So Kieron Gillen's sequel to Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run builds momentum throughout most of Uncanny X-Men #536, before kicking into high gear by the end – as well it should. We're dealing with the warrior culture of the Breakworld here, who have no words for apologies or hospitals or mercy or kindness or anything other than jack-you-in-the-jaw jabber about might making right. There's only so long they could possibly play nice.
Most of this issue delves into what it means to be a Breakworlder – namely, a Breakworlder on the run, looking for shelter and generally appearing to be weak. The former Powerlord Kruun has brought a group of like-minded people with him to escape the turmoil on the Breakworld resulting from Colossus shaming him by tearing off his arm and leaving their society rudderless. Cyclops has granted them asylum on Utopia, much to the chagrin of Emma Frost and Magneto, because he believes the X-Men have to take responsibility for the results of their actions.
It's a bitter pill for them to swallow. While Kruun's mate Haleena seems to be open to changing attitudes, Kruun himself still adheres to the notion that Colossus and Kitty's attempts to help them are tantamount to laughing at them and mocking their station. Some among them still worship Piotr as their new Powerlord, and the big Russian is stunned to hear that his revival at their hands resulted in the deaths of five Breakworld slaves in a rite of submission, marking Colossus as untouchable filth in their society. That such filth is also their Powerlord breaks their brains – and elicits an assassination attempt that Kruun puts a stop to – not because it's wrong, but because it was a sneak attack from behind.
Kruun's got bigger plans, though. When Magneto's obsession with the Breakworld bullet metal leads him to seek Kruun's expertise on it, we realize that Mr. Lensherr has no experience with these people, as he leaves Kruun alone in a lab for half an hour, giving Kruun enough time to synthesize more of "The Cure." Magneto suffers the first dose, and now an angry and vengeful alien is running free on the only mutant civilization left in the world armed with the means to remove their powers forever. Looks like Colossus is gonna have to break this guy all over again, and I can't wait to see it.
I like any X-Men story where Colossus takes the lead, because he's far too often relegated to the background. Gillen writes a compellingly frustrating Kruun, with intelligence enough to want to appeal to and yet with stubborn bloodlust enough to make that impossible. So we're left with hoping that Pete can pound some sense into that ugly green head. The Dodsons do their usual goodness on the art chores, although I've just realized that sometimes the Breakworlders seem to have Dr. Seussian facial features, but that's how they were initially designed.
It should be interesting to see where this goes, as it promises some solid action and some interspecies intrigue to boot – and it's wasting no time at all getting to the good stuff. Let 'er rip.