COMIC REVEIW: Uncanny X-Men #1 – A New Beginning | FanboysInc

COMIC REVEIW: Uncanny X-Men #1 – A New Beginning

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Pencils: Greg Land

Inks: Jay Leisten

Colors: Nolan Woodard


Marvel Comics

Post-Secret Wars, Marvel comics have been an influx of new titles and new teams both creatively and in the comics themselves. It is funny to think about, with three X-Men related titles on the shelves (Extraordinary and All-New being the other two), that Uncanny X-Men is the one that feels the most different. This first issue actually feels more akin to the recent Uncanny X-Force titles, which is not an inherently bad thing, at all.

With the impending Inhuman/Mutant confrontation looming, along with the appearance of a new mutant virus in other books, the X-Men are facing an uphill battle yet again in the eyes of normal society. Yet this book, Uncanny X-Men #1, delivers a straight-forward look at a brand new team, composed of what seems to be, all heavy hitters from different eras of the X-Men franchise.

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COMIC REVEIW: Uncanny X-Men #1 - A New Beginning

Magneto is the de facto leader, and is still dealing with the power drain problems he was having in his most recent solo series. Even with his power problems, he is an incredibly menacing presence, as can be seen in his entrance to the book when he swoops in to stop the Someday Enterprises. Then there is Sabertooth, who is a powerhouse in his own right, yet he seems to still be suffering the morality shift from the “Axis” crossover event. More than likely, this will change very early on in the series and we will get the blood-thirsty Victor Creed we all know and love. Then there is Psylocke, who further cements the parallel to the Uncanny X-Force line, along with a silent and deadly Archangel who is seemingly still affected by the final events of that previous series, and is used in this issue as an ultimate weapon of sorts. Finally, the appearance of Monet is striking, because she has had a rough time being a central character in any X book, even since her debut in the 90’s as part of the Generation X series. All this said, this entire team of Uncanny X-Men is nothing but huge power sets that should being interesting to see how well they can actually work together.

COMIC REVEIW: Uncanny X-Men #1 - A New Beginning

The story is presented in a wonderful way by Cullen Bunn, who obviously knows how to do a premier issue. Don’t bog the reader down with introductions or lengthy plot devices, rather, flesh out everyone’s characterizations during a fight from almost start to finish. With a cast of characters that have powers sets as big as their egos, it is nice to see them just get down to business and have a good ol’ fashion fight, instead of pontificating on what they could or couldn’t do in said fight. Bunn not only gives us a cool fight to read and watch, with help from Greg Land and company, but he also lays the seeds for future stories, with hints as to why Pyslocke and Archangel are on the team, and a possible budding relationship between Monet and Sabertooth. Also, Uncanny X-Men #1 ends with the reveal of The Dark Riders as a new evil for this new team, consisting of two Inhumans (Tusk and Gauntlet) and two mutants (Deadbolt and Spyne).

COMIC REVEIW: Uncanny X-Men #1 - A New Beginning

The “Best There Is”: Aside from the excellent script from Bunn, the color palette done by Nolan Woodard is perfect for this story. Effortlessly stylizing the action and characters alike, the deep purples, reds and blues give this a very “classic X-Men” feel to it, while also retaining the idea that is most definitely not classic. Also, the splash page moment near the center of the book, when one of the bad guys asks “Who are you guys?”, a beautiful spread is revealed by the artistic team, with the idea for no words. Truly a great move on the part of the whole creative team, because Magneto and company are not the type of heroes, or anti-heroes, to exclaim “We are THE X-MEN!!” or something equally as trite. The decision to leave the page blank and let the team photo speak for itself, with the subtle “X” reflected in the cross beams in the background, is a wonderful move and instantly polarizes this team and their characterization.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: I have never been a fan of Greg Land when he does a full issue in a comic book, and I know I am not alone in this feeling. I do enjoy his splash page gravitas, and I think it translates really well for covers and the like. Yet, when tasked with doing a full book, the overly comical facial expressions, coupled with his Rob Liefeld-inspired penchant for never drawing feet, just falls flat for me as a reader. Not enough to fully take me out of such a fun book to read, but it’s still enough to fault the issue because of it.

FBI SCORE: 8.5 out of 10. A stellar first issue for the new Uncanny X-Men series, Cullen Bunn has proven he knows exactly what to do when trotting out a brand-new team. It will be very interesting to see just how these characters gel with each other, and eventually gel with the other two X-Teams that are already out there.


Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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