Monday, July 4, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #539

Back in the 1970s Marvel tried to combat the "Dreaded Deadline Doom" by having generic, "evergreen" one-issue stories prepared and kept on file so they could drop them into the schedule if a creative team missed a deadline.

Those issues always stood out, of course, especially when they popped up in the middle of a continued story.

I say all that because this issue of Uncanny X-Men feels for all the world like a generic story that was pulled out of the file to fill a space in the schedule.

That may be unfair - perhaps this one-issue story has been on the schedule all along - but it doesn't do much to advance any ongoing storylines. It's just a "done in one" story that brings together Hope and Wolverine.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad issue (there were plenty of those on exhibit in those fill-in stories in the '70s) - but it's not up to the standards of the most recent story.

Writer Kieron Gillen gives us a generic story about Hope being kidnapped and Wolverine coming to her rescue. There are some silly bits about why Wolverine is doing this alone, there are some decent action sequences - but about all the story accomplishes is to show us that Hope is tough as nails.

The art by Ibraim Roberson is solid, with some striking panels on display, but the coloring gives it all a washed-out look that seems to work against the grim nature of the story.

I'm not sure if the fill-in stories went away or if Marvel just got better at disguising them - and again, I'm not sure if this story falls into that category - but this issue definitely has that "you could skip this issue and not miss much" feel to it.

Grade: C+


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