colossus Gillen has ensured that this series will once again be about it's ensemble cast and their relationship to one another and their world. Another thing I'm liking about this arc is that GIllen's managing to make some pretty big political statements with whispers. He's not being the least bit ham-fisted and has remembered that the key word in "undertones" is UNDER. Other writers should take note. Gillen's taking X-Men in the direction that it's needed to go in for quite some time now and I, for one, immensely look forward to seeing where plans on sailing this flagship.