krisis's X-Men #99 - Oh, the Humanity! review

Are the X-Men better off without powers? (Davis & Kavanagh are.)

Alan Davis and Terry Kavanagh ably helm the final issue of their scripting run on X-Men, showing that they understand their cast of characters very well – they have just ran out of anything interesting for them to do.

Story & Script
Plotwise, Davis and Kavanagh are scraping the bottom of the barrel. They just used the story of the team dispersing in The Shattering a few months prior, and Genosha's continuing revolt was addressed in the Magneto Rex mini-series.

As before in Shattering, their work on a lower-key, spread-out team is superior. They clearly get what makes these characters tick, and it shows off in spades – Kurt is still an acrobat, Rogue takes a rare trip on the subway, Magneto gets hit harder without a cushion of magnetism, and Bobby rankles at Lorna teaming up with Magneto. 

The one major flaw is this - do we really believe the X-Men would simply give up and go on vacation if the High Evolutionary turned off everyone's powers across the globe? Big ol' H.E. isn't exactly the most fearsome opponent. Surely the X-Men could have cobbled together some modicum of powered allies to take him down. I guess we'll chalk up their inaction to the power vacuum without Chuck or Cyclops in their midst. 

When Magneto insists that Bobby and Hank collect the team (To do what, exactly? He never specifies.) you might find yourself groaning – do they really have to gang up again, when they were just getting interesting out on their own?

It's a pity that a pair of writers that really understood the team had so little to offer to the ongoing continuity of the series. Installing the deposed Claremont to fix the misdirection would turn out to be a disaster, precipitating Grant Morrison's run starting just over a year later.

Artwork
Terry Booth is solid as he sketches a wide array of X-characters in battle and at rest. Yes, it helps that many characters aren't as they would normally appear thanks to their lacking mutations. Still, the only one he noticeably misses the mark on is Kitty, in a mere two panels. Booth perhaps errs too generic on new Neo Domina, who looks a bit too similar to the also white-skinned Domino – but, it's just a teaser appearance.

Booth includes a lot of fun details, like Storm's blue eyes and Rogue's killer legs – so seldom seen bare (or at least in nude stockings). Also, his final panel of Mr. Sinister is... well, Sinister.

Bottom Line
Davis and Kavanagh deliver a fine scripting effort on this well-drawn-but-poorly-plotted parting shot, but it doesn't really matter – Claremont's reboot skips six months of time, making this issue inconsequential unless you were really dying for a lead-in to Uncanny #380.

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