Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A single X-Men preview

As is standard when I complete a full set of Essential volumes for any particular series and/or character, it's time to take a look at any later issues reprinted in other volumes. For the X-Men there's just one further issue.

Uncanny X-Men #332 written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Joe Madureira, reprinted in Essential Wolverine volume 5

Wolverine is heavily degenerating into a feral state following an encounter with Genesis and the X-Men are now trying to track him down. Professor X tries to get information from Zoe Culloden at Landau, Luckman and Lake and then a team of X-Men located Wolverine at the underground base of Ozymandias, a long lived follower turned foe of Apocalypse who unleashes living stone statues on them.

This issue ties in with a long-running plotline in Wolverine's own title and serves as the first half of a mini-crossover whilst also introducing Ozymandias, seemingly as part of the build-up to the return of Apocalypse. In isolation it suffers from the all-too common problem of many issues in this era that take storylines from one title and rather arbitrarily continue developing them in another without any decent build-up or full-scale explanation. As a result, the series become too much driven by the overall franchise than is healthy, thus making them harder to follow in isolation. The issue itself is so-so with some good little character moments, such as a nice conversation between Iceman and Cannonball about making mistakes including the classic line about the Champions ""Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a major super-villain in Los Angeles?" But ultimately this is really a continuation of Wolverine's story that makes use of the pages of another title rather than a justified crossover.

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