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Formulaic Teambuilding

August 23, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #527 continues Hope Summers’ quest to find the five new mutants.  We start off with the second of them, Gabriel Cohuelo, first manifesting his speed powers in the middle of a test, with his mind racing ridiculously fast and possibly seizures.  Psylocke and Cecila Reyes arrive to help while Emma Frost and Tony Stark meet, reminisce, and talk about the Heroic Age.  Then, Emma checks in on Sebastian Shaw before getting called to go help Colossus and Shadowcat.  After getting injected with something to calm him, Gabriel disappears, running so fast that he can’t even be detected.  Psylocke links up with Cecilia Reyes to keep him in the room, and they inform Cyclops of the new development.  Cyclops and Wolverine talk about Nightcrawler, and Wolverine wonders if he knows how to sit down and stop being a crazy wartime general.  Colossus wants Emma to help him talk to Shadowcat, and she reluctantly helps, letting Colossus know that Kitty still loves him.  Hope and Laurie arrive, and Psylocke and Cecilia let her in to try and find Gabriel.  Emma spends a dinner with Namor, enjoying sushi and talking about Emma’s choice in men.  Seems Namor believes that Cyclops is a boy playing war and thinks that Emma deserves better.  Hope manages to grab Gabriel, and he stops running, now with long nails and a lot of facial hair.  Back on Utopia, Emma checks up again on Shaw, who smiles menacingly.

Well, at long last, Matt Fraction starts treating Emma Frost… like Emma Frost.  This issue has so much more of Emma’s trademark icyness.  Unfortunately, she’s a tad too angry at times, and she says darling too much.  But considering the fact that Fraction kept trying to make Emma nicer and more sympathetic, I’m okay with that.  We don’t really get to get much into the head of Gabriel Cohuelo, and really, I have no idea why this chapter was set partially in Mexico City.  It’s not like there was really anything that made it seem like it was Mexico City.  He could have just been Mexican-American.  There are some good character moments in this issue, like the talk between Cyclops and Wolverine and Emma’s dinner with Tony.  Unfortunately, this issue still had too much happen and not enough detail.  Too many events.  Oh yes, and I don’t much like Emma being forced into Namor’s life the way Fraction is doing it.  To be honest, as high-class as Emma likes to make herself seem, it somewhat… demeans Namor.  And I also mean that in terms of Emma’s personality, even though Namor’s rather full of himself too.  That scene with Psylocke having to “borrow” Cecilia’s powers doesn’t entirely make sense, as Cecilia could have just activated them herself.  And of course, Whilce Portacio’s art is just ugly.  It’s gotten even worse this issue.  There’s even an artistic mistake, as Psylocke suddenly appears outside Gabriel’s room when we know he’s inside.  Tony looks really ugly in that shirt, by the way.  Leonard Kirk’s touchups are instantly noticeable, as there’s a rather massive increase in quality.  I would say I’m a bit surprised that someone who’s so clearly a bad artist is allowed to work on so high-profile a book, but it happens so often, including on this book, that I’m not.  I was definitely not impressed with the second outing on this story, so we’ll see if the second half redeems it.  Or maybe Fraction still doesn’t know how to write this book the way it should be.

Plot: 6.6      Art: 5.2      Dialogue: 7.8      Overall: 6.6

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