Odyssey X, Week 10: Uncanny X-Force #15 , X-Men Legacy #255

(For those joining late, please see the introductory post on Odyssey X, where I explain my attempt to read every X-Men title during X-Men: Schism)

Uncanny X-Force #15
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opena
Cover Price: $3.99

Uncanny X-Force isn't just the best X-Men titles being released; it's probably one of the best Marvel books period. Remender continues to push the boundaries of the X-Men line by infusing more than a few genres into this super-hero title. At the end of the last issue, Psyloche chose to stay behind in an attempt to save Warren, while her teammates fled from their losing battle to regroup. The Life Seed is being used to alter time itself by creating a new evolutionary path for Earth, one where life's mutation never reached the plateau of mankind. The dreamlike sequences of Archangel and his followers witnessing time and evolution re-form makes one hell of a subject for Opena to draw, and he more than meets the challenge. X-Force feels the least like an x-book, and considering the rest of the crop, that is a very good thing. One minute the book is action, suspense, and quick quips, the next it is a fantasy tinged meander through time. All the while it is an immersion that is hard to escape. This is a read twice kind of book, just so you can take in all of the details and enjoy it once more.

Verdict: Remender and Opena are killing it on this book, and making everyone else look bad. Pick it up!

X-Men Legacy #255
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Steve Kurth
Cover Price: $3.99

X-Men Legacy isn't the worst x-book, but it may be the safest. Well established super hero titles like the X-Men always risk falling into patterns, and Carey certainly has a weakness for familiar storytelling. Rogue and company are still stuck on a doomed asteroid amidst warring alien races. If this book has a theme it must be "constant regrouping", as the conflict is always secondary to a drawn out game of "let's find so-and-so". The story culminates with a predictable battle between scorned daughter Lorna and absent father Magneto. This tedious turn of events has me asking, "Will we ever get off this rock?" Either way, whenever this story line ends, it will probably jump right into another non-stop thrillride. The problem is, it's not much of a thrill without a moment to breathe; constant motion in a story leads to an experience akin to literary motion sickness, but far less visceral. The visuals on this book don't help either as there are not one, or even two, but three inkers. That means the final product is the result of five different artists (penciler, three inkers, and one colorist) and one writer. Marvel continues to show their disregard for the "visual" half of the comic book medium, and this is one predictable misstep I am not comfortable seeing so often.

Week 10 Summary:
Potential Cost: $7.98
0 Books Purchased, 2 Books Shelved

A mercifully small week! Readers that actually pay to enjoy these books must have thanked their retailers for such a light X-Men week. The two titles that released were good examples of the best and worst of what the x-titles have to offer on the shelves. On one hand you have Uncanny X-Force pushing the boundaries of the line, incorporating different genres in the storytelling with engaging artwork as well. On the other hand, X-Men Legacy sticks to tired throw away storytelling. Remender shows you what these books and characters are capable of, then Carey pulls you right back down to the mediocre reality of the rest of the X-Men titles. It's a tough act to follow, but any current X-Men book compared to X-Force will certainly fall short.