In keeping with the X-men theme I wanted to review the next events that follow the Messiah CompleX series. I am probably doing my reviews out of order but I never let that stop me before so why start now. In case you are curious about the reading order Nation X comes before this one, but o well.
Once again I will forego the writers bio as this trade covers 4 different writers including Zeb Wells. I mention him because he is the only writer i recognized among the group and wrote the Carnage USA series I reviewed not too ling ago. This trade also covers three different titles.
This story has quite a few side stories but the main jest is that Selene, the Black Queen, is back and basically wants to become a goddess. She is doing everything she can to achieve her goal, including an undead army of deceased mutants to do her bidding. There are about three other stories going on at the same time, and the main story that I mentioned is finished in the first half of the book. Honestly it I thought it was a bit odd the way this one was laid out. The latter half of the book follows the X-Men trying to put down the rest of the undead army that Selene has raised.
As you can see there is a ton going on in this one. The story was not bad, I felt it was just ok nothing crazy. But I will also say that coming off the last three series nothing can compare. With that in mind I still felt that this story was lacking something. I never felt Selena was the bad gal she wanted to be. In other stories the villain seemed more evil or sinister, I never got that vibe from her, I’m not saying she is not evil just that the story did not portray that aspect that well.
The other thing is all the characters that make an appearance in this one. So many from the past come back to life which is kind of cool but when you are not that involved in the X-men world it can be a bit much. I did find myself looking up so many different characters just to see their back story and who they were. It did make the read a little more fun because you understood why it was a big deal when they came face to face with their friends or who was responsible for their death. So this is a neat aspect but a little daunting at the same time.
Honestly I felt this story was somewhat of a let down. It just did not do it for me. As I mentioned the bad gal just was not bad enough for me as I have seen of other villains in other stories. I just could not get into this one as I did the last 3 stories dealing with the X-men. I don’t want to say that this one is a disappointment, but it is certainly a far cry from the high quality of the three stories leading up to this one. It just felt that there was not enough here to really make a story but the writers were doing the best to put something together, and in the end it was subpar at best.
I will say that I think this story does Segway into the begenning of the Uncanny X-Force series that I so loved. So again for all its shortcomings the book does offer some insight to things and events down the road.
The artwork in this one varies widly. On one hand you have some really spectacular work, but at other times you get some very differnt styles. The good work it truly amazing and totally worth checking out all by itself. I will never understand why in these crossover events they don’t stick with one art style. It literally blows my mind why Marvel never does this. As you know it really annoys me going from an awesome super detailed and visually badass style to something that is such a drop off in quality that almost ruins the story. Obviously it does not ruins the story but it just makes me mad to see this same aspect over and over again. I know the story crosses over so many other titles but still I believe this issue could be easily solved. With all that being said the art style changes so much throughout the book that it is actually quite ridiculous, but almost every style that it changes from is really superb I must say. Per my rant above I am obviously not a fan of this but it is hard to complain with the overall quality of artwork that is protrayed in this book. There are a few mostly traditional styles but there are also quite a few styles that are really something special. Most of the colors are dark to try and keep with the nature of the story. The page layouts are fairly normal nothing that is out of the ordinary. This is one of the most unique approaches to the artwork I have seen. The art covers so many styles that it is really a collection of some of the best art out there. Just on that aspect alone this one is quite remarkable.
All in all I am on the fence about this one. I will admit that it was mostly a disappointment but there are potions of the artwork that are really cool, but I have a hard time justifying buying it for that purpose alone. My final verdict is to skip it unless you are a die hard X-men fan, as I felt the story was very suspect and very loosely held together. You will not miss much as far as continuity goes, so read this one at your own expense.