Uncanny X-Men # 6 –
Gillen’s plot and dialogue is indeed spot on here. There’s mass hysteria, chaos yet it’s subliminally cohesive the tale that unwinds. He weaves intricate threads of the extinction team battling a new ecosystem that is attached to fallout from X-Force…and with Greg Land delivering the goods, this book offers many surprises. If not taken seriously, this title would pass under the radar, due in part to Gillen’s shoddy renumbering of the title, but this arc post-Sinister, while not nefarious is an exploratory piece of magic.
It’s science fiction at its very best, to the heart and to the core and carefully, extrapolates the deft craft that Fraction gave me in doses on this title. This book rivals the intricacy of Fraction’s DEFENDERS and Gillen really was the guy meant to usurp Fraction. I discerned this as I’ve found them highly similar and calculating since they started working together. Now just maybe some of Gillen could rub off on Matt’s flailing THOR material? Overall, this title is not shabby at all… (7.5/10)
Winter Soldier # 1 –
Brubaker and Guice on a Rogers or Bucky book is safe to say…pretty damn solid. The dynamic duo pull it off yet again as they send Bucky and Black Widow out on a recon of dire intensity. They are embarking on Bucky’s stealth mission, the reason Steve faked his death in FEAR ITSELF…so that Bucky can find the other sleeper agents just like him. This is intriguing a concept by Brubaker as it humanizes Bucky a bit after his gallivanting with the shield. The cavalry is even better placed with Widow and a hush source which gives the Bourne feel that made Winter Soldier such a welcomed application since Civil War. Bucky’s reception has meet roused applause and Bru really turned him into one of the most interesting and endearing characters at Marvel’s stable while still keeping the badass vibe to him. As he and Widow navigate their romantic situation, it’s nice to see Bucky back in clandestine action as his search for more Winter Soldiers, amassing some impeccable as usual Guice artwork, makes Brubaker a shoo-in candidate for book of the year here…yet again. It’s that damn good. The cliffhanger is sure to add mistrust and explosive consequences to the recipe. The ingredients for success are already there, but what’s a little more fun gonna cause? Simply…more fun. Bru is dynamite! (9/10)
Defenders #3 –
Dodsons’ art here simply wasn’t my cup of tea and while I found the art better on previous issues, I never really expected anything too exhilarating from them. Fraction tried to outclass issue 1 with 2 and he did so, but issue 3 isn’t done justice as it’s bogged and weighed down by its own plot. The mechanism Fraction uses just loses its way here and the reverberations felt earlier on are lost in this issue. Nul simply doesn’t cut it. John makes for poor fodder. Matt utilized them well before but here, the Defenders and the antagonists are poorly written and lost in the enigmatic translation. This engine arc and the secret codes Fraction employs are akin to Hickman’s style, but not as up to mark. It never segues well and the coherency is capsized early on and never picks back up the pace. I wanted to root for this issue but somehow, it got stuck in a rut again, as Strange, Namor, She Rulk etc are done with frailty as is the fragile interpretation of Iron Fist here. Fraction has written these characters well before but as an ensemble, things get murky like FEAR. That is not a good thing. Bar the decent Surfer ploy, everything else seems poor folly (5/10)