The creative team on this book excites me immensely.  I have lots of respect for Abnett and what he did over in the cosmic corner of Marvel’s universe.  Kenneth Rocafort had my attention from day one.  He has that nineties Image artist feel, and I think he’s capable of some truly great and unique art.

That being said, I had a lot of issues with this outing from them.  This is intended to be a “meet the team” issue, and, while I liked Donna Troy’s intro and her gruff, Wolverine-ish angstiness, little else stood out.  Immediately, I noticed that Rocafort’s art doesn’t feel right.  He appears to be aping Tony Daniel’s style (who built a career aping Jim Lee’s style), and it’s helping no one.  His natural flair seems toned down (Compare the interiors to his cover art, for instance).  At times, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s working from photographs.  While that’s not a bad practice, it’s not something that should call attention to itself, or come through in the final product.  Also, though I’m not against his use of diagonal lines and unconventional panel shapes, he uses it too much here.  It should be reserved for moments that serve the story, like when Lilith unleashes on Brain Dude (Psimon.  His name is Psimon…*sigh*).  It’s a great panel (probably my favorite image in the issue), but it would’ve had more impact if the duller moments had a more traditional layout.

By the way, why is Jean Grey in this book?

These character introductions do not feel smooth.  It feels forced, and the dialogue is clunky.  The conversation between Brain Dude and Lilith drags on way too long, and Rocafort does nothing interesting with pages of talking heads.  There are a lot of ways to handle the “traitor in the midst” thread that’s introduced here, but it’s dealt with clumsily, and I found myself rolling my eyes at Brain Dude’s dialogue.

As much as I hate to do it considering the talent involved, one and a half out of five stars.

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