Chuck Austen is great with characters, but his battles could really use some work.

General Information

Title: Uncanny X-Men 422
Author: Chuck Austen
Illustrator(s): Ron Garney (Pencils), Mark Morales (Inks)
Original Publication Date: April 23, 2003
Cover Price: $3.50 US, $5.75 Can

Premise

The X-Men meet Alpha Flight. It’s the repurcussions from recent
events in New X-Men.

High Point

Lorna’s conversation with her mother.

Low Point

The battle was something of a let down. There were nice moments, but
Austen is far better with the dialogue and characterization. I was
really hoping for an actual conversation between Guardian and
Northstar, since this was their first meeting since Northstar joined
the X-Men.

The Scores

The only part of this issue that struck me as very original
was the delay before the fight began. How often do two super teams
hit first and ask questions later? This was the response you’d expect
from a group as intelligent as they are written with the goals they
say they have. Since that was the thrust of the issue, it’ll give a
lot of credit for that. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork was great until Juggernaut showed up. There’s
something about his heavy inking that makes him look like a magnified
person rather than a large person, if that makes any sense to you.
Also, they seem to have forgotten about Havok’s brand new scar. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The story was sparse, since this was mainly a continuation of
the previous issue.
Most of the pages of this oversized issue were spent on a battle that
the characters just didn’t seem to have their hearts into. I give it
3 out of 6.



The characterization of most of the characters was slim. We
learned something about Lorna’s relationship with her mother,
something about Kurt, and a little bit about Juggernaut, Angel, and
Paige. The rest of the characters were simply there. Most of Alpha
Flight was incredibly shallow. This is normally Austen’s strength, but
there wasn’t a lot of room for it this month. It felt like this issue
was rushed for the sake of starting a new story arc in time for the 25
cent issue (that goes on sale May 7.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was disappointing. I
was anticipating a major knockdown and got a scuffle. I give it 3 out
of 6.

The flow was well done, especially since there were a few
changes in location. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this issue was decent, but not incredible. You
might want to wait for the trade paperback, which will likely contain
the May and June issues as well. The two July issues are stand-alone,
but the second is a prelude to the August story arc, so there may only
be one of those in it. I give this issue 3 out of 6.

In total, Uncanny X-Men 422 receives 26 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I picked up Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Imaginauts too, but I
doubt I’ll get time to read it sooner than this weekend.