Title: The Uncanny X-Men #1-9
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It had been quite awhile since I had checked in on the X-Men in general. Anything X-Men related in comics had been my favorite things to read, but then I just lost interest with them as Marvel seemed to be doing the same. Original time displaced X-Men: boring. Making the Inhumans the new mutants: boring. Killing off Cyclops, Wolverine, and Multiple Man: broken heart. Now just like a Phoenix, my interest has been piqued again, not surprisingly as Marvel seems to be shifting back to make the X-Men great again as the movie rights make their way back. The Uncanny X-Men is the launching point to greatness, but does it achieve what I and Marvel are hoping for? Well, not quite.
A new threat has engulfed the world and a mutant is behind it. Age of Apocalypse refugee, X-Man, has returned fully repowered and ready to take a page out of Apocalypse’s playbook by recruiting four horseman. The difference in his objective compared to the aforementioned villain is to bring peace to the world. Sounds great, right? It would be if it weren’t for the fact he is trying to forcefully bring about peace through various actions, which when they don’t work, resorts to mind control.
As the X-Men themselves try to stop him, Legion makes a return as well to help in the fight. The X-Men get stuck in the middle as they have to deal with two omega level mutants, both of who happened to be unhinged. In the latest issue things get even worse when X-Man is able to takeover Legions body, making a super omega-omega level threat, or however you would say that. Jean Grey sends out a psychic call to arms for help from every past X-Men who is currently alive to join in the fight in a massive showdown that should live up to the ‘Dissassembled’ story title.
There’s enough here to give me hope for the future of the franchise, something I haven’t had for a few years. However, that doesn’t mean that this story has been great. Some of the issues I’ve had are admittedly as a fan. In trying to help, Legion abducts Jamie Maddrox and puts his personalities with their abilities into Maddrox’s dupes. Is this supposed to be the newly returned (and convoluted) dupe/now prime Maddrox from the Multiple Man series? The carefree one who was off to see Layla Miller? No idea, but they don’t seem the same and we’re never given an explanation.
That was a small complaint in the character department, but how about X-Man being crazy and omega level again? This definitely seems to be at least a little more in line with the Nate Grey front his solo series from years back, but did the editorial staff just choose to forget he already returned in Dark Avengers, was depowered, joined the New Mutants, and could only use limited telekinesis last time we saw him? I know the multiverse and time stream have been poked around with numerous times over the last few years in Marvel comics, so did none of that happen? It’s a tough bill to swallow that this is the same character.
Moving away from annoying characterization and continuity issues, there’s just too much going on during the whole arc. Its “Dissembled”; I understand they want to show how the X-Men will apparently break apart and then band back together. Still, do we need a new mutant hating senator, a new mutant vaccine, the trope of the younger class wanting to sit at the adult’s table, the school being destroyed, etc. Also, did we need to spend a whole issue in a fake Age of Apocalypse where the younger X-Men learn to break bad?
It’s never good when there are to many cooks in the kitchen and there are way to many here. They’re using a lot of different artists to keep up with the release pace and it makes it feel less cohesive as a full arc because of it. Some of the art has been great, some has been mediocre. As with any book out there, I’d rather wait a month for a new issue to give an artist a chance to tell the full story than jump back and forth constantly.
There are plenty of steps in the right direction. Even with the listed complaints, it still has my interest, and as I stated before, my hope. It’s a step in the right direction to fix all of the missteps from the last several years. When the dust settles, it should leave a path forward to be very exciting, especially as it leads into Age of X. They could have laid the foundation better for this story which would have done wonders, and they could have tightened up the various components, maybe by having made it smaller in scope or having the release schedule monthly compared to weekly. Instead we’re left more excited about what stories could be told after this compared to what story they’re telling right now.