The GeeksverseUncanny X-Men #1

Uncanny X-Men #1
Published on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 by

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Penciled by: Carlos Pacheco
Inked by: Cam Smith
Colored by: Frank D'Armata
Lettered by: VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: A- Pacheco w/ Smith & D'Armata; B- Dale Keown w/ Jason Keith
Assistant Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Nick Lowe

Years ago when the X-Men first split up into multiple books I never really understood it. Yes, it was mostly a financial decision. Uncanny X-Men was hugely popular and two books would allow for twice as many sales. As a story decision, it made a little bit of sense in that there was just so many X-characters that it needed two books to follow. But from a larger storypoint, there wasn’t a reason for two teams of X-Men. And then those books split even further, with new books coming out. It never really made story sense, there was never a story driven reason for the multiple books.

And to me, a book needs a story driven reason to exist.

Thankfully we now have those reasons for all the various x-books that are currently being published (almost, still not sold on there being a reason for Astonishing X-Men and Generation Hope). Schism ended up providing the ground work for the multiple books. The text pages, showing the cast of the two sides of X-Men, helps illustrate those reasons. On Cyclops side it’s more tactical reasoning. X-Men (the adjectiveless book) is the “security/recon” team, the New Mutants are the “clean-up” team and with this issue we’re introduced to the heavy hitters, the Extinction Team.

The reasoning behind Scott’s choosing of this team is interesting. The world still fears and hates mutants, now Scott wants to give them a reason to not want the extinction of the mutant race. If the X-Men can save the human race from extinction enough times, then the humans will realize that they need the mutants. It’s a good reason and sound military thinking, showing how Scott has evolved into one of the best military minds in the Marvel Universe. He could probably give Captain American a run in the tactician department. The other half of the Extinction Team, that they will scare the humans by the sheer power they are able to bring, is less interesting and doesn’t work as well.

Can’t really have it both ways. The one goal, of showing how needed mutants are, is directly offset by the other, of scaring the humans into not wanting to harm the mutants. They contradict eachother. But in a way the scare tactics is a back-up plan. If they can’t convince the humans of their usefulness, then they’ll just scare them so much that they’ll run and hide.

Turn the fear part to their advantage.

The story itself works on a couple of levels. The opening sequance, written like it’s a travel brouchere, is a nice way to set up the current status quo in San Francisco and to bring the Dreaming Celestrial back into play. I have to admit that I love when the forgotten/unused story elements are brought back into focus. I hate when things get forgotten. But I also hate when a new element is introduced that contradicts previous things. I thought Mister Sinister was still Miss Sinister? In X-23 recently, Miss Sinister was fighting to maintain her identity with Mister Sinister trying to take over. Obviously Mister won out, but when?

I liked that once Cyclops announced his intentions, there was a couple weeks of no activity. You could feel him chomping at the bit to go into action, which is why it almost seemed like overkill when they finally did get a chance. Loved Cyclops’ cockiness when Brand said she was going to call the Avengers.

Gillen’s got a good handle on the cast. He quickly establishes the difference between when Piotr is Colossus and when he channels the Juggernaut’s powers. The changes in dialogue is excellant. Mister Sinister is even more interesting and entertaining then normal under Gillen’s pen. The storyline seems interesting and it seems Sinister knows more then he should.

Pacheco’s art is spectacular. He’s one of the best currently in the business.

Uncanny X-Men #1 receives
4 out of 5

I like that the X-Office has given each book a solid reason why it exists.

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