Let me say that coordinating a blog that I am not the owner of is pretty complicated. There are times where Brandon has to actually put up legitimate news and information for his paying customers. During these times I have to put off reviews and/or stupid comic related pictures so as not to scare off the masses. A prime example has been my waiting since last Saturday due to the Green Lantern appearance at the store to post another review. Since I waited so long, my review is going to seem extremely dated. Oh well, let's get on with it.
Hi, my name is Jay and I love the X-Men. There, I said it. The X-Men Cartoon was the reason I got into comics in the first place so they will always hold a special place in my heart (and my checkbook). But with that being said, the entire X-Men line has been pretty rudderless the last few years. Remember the horrible The Draco storyline? Ugh. The X-Men used to be the flag bearers for the company but complacency and a lack of solid direction has allowed the title to fall behind "New Avengers" among others as their go-to book. The line needs to be focused and start on a clear cut direction now that they have moved to San Francisco. Judging by the start of the "Utopia" crossover with Dark Avengers, they might be on the right track.
The premise is simple enough. A group of normal humans calling themselves Humanity Now!, lead by Simon Trask (who may or may not be human himself...hmmm), march down the streets of San Francisco in a self described 'peaceful' demonstration. The X-Men students show up to quell the situation from getting out of control but tempers start to flare and things quickly spiral out of control. The junior X-Men take exception to be bossed around by people lower on the evolutionary chain and a fight breaks out. Police are called to the scene where they arrest Beast, even though he was not involved in the fighting. Cyclops, who is seen as the de facto leader of all the remaining mutants in the world, is called to task by the mayor of San Francisco for not having more control over 'his people'. And just when things couldn't seem like they could get worse, Norman Osborn shows up with H.A.M.M.E.R to take charge of the situation.
As the day wears on, tensions mount and even more riots start popping up all over the city. The senior X-Men jump into the fray to try and put a stop to it all. But all of their hard work doesn't prevent the Dark Avengers from showing up and attacking them. Ms. Marvel takes out a group led by Angel, Colossus battles Venom, and Hawkeye and Ares draw battle lines in the stands with the crowds. When the rioting is quelled, Norman goes on TV as the Iron Patriot to tell everyone Cyclops is a wanted man and even has Professor X make a plea for Scott to turn himself in. While all of this is going on, Emma is secretly meeting with Osborn to go over the new plan. Beast wakes up in his cell to hear a familiar voice calling to him with a warning. "They're taking away our powers..."
This is what the X-Men need. They need a foe that isn't necessarily bigger and stronger than them, but a foe that is real and potentially far more dangerous. This is the principal that the X-Men were built on, defending a world that hates and fears them. They can't punch this foe into submission. They have to hold back and in some cases appear as though they are losing the battle. The addition of the Dark Avengers only heightens the suspense since they are an element that can be taken on physically. But how do you balance fighting psychopaths like Hawkeye and Ares with being non-confrontational with normal humans? It's a dilemma that adds something unique to the X-Men. Teams like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers were universally loved so they only had to deal with big physical threats. The X-Men have to fight those threats AND try to fit in. I think they are going back to that and I like the results so far.
What is Osborn's plan for the mutants? Who is the mysterious prisoner talking to Beast through the walls? Wanna know what happens next? Buy the book, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!