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Chain Reactions | Uncanny X-Men #1

Uncanny X-Men #1

Uncanny X-Men returned this past Wednesday with a new #1, just two weeks after the previous run ended. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Carlos Pacheco, Cam Smith and Frank D’Armata, the story revolves around Cyclops and his post-Schism “Extinction Team” of Storm, Hope and a bunch of folks who couldn’t participate in a game of “raise your hand if you’ve never gone through a stage that others characterized as ‘mainly super villain.’” The book features a more serious tone and mission for the team than their back-in-Westchester friends appearing in Wolverine and the X-Men, as well as the villainy of Mr. Sinister and cameos by most of the other “Team Cyclops” mutant characters who decided to stay on the West Coast.

So what did folks think of this issue? Here’s a sampling of reviews on Uncanny X-Men #1:

Ron Richards, iFanboy: “Uncanny X-Men #1 is everything that Wolverine & The X-Men #1 was not, and I mean that in absolutely good way.  Where Aaron delivered a whimsical, comedic at times, fresh new start for Wolverine and the mutants at the new school in Westchester, Gillen’s representation in Uncanny X-Men #1 is a serious, more adult world that these mutants live in. And that’s exactly how it should be.”

Chris Sims, ComicsAlliance: “[Gillen] goes right into this world where the sheer madness of a guy made of metal getting crazy magic powers that turn him into an even tougher guy made of metal is ‘business as usual,’ a world where a constant series of increasingly ludicrous changes is just the way things are, and puts the focus onto someone who’s been trying since he was a teenager to figure out a way to control it all. That alone is what twists this into being a great first issue — it actually introduces the X-Men as they are, with the important stuff playing out on the page while the rest of the noisy clamor of the franchise happens in the background.”

Poet Mase, IGN: “One of Uncanny X-Men #1‘s high points can be found in Gillen’s characterizations. The book’s cast, even those given little face time like Namor (who speaks in a total of four panels), feel like distinct and tremendously interesting individuals. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those familiar with Gillen, as it’s probably his greatest strength as a writer, but it struck me as particularly effective here. Carlos Pacheco does a lot to heighten this effect, especially when bringing the duality and desperation of a character like Colossus to the page. Through little more than posture and Gillen’s sparse dialog, Pacheco perfectly conveys the conflict and crushing weight of Colossus’ raw power and his desire to be a kind person. The threads involving Emma Frost are tight and enticing as well, bubbling steadily as the story progresses.”

Chad Nevett, Comic Book Resources: “Carlos Pacheco has flirted with a full-time return to the X-books, producing the Point One issue of Uncanny X-Men earlier this year as well as the first issue of X-Men: Schism. He’s a good fit with Gillen’s writing, providing a clean and clear artistic vision of the group. His art, combined with Frank D’Armata’s colors, makes the team look a little futuristic — modern, bright and shiny. D’Armata’s coloring isn’t as overbearing as it sometimes is as the colorist seems to have a good understanding of how to complement Pacheco’s pencils best. When the issue turns to action, Pacheco’s art really shines. He’s always been a great superhero action artist and Gillen plays to his strengths well.”

Dean Stell, Weekly Comic Book Review: “Emma Frost with stringy hair? I don’t think so. And there are a few places where the storytelling is just sub-par, like when a lady gets her neck snapped the only indication of the snapping is the word ‘SNAP’ since her head isn’t twisted or anything. This isn’t an art disaster, but after the masterpiece that Chris Bachalo gave us last week on Wolverine and the X-Men this was a really a so-so effort. There’s nothing to please folks who are seriously into comic sequential art fans. It’s like the X-group is too content to have ‘average’ art. The coloring wasn’t doing this issue any favors either. Too much of that digitally highlighted stuff for me.”

David Pepose, Newsarama: “But I think the big problem with this book isn’t so much Gillen’s fault, or that Cyclops and his ‘Extinction Team’ isn’t a smart idea — it’s just that years of other people’s storytelling choices are finally coming home to roost. It doesn’t matter if Gillen recently told an awesome issue of Colossus becoming the Juggernaut if the character really hasn’t gotten any other room to breathe and endear himself to readers since, well, Astonishing X-Men. Storm is another kind of glaring example — for much of the past decade she’s really been shuffled to the background of the X-books and seen mostly a Black Panther supporting character, so it’s really hard now to root for her and understand her potential as one of the big guns in Cyclops’s arsenal. And whereas Jason Aaron was able to pull some real surprises into his lineup, like the teenage Brood or Kid Gladiator, we’ve seen all of Gillen’s team before, and there’s no wild card to stir up the pot, to really get you excited and invested in this team.”

Martin Gray, Too Dangerous for a Girl: “I can see the more hardcore X-Men fans loving this book. It’s very well crafted, includes fan favourite characters and continues the ‘nobody like us, everybody hates us, think we’ll go and eat worms’ storyline of the last 20 years or so. I’ll certainly give it an issue or two more, see where it goes. But I suspect I’ll be packing my bags and moving the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning full-time. At least until the X-Men become a group of heroes again.”

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Comments

9 Comments

For me it feels like the same X-Men book from the last two years. Story and art wise.

Wolverine and The X-Men really surprise me because it was solid and really fun, even if I wasn’t sure what to expect from a “Wolverine as a teacher” concept. This one had just a few good moments.

But I do like the concept of the X-Men as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”

I enjoyed this issue a lot. Wish the art wasn’t as pedestrian but I’ve got nothin’ but praise for Gillen’s writing. Many of the little things he did during his fear itself arc that irked me was absent in issue one. And the set up for the new status quo definitely appealed to me. I had dropped Uncanny, especially after that piss poor “final” issue of the first volume, but this one managed to win me back over. Hopefully Gillen will be given the space he needs to craft the kind of great stories he can tell with this cast of characters. UXM has a huge amount of potential but the book is a very difficult beast to tame and has made many a good writer look like hacks. Gillen does have the good fortune of following up two mundane/out right bad runs though.

I am so tired of today’s X-shenanigans. I prefer my X-Men UNITED. THANK YOU, 90′s X-Men cartoon!

I quit reading in 95-97, roughly. For me the X-universe, and indeed the Marvel Universe as a whole, ends with the defeat of Onslaught, and perhaps before then. After that it becomes an unwieldy mess. In the years since I’ve occasionally checked back in and read up on what’s happened, plotlines, new books and characters and trends. And having done so, my decision to quit reading and to close the Marvel Universe around the time I did, seems wiser and wiser. They badly need to re-boot their continuity if they’re going to remain a viable source of new stories that aren’t ludicrous. As I check in, all of the longtime villains are heroes, or have been full-fledged heroes at some point, and never mind how arbitrary or implausible or unconvincing the turns were. As I check in, everyone has died and come back several times. There seems to have been a whole storyline in which Selene raised everyone from the dead to do her bidding, but most of the deaths and returns were not confined to that storyline. As I check in, characters have gone on so long and appeared in so many issues that their personal histories now read like a biography of The Simpsons would read. One damn thing after another until it’s all silly. By the nineteenth love interest, or the nineteenth teenage girl he takes on as a sidekick, does Wolverine forget any/all of the earlier ones? It’s just asinine.

Marvel ended with Onslaught. The X-books, if you just want a good story out of it, ended when Claremont left.

What did you think of wolverine and the x-men Paul?

Uncanny #1 and WatXM #1 were both great, coming from someone that doesn’t follow X-books at all.

I guess going in optimistically and fresh for new jumping on points really is way better than saying that nothing’s been good for the past twenty years despite not actually reading any of it.

lol, okay Steez.

Uncanny #1 was probably great, but not my thing at all. I feel like Gillen and Pacheco are both creators that excel at making a comic that doesn’t interest me.

I enjoyed both issues a hell of a lot, but Wolverine and the X-men has some terrible art. I do not like how disproportionate all of the characters are in it, just look on the cover and you can see Wolverines arm is sider than his head. I prefer the less exaggerated style of Pacheco over Bachalo any day.

UXM #1 and WatXM #1 were both good for what they were. Wolverine’s book is fun and will be where most of the risks are taken story-wise (and artwise…I love Bachalo’s art). Uncanny is straightforward X-Men as they have been for the past few years…I doubt anything super crazy will happen to change that (the now classic and safe art of Pacheco only strengthens that viewpoint for me). I will continue to get both titles, and I am sure that both will serve me well under the writers at their helms.

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