Sunday, May 01, 2005

COMICS REVIEW: X-Men Phoenix Endsong

Phoenix Endsong is well written, and well drawn. It plays out more like a regular X-Men title, featuging the core X-Men even more so than Phoenix. Perhaps that's why the books got the X-Men at the front of the title (and not just to sell gobs more product), but the prominice in which Phoenix is featured on the covers and in press, leads one to expect more of a book exclusivly about the Phoenix. Regardless, Phoenix, and the Phoenix force, are just the plot device of the story, which is akin to epic x-tales of yore. The Phoenix force comes to earth hungry for something, and the core X-Men must stop it.

Like I said the writing's solid. Pak has impressed and turned quite a few heads here. Also, like I mentioned, Greg Land's artwork is stunning. However, it almost seems even more photo-refrenced here than perhaps in past efforts, and I'm not sure if overall he was suited for this story. He can certainly draw Jean Grey in a Phoenix uniform, but his realistic approach detracts from some of the more sci-fi elements of the story. Like Nightcrawler riding on some kind of hover jet ski, it's beautifully rendered, but ultimately unplausible for it. A photo-realistic Storm, in her costume variation of the moment, just looks kind of silly summoning up the powers of the weather (which, come on, is a bit over the top to begin with). I can't help thinking that if this story had taken place in a regular x-title, with a more contemporary artist, it could have been considered one of the x-classics. The limited series, and artistic choice, seems to rob it of potential.

Overall though, it was a great read, despite the factors that I mentioned, and in spite of the nagging feeling that I'm praising it too highly. I'd really like to see Pak on one of the core x-titles, and without too much editorial hampering. He seems to really get the X-Men with this effort, so I'd like to see how he'd follow it up.

If you'd like to buy these for yourself, they're now on eBay, HERE

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