I read this one a few years back and honestly don’t remember much about it. I read it because it was the next event dealing with the X-men from the ones I had already read, so I wanted to keep the momentum going and see what happened next. I didn’t know much about the premise behind the story but my main focus was to just read the next event to keep up with my favorite mutants.
I am going to attempt to summarize the author’s bios even though there are quite a few writers for this trade. The book covers Uncanny X-Men, Nation- X and X-Men Legacy with a few one shots in there as well. Matt Fraction is the most famous or well-known writer on this series. He also wrote the entire Fear Itself series, which I thought was just ok. The bulk of his work is for Marvel comics where he has written for quite a few titles and characters. I was unaware that he had worked so extensively with Marvel. He also has worked for Image on a few titles Sex Criminals probably being the most famous. Chris Yost and Scott Snyder also wrote issues in this trade. Both are big names in the comic’s world as Yost actually helped write some of the screen play for Thor: The Dark World, and most of his work has been in television and on the big screen, but he has also written quite a few different titles for Marvel. Snyder has done the bulk of his work for DC, but is currently working on the Image book Wyches which I have not read yet but looks pretty cool.
There is a lot going on in this one. To me this book is really a miss – match of a few different stories that basically ties up a few loose ends for the X-men. This book shows the reintroduction of Magneto and Kitty Pryed back into the lime light. There is not super antagonist that the group of mutants face as this story, in my opinion, just covers the day to day life of the mutants living on Utopia along with some of the not so super problems they have. There are a few action scenes but it is mostly just “normal” problems and a lot of filler and transition if you will.
This book was one of the more different books I have read from Marvel. To me I did not think there was some big sinister plot or bad buy that must be defeated to save the planet or the universe, most of the issues covered in this book were simple and normal mundane problems. I felt that this book was more of a filler type plot, basically a few stories to fill some gaps and time while the next event was thought up and prepared by the writers and artist at Marvel. There is nothing wrong with this but to me it was quite obvious, and there was just a lack of excitement and enthusiasm in this book. It is certainly not your typical page turner that I am use to when reading superhero comics in fact it was difficult to get through this one.
I felt the book dealt with a lot of personal issues the characters had with each other, which don’t get me wrong was a cool changeup, but as I have said before I am not that familiar with the X-Men world so I think a lot of it was lost to me. Because of this fact I am having a hard time judging this one. I think an avid reader of X-Men would certainly enjoy this one more than me as they would certainly understand and get the subtle nuances that occur during the story. All I know is that I did not particularly like the book but I certainly think there was a large chunk of it that went well over my head.
I also felt there was a lack of action in this one. Don’t get me wrong I always like a good epic battle scene, but I am also impartial to the good all-around story, but this one seems to be neither of those. I felt it was just a miss-match of things going on basically just a bunch of random stories dealing with many of the X-Men characters. There is nothing wrong with this by any means but like I have said I think it was poorly done. I have read many stories where there is no action and they have been great, but this one seems, at least to me, to really grab my attention and keep it. This one was a struggle to get through at times. The thing I did like about this trade was the transition of Magneto from the typical quintessential bad guy to turning over that new leaf and being one of the X-Men. In the beginning Cyclopes does not trust him, and rightly so, but as the story goes on you get to see that he is keeping his word and certainly not the Magneto of old. I am sure you are aware of this but currently he does have his own comic series, which I have not kept up with, so I think some of those origins start in this trade.
The artwork as you can imagine is tough to judge. It ranges from some really great stuff to some ok average artwork, then to some very stylized, then changes once again to some cartoony artwork that I despise. Honestly for the most part the artwork is not bad and nothing to complain about. I also think that because the story is so average I really did not care what the artwork looked like. If there were some grandiose battle scenes I might have more to complain about. Colors are very bright and vibrant, very sharp as well. The artwork that is stylized did not have this same color scheme as you could imagine, still it looked ok. Page layouts were more of the same, average, what you would expect when of a major Marvel event.
At the end of the day this one is average at best. I think the main focus of the trade is to set in motion a few things for the future. Regardless, I felt it was lacking in quite a few areas for me to give my recommendation. But as I said I think a true fan might enjoy this one a bit more than the average fan, such as myself. Still though it is hard to justify the time and money I spend on the trade. My final verdict is that at the very least I would skim though it and see what is going on and at the very least read the seven issues of Uncanny X-Men as I felt these were the most important and had the best story. So that is my final verdict, I recommend reading the UX-M 515-522 other than that skip the rest, unless your curiosity gets the best of you.