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Review Group Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia

Written by John Martin on Tuesday, June 30 2009 and posted in Reviews
SuperginraiX had the pick for new comics shipping June 29th and he selected Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction, Marc Silvestri, Michael Broussard, Eric Basaldua, Tyler Kirkham, Sheldon Mitchell, Joe Weems, Marco Galli, Rick Basaldua, Jason Gorder, Jay Leisten, Sal Regla, Jon Sibal, Ryan Winn, Frank D'Armata, and Chris Eliopoulos.  Did I miss anyone???

The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Whatever your feelings on Utopia, it certainly sent the Fight Club errr, Review Group into a tizzy. Thankfully you can skip the 400+ post descent into insanity that was/is this week's thread and just read the reviews here. 

Review by thefourthman

My long standing problem with the X Books is that they lack any subtlety. For much of their history, they have been an overbearing allegory to the equal rights movement and racial tensions. I am fine with these as subject matter, think they are important even, but much like Ennis talking crazy about WWII and Superheroes, something about making an action comic be a statement on this important issue rubs me the wrong way.

This issue finally brings the books to what I feared when the X-Men relocated to San Francisco. Now the book seems to have given up its racial theme and taken on gay rights. Let it be said now, that I, actually, as a white male heterosexual Christian, am in full support of the marriage between any two people who make the commitment to have a monogamous relationship - no matter their sexual orientation, races, creeds, yada yada yada. My problem is that having a debate over “mutant breeding” and having protestors hoisting signs one way or the other over “Proposition X” lacks any thought process and actually seems to kind of belittle the actual real world concerns that are being debated across the country.

That being said, it also brings a smile to my face, because it reminds me of Kevin Smith on the Tonight Show talking about how disappointed he was that Bryan Singer had left the X-Men franchise. He was hoping X-Men 3 would be a big gay musical, it was one of the funniest things I had heard at the time and I was astonished at the level he was allowed to be irreverent on national broadcast television.

Anyhow, now that I have lost e-friends, let me talk more about what I like about this comic. There are lots of things to dig about this story. It is cool to see things heat up in this issue. It all smacks of normal X-men though which was another problem I had with the move, in the end it was just a different setting not the big status quo change that was promised. This is seen when Cyclops is handcuffed or when the police move on the Mutants.

What really impressed me was Fraction’s handling of the Dark Avengers. By isolating them and giving them solo missions, he shows an ability to voice many characters at once, something that has defined his Uncanny run and made it all the more enjoyable. He shows both Trask and Osborn making the kind of spin maneuvering that makes at least old goblin head an interesting character. The way that Trask weasels out of his group really starting things is genius in its execution and again, we have a writer other than Bendis really making the political machine behind the Dark Avengers seem plausible. It would be nice if Bendis could manage that feat.

Showing each of the characters on their own shows their flaws. Even after being told that cameras will be everywhere, Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye spout off things that would best not be said in public, hopefully Fraction will capitalize on this later. Sure, the team does crap like this all the time, but Bendis shows no reaction to it outside of the rogue Superhero community, what happens when real people hear Hawkeye say he wants to kill?

There are also some annoying things. Seems Fraction only wants to box the characters that are on the Marquee. Some of the Young X-Men and others running around need identification and power explanations more than the people he has repeatedly done it for many issues now. I do like the smart assedness of some of them though.

On to what I really truly dislike about this issue though. The art. First of all, let it be known that I am not a Silvestri fan. Of all the Jim Lee clones that appeared in the nineties, Silvestri is the one I liked the least. He never really seemed to get his own thing going and even here seems to be paying homage to some of the people who spawned from him. The fervent manner in which some people follow him and his school is disturbing.

That being said, I don’t think a lot of the problems here are purely his fault. There is a small army of pencilers and inkers listed here, consistency will become a problem when you have that many cooks in the kitchen. It also makes me wonder about Silvestri’s commitment to the project. If he is only doing this one shot and the normal teams are doing the chapters and Deodato the other bookend, then why could he not complete the pencils himself? There was plenty of lead time assuming that he had already started the project when it was announced and worked on it for those months that the Dark X-Men postcards set on the counters of shops across the country. But, I’ll stop soap boxing about the unprofessional nature of the comics industry today (for now).

The end result hurts this book. There are mad crazy morphs of characters along the way. There are even moments of Liefeldian inproportionness. Hawkeye has a giant arm. Cyclops inherits Leno’s chin in one frame. It’s a shame too, because there are shots of pure comic gold, like Ares leaping from the sky.

Then there are the questions... what does the folder with the big X say? Is that Dark Beast Emma is presented with? I though Prof X could walk now? What is the deal with the Dark X? If Beast was arrested, is the mayor in cahoots with Norman? What’s got Emma so excited? Will this be the beginning of the end for Norman’s new world order? Tune in next time.

Story 8 (despite my problems with thematics and nit picking, I really enjoyed this, especially for an X title)
Art 4

Overall 7 (not letting my distaste for the artist drag the score down too low)

Review by House of J

Ah, the X-Men. Wealthy super-powered elitists who constantly break the law and seem to only deal with conflicts through violence and destruction, but are constantly "oppressed" Rolling Eyes vs. Norman and his gang. So far I've avoided anything Dark Reignish except FF: DR which is really just Reed Richard on a peyote trip for 4/5 issues, so this is a lot like reading a What If book to me. I guess I don't get a lot of it, like why the smartest member of the X-Men put a group of children, Hellion being an especially unwise pick, in front of a legal march with no violence prior to the X-Men's blatant provocation--the mutants prove their ethical superiority with lines like "Get back to your caves, Apeman!" and refuse to let the marchers pass. THEN comes the violence, natch.

(And that's what I really don't get here--this is obviously one of those ripped-from-the-headlines cases of a writer using a real-life issue (Prop 8, gay marriage) under new code (Prop X, mutants) in such a clumsy, heavy-handed fashion. But it isn't a very good analogy. This would have made me a Mormon.)

Beast should be arrested. Perhaps he shouldn't be in a position of authority over kids either, judging from this. And of course, Pixie pays the price. Every X-Men preview I read features the beating of Pixie--"Like unto a Punching Bag".

Riots ensue, Scott, billed in the caption as the Leader of a People "isn't the King of Mutantland"?!? Much as I don't like Xavier, maybe he should come back--oh goody, there're at least 2 of him to choose from. Machinations between the Norman and Emma, she's such a skigskag, Scott you really need to pay attention.

And in come the Dark Avengerbolts to set up next issues fighting.

I dunno, Hatemonger?

4/10 -- This is comic of the few I've reviewed that I am least-likely to continue to follow, so I have to give it a lower score than Last Days of Animal Man (which I also didn't continue to follow). Sorry I missed the Transgenders pick, I wasn't online that whole time and my shop doesn't have any left.

Review by MrBlack

Overall, I thought this was an interesting issue, at least enough to suck me in for the whole story (and I'm getting Dark Avengers anyway, so why not!). The setup isn't anything particularly innovative, although Fraction adds a few little twists to make it fresh. Having all of this set in San Francisco obviously creates parallels to the gay rights movement in this country, for good or ill. Additionally, I like the fact that the leader of the anti-mutant group is actually a pretty reasonable fellow, rather than a plainly racist nutjob. He couches his position in a very reasonable way, and he even chides his followers for resorting to slurs to describe the mutants.

In comparison, Cyclops tries to distance the X-Men from the whole thing, even after Beast gets involved and thrown in jail. Once again, Scott continues his tenure as the most ineffective leader in all of comicdom, making no attempt to speak to the press and generally letting the mutant population of San Francisco get so out of control that the Dark Avengers are given an excuse to step in. Yeah, Scott says he doesn't have any authority over mutants in general, but as leader of the X-Men, he certainly has some degree of influence that he simply refused to exercise. I will say that I did like his confrontation with Toad, as Scott actually tried to defuse the situation rather than further inflame it, but dammit if the man has never been able to deal with crises on a large scale.

Emma, meanwhile, acts where Scott refuses to. Having allied herself with Norman, she has to pay the price for Scott's ineffectiveness, although it appears that it's a price she is not entirely unwilling to pay. At issue's end, we find that even Charles is outraged over Scott's inaction and that he is supporting Norman...or is he?

The mutant/anti-mutant story is okay enough, but I'm much more interested in how the relationship between Scott and Emma is going to play out. Emma is an interesting character: she seems to have the best interests of mutantkind at heart, but she's willing to take rather unheroic steps to further her agenda. She's also not the most selfless person in the world, and she seems willing to take those same steps to further her own agenda as well. The one thing that has put her on the side of the angels has been her relationship with Scott, which will be sorely tested by her open defection to Norman's side. The real question is, why has Emma thrown in with Norman? Is it because she feels that it is in the best interest of mutants to side with those in power, or does she have another agenda?

As for the art, this was better than some of Silvestri's other work, but he's far from my favorite artist. Anatomy is not his strong point (in particular, Beast's face changes from page to page), and he seems to have gotten Loki's current gender mixed up. Aside from that bit of sloppiness, the art was serviceable. I know some people like the "dynamic" artwork of the 90's, but it's just not my style.

Story: 7
Art: 6
Overall: 7

Review by 48THRiLLS

I don't read the X-books, just not enough money to get emotionally invested in 'em, I like them fine but I don't know shit about them. However I do read and enjoy Dark Avengers and since this will be spilling into 2 issues I might as well get acquainted.

Matt Fraction does a really good job introducing the main players for a-holes like me, I may not know who some of the b-listers are but it looks as if I won't need to. This was basically a set up issue which the standout moment was Ares drawing his line in the sand, I have been waiting to see some Ares badassness and have had enough of him seeming like a dope (he's the God of freaking War!). I thought Fraction's dialogue was great, he seems to have a good feel for Normie’s Avengers and I bought right into his X-Men without much prior knowledge. I do have some questions... do we know how Xavier was captured and what is the significance of Emma wearing black? Could Norman's Professor X be The Sentry using his psychic skills that have been sort of forgotten about? The art was a mixed bag of great and WTF, I have never seen Osborn drawn so inconsistently but there were some panels that were just gorgeous... I will say that Silvestri draws some beautiful women. I may as well collect the Uncanny issues since the DA issues would not make sense without ‘em (thanks Marvel) this was somewhere between OK and good.

STORY - 7.5
ART - 7

Review by GLX

This was alright. The writing did nothing much, but throw in some potentially cool stuff. The art was okay. A bit off, but okay.

7* out of 10*

Review by Daringd

I’m so glad my LCS manager told me to read Uncanny first. I couldn’t wait to pick this book up. Everything works here. Fraction gives us a very “old” concept but does great work with it. This riot has caused a lot of problems. Norman Osborn really comes off as a manipulator here. More than any book he’s in this week. Sure he came off Evil in Spidey and to me at least a control freak in Dark Avengers. But this book shows how smart Norman is and how he plans for everything. He is a perfect foil a perfect villain for the Marvel universe. I loved Silvestri’s art here. It was slick it was a perfect fit. If Fraction can keep this up. I think he can especially with how he ended it. This event could be better than Messiah Complex which is to me the best X-men cross over/story in the past 10 years on X-men. Fraction is the best thing to happen to the X-men in a very long time. I can’t wait for the next part of this story.


Review by Kerny

I haven't been reading Uncanny, but that’s ok as the problem for the x-men here is the same one they have had before and may always have: humans don't like em'. Things get out of hand and people start to riot. Enter Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers.

Fraction writes all the different characters well, especially the DA. He quickly jumps around to a different scenario, which is kinda neat, and a fault against the book both at the same time. I look forward to the Venom vs. Collous errr Big Metal Russian Guy fight, as I am a sucker for all things Venom. Ares also has some badass lines. Some of the lesser known X-Men didn't have their own description boxes and that kinda bugged me as I didn't know them or couldn't place who they were at first glance.

The act that the humans propose in this story is obviously an IRL parallel and I don't have a problem with it, as I've always seen the X-Men used in these type of scenarios.

The cliffhanger was intriguing and a bit predictable but should set up a good crossover.

The art is terrible. I usually like Silvestri, but not Silvestri and 14 or however many assists he had. It's just all too stylized and characters can change appearances with a turn of a page. Also why was Loki a man!?

Story: 6.5
Art: 4

Review by doombug

In Matt Fraction's defense the last great X-Men crossover had at least 3 writers on it, this only has him taking the full brunt of the story. The X-Men come face to face with Norman Osborn and his corrupt organization and just like everyone thought...things go down hill fast.

From the kids getting right into the middle of things to Colossus and the others coming face to face with some of the Dark Avengers, it's really all here. There are a few fun moments but they are quickly over shadowed by just too much thrown at the readers at once. We are following at least 3 different subplots all at once.

The saving grace truly comes at the end with a gritty and shocking moment that leaves you curious to what the hell happened at the end of X-Men Legacy.

Grade: 7.5

Review by Punchy

Story - The X-Men used to be the biggest deal in comics, from the 70s until the 90s, the X-men were the thing you read, the highest-selling, the vanguard of corporate super-hero comics. But all that changed when Bendis took over the Avengers and made them important, whether New, Mighty or Dark, it is the Avengers which rule the roost at Marvel today, and you can't help but feel that the Mutants are kind of miffed at this, they've kind of been away from the spotlight for a while, only tangentially and Wolverinely related to Civil War and Secret Invasion. But now the Uncanny X-men are trying to take back their crown, and are mixing it up with Norman Osborn and his Dark Reign team of villainous Avengers. It's a culmination of a year of X-build-up, and also promises to have lasting ramifications for the Marvel Universe as a whole. It's also writer Matt Fraction's shot at the big time, he's helming a huge crossover. Is he successful? I'm not sure. Just like the rest of his X-Men run, Utopia is decidedly hit and miss, but the good ideas that are within shine well.

There's a lot going on to set up this crossover, Simon Trask, who's Humanity Now! Coalition has been a running subplot in Uncanny X-Men since Fraction took over, is marching on San Francisco, wanting to legislate Mutant Birthing rights in 'Proposition X'. Many readers seem to have a problem with this premise, saying it's too on the nose, too much like the recent Proposition 8 legislation in California, which outlawed Gay Marriage. But I don't have any problems with it at all, the X-Men have always been allegorical, whether for Civil Rights or Homosexuality, and this is a logical step, we've had AIDS as the Legacy Virus, this makes sense. Frankly, I think maybe a lot of the problems some fans have with this particular bit of allegory has more to do with their personal feelings on Gay Marriage than the comic itself. But regardless, Trask is marching, and he is confronted by a loose coalition of Mutants and pro-Mutant humans, also protesting. Needless to say, a riot breaks out, it's chaos on the streets on San Francisco, and the X-Men aren't trying to stop it! They're part of it!

I'm not going to comment on the drama we've had here about 'who started the riot', because it was kind of silly, and ultimately doesn't matter. My problem with the Riots was that I didn't really feel its impact. Fraction was describing how the whole City was burning, but it just doesn't feel like that, maybe it was Silvestri's lack of backgrounds, but really, these didn't seem to be that bad, certainly not so bad that they should have to bring HAMMER in, but we're told that is. A classic example of why you should show rather than tell. There were some good scenes here though, Cyclops taking down the Toad for the umpteenth time, and then getting hit by a brick was a great scene. I also liked the page showing reactions from around the world, Storm in Wakanda, Wolverine with the Avengers (an X-Men crossover where Wolverine only appears in silhoutte? What is the world coming too?), it was effective in placing these events in the wider Dark Reign context.

And it's here that Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers arrive on scene, I'm a big fan of this team, it's great idea, and Bendis has been working wonders with in their own book, and Fraction seems to have a good handle (and snappy captions) for all of them, I particularly liked his Bullseye and Daken, who should play a big role here, what with him being Wolverine's kid and all. Norman made a deal with Emma Frost to keep the Mutants quiet, but she failed, and now he has to intervene. These 'peacekeeping missions' were some of the best scenes of the book, and promise interesting scenes for the rest of the crossover, Venom vs. Colossus, and Ares Vs. well, everyone. Man, that Ares scene was great, such a good character. But Norman's plan is more than just having his Avengers kick the X-Men's ass, there's something else there, presumably the Dark X-Men we've seen in previews. Emma in a black costume, Namor and Professor X. But is it really Professor X? On a rather busy last page, maybe not.

So San Francisco is burning, Beast is in prison, Cyclops is on the run, and Emma may have turned evil again. It's all interesting stuff, and has me intrigued for the rest of the crossover, but this one-shot still felt kind of empty, I think it all stems from my feelings about the riots not being properly conveyed as dangerous. I don't feel the stakes are as high as Fraction wants me too, I felt the Skrulls were dangerous, I thought the Civil War was important, but this doesn't have that same weight. I think a lot of that has to do with the artwork, but there may also be too much going on.

But there is still good stuff here, the core allegory is strong, the characterization of both the X-Men and the Dark Avengers is spot-on, I'm particularly glad to see Beast, a favourite of mine get the spotlight, and there are some tantalizing mysteries, but there was just something missing. Perhaps the book was a little compressed, I think a larger page count would have made this much more effective. But if you're an X-Men fan, this is a great continuation of what Fraction has been doing in Uncanny, and promises to change a lot of stuff, and be exciting. I can't wait for better artists in Dodson and Deodato to handle this story.

Art - As I've mentioned, the art was a huge problem here. Marc Silvestri, who's job these days seems to be kicking off X-Men crossovers (he did the Messiah Complex one-shot) just didn't convey Fraction's story well enough. As can be seen in the confusion over who started the Riot, there were nuances there than his 90s style just can't convey. Add to that, the book is rushed, there are like 10 inkers finishing his pencils here, and the look of the book changes from page to page. He only has to do 33 pages and that's it, it's not good. As I said, I'm sure once Terry Dodson and Mike Deodato are penciling, I'll feel the story better. He has, and should do better.

Best Line - 'Once you cross it you have declared War against your city, against your Government... and against me. And make no mistake: I love to fight wars.' Man, Ares is the best.

6/10 It would be 7, but the art drags it down.

Review by Chubbles

I liked this issue a lot. I thought the story was pretty interesting and the art was also very good. I like how both sides are being portrayed as being both right and wrong. That's one of the things I loved about the Civil War. Marvel is not afraid to have the MU be filled with 'gray' characters and not the typical black and white which are normally seen in comics. I've come to the conclusion that Cyclops is a dick and needs to have his ass royally handed to him very soon. Ares is also quickly becoming a favorite of mine as he has established himself as a total badass. I don't read the ongoing X-books outside of X-Force but this crossover will force me to pick up at least a couple. Maybe I'll be converted, maybe I won't. Either way, I like where this event is going and I will be sticking it out.

Art 8.5
Story 8.5
Overall 8.5

Review by guitarsmashley

I have not read an X-Men comic outside of the group for a long time (Morrison's run followed by the first quarter of Whedon) other than Old Man Logan. I also haven't been exposed to a comic by fanboy love interest Matt Fraction that I loved either. So I came into this with optimistic yet jaded thoughts.

What I found was something I've come to expect from Fraction written books, a jumbled mess with a couple of nuggets here and there. I was always willing to blame artists for the story being disjointed whether it be Gabriel Ba or David Aja (trying way to hard to be Alex Maleev) they just couldn't translate Fraction's scripts to panels and pages well after seeing what Silvestri put out I suddenly think that maybe the issue is with Fraction. I haven't read a comic by him that didn't flow from panel to panel. I'm not completely ready to give up on Fraction but I don't think I can read anything by him without having this very jaded first opinion.

The story suffers from what a lot of "event" comics suffer from no matter how large or small they might be, it's an editorial mandated story that is already laid out with or without the writer, problem is I just have a feeling Marvel talks to Fraction a lot so he probably sat with Brubaker and Bendis to come up with this ridiculous story. We start with a riot, now I won’t go into who is at fault for the riot or who started it but where it all really goes wrong is the dialogue during the riot. The great thing about comics is they are a visual medium and don't always require dialogue and narration. The riot could have benefited from showing us violence not showing it and telling us it was happening. This was just bad form, and the eventual addition of the Dark Avengers felt very tacked on and barely fleshed out.

And then the final reveal... this was maybe handled the worst out of the entire issue. If the whole point is to show that Norman doesn't mind replacing people with doppelgangers then we learned that months ago with the formation of the Dark Avengers. In addition who could feel surprised by the fact that there is a fake professor when he's on the same page as his replacement, and not very well drawn either.

This brings me to the art, I like Silvestri and had he actually drawn the comic it might flow a little better, maybe here is where I blame Fraction unjustly since his script was handed off to a dozen and a half people to draw and there is no way they just did pages. No we have to be looking at panel to panel artist differences. I'd be curious to see just how much Marc actually did. And I like Marc’s work but this was not his work it was his and his sycophants. And as a result we get what could be a disjointed script being drawn by a disjointed art crew.

And for Punchy's information the best line of the book was, "Hey man, if you need to go..."

Total score is a 4 for effort.

Take that anyone who says I don't take this seriously.

Review by King Impulse

It was a solid set-up issue. Here is the problem, here is Norman Osborn, he is going to solve this problem, here is how he's going to do it, and here is a big twist to get you to buy the second issue. I liked it well enough, but not enough to carry on, if at some point in the crossover either Charles Xavier or Moonstone DIE HORRIBLY then I'll definitely check it out retrospectively. I liked that Fraction had mutant-on-mutant violence as well as a strict human v mutant fight, and I don't remember ever seeing that Oynxx guy, but he looks pretty cool, right?
The art? Hmm, I like Silvestri a lot, he's a guilty pleasure sure, but I like him, but when you need as much assistance in ONE FUCKING ISSUE you need to rethink how you do your job. Art was serviceable, would have been nicer if he drew the damn thing fully.

Story - 7
Art - 6
Overall - 7

Review by amlah6

I had a hell of a time getting into this week's book. I must have picked it up and put it back down 3 or 4 times. While I have read X books in the past they're not something that I'm all that interested in but my apathy towards the X books has nothing on this Dark Reign bollocks. Seriously, there's more tie-ins for this thing than there was for Civil War and Secret Invasion combined. I should probably send Bendis and Quesada thank you cards for doing such a masterful job on cutting down my pull list.

The story here is combination tried and true mutants as minorities mixed with setup for the Dark X-Men which I suppose is great if you're in to that kind of thing. Mostly I just kept thinking that I have no idea who all of the non-classic/astonishing characters were. Other than the little bit with Colossus and Scott's line about Ares, there was nothing for me to like or connect to in this comic.

With all the in-thread back and forth I don't think the story is all that unclear about what started the initial riot. If there's any confusion with the events that are taking place in the book it's a direct result of the horrid art. Inconsistencies from panel to panel are the norm rather than the exception and with the army of Top Cow clones you would expect a bit more detail than what often shows up. As much as I love Frank D'Armata's colors in Cap, they make my eyes bleed here. I just don't dig the plastic sheen that the colors give the characters. All in all, this was probably the ugliest book we've ever reviewed.

Story: 5
Art: 1
Overall: 3

Review by BubbaKanoosh

I enjoyed it, I am a huge Silvestri fan aswell as a big Mutant fan, and shockingly a huge Dark Avengers fan. The story piqued my interest enough to pick up the rest of the crossover. I do love the lineup of the Dark Xmen even of the concept of the team is a little meh. But Namor, Cloak and Dagger, Mimic all on one team? How can that NOT be awesome.

I loved the art, as I said early I am a huge Silvestri fan. I loved him ever since his Xmen days back when the comics were so fucking good.

Art: 8
Story: 7
Overall: 7.5


Review by Starlord

My review is even later, but I will have to say that it was worth the wait. A well crafted story that has set the stage for what could be the biggest Earth conflict of the year.

Did Punchy state his favorite line? Just curious if it was the same as mine. Loved the true beievers line at the beginning.

Now if this story puts Emma squarely back in the bad guys corner where she belongs I may end up loving this more than War of Kings.

I thought everyone's character was dead on and I'm surprised at how much I'm loving everything Dark Reign; however, this could be the hilight of Marvel's giant arc.

The art is okay. Not a huge fan, but I've seen worse, I guess.

Story: 8
Art: 5.5
My Score: 6.75


Review by SuperginraiX

Anyway, it's good stuff. I'm already getting a little tired of the X-Men being the establishment over in San Francisco and this series looks like it might change that. The X-Men work best when they're outsiders instead of being a community. I don't know if the book will lose that community stance but I think it would benefit from it. The issue itself was pretty standard at first glance but is also pretty layered up. Even the riot that culminates in the Dark Avengers coming in a police action is suitably vague. You can blame the mutants, you can blame Humanity Now. Just like real life, we aren't simply given answers (though Trask is a major douche).

The same goes with mutants in general. You've got people that are always armed. How do you deal with that? Sure, they may be good guys but there's always going to be one that crosses the line. As such, Humanity Now has a lot of good points even though controlling someone's baby making abilities goes over the line (and is probably meant to reflect the gay marriage issue since that's what the X-Men have been reflecting for the last couple of years).

What the X-Men could use is a good PR department. Cyclops is the best tactitian in the Marvel Universe but he's not good with people. He's made a good speech here and there in his career but it's best left to people who know how to handle the public. In contrast, Norman Osborn is a smooth operator who knows how to sway public opinion. Not as great of a leader but he's got some incredibly powerful living weapons at his command.

The twist at the end of Xavier already being captured and replaced by a doppleganger isn't especially brilliant or original but it at least explains why Xavier joins the Dark X-Men. I'm of the belief that the X-Men are more interesting without Xavier around so I'm hoping the real deal doesn't hang out much after this crossover. I guess we'll see.

Everything else is good times. You get some Dark Avengers mixing it up with some X-Men in a city torn apart by violence. That always fun.

Utopia you get an 8.5. Good job!


That gives Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia a group scores of 6.62. Just how many Marc Silvestri’s does it take to screw in a light bulb anyway?
For further discussion about this issue and other assorted whining, feel free to join us in this week's thread ( found in the Newstand forum where you are also invited to join the group by posting your own review.

doombug has the pick for July 1st and he has selected Justice League: Cry for Justice from DC Comics.  Look for the new tears of fourthman filled thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun. 

Justice League: Cry for Justice #1

Written by James Robinson
Art and covers Mauro Cascioli

What brings a team together? Justice! Batman and Martian Manhunter have been slaughtered. But he's not the only hero to fall at the hands of villains. The murder has to stop, and it's time to take the fight to the bad guys! Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Supergirl, Atom, Shazam, Congorilla and Starman unite in a cry for justice!

This 6-part miniseries from James Robinson (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) and rising star artist Mauro Cascioli (TRIALS OF SHAZAM) pushes our heroes to the brink and beyond as evil can no longer be tolerated to win. But when Prometheus plans his revenge on not only the heroes, but on the very places they call home, will this new team be ready to pay the cost for the justice they seek? This time it's personal – and it'll only get more bloody before it's over!

DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US


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We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
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