X-Men #171


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X-Men #171


  • Words: Peter Milligan
  • Art: Salvador Larroca
  • Inks: Danny Miki and Allen Martinez
  • Colors: Liquid!
  • Story Title: Dangerous Liasons
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2005

As the X-Men recover from their encounter with Golgotha, a series of bizarre love triangles comes to the fore with the arrival of a new student to the institute.

Milligan’s first arc as X-Men scribe forced the team to encounter some of their darkest fears and brought some unsaid feelings to the surface. This served to clean up some of the messy writing that had come before and allows Milligan to explore the team’s relationships more closely. This arc titled ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ begins a wholly character-based story revolving around the team’s messy romantic and professional relationships. You can see why military units forbid these kinds of personal connections as the team snipes at each other and mutual respect is thinned dramatically.

This story reminds me of the (not so) good old days of uber-soap X-stories. Alex used to go out with Lorna but he hurt her so now she’s with Bobby who can’t stand Alex even though he’s the team leader. Remy and Rogue are in love but can’t touch each other, a limitation which is starting to take its toll. A new student to the institute seems keen to alleviate Remy’s frustrations and Emma seems happy to let this happen…

It sounds pretty trashy, I know, but Milligan makes it seem more sinister than that. There is a definite impression that someone is deliberately pulling some strings here and that makes this much more entertaining. He can definitely do confused relationships (read Human Target) and he understands mutant issues (read X-Statix). He stumbles a bit with Golgotha but "Bizarre Love Triangle" is definitely off to a good start. I’m a little uneasy about him dumping a young female into the story to act as temptation but there are signs that she is more than a one-dimensional sex object so I’ll wait and see on that regard.

Larroca’s artwork is lauded by many as being some of the best on the X-books. I think it’s fine for the most part but some scenes just don’t carry the effect intended by the script. For example, the new character, Foxx, is supposed to be so attractive that Alex and Emma would consider her a danger to the prevailing relationships in the group. When she is actually portrayed, however, she looks rather normal and her stance makes her look deformed.

Milligan embraces the X-Men’s grand tradition of soapie style stories with an edge.

-Matthew Clark

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