Saturday, February 16, 2013

X-Men: FF (comics)

Writer: Victor Gischler
Artists: Jorge Molina, Will Conrad, Mirco Pierfederici
Collects: X-Men Vol. 3 #15.1, 16-19

So far the third volume of X-Men had been a fun enough read. "Curse of the Mutants" was decent enough for what it was. With Great Power was a hair better. There was an interim volume - X-Men: First to Last - but it wasn't anything special and I didn't have much to say about it. It wasn't by the regular writer anyways.

So that brings me to X-Men: FF, which is the first volume of the book that I feel outright failed.

The plots aren't anything special. The FF find some interdimensional bouy out in the Bermuda Triangle (Spider-Man is the one who discovers it, in fact, though for some reason that'll be the only time you see him). The FF call in the X-Men. They all go into another dimension on a rescue mission.

Unfortunately, the writing feels weaker than usual. The flow of the plot feels off at times and we have the by-now-expected issue of the characters not sounding themselves, Doctor Doom being the only real exception. This has been a consistent problem with Gischlers run on this book, but it's made worse here by the inclusion of another team of characters he doesn't seem to get.

This is not entirely unexpected; Gischlers run on X-Men hasn't had what you'd call great writing. It's competant enough to skate by when paired with fun plots. Problem is, FF is kind of a clunker. There isn't anything particularly interesting going on and anything new he introduces won't exactly qualify as original. I'm not entirely sure why it had to be another dimension the teams traveled to, as this story could just as easily have worked in the Savage Land. There are even dinosaurs running around.

Wonderful art has made up for problems with the writing in the past. Gischler doesn't have as much luck this time. The art is perfectly fine - hell, I'd go so far as to say it's pretty good overall - but there's nothing about it that might differentiate it from most of the artists in Marvels stable. It doesn't have the flair or uniqueness of a Paco Medina or Chris Bachalo, who both worked on earlier volumes, so it does not have as much luck drawing attention away from the iffy writing.

There's a point one issue stuffed in here as well - with the very short lived female Ghost Rider showing up - but it's completely forgettable. Something about ancient spirits. It's nothing you'll bother to recall when you're done reading it.

The Score: 5 out of 10

By far the weakest entry into the third volume of X-Men to date. It's self contained and affects nothing. Skip it.

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