X-Men: Die By the Sword #4 Review

After a somewhat promising step forward with the last issue, this mini-series takes a significant step backwards this time around, as writer Chris Claremont appears to be juggling too many balls at once for the story to maintain much coherence, although the change in artists might have had some impact on that, as well.

As you can tell from my comments on the last few issues of Claremont's works that I've been featuring here, the pacing seems to be quite haphazard, as he'll go from slow-paced to really fast-paced, without really having a happy medium. Issue #3 of this series is the closest I've seen to said happy medium.

Still, this issue was not without its good moments.

I like the idea of the villainous Albion (alternate reality Brian Braddock) agreeing to work with the heroes just because it is the right thing to do, not because of any particular thing he'll get out of it. It's a nice scene, even with some iffy dialogue involved in it.

I enjoyed seeing Dazzler taking on (the quite ridiculous new character) Rouge-Mort and her minions, as it makes Dazzler look pretty darn impressive, but then, in an extremely confusing sequence, Dazzler is apparently knocked down by Rouge-Mort's minions, but when Longshot finds her later, all the bad guys except Rouge-Mort have been taken down. That just does not work from a storytelling perspective - it is okay to show Dazzler doing well, then coming back and seeing she has finished off all the stooges and working on the main villain, but not when you cut away with her doing POORLY and coming back to seeing her done with the stooges and working on the main villain.

Perhaps it is on the artist? I dunno, but it certainly could not have been much fun for CAFU to step in to such a big, expansive story midway through.

Jim Jaspers was fine, I guess, and I really liked the twist with him turning into the Fury-Prime.

I also enjoyed the character work with Alison/Longshot (however, it was extremely rushed - sorta like writing an e-mail while walking) and Morph/Proteus (where the very real "He is turning into Proteus a bit!" is countered by the very real "Let's worry about that IF we survive this!").

But so many things in this comic did not seem to make all that much sense, and while presumably, some of this stuff can be addressed next issue, it really seems like a case of too many stories all taking place at once.

Hopefully, once this big thing is over, Claremont can take a more even pace on New Exiles.


As for this issue?

Not Recommended.

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