Overview

X-Men #199

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X-Men #199

Credits

  • Words: Mike Carey
  • Art: Chris Bachalo
  • Inks: Tim Townsend
  • Colors: Chris Bachalo
  • Story Title: Red Data Part 3: Condition Critical
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 23, 2007

With the team leader incapacitated and an intergalactic malevolent killing machine on the loose, why wouldn’t you leave Sabretooth alone on a giant flying ship?

We are almost to issue #200 of X-Men and oh, what a ride it’s been! With team member switches, numerous deaths and resurrections, Marvel’s mighty mutants have gone a long way. In the latest incarnation Rogue has led her team around the world in a flying boat to Cable’s island country of Providence only to realize too late that Lady Mastermind was carrying something with her, something that has had disastrous effects on the team and the island.

When reading this book it feels as if Mike Carey has been given carte blanche to do whatever he pleases. Strange things ranging from a Mystique/Iceman hook-up to a giant flying boat have been par for the course since he began his run almost a year ago. Has this always worked? No, frankly, not always. The Iceman/Mystique thing is still difficult to digest. Sabretooth infected with some nanobots and being forced to help the X-Men however, has been grand. Rogue’s development as a strong leader and complex character beyond her obvious niche has also been praise-worthy. Carey’s take on the X-Men is unique, ever evolving, and since it is a new spin on old characters that drastically need a new spin, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

With Chris Bachalo’s art, thankfully, there are no negatives. The surreal, flowing lines and shadow-filled colors Bachalo sports for this issue are astounding. He takes the art form to new heights with every issue he draws. Doing the pencils as well as the colors—Tim Townsend is on inks and as always does a bang-up job—Bachalo’s art makes no attempt to look like anything you’ve ever seen before, thus making it something far more eye catching than standard fare on superhero books. Some might argue his style would fit better in the pages of a dark fantasy ala Sandman or Death. I disagree. His work is so unique, so different, it begs to be seen by as many people as possible. What better book than X-Men to showcase it?

No, not everyone will like Bachalo’s surreal look or some of the more bizarre turns Carey is taking the team through. But those who do like it will like it a lot. And those who don’t, should look at the book again.

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