Comics Review: Uncanny X-Men #500

Uncanny X-Men #500
7.5 of 10
Writers: Matt Fraction & Ed Brubaker
Pencilers: Greg Land & Terry Dodson

When I got back into comic collecting a few months ago, I was about to gear up on collected trades of Uncanny X-Men in order to catch up with their story. But a "comic store guy" advised me that, as long as I've read House of M (which I did) and the Messiah Complex (which I didn't but have an idea of what happened), I should just wait for the 500th issue because it's a perfect jumping point for new readers like me.

I took his advice, of course, and he was right. The X-Men being relocated in San Francisco with a new base starts with a clean slate, and the whole team are in good spirits because of it. But all their activities in the city have also drawn many who bear ill will against the mutants. A shock artist with Sentinels, The Hellfire Cult -who seems to be a radical anti-mutant group- and Magneto himself, who –with the help of the High Evolutionary- vowed to save mutant kind.

I think the 500th issue is like a beacon that will usher this title into a new direction. But the issue is just that, a beacon, a staging point, nothing more. There’s no deep plot here (which is perfect for new readers). It only shows us the new status quo of the X-Men, a guided tour inside their base, and bits of things to expect in the future.

As for the artwork, both Greg Land and Terry Dodson did well. But since they have to share this issue, and they both have different styles, the artwork differs from page to page. While it didn’t really bother me that much, I still wish that they could’ve gone with just one artist (preferably Terry Dodson).

Overall, I would say that the issue isn’t bad, but not quite satisfying either. I’m hoping it’s because Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction hasn’t settled in yet. Most readers will probably feel that the current issue is like one long introduction, like an issue #0, to a new series, which can be a bore. But for new readers, this issue is “the” jumping point. I highly recommend it to new readers. But as for vets, skip it.