Sunday, February 16, 2014

Uncanny X-Periment # 172: Curse of the Mutants

X-Men # 1- 6

Jubilee is having a lunch with Pixie when suddenly, a dude explodes and sprays everyone with blood, including Jubilee.  Jubilee is rushed back to Utopia and it’s soon discovered that the guy was a vampire bomb and everyone splattered is transforming into a vampire.  The X-Men investigate and discover vampire groups throughout the city and eventually encounter Blade.  Blade informs them that Dracula has been killed and his son, Xarus, has united the various vampire clans in an effort to take over San Francisco and Mutantkind.  Cyclops takes a gamble and has Dracula reassembled in an effort to usurp Xarus and take the vampires away from the city.   As vampire attacks grow, Jubilee succumbs to the call of Xarus and now, fully vampire, tricks Wolverine into going after her.  The vampires turn Wolverine and then use him to help them attack Utopia.  Cyclops is then confronted by Wolverine and he reveals that they used nano-bots to shut down Logan’s healing factor, in fear that the vampires might be after him.  He reactivates the healing factor and Logan goes back to his old self.  After dealing with the forces attacking Utopia, the X-Men head over to the vampire’s headquarters, were Dracula proceeds to kill his son.  Cyclops convinces Dracula that he did something to him while they were putting him back together.  Dracula agrees to withdraw the vampire forces, much to Blade chagrin.   He leaves them with a turned Jubilee, whom they need to lock up, hoping that part of her is still in there.

I think this one of those rare cases where, to understand the scope of this, one should include the tie-ins.  With only these six issues, it felt like it was trying to be bigger than it was really was.  Maybe those tie-ins would have added more to that.

Overall, this wasn’t too bad.   I liked the use of Blade and Dracula.  It was neat.  It was far less gimmicky than I believed it would be.  I especially liked the connections between Storm and Dracula – it was good nod to the history the X-Men have with Dracula.  But I’m not a big vampire fan.  Rather, I’m not a big fan of the X-Men mingling with supernatural forces.   It’s distracting and weird.

There’s not a lot of characterization going in this title, which is disappointing.  And Cyclops feels like he’s nearing a tipping point.  Shutting down Wolverine’s healing factor?  Why didn’t Logan yell at him about that?  That’s a big deal!  And taking such a huge risk by resurrecting Dracula felt like ‘oh crap, Scott’s gone insane.’   Not a big fan of that.  I have to wonder if we are supposed to see Scott here as starting to reach a new level of superiority and confidence.  In fact, when he called the X-Men “soldiers,” I cringed a little.

The art was okay, but every single woman was really busty.  Like, unnecessarily so.  I don’t ever remember Jubilee having breasts that size.  Ever.

Side-Note: Honestly, I can’t include every arc of this title.  I can’t afford it and most of them are not critical to the X-Men’s on-going narrative (well, Volume Two is).   Plus, it looked like this was kind of an “X-Men Team-Up” book anyways.  For a while, we’ll be sticking exclusively with Uncanny X-Men and some (but not all) of X-Men Legacy.

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