By: Kieron Gillen (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), Frank D’Armata (colors), Sebastian Girner (assistant editor) & Nick Lowe (editor)
The Story: We’ve seen Team Wolverine’s light-hearted high school. Surely Team Cyclops will be up to more adult things.
1. Really like the more adult tone of this title. It’s too soon to really tell, but it seems like Uncanny X-Men will be a lot more serious than Wolverine and the X-Men. That’s great because the world isn’t served well by having 4-5 roughly similar X-Men titles as we’ve endured the last few years. So, while Wolverine is putting up with the hi-jinks of Iceman, Rockslide, Gambit, Rogue, Kitty, etc., Cyclops is going to deal with real mutant issues by setting up an uber-team of mutants who can tackle any problem and scare the pants off anyone who’d think twice about crossing the mutants.
2. Speaking of super-teams. He calls them the “Extinction Team” and it consists of Cyclops, Magneto, Storm, Namor, Hope, Juggernaut-Colossus, Danger and Illyana. Oy vey! That really is a pretty horrifying concentration of power. Just dealing with Magneto, Namor and Super-Colossus is pretty scary. Oh, and Danger now has some kinds of super battle modifications which is pretty interesting given how formidable she was already. And, then you’ve got Storm whipping up a hurricane and Cyclops shooting energy bolts and Hope copying whatever mutant’s powers would be most convenient. Holy Hell! I also really liked how Cyclops compared this team to a weapon of mass destruction and pointed out that Iraq (who didn’t have WMDs) got invaded whereas North Korea (which does have nukes) just got economic sanctions. Then later when the Dreaming Celestial goes nuts, he says not to bother calling the Avengers because if his Extinction Team can’t manage the problem, what are Cap and Hawkeye going to do? Totally badass and he’s right!
3. Also deals with other mutants on Utopia. This was great too. While we thankfully didn’t dwell on these other mutants, it was nice to see that everyone has a role on Cyclops’ team. There’s the science team, the security team, the street team, the clean-up crew and Hope’s crew. Each has distinct jobs and the young mutants like Loa and Surge get folded in wherever they make sense as part of their training.
4. The dreaming Celestial. I recently reread Uncanny X-Men #512 (featuring wonderful art by Yannick Paquette). This was the one where Beast’s science team went back in time to collect samples from Dr. Nemesis’ parents. At the end of the story, the X-Men have to jump back to the future and they ask Nemesis’ mother to bury the samples in the park. When they get to the present day and go to dig them up, they find that the Dreaming Celestial is standing on them. Hmmm… Maybe that isn’t a coincidence??? Well, I’d wondered when someone was going to return to that wonderful teaser of a story, but it looks like we might be getting that here. Although one does wonder why Nemesis wouldn’t have asked the X-Men to be on the lookout for some blood samples.
5. Very “meh” art. 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.
Conclusion: A pretty good start to a new series. I’m not personally much of a Sinister fan, but I’m in the minority there and he’s certainly got enough gravity to kick off the first story of the relaunch. Gillen has found a good tone for this series and writes all the characters well, but you can’t get an “A” from me without better art.
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