Sunday, April 17, 2005

ULTIMATE X-MEN #58

Steve Dillon draws the X-Men!

... Sadly, that was the highlight of this issue. That, and maybe the gratuitous Warlock cameo. But what a highlight it was.

If this were back in the Mark Millar days, I would have loved this issue. Because back then, Charles Xavier was not altogether ethical or honorable and all of his actions in this foisted bank robbery would have had an air of creepiness about them. But now, after thirty issues of Brians Bendis and Vaughan, Xavier has been restored to his core-canon pedestal of moral rectitude and that made most of his actions hokey and laugh-at-not-with. We even got a moment where Xavier completely justifies sending children into mortal danger. It felt like one of those early Uncanny issues where Xavier is such a priss as he regales the quintet with a story of his amazing feats before he lost the use of his legs.

This post-Millar makeover has given Xavier such a primness that the resolution has no sinister impact to it, instead it is one of desperate-but-justified reluctant action that justifies so many pathetic movies (John Q, for instance). Xavier just wants his money to run his school, that's all. He just wants to save mutant children. And if he must inspire confidence and lost youth in his fellow hostages to do it, then so be it. *cough*

By contrast, Millar's Xavier really would have had Syndikate's sister out on a ledge and probably would have put all of the bank customers into a trance so that he could 'use' them without having to be bothered with their fears and weaknesses -- and he definitely would have forced the banker into giving him his money. He also would have perhaps skipped over the part where he told the twins not to kill anyone. There would have been an air of revenge in his sending the twins after Sebastian Shaw, not a mildly aggrieved headmaster who has to get back to work.

2 Comments:

Blogger Woody! said...

I had the same thoughts. Also, Lee and Kirby's Xavier began with questionable ethics before he adopted his more honorable restraint. This was supposed to be an issue to spotlight what a capable person Xavier is, but to me it only pointed out how much he wussed out since his Ultimate debut.

Mon Apr 18, 02:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

Early core-canon Xavier did have his moments (such as pretending to be dead and other bits of cruelty to his students), true. And he was incredibly abrasive, always speaking in the imperative. But he lost that early on enough that his running off with Lilandra was a double-take.

I don't miss how unpleasant the Ultimate X-Men were under Mark Millar -- Logan leaving Scott for dead was the nadir -- but I miss the variety of characterizations and the hints that not everyone was as good as they pretended to be.

Mon Apr 18, 03:34:00 PM EDT  

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