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Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia Paperback – March 24, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (March 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785142347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785142348
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By D. Ness on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had known that this collection was not printed in chronological order. If you want the full effect of this story, read it in this order:

Dark Reign The Cabal
Dark Avengers/X-Men Utopia
X-Men Legacy #226 & #227
Dark X-Men The Beginning #1 (Mimic & Dark Beast)
Dark X-Men The Beginning #2 (All)
Dark X-Men The Beginning #3 (Mystique & Jeanne Marie)
Uncanny X-men #513
Dark X-Men The Beginning #3 (Emma/Namor)
Dark X-Men The Beginning #1 (Namor)
Dark Avnegers #7
Uncanny X-men #514
Dark Avengers #8
Dark X-Men The Confession
Dark Avengers/X-Men Exodus
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Format: Hardcover
With the "Dark Reign" status quo well underway at Marvel Comics, the spectre of Norman Osborn's rule falls across the pocket-universe of the X-Men, currently ensconced in San Francisco. With supervillain Simon Trask and his Humanity Now! coalition pushing 'Proposition X' to intrude on mutant reproduction rights, riots break out, and Norman, now the overlord of the Marvel United States, is called in to reestablish control of the streets. This collection covers "Uncanny X-Men" #513-514, "Dark Avengers" #7-8, and the event's prologue and epilogue one-shots ("Utopia" and "Exodus"). All of this is written by regular X-writer Matt Fraction, and drawn by an assortment of artists. Some spoilers follow.

Despite this being labelled as a crossover between the Uncanny X-Men and the Dark Avengers, and even involving the Dark Avengers' own title for two months, the actual Dark Avengers are a fairly minor presence in this story, apart from Norman Osborn. For the bulk of the story, the Dark Avengers sit on the sidelines while Osborn attempts to control the situation by using the "Dark X-Men" as a new public relations tool. The crux of this story is the plight of Emma Frost, who had for the previous six months been a member of Norman's Cabal (as a protective measure), and now has to pick a side as Norman comes into conflict with Cyclops and the X-Men. While the Dark Avengers play a small role until the final fight, Fraction is, per usual, playing with an absolutely giant cast of X-Men. Things often come across as a bit cluttered as a result of this, but many chracters get at least one moment. Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants, who has been making due without superpowers for the last few years, gets a particularly significant development.
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Format: Hardcover
The X-Men story Utopia (nominally a crossover with Dark Avengers, but make no mistake, this is an X-Men story) is problematic both within the larger context of the X-Men books and on its own terms. In the bigger picture, this story was published all of a year after the X-Men relocated their headquarters to San Francisco -- an event that was marketed as a big deal, a major change in the status quo -- so to have another big change in the status quo arrive so quickly is somewhat disappointing. Further, the line-up of X-books as a whole is suffering from "event fatigue": Utopia follows hot on the heels of the X-crossover Messiah War, and is immediately followed by the X-Necrosha event, which itself is immediately succeeded by the "Second Coming" crossover. The Events are coming so quickly that the stories and characters barely have time to breathe, and even when they do it feels like it's just treading water between events. The line seriously needs to calm down and remember that not every story has to be a Major Event.

As for the Utopia story itself, all six issues are penned by Matt Fraction, one of Marvel's bright young stars. Fraction is at his best focusing on fewer characters. Even his earlier team book, The Order, was structured so that each issue focused on a specific team member.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have to admit that this is one of the best comics that I have read all year! I will confess that I wasn't a fan of the time period when Norman Osbourn became the head of SHIELD and formed his own Avengers team. But seeing him making a faux X-Men team and having them go up against the real X-Men was just amazing! Pulling foes of the X-men from around the world and having them impersonate the real X-Men was very cool!

I am really glad I picked this up and gave this period of Marvel Comics history stories another chance.
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Format: Hardcover
Note: oversized hardcover review. Collects Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia; Exodus; Uncanny X-Men 513-4; Dark Avengers 7-8; Dark X-Men: The Beginning 1-3; X-Men Legacy 226-7; Dark X-Men: The Confession; and material from Dark Reign: The Cabal.

The collision between Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers and the X-Men is both fun and fascinating. The writers of the Marvel universe had obvious fun turning the world upside down and putting the villainous Osborn in charge of U.S. security/ SHIELD and the Avengers and that is true for this collection. Osborn practically licks his lips at every move he makes, making it look on the one hand to the general populace that he's got their backs while on the other hand he's solidifying his power base and putting the superhero community on its proverbial heels. In this collection he runs up against the mutant community, led by Scott Summers & Emma Frost, who are less of a superhero community and more of a rogue class of citizenry fighting for average joe rights (think of the homosexual movement for a contemporary narrative arc, though don't put too much stock into any argument you feel the storyline offers). They are hanging around San Francisco when an anti-mutant movement led by a (mutated) Trask comes marching through and leads to riots. Osborn calls in his Dark Avengers and his H.A.M.M.E.R. organization to quell the riots but really he wants to put the muties in their place. There's intrigue on both sides but the narrative really focuses on Osborn, Summers, and Frost who ends up enticed into working with Osborn and forming for him her/his own little group of "Dark X-Men" (comprised of Frost, Namor, Cloak and Dagger, Daken, Dark Beast, Omega, and Mimic). It's quite delicious.
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