Home > Marvel Comics > X-Men (1991 Series) #197

X-Men (1991 Series) #197

March 19, 2007

Quick Rating: Average
Title: Condition Critical Part 1
Rating: A

An infected Rogue is brought to the country where Cable is king.

Writer: Mike Carey
Pencils: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend
Colors: Antonio Fabela
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover Art: Chris Bachalo
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I have to say, I’m sort of disappointed in Mike Carey. On his past work, I’ve always thought it was either sublime or incomprehensible, but either way, it evoked a strong response. This issue – and in fact, his whole X-Men run – has been pretty “blah.”

Rogue, infected with the virus called Strain 88, is clinging to life, so Cable brings her to the nearest refuge – his own island nation of Providence. While the doctors there go to work, the rest of the team sets about pondering the implications of Cable running his own country, the fact that they’re really worried about Rogue, or wonder what Sabretooth is ostensibly doing on the team.

I think the biggest problem here is that this doesn’t really feel like an X-Men team. Over half the roster is comprised of former villains or total neophytes, plus Cable, who has sort of let his messiah complex go to his head. That leaves us with Iceman, Cannonball and Rogue (one of whom spends the issue comatose) as real relatable characters. Honestly, it’s not enough.

Chris Bachalo’s artwork on this issue is okay, but it’s not spectacular. Honestly, I think the colors are more to blame for some of the art problems – the book is overly dark in most cases, and many of the characters have weird “auras” around them that disrupt the flow of the artwork.

I just can’t bring myself to care too much about this book, and from what I hear, that’s a sentiment shared by many an X-Fan.

Rating: 5/10

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