• Review - Uncanny X-Men #521

    Issue: Uncanny X-Men #521
    Writer: Matt Fraction
    Artist: Greg Land; inked by Jay Leisten
    Date Published: April 2010
    Alpha Appearance: Madison Jeffries
    Period in Alpha Flight's history: Current at time of publication

    Following on from previous issues, the X-Men hunt down the remaining Predators and those who sicced the beasts upon them, but fail to enlist the aid of the governor of their state. (Oops, these are Predator Xs, not those Predators.)
    Meanwhile, Magneto meditates, making his nose bleed alliteration.

    I'm an on-again, off-again reader of X-Men. I have a complete run (a lot of it reprints) from Gt. Size #1 to Age of Apocalypse; after that, my collection is sporadic. As such, some of this is hard for me to follow. I don't believe I've 'met' the Predator Xs before now. Fantomex (this issue's guest star) is barely on my radar; a Deadpool knockoff, but I'm enjoying the character.

    That all makes this issue a little murky and hard-to-follow for me. It suffers a bit from the thing that makes me an off-again reader of X-Men: I don't feel I'm reading stories about characters, just a bunch of cyphers running from one crisis to the next. I'm not emotionally attached to these people.

    The artwork is good and clear - better than a lot out there, but nowhere near the best. The colouring makes me feel a little cramped, or that it's dark (even when it isn't) ; but that's the style of the time.

    Da Juice
    There are two Alpha Flight appearances in this story. In the first, the bad guys who set the Predator Xs loose on the X-Men show pictures of everyone they studied. One of them is Northstar. (Not really an appearance, hence why the not listing him above deal.)
    EDIT: Box actually has an earlier, unrelated cameo; similarly, it's one panel, with a line offering to help the Atlanteans with their base.

    The second is the second-last page:
    Madison's showing the X-Club what Magento's up to (which has a nice payoff if your reader has studied his Astonishing X-Men - which I have. The Whedon series, not the AoA one). It's tiny; three panels on the page I've scanned above; but it shows respect. He's apparently discovered the information himself, and inspires Angel to fly into action.
    I'm giving it 3 Alpha Flightness Maple leaves: my new rating for 'tiny but respectful'.
    on its own:

    [TD]For Alpha Flightness:[/TD]