Gillen starts this arc running headlong into new, unknown danger - militaristic deployment and lurking mystery among the wild, alien land. Grips me right away, then gives me time to watch our heroes do a little interpersonal tap-dancing. It isn't perfect tho - Namor referring to himself constantly in the third person is an interesting affectation, but sure doesn't jibe with how he's been recently portrayed.
The concepts of the world that Gillen creates in this arc are wonderful - he's really thought them through and found new ideas that conjure wonder. Some of the "poetic" dialogue tho is a little crude: "As long as we can feel, it's a victory."
The final couple of issues feel kind of wedged in, like Gillen didn't have an arc in him but still had to set up a big reveal with some red herring distractions.
Land, Leisten & Guru-EFX combine to create some of the most beautiful scenery, renderings of imagery I'm sure would hang in museums if it wasn't just taken for granted in a monthly. OTOH, Land really seems to like drawing Betsy's ass.
So all in all I wasn't spellbound by this book, but I was engaged by the great art - without that, I might've just tossed this aside without finishing (even though I'm devoted to all the soap opera of the X-clan).
Plot spoiler notes for future reference:
(view spoiler)[Town in Montana (now referred to as Tabula Rasa) gets annihilated by a race (the Apex) that created their environment - nuclear blast, 10-mile dome that contained time warp (130 million years passed in a day). Once the sphere disappeared, the environment and creatures started dying under the hitherto-unseen sun.
Immortal Man and his partner are all that's left - one trying to reboot by re-blasting the site, the other collaborating with X-Men to find less drastic solutions.They get a new sphere built over the site
Namor has "Imperius Sex" with the TR's undersea queen.
An extraterrestrial 'villain' named Unit escapes SWORD HQ, and threatens earth. X-Men subdue & capture it, then Agent Brand blackmails Scott into keeping him in X-Men prison. Unit finds a way to get Hope to talk to him, with promise to help her with The Phoenix. (hide spoiler)]
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