October 28, 2009

Marvel Reviews: Uncanny X-Men #516 Review

previewpicPublisher: Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land
Cover: Greg Land

“Nation X“:  Since the 500th issue of Uncanny X-Men, fans have been wondering about what Magneto and the High Evolutionary were up to during their attack. That question is finally answered here as Magneto makes his return and comes to Utopia, formerly his base of operations, Asteroid M. Of course considering his history with the X-Men, his visit isn’t a welcome one.

Our issue here opens up with Scalphunter hanging over a pit of dinosaur-like creatures as he is being made an offer that he better not refuse by a mysterious super powered group. He’s asked to make a delivery to Utopia, and told that it’s for the greater good of Mutant kind. Upon Magneto’s arrival to Utopia, Professor X is pissed to see his former friend/enemy and attacks him. Cyclops immediately orders the Professor to stand down as Magneto has not provoked an attack. He actually does the opposite and humbles himself before Cyclops, admitting that he has done something Charles and he could not do – unite Mutant kind. The story goes on and Magneto tells Cyclops what he and the High Evolutionary were up to, when their talk is interrupted by Wolverine. Scalphunter’s plane has been picked up by radar, but the fact that it’s heavily shielded draws much concern, so Nightcrawler is ordered to check it out. He does, and what he sees scares the blue off of his fur and he returns yelling for the plane to be shot down!

I’m not sure what Matt Fraction did to get all the criticism lately; though there are a few technical flaws in the story, it’s a good one overall. He’s writing the X-Men pretty consistently and none of their dialogue seems too out of character. His last couple of arcs have been pretty good as well. Hopefully he expands on this new threat to the X-Men, because I’m more interested in seeing him develop these guys in the next few issues. I was a little upset about how he used Nightcrawler’s powers in this story. Nightcrawler has to know where he’s teleporting to be safe so he doesn’t materialize inside an object and kill himself. Fraction just had him ’port 3 miles up and into a cargo plane that’s in motion and then right back out. Now I know it’s a little thing, but it doesn’t seem like a risk Cyclops would take with Kurt’s life.

Greg Land’s work is okay in some parts of the book and a lot better in others. Particularly his female characters are lacking in proportions and definition. Decent at the top, but super skinny at the waist and legs like tooth picks. There is one shot of Magneto all jacked, and he looks like a Dragon Ball Z character. Not only that, but the head is off center and looks like it was put on after the fact. Now I know he’s famous or infamous for his “technique” with reference materials and all, but if you’re gonna do that then do it well.

As a whole I was happy with the story and Magneto’s return. I just want this Nation X thing to pan out and be something definitive in the continuity of the X-Men, and not some throw away arc that doesn’t have any lasting effects.

Infinite Speech



  1. eli

    It’s very cool that Magneto is back. This does leave me wondering about where this is going though.

  2. Jeff Jackson

    Great review, Speech. I agree wholeheartedly.

  3. billy

    I thought the issue was good as well speech. I can’t wait for #517.

  4. InfiniteSpeech

    eli have you noticed that every time Magneto comes “back” he’s been given some youth rejuvination story? And every time the Professor comes “back” he can walk? lol I do want Mags to make an impact on this story though instead of just being here for this arc and thats it.

    Thanks Jeff!

    Billy shouldn’t you be reading a Dr. Strange title?

  5. I loved this issue (except for the art). Good call on Nightcrawler’s powers; I missed that one. I think it’s very cool that Magneto, once again, is on the side of the X-Men. I hope he sticks around for awhile before inevitably going back to his evil ways…

    Oh, and those ‘dinosaur-like creatures’ are of the very same breed that Predator X was from Messiah Complex.

    : )

  6. Kristin

    Eh…technically he’s sort of always been on their “side.” I mean, they work for the same goals. Magneto just does it differently.

  7. Infinite Speech

    @ Andy- I thought so I just wasn’t 100% sure

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