Review: Uncanny X-Men #538

The conclusion to the Breakworlder's attempts to murder the X-Men does not end as bloodily as Kruun had hoped.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Uncanny X-Men 538

Okay, so maybe I was overstating things a bit when I started referring to Kieron Gillen's "Breaking Point" arc in Uncanny X-Men as a full-on sequel to Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run.  It turns out it's more of a coda.  An epilogue, perhaps, but certainly one of the more exciting epilogues we've seen.  They're usually much more sentimental or dreary affairs.

Uncanny X-Men #538 brings this four-part story to an unexpected conclusion that doesn't quite live up to the gripping, tense events of the previous issue, but it remains fairly compelling nonetheless.  Kruun, the one-armed former Powerlord of the Breakworld has come to Utopia to exact his brutal revenge on the X-Men for destroying his might-makes-right culture, including robbing Colossus of his powers and beating him half to death, while forcing the phase-stuck Kitty Pryde to run around the island and try to figure out how to get any kind of help when she can't make a sound or touch anything.  Of course, the clever woman led Kruun's big stank-ass over to Logan, and there's some bub-sniktery afoot.  Then we ended with Pryde suddenly getting her throat slit somehow by Kruun's galpal Haleena.  Pretty nasty, right?

Except suddenly Kitty's fine at the beginning of this issue, running out and holding a medkit to help Peter.  Wait, what?  Wha happaned?  What the H?  She's all solid and stuff!  She can talk!  How did slitting her throat with magic metal accomplish that? So much for that drama!  I guess we knew Kitty wasn't going to die again so soon after being resurrected (what's that, Fear Itself Bucky Cap?  You're in an event book, they don't have rules), but still it was a bit 'uh, okay.' 

So Kruun manages to punk oult Wolverine with a little floaty-metal trick that robs the Canucklehead of any ability to fight by dangling him in mid-air.  That's funny, watching the runt flail.  It's always kinda funny when Wolverine is goofed on like that.  Also funny is Dr. Nemesis and his brief cameo loudly yelling about how much he hates space ninjas after Kruun pulls a disappearing act.  I know nothing about this guy, but he's being written like an obnoxious Warren Ellis character, and those are welcome more often than not.

So it turns out Haleena made the ultimate sacrifice to finally drive home to her warmongering mate Kruun that all the strength and dominance hooey is old news for them, and we get Kitty out of her exo-suit and back to normal to boot.  Ta-da, I guess.  It's a bit of a swerve in that we'll now have the Breakworld refugees living in a derelict neighborhood in San Francisco (damn that housing bubble).  Terry and Rachel Dodson get to have some fun drawing toothy green aliens chilling out in Giants hoodies and what-not.  Terry is pretty good at his gig here, but he does seem to have a bit of a 'all lady faces are the same' issue here, mostly evident in the big pose-down where the X-cavalry shows up to stare down Kruun.

Overall, a bit of an anticlimactic end to the intense vengeance story, but truth be told, that kind of thing has been done.  What we haven't seen much of is a race of savage alien barbarians deciding to try to make a go of actual respectful civilization in a major United States city.  There's a big opportunity for helping us all remember that being combative and malicious doesn't really make much in the way of progress, and learning humility and generosity is the true definition of strength.  Once you realize that, this particular story twist is a lot more palatable. 

Besides, if the humans are going to bear down on Utopia like it seems in this Schism stuff, ain't nothing like having a big bunch of alien ass-kickers next door owing you favors.