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I'd never had much interest in reading Earth-X when it was coming out, but as with so many comics of that description, I decided to give it a shot when I saw it at the library.

Bleah. Had I known this thing was KINGDOM COME for the Marvel Universe, I probably wouldn't have bothered. As it was, I got maybe three chapters into it and couldn't continue. I'm not sure exactly where amidst the general catastrophe that is this story my revulsion originates. I do know that the point I could not forge my way past was the revelation that Daredevil has become some weird Johnny Blaze stunt rider sort of performer in an even weirder mutant populated circus/sideshow of the future. That whole sequence so revolted me that I just couldn't continue any further... but I was feeling plenty queasy prior to that.

I don't know. Maybe it's just how relentlessly ugly the whole thing is. Certainly, had Alex Ross actually done the art for EARTH-X, instead of simply designing characters, I'd have read every panel with reverent awe. But with John Paul Leon handling the pencils, there's none of the 'gosh wow' impact of Ross' photorealistically painted renderings, and without that, I was just left with how overwhelmingly unattractive everything about Earth-X is... visual-wise, theme-wise, and every conceivable otherwise.

I suppose what it comes down to is that EARTH-X is a world without heroes or villains, a world without good or evil, a world that is an unrelenting study of gray, gray, and yet more goddam gray. Or maybe it's not that; maybe it's just that all of Alex Ross' grand ideas for what my favorite characters might be like in this 'dystopian future' are offensively stupid to me. Black Bolt is an asshole. All the rest of the Inhumans are monstrous looking and Gorgon is now stupid. I just love it when characters I like turn stupid. Captain America is running around in a goddam fucking TOGA. Wyatt Wingfoot has become a new Falcon type character and calls himself Redwing. Heh. Get it? He's an Indian, so he calls himself Redwing. Fucking brilliant concept there. Machine Man is, like, insanely important to this story, I mean, the whole thing opens with like thirty pages of incredibly pretentious, pompous pontifications about Machine Man, and his 'father', and his 'human face', for the love of fuck, except they can't call him Machine Man, they have to call him X-51, because that sounds even more rooty-toot-toot than Machine Man, oh yes. Namor kills the Human Torch and as a result ends up being half on fire forever and it's just as stupid as it sounds, too. Reed Richards becomes Dr. Doom. And then, in the end, it turns out that Galactus is really Franklin Richards.

It... I... um... er... agh...

I don't know. When I read the introduction where Joss Whedon creams in his jeans about this thing, I really should have known better.

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