Friday, July 17, 2009

UNCANNY X-MEN #380 – May 2000

Uncanny X-Men #380

Heaven’s Shadow

Credits: Alan Davis (plot), Terry Kavanagh (script), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Brian Haberlin (colors), Comicraft (lettering)

Summary: Beast returns to America, explaining to the X-Men that everyone’s genetic structure will soon warp like the Mutates. The X-Men travel to the High Evolutionary’s satellite, while Magneto and Polaris continue to fight human soldiers in Genosha. Mr. Sinister sends the High Evolutionary’s New Men to attack the X-Men. The team soon realizes that their powers have returned while they’re inside the sphere of influence. Wolverine trashes a control panel, which frees the High Evolutionary. He reverses the devolution wave, as Sinister escapes in the X-Men’s craft. On Earth, Mystique escapes from prison while Polaris uses an image inducer to disguise herself as Magneto and drive away the human soldiers.

Gimmicks: This issue comes polybagged with a sketchbook promoting the “X-Men Revolution” revamp. The cover price raises a dollar to $2.99, making this another example of Marvel actually charging extra for an advertisement.

Review: Alan Davis’ run comes to a quiet end, as the status quo is predictably restored and everything is left in place for Chris Claremont’s return. The plot moves along at a steady pace, but the entire issue is burdened by the cumbersome script. Terry Kavanagh delivers one of his weakest issues, blanketing every page with superfluous narrative captions and never-ending dialogue exchanges. A sharp script can save an otherwise dull story, but all Kavanagh seems able to do is have the characters recite plot points and then laboriously complain about losing their powers (“Losing my empathy with the elements…my very personal connection to the world through its weather -- again -- has been like the loss of my senses…”). This storyline was essentially filler already, so the last thing it needed was such a dull script. Despite his occasionally odd-looking faces, Tom Raney does provide solid artwork for the issue, which helps to alleviate the boredom.

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