Uncanny X-Men #541
By Andy Frisk
July 20, 2011 - 18:13
Writer(s): Kieron Gillen
Penciller(s): Greg Land
Inker(s): Jay Leisten
Colourist(s): Justin Ponsor
Letterer(s): VC’s Joe Caramagna
Scott Summers/Cyclops puts together the X-Men’s response to the oncoming Fear Itself powered Juggernaut's assault on San Francisco. The plan seems good, but if nothing could stop the Juggernaut before, well nothing can stop him now for real. After Scott’s first plan of attack meets with little success, he unleashes Hope and all her power at once on him. It’s a desperate move…
Honestly, that’s about all that happens in this issue, which is really not much. Juggernaut smashes and stomps, Emma Frost psi-blasts, Hope uses every one of the X-Men’s power at once, and nothing really changes. Looks like San Francisco is doomed as Fear Itself is “Endless…Unstoppable” according to Emma. There is a lot more mutant power slinging going on this issue than last though, including a pretty cool “psionic conference room” meeting between Mayor Sadie, Scott, and Emma. Gillen doesn’t really have much to work with within the Fear Itself mandated frame story/crossover, but manages to put together a pretty well devised and coordinated X-team assault on Juggernaut. He handles the large cast of super powered heroes well together, and crafts believable battles and team efforts. Out of all the super teams in the world of comic books, the X-Men always seemed to be the best at working together as an actual team in battle. Pretty ironic since there’s always so much infighting and squabbling going on amongst the X-Men’s members.
Land keeps up the good work artistically as well. His Iceman is particularly well envisioned and drawn with his shimmering ice skin coating and ice bridge. His look here reminds me of the classic Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends Saturday morning cartoon incarnation. That show was hands down my favorite when I was a kid. He also manages to come up with another sexy (if slightly slutty) psionically generated stripper outfit for Emma. This time she’s a cowgirl. I can almost hear Kid Rock’s “Cowboy” blaring in the background. I know Emma is the team hottie and all, but does she really need to be half nude and whored out looking all the time? Oh well, if this is the biggest goof amongst the X-costumes, at least its an easy on the eyes goof.
Overall, Fear Itself feels more like Filler Itself, which it actually is for X-readers who are anxiously anticipating the unfolding of the rest of SCHISM. Uncanny X-Men #541 fills the x-fan’s need for near weekly mutant action, but this chapter doesn’t do much for the team thematically this time. Aside from some cool power displays, there’s not much. Sometimes though, in the middle of the sweltering summer heat, a cool, throwaway, power showing off story fills the bill, and the time before the fall’s big Uncanny X-Men re-launch and things really get going again.
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