Uncanny X-Men #1: Two Are Sometimes Better Than One

Review By: Chad Colpitts and Bill Bateman
Written by Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg
Covert Art by Leinil Francis Yu

Published by Marvel
Type: Ongoing

From The Publisher: “THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK! New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?!”

In a first for AlphaComics.ca, we’ve split up this book between two reviewers.  At a bulky 289 pages, it would have been way too much for one reviewer.  Split up into Disassembled Part 1 and What Tomorrow Brings, there are a total of eight creative types to put this book together.  As a result, we needed to break this up to get a review together in one evening.

Review – Disassembled Part 1 by Chad Colpitts

The Uncanny X-Men are back! Or at least they’re back to being called Uncanny. Either way, they are back and they didn’t come alone . . . they also brought their baggage, their drama, and an extinction level event. Just like old times!

Kitty Pryde has disappeared, and the only one that seems to know why is a crazed Multiple Man. Oh and there’s a new mutant cure. What better way to start of an epic (and weekly) 10 part story arch. If you like your books with plenty of fight scenes, snippets of story, and crazy cliffhanger endings, then prepare to be thrilled. This triple threat of writers (Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, and Kelly Thompson) is starting things off with the pedal to the metal. They have a good blend of humor, action, and intrigue. With X-Men being around for as long as it has it’ll be hard to deliver something fans haven’t seen yet, but here’s hoping.

On the artist side, everything looks top notch. If you’ve been reading X-Men Red then you’ll already be familiar with Mahmud Asar’s work. He knows how to draw X-Men, and he’s good at it so there’s absolutely no reason to complain. There’s a scene where everyone fights in their street clothes which makes for some cool visuals. Especially the scenes with Psylocke, but I won’t say why.

If you have any doubts about reading this book remember this: Northstar is in it! Nuff’ said!

Review – What Tomorrow Brings by Bill Bateman
Part 1: A Bishop Story

The first story is mostly an inner monologue type of story with Bishop at the controls.  Bishop joined the X-Men after traveling from the future where he was part of Xavier’s Security Enforcers.  Bishop is trying to hunt down someone that has come from an alternate dimension.  Written by Matthew Rosenberg and art by Mirko Colak, this part is laid back and largely used for building tension in the story.  The dialog feels a bit forced at times early on and doesn’t do much to explain to the reader who Bishop is. However, the art fits the dark and moody atmosphere of this section.

Part 2: A Jean Grey Story

Where the first section if mostly inner dialog, this second section is mostly inner demons.  We join Jean Grey waiting in a cafe talking to an old woman.  After several minutes of discussion, the woman is gone.  She’s assumed to be a figment of Jean’s imagination. That’s when things go sideways in the cafe with everyone going insane trying to kill her.  The best part of Jean Grey, there’s a lot of popular media on her.  As a result, she’s fairly well known and requires very little lead-in.  Written by Kelly Thompson with art by Ibraim Roberson, the dialog feels natural and the art is beautiful.  When the action starts, it gets almost ethereal in nature.  Well suited for the story at hand.

Part 3: An Armor & Anole Story

This third part starts with Armor and Anole hunting the sewers, moaning about not being “real” X-Men.   Armor, created in 2004 by Joss Whedon, is a Japanese mutant who can create a forcefield around her.  Anole, created in 2003, has reptilian powers like camouflage and climbing walls.  Since they are junior members of the X-Men, it feels right that this isn’t explained off the bat.

In a connection to part one, they are confronted by the character from the alternate dimension. After a short interaction, they are called back to the main team to help with the situation happening at the cafe with Jean. Written by Ed Brisson with Mark Bagley on art, this section certainly has more of a classic X-Men feel to it.  The art is dense with strong lines and once the duo re-joins the team, the story goes full blast.  This section feels the best out of this multi-part story.  This might be in no small part to Ed Brisson who has a long history working on various X-Men books.

Epilogue

The final part of the story brings back Bishop reflecting on Jean’s state of mind in the aftermath. Written by Kelly Thompson with art by Mark Bagley, this part really wraps up the story while leaving enough threads loose to be tied into future stories.

If they maintain this level of quality and storytelling, the future will be bright for the uncanny ones.  We will know better in future issues when they get into the groove with a specific creative team. Before then, we get a truly giant-sized book that is good value for all comic fans!