New X-Men #156 Review

Reviewer: Jesse Baker
Story Title: Bright New Mourning: 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

The last issue of “New” X-Men before the book goes back to it’s old adjective-less self, Austen tries to wrap up his clean-up run on the book with a story that belies Austen’s well-deserved reputation as a “Class-A” hack.

Beast and Cyclops rush to the city to rescue Emma Frost and the student body as a mob of angry humans try to kill the kids. As Emma desperately tries to rally the surviving Stepford Cuckoos around her in order to save everyone, Cyclops has to deal with Beast airing his disapproval of Scott’s relationship with Emma Frost and him taking up with her almost immediately after Jean’s death.

My Two Cents And Then Some
When Chuck Austen wants to, he can be a good writer. But, 99% of the time, Austen writes like an angry little internet troll and engages in the writing of substandard fan-fiction with characters acting out his personal problems and fetishes. Which makes issues like this so frustrating, since it shows Austen can be a good writer when he actually tries.

For example, why didn’t he have any of the cast members of Uncanny X-Men bitch out Havok and his skank ho Nurse Annie and her evil son Carter for the way that they treated Polaris? It’s utterly sad that he is that lazy in his own book, but can spend time in this two-issue fill-in run having Beast rightfully chastise Scott over his own relationship problems. At least Austen gets this denouncement right, especially since he had Beast give the denouncement since he and Jean were extremely close to the point that they actually had chemistry together and would make sense for him being the one who tells Scott off..

As for Emma, Austen does a serviceable job and even retains an edge to her when she threatens to kill several of the human rioters after they murder one of her students. And her speech towards Scott when she told him that she was staying at the school because it was worth fighting for also rings true and comes off naturally and not contrived.