New X-Men #156
Writer: Chuck Austen
Artist: Salvador Lorocca
comes a time in every fanboy's life when he becomes thoroughly
convinced practitioners of the dark arts are conspiring against
him, laying waste to all he holds dear and gleefully jumping
up and down on the comics he knows and loves.
of course, of the continuing storm of human suffering that
is Chuck Austen.
second month as Grand Inquisitor-- er, writer of New X-Men,
Chuckles continues the events of the last issue, where Beast
and Cyclops were fighting a Danger Room robot gone mustang
while Emma Frost, the remaining Stepford Cuckoos and some
other mutants are holed up in a building under siege by anti-mutant
about all that happens this time. No, seriously. Without giving
away the "revelations" in the ending, this issue
just continues Beast's crabbing about Cyclops getting together
with Emma, Emma's babbling on about how they need to "save
the children," and ol' Cyke's being distant and aloof
(so no change there, really).
Morrison left the title in great shape (when you consider
that he all but completely destroyed it) and what does Austen
do? He just retreads the graveyard scene from the last arc,
undoing what Morrison established at the end, and then proceeds
to take us down the same boring "rioters attack mutants,
mutants did nothing wrong, hate is bad" setup that hasn't
been innovative since Claremont did it. Well, when he did
it in the eighties. Okay, maybe more like the early eighties-
the point is, it sucks.
this stale storyline doesn't slow down the patented Austen
slash and burn method of character continuity one bit. Emma's
British dialect has already been tossed out the window along
with her wry wit. Then there's the little matter of her mental
powers drying up when a rioter tosses a rock at her head.
What the hell!? I don't know about what's going on in her
own series, but New X-Men's Emma has taken far worse
hits than that and still managed to get up and fry every opposing
neuron she didn't like the look of.
newfound dislike of Cyclops is also twitch-worthy. Scott's
going to start a relationship with Emma now that Jean's dead
and Beast is mad because they were kissing in the cemetery
where Jean's buried? Was Beast just completely oblivious to
the way Scott and Jean's relationship has gone for the past
four years or so? Does he think Cyke should just pout and
wallow in self pity until Jean rises from the dead again?
Has Big Blue simply forgotten all the crap Scott's been through,
or does he really want him to spend the rest of his life mourning
are a few possible excuses that can help out Austen's take
on these three characters, though: next month is the beginning
of "X-Men Reload" and, from what Marvel's been previewing,
it looks like the big guns from New X-Men will be moving
on to Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men
(thank you, Jesus!). Add to this the fact that he only had
two issues to work with before the big "restart,"
and you can understand how an average writer might give us
a confusing, mediocre arc or how a hack like Austen might
give us something not fit to line bird cages with.
yeah, I know. It's easy to pick on Austen. Every fanboy hates
Chuckles, now, and there's probably no faster way to earn
brownie points in an online forum than smacking him around
like the red-headed stepchild of the comic industry that he
is. But, from what he's done in this first story, it looks
like New X-Men is heading down the same abyss he dropped
Uncanny X-Men into.
don't forget that the series name is switching from being
called New X-Men back to X-Men next month.
sense. I mean, what's "new" about this crap?