Punchy wrote:Did #512 of Uncanny offer any x-planations (heh) for Beast's behaviour? It's an issue focusing on him and his X-Club travelling back in time.
Doesn't sound like it, here's a CBR review:
[spoiler]Plot: The Beast is still on his mission to save mutantkind, and after traversing the far limits of space and magic, the latest frontier is the oldest one: time travel.
Comments: Steam punk is very in vogue right now, and comics are in a way the perfect medium for it. It's not the first time Fraction has flirted with pre-pulp heroic archetypes (he perfected the motif in Iron Fist, especially in several evocative annuals, when he and Ed Brubaker were busy enriching Danny Rand's back story more than ever before). It's not the first time the X-Men have approached the high-tech/low-tech of the Industrial Age (Ellis did it briefly, in a story that was much more style than substance in the uneven "Ghost Boxes" issues). It's not even the first time mutants have been shown to have a stake in the 19th century, as Joss Whedon recently did in his memorable (if much-delayed) Runaways arc.
But this is the first time this new era of Uncanny, relocated to San Francisco with a more public agenda, has really clicked. It's just funny that Fraction had to go back a century to really get a handle on his characters. This is the issue where he makes the X-Men his own.
Maybe it was the freedom of not having the yoke of the rotating artists (the Dodsons and Greg Land) that have made his run thus far more gimmicky than it needed to be. Land's shallow vixens undermined the admittedly thin femme fatales story arc (which mostly served to bring Psylocke back to life, again); and the Dodsons' work, though good, was too jarring a change whenever they took a turn. Paquette, in this issue, draws a cohesive team, be they in contemporary or 19th century guise, and he also has a lot of fun with some of the clever steam punk ideas.
So read this tale and feast your eyes on a cast-iron Sentinel, and watch the machinations of a scheming Hellfire Club back in their epochal setting. I don't quite work out all the ins and outs of the plot machinations (why did Shaw try to steal the very device he and his goons were paying the Bradleys to make again?), but I enjoyed every word balloon from Henry's mouth, and the chemistry between Nicola (the brains) and Catherine (the brawn) Bradley (and their child in the present day, James) makes for an action-packed retro-modern yarn.
And when the tragic end comes, as it inevitably must, Fraction has earned it, because we've met all the players and understand how all the competing motivations just collided so unfortunately. If the book could keep the consistency of this one issue, this could truly be called another great era.