REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #1

UNCANNY X-MEN #1 / Writers: Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg / Artists: Mahmud Asrar, Rachelle Rosenberg, Mirko Colak, Ibraim Roberson, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Guru-eFX / Letterer: Joe Caramagna / Marvel Comics / November 11th, 2018

Return of the Premiere

Marvel’s premiere title, Uncanny X-Men, returns after being gone for so long. In the wake of Stan Lee’s passing, seeing the X-Men receiving such a grand honor is fitting. The X-Men are ready to embark on an adventure that will shake the status quo to its core. Over the past year and a half, I was actually happy with how good the X-titles were. With X-Men Blue, X-Men Red, and Astonishing X-Men, the general X-Men roster felt strong and headed in an interesting direction.

The farewell to the other X-titles was bittersweet. Seeing Uncanny X-Men return with this kind of name power attached to it is exciting. Uncanny X-Men #1 kicks off with what promises to be an earth-shattering event for our favorite mutants. This first issue pits the X-Men against a mysterious threat, but standing in the way of discovering the weird development of events around them is none other than Multiple Man, Jaimie Madrox.

An Exciting Ride

Uncanny X-Men #1 is a pure unfiltered blast. The comic features old and new X-Men, giving everyone an important role in the events to come. Old and new fans can just pick up this book and find something to enjoy from it; it’s accessible to everyone no matter the degree of X-Men knowledge. The writing team of Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, and Matthew Rosenberg deliver a classic X-Men feel with high stakes, humor, family drama, and most importantly, a whole lot of weird.

The concern that always returns with these collaborative writing pieces is whether or not the flow will be affected, and if the voice of the comic will have cohesion. I can assure you, while reading this book, you’ll never feel a lack of cohesion. The pacing is superb, and it flows beautifully. This comic is filled with great moments of humor and gives off the soap-opera drama that the X-Men are so famous for while still making it feel like the stakes are at their highest. The writers balance out these elements perfectly.

Many Moving Parts

The comic does a great job at introducing many different plot elements without overloading the reader. It separates itself in two parts. In one part, we see the X-Men confront many different unusual situations. The issue ends on a major cliffhanger, which ushers in a threat that will not go easy on the mutants. The second part of the plot serves as a four-part back-up, which is also the lead up to this book. It doubles the suspense offered in the main story by introducing new mysterious players whose involvement is still not clear. The comic raised a million questions, which will slowly be developed upon and answered in the coming weeks. This format works great for a weekly comic because of how quick the issues are thrown at the reader. I can’t wait to see in what direction the writers take this comic in during the coming weeks.

My only concern with this book has to do with the hype that was thrown behind it. The book did have a solid first issue, but it didn’t make me go “WOW.” That is essential if you’re gonna throw a big price tag on it and hype it this much. The missing wow factor came from the fact that this book tries to take on a huge cast of characters and divide the focus a little too equally across them. This gave everyone some page time, but no one got definitive important character moments. It’s not a huge deal knowing this is a weekly; it allows enough room for the writers to slowly build towards these eventual defining moments.

The Art of Uncanny X-Men 1

Moving on to the art, I have nothing but praise. Mahmud Asrar always brings a fantastic level of visualization in everything he does. His art was a delight in X-Men Red, and he carries this over with Uncanny X-Men. He captures action and down-to-earth moments in an equally moving fashion. Asrar highlights these characters’ personalities through mannerisms and facial expressions in a way that is true to each character. Using thick lines and deep shadows, he creates a unique style that screams X-Men. This, mixed with Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors, offers an amazing contrast that makes this comic fully dynamic. The colors and lines complement each other beautifully to create a complete visual experience in Uncanny X-Men.

The backup story featured art from Mirko Colak, Ibraim Roberson, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, and Guru-eFX. Each artist brought their own unique flavor to the characters on which they focused while keeping things cohesive enough to feel that it was all part of the same story. It provided an enjoyable read and showcased artists less-familiar artists. Across the board, it showcased a lot of talent and focused on more beautifully rendered relaxed scenes and dynamic high-flying action sequences. My only complaint would be that Colak’s art felt inconsistent at times. Certain scenes delivered on detail and appropriate backdrops while others lacked that finesse, such as when Bishop takes out the robot; it felt incomplete. Other than that, I tremendously enjoyed the art.

Get on the X-Train

I’ve always held the X-Men close and dear to my heart, so seeing them backed by such creative talent and using such a formidable cast of characters is exciting. This book will get anyone on board the X-Train and help propel the mutants in a period of prosperity. There’s a deep love for the X-Men within the creative team, and it can definitely be felt. Be sure to join me on this ride, and grab your copy of Uncanny X-Men #1 now!

Verdict: 4.3 out of 5

In the loving memory of Stan Lee whose passing leaves us empty on this New Comic Book Day. May he rest in peace. Excelsior.

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Vincent is Canadian and a raving Cyclops apologist and a lover of all things geek Marvel and Star Wars are his specialty. He is well versed in DC, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. He's always wanted to be a writer and Do You Even Comic Book? is his first foray into that adventure.

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