Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-28 The X-men franchise has remained popular for nearly 30 years by constantly refreshing its story line yet keeping its core group of characters in a variety of unresolved long-running situations. This current incarnation features Whedon (creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise) and Cassaday (Planetary) at the top of their game, as they create a highly entertaining action soap opera. The plot involves elements that will be familiar to both old fans and movie viewers-antimutant sentiment; tension between team leader Cyclops and lone wolf Wolverine-but Whedon's dialogue is fresh and to the point, while Cassaday's detailed and intense art gives all the goings-on a sense of importance. The main story involves a possible cure for the mutant gene that is at the center of a struggle between the X-men and Ord, a murderous alien who has a mysterious personal grudge against the team. Complications include the cat-monkey-like Beast pondering whether to attempt to take the cure, possibly vindicating the antimutant forces' belief that mutations are a disease. For those who may not be up to speed on the minutiae of X-history, Whedon brings in returning member Kitty Pryde as a convenient viewpoint character. While a few nods to formula feel forced, this story demonstrates once again why the X-men are the top team in superhero comics. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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