Uncanny X-Men #438 Review

Reviewer: Jesse “Dueling Banjos” Baker
Story Title: She Lies With Angels Part 2

Written by: Chuck Austen
Penciled by: Salvador Larroca
Inked by: Danny Miki
Colored by: UDON
Lettered by: Rus Wooton
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics

“She Lies With Angels,” which may or may not be Chuck Austen’s last arc on Uncanny X-Men, continues as we see more feuding with the Guthries and the Cabots. The Cabots and their rent-boy/sheriff try to lynch the Guthries, but Angel and Husk ward them off. Husk then calls the X-Men and gets some of the team (Wolverine, Polaris, and Nightcrawler) to come back and protect the family while Husk decides what to do next.

Meanwhile the rest of the issue sets up the arc’s craptastic “Romeo and Juliet” love story by introducing Josh Guthries (who’s got angel wings) and Julia Cabot, who’s working as a lowly waitress at a resort Josh is playing at. In this issue, Julia gets backstage to meet Josh and the two talk about the old days, where they would hang out by the local swimming hole, parade around naked, and make out. However their reunion is cut short when Julie’s grandmother comes in and FUBARs things by revealing each other’s last names. As they leave the resort, Josh’s fellow musician friend tells him to go fly to Julia’s home and declare his love. Unfortunately for Josh, Daddy Cabot is out front of his house beating up his rent-boy/sheriff for being in love with Ma Guthrie and unable to help him kill the family. As rent-boy/sheriff declares that the X-Men are now involved, Daddy Cabot vows to kill the family regardless of the number of trained mutants fighters the family calls in to help them.

OK, my two cents on the subject is that while I like the set-up of the feuding families, I have absolutely ZERO interest in Josh and Julia’s relationship. NONE. As far as I’m concerned Josh and Julia can down their vials of cyanide and slit their throats right now. I’d much prefer seeing Chuck focusing on rent-boy/sheriff and Ma Guthrie and their love-hate relationship. The idea of the law and order man being forced to work as a toady for Mr. Evil Incarnate Daddy Cabot, but still loving Ma Guthrie would be a much, much, much more interesting love saga for the arc. But then again, Chuck Austen ALSO dumped the far more interesting Angel/Husk/Stacy arc for the Havok/Polaris/Nurse Annie storyline no one wanted to see. So proof exists that Austen has ZERO ability to know a good romantic storyline, even if one rammed itself up his ass.

Larroca’s art is great as usual. It’s a shame that he’s going to be gone soon and replaced by Alan Davis. Hopefully Larroca will land somewhere good and not end up being wasted on a crap book.