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Reivew of Uncanny X-Men 496 (3 stars) March 15, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This issue wasn’t as good as last issue, though reading Brubaker’s Captain America and Daredevil leads me to believe that this may have simply been one of his “puzzle piece” issues. In other words, an issue where Brubaker sets up the little necessary plot points that will make for a spectacular ending when everything finally resolves. So, why this may not have been the most spectacular issue, I would still recommend getting it (especially if you picked up last issue) so that you can be “in-the-know” when Brubaker gives us his genius ending. So now that I’ve written an opening paragraph that usually sounds like my closing paragraph, I’ll delve into the actual issue and give you some of my opinions/theories.

We start by finding Hepzibah and Archangel at the same hippie party but right afterward we see two hippies sitting on the front porch and one of them says something mysterious: “not even when we were us, not even in the real.” Is he simply referring to before San Fran got “hippified,” or might he be referring to something else? If I had to guess, I’d say that maybe he and the girl are also mutants. This I think is likely one of Brubaker’s puzzle pieces. This same hippie goes on to meet the mysterious “goddess,” likely the source of S.F.’s travel back in time.

After a quick shot of Scott and Emma worrying their way to San Francisco, we meet back up with the boys in Russia. Piotr is mourning over a grave that I’m assuming belongs to his parents (I’ll warn ya now: I’m an X-Noob!) and Logan tries to comfort him in the way he knows best: taking him to the nearest bar. In the bar, they talk about old times for awhile, and then it is revealed that Kitty is dead. Oops. Apparently this spoils a plot point from Astonishing X-Men (which I don’t read), but I don’t blame Brubaker, it’s not his fault that AXM has only released 24 issues in the last four years. (I’m not joking, I got bored and looked up the release date of all 24 issues and it has indeed taken four years). When he first started scripting this issue months ago, Giant Size AXM (where I’m assuming the aforementioned plot point will be “revealed”) was probably likely “supposed” to be out by now. By the time he realized that this was actually going to be a spoiler, it was probably too late to change it.

We then cut back to Scott and Emma in S.F. They talk to some hippies and one of them mentions something called a “be-in.” I have no idea what this is, I’m assuming it is some kind of event, and I’m also guess that this is another puzzle piece. The last we see of Scott and Emma this issue is as they walk off, still hoping to find Warren and Hepzibah before it is “too late.”

We cut back to the bar where some local thugs are trying to get the money that they are owed from the bartender. This, of course, leads to a bar fight (started, of course, by Logan). The fight was well drawn (as was the whole issue, Choi is an insanely good artist) and very dynamic, though it wasn’t as fun to read, simply because we didn’t really know the story behind the fight. Yes, Logan was trying to protect the bartender, but why were they assaulting the bartender in the first place? Once again, I think this may be yet another puzzle piece, and that we haven’t seen the last of these goons. After the fight, Logan, Piotr, and Kurt decide to leave on the next train, but cutting to the final scene (in a government office in Moscow) we find that leaving may not be too easy for them. The government officials discover that Piotr is still alive and decide they can’t let him and his friends out of the country, and are happy that they will finally have some mutants to “play with.” This scene also had the great use of a puzzle piece from last issue, the tabloid that we saw in S.F. with Piotr and “Angelina Jolie” on the cover that I assumed was simply a humorous Easter Egg turns out to be an actually import plot point. Well, that’s Brubaker for you, and as always, I can’t wait too see what he does next!

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

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