Uncanny X-Men #477


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Uncanny X-Men #477


  • Words: Ed Brubaker
  • Art: Clayton Henry
  • Inks: Mark Morales
  • Colors: Wil Quintana
  • Story Title: The Rise and Fall of the Shi?ar Empire Chapter 3: Vulcan?s Progress
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 2, 2006

Vulcan storms through space, inching closer and closer to his target and finding out some useful information about the Shi’ar Empire along the way.

In the third installment of what is sure to be Ed Brubaker’s X-Men opus, Vulcan takes the spotlight. In the first five pages the youngest Summers brother ponders his horrific past. Thanks to Professor X and Marvel Girl’s work in X-Men: Deadly Genesis, his parents’ abduction at the hands of the mad Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken, his own gruesome "birth," and his subsequent life of slavery are vivid memories to the overpowered lunatic. He deals with these images dancing around in his head by releasing some pent up rage on a Shi’ar shuttle, then settling down for a long trip through space and a history lesson on the empire he has set out to destroy.

Brubaker is not a writer one can take or leave. From the deaths and revelations in Daredevil, to the shocks and angst in Deadly Genesis and now Uncanny X-Men, he seems to have a soft spot for over the top turmoil. In Vulcan, he has created a pre-Crisis Superman-like character who has the power to fly through vast amounts of space, destroy fighter shuttles with a thought, and literally wage a one man war against a galactic empire. But he is more complex than that. The irony displayed in his actions takes on a Dickens-esque feel. On one page we hate Vulcan, on another; we want to give him a hug. Additionally, the underlying racism (he hates all Shi’ar because of the acts of some) of a mutant who should know better, despite what he has endured, is a telling point of the story that almost undoubtedly says something about the future of this character. In short, Brubaker’s Vulcan is dangerous, deadly, and intriguing to read.

Thankfully, fill-in artist, Clayton Henry, captures Vulcan with a steady hand and an eye for detail that matches Brubaker’s words. Seldom does a comic book artist make the vast emptiness of space seem as alive as Henry does in these pages. Though some of this can surely be attributed to the colorist, Wil Quintana, Henry, along with veteran inker, Mark Morales, draws quite the funny book. The line work is crisp, the attention to detail is clear, particularly in panels depicting scenes from Deadly Genesis, and the characters do not interact in a void. The backgrounds are as alive inside a spaceship as out, never taking too much away from a scene while always remaining positively present.

Vulcan is a villain bent on the destruction of an entire race of people based on the actions of a few. His quest through space will surely have long standing repercussions and a huge impact on the X-Men. Clearly, if you’re not reading it, you’re missing out on something big.

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