Uncanny X-Men #1


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Uncanny X-Men #1


  • Words: Kieron Gillen
  • Art: Carlos Pacheco
  • Inks: Cam Smith
  • Colors: Frank D'Armata
  • Story Title: Everything is Sinister
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 2, 2011

Kieron Gillen kickstarts Volume 2 of Marvel’s longest running mutant book. Is this the start of a new era, or an unwarranted renumbering?

Ending a historic run of sequential storytelling, Uncanny X-Men came to an end last month with issue #544. Sure, we live in a time of full publisher reboots, but this one felt a little different. It was precipitated by an event in continuity, sure, but it wasn’t part of a company-wide mandate. The story was ending and starting new. A story over forty years in the telling is turning a page. So, how does this new number one stack up to its predecessor? Is it the same book with a different shine?

Just like last week’s Wolverine and the X-Men #1 proved, this is a different book and quite a welcome one. The overall progression of Scott Summers over the last couple of years feels as though it has finally culminated in this new way of thinking. He is no longer a student of Xavier, but his own man. Cyclops has arguably become the logical amalgam of Xavier’s dream and Magneto’s militant regime. 

Scott has created his own Extinction Team on the sovereign nation of Utopia. Still referring to his people as X-Men, he has created an A-Team, per se, of heavy hitters with the intention of having them in the public eye. He wants humans and mutants to live in peace, but in the meantime, they should be afraid to cross them. It seems highly contradictory, but oddly a sound logic. Considering that hundreds of countries around the world possess Sentinel technology, Scott is very aware that a new attack can come from anywhere. With this new team, he needs to establish a new status quo of mutants being dangerous, but not unreasonable. It’s a very shaky balancing act that we just KNOW isn’t going to last.

Just to make the transition a little rougher, writer Kieron Gillen brings back Mr. Sinister, the classic villain that always seemed cooler looking than he actually was. Personally, I couldn’t tell you who or what he is aside from the fact that I had his action figure when I was younger. Gillen very cleverly plays with the idea that aspects of Sinister’s origin are convoluted. None of it matters here and he’s just the right kind of fresh (but classic) big bad needed to restart this classic (but brand new) title.

On art, Carlos Pacheco really steals the show. His pencils are tight but wonderfully fluid in movement and show off the scene, from the opening page playing out like a travel magazine for San Francisco all the way to the last page of the issue, striking that perfectly giant and cheesy tone with bravado. 

The tone of this book, in writing and art, is all over the map and I mean that in a great way. There are big ideas here, tempered with genuine and believable motives as well as huge, 1980s throwbacks that could be unforgivably wrong. Here, though, it just seems right. I mean, who doesn’t get a little giddy watching Sinister transform a Celestial’s head into his visage and land it in the middle of the San Fran? This book is big and more importantly, feels different from its predecessor. The characters are the same, but thankfully, the story is not the same.

Between Gillen and Jason Aaron, we could be in for some of the most exciting X-Men comics in years. Now is the time to jump on!

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