Saturday, May 10, 2003

X-Men: Deadly Genesis #6 Review

Sometimes you get the bull.

Sometimes the bull gets you.

In this mini-series, the bull got Ed Brubaker.

The bull, in this instance, is the task of writing an "important" mini-series that "achieves" things. These types of stories are where character work and storytelling go to die, and Deadly Genesis is no exception. In fact, I give a lot of credit to Brubaker for making this series as good as it has been, as this story had trainwreck written all over it, leaving only the skills of Brubaker as a writer to save it from the trash heap. It is quite hard to do. Howard Mackie was not able to save his similar project, Astonishing X-Men, an X-Men mini-series set up to "achieve" things, and was therefore devoid of characterization and storytelling.

It's almost like an initiation ritual - "Here, Ed, would you like to write a major series based on this plot? You have to make sure you hit points A, B and C, and if you don't want to write it, we'll just have someone else do it."

You have to take the assignment, but at the same time, it's tough.

Generally speaking, the only times these things turn out well is when the writer pitched the idea to editorial, like DC One Million, Final Night and Invasion!

Ed Brubaker clearly devoted a lot of effort to making the copious retcons in this series make sense, and he did a decent job, as he was given a VERY difficult hand to play here, but as a result, what we have here, in the final issue, is pages and pages and pages (and pages) of exposition. Detailed exposition. Exposition trying to pound the square peg of this story into the round hole of past X-Men stories.

While I admire Brubaker's dedication, really, I don't think "paying attention the old stories" really is worth the effort in the end. The people who hate any tampering with old stories are going to hate it ANYways, and the people who just want a good story are going to be treated to pages and pages and pages (and pages) of exposition for the sake of showing the diehard fans that yes, the writer IS paying attention!!

In the end, essentially, what we got was a better illustrated and better written Green Lantern: Rebirth (the art is almost more inker Scott Hanna than penciller Trevor Hairsine, but it works for the story, which isn't all that action-packed. Great colors by Val Staples, by the by).

Like Rebirth, this is basically setup for future X-Men stories.

Like Rebirth, whatever quality the mini-series was, it is really the follow-up ongoing stories that will be the real test of how good Ed Brubaker is on the X-Men.

Unlike Rebirth, Brubaker introduced new story plots (and Darwin the Evolving Man!) that are interesting enough so as to make his upcoming run on Uncanny sound really interesting.

But, while it is certainly better than Rebirth, like Rebirth, I would not recommend Deadly Genesis (#6, or as a whole).

I would still implore folks to pick up Brubaker's Uncanny X-Men run, starting in July. Outside of the forced plot and "goal points," I think Brubaker will excell on Uncanny X-Men. Even though Billy Tan is not nearly as good as Trevor Hairsine.

Read the Review


Blogger Bully said...

In this mini-series, the bull got Ed Brubaker.

Oh heck no! I don' want him!

The bull, in this instance, is the task of writing an "important" mini-series that "achieves" things.


Never mind.

(Seriously. Big Two...will ya stop it with the continuity implants? If I want to know what went on between panels twelve and thirteen of Astonishing Flannel-Man #215, I'll read fan fiction, thank you very much).

5/14/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

I'm torn on picking up Brubaker's run, mainly because of the art involved. All the preview stuff I've seen has just been ugly and awkward. And it's just not worth it to me.

5/14/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Dasbender said...

I'm pretty sure Brube pitched this himself. It's not editorial mandate.

5/15/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Nope, it was offered to him.

Although, it's funny, it is hard to find a quote on that anymore. The only thing I got was one offhand remark from a press conference.

"The writer [Brubaker] went on to explain that when he was offered the job, Quesada had explained to him that they were seeking to have a new villain created, someone on the scale of Magneto."

5/15/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous muldertp said...

I do, however, remember him giving an interview where he said Banshee's fate was his idea because he couldn't imagine the story progessing without it.

5/15/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous muldertp said...

I just found the quote:

"There will be people who hate me, I'm sure. There was no plan to kill them but when I got to that point in the story, I just realized it had to happen. I was sad too."

Wizard 172, Page 84.

No, I didn't buy Wizard - it was a free copy...who can give them money for the product they put out?

5/15/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...


THAT, I didn't know.

That is pretty darn silly.

5/16/2006 02:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Dasbender said...

The way I remember hearing it (I think it might've been in a Wordballoons podcast) was that Joe asked Ed if he could write an X-Men event that celebrated the 25th anniversary of the All-New, All-Different X-Men and that introduced a new major threat. Ed said he had the idea for introducing the "dark secret from Xavier's past" and creating the 1.5 team.

Of course, I could also be totally wrong.

5/16/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Dasbender said...

Oops, not 25th anniversary. It's the 30th anniversary, right?

5/16/2006 09:42:00 AM  
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Anonymous Generic Cialis said...

He was given a very big task, something very very few are able to do in this business, unfortunately Brubaker couldn't have it done, a shame he is a very good writer.

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