X-MEN #166 - Mania.com

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  • Issue: 166
  • Authors: Peter Milligan, Salvador Larroca
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.25

X-MEN #166

The "Just Plain" X-Men get an exciting new writer

By Tony Whitt     January 24, 2005

X-MEN #166.
© Marvel Comics
A community of mutants have tried to establish a utopian society at the South Pole, but something has gone horribly wrong, resulting in half of them killing themselves and each other and the other half going mad. The culprit is someone or something called Golgotha, and it's up to Alex Summers' team to discover what Golgotha is - before they end up going insane themselves.

It's not easy being the only X-Men team not to have some descriptive moniker in front of their name, especially when that team is made up of members who are decidedly second-string. (Well, apart from Wolverine, of course, but then he's everywhere.) Even the writing talents of Chuck Austen couldn't quite make these guys as interesting as their Astonishing or even their Uncanny counterparts. So thank goodness Peter Milligan has brought his unique style of humor and drama to inject some life into these guys. Granted, this storyline has begun very similarly to the one that introduced the book a freak occurrence in another part of the world takes the team elsewhere and puts them in a situation where they ask "What could have happened here?" a lot but Milligan manages to infuse the same basic story with far more interest, and not just because it features the White Queen. (Much like Logan, Emma's starting to pop up everywhere these days.)

The only thing really working against Milligan's story, and even then it's not a constant problem, is Larroca's artwork. It's not always clear precisely what's happened, and it's less to do with Milligan's script being vague and more to do with the imagery simply not communicating what it's meant to communicate. When Lorna goes a bit too far with an attacking mutant, for instance, it's not made clear until dialogue in the next page what's happened, and even then it's not fully clear. And when Gambit punches out another mutant while making one of Milligan's trademark quips, it's not entirely clear on the next page that the mutant the team is questioning is the same one. It's little stuff like this that works against a script, but hopefully it's also the sort of thing you see only when a writer and artist start working together. If the rest of this story arc plays out as well as this first part, then X-MEN may finally be as well worth reading as its Astonishing and Uncanny siblings.

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