By Cullen Bunn, Greg Land and Nolan Woodard
The start of a new (or newer) Marvel Universe has not been too great for the X-Men. Extraordinary X-Men is now four issues in and only starting to get decent. There were some problems with earlier issues that left a bad taste in the mouth of fans. On top of that, Uncanny X-Men was pushed back several times, but it’s finally here. Make no mistake; there are some expectations for this book.
Cullen Bunn has some experience working with many of these characters. He is coming off of the current Magneto series, so it makes sense he would want Mags on his team. Being an introductory issue can be a bit tough, but it seems effortless here for Bunn. He shows us an older and tired Magneto; he has trouble after lifting a truck and has to take a breather. Magneto isn’t the only character who gets a chance to shine here, Bunn does some good character work on many of the other members of the team as well. Sabretooth, recently inverted, shows some restraint by not killing anyone. M gets to show off her tough attitude as she barks back at Sabretooth. One of the things that allows this to work as a book is the continuity Bunn also puts into it. We see there is a level of comfort and trust between Magneto and Psylocke. These two spent some time together way back in Kieron Gillen’s run on Uncanny X-Men.
The pencils this issue are handled by Greg Land with colors by Nolan Woodard. There is possibly no artist on the planet that gets more criticism than Greg Land. His work in this issue is pretty good. One of the problems many fans have with his style is that he re-uses images, and that is present here, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Another levied strike against Land is the fact that almost everyone resembles a model, which also happens here, but for better or worse, that’s the guy’s style. Land is successful in his action sequences, which look very good and are very easy to navigate. Land’s lines are smooth, as always, and his art seems to work well for this title. He gives us a nice splash page of the team posing in front of the debris they caused that looks good enough to be a cover for the book. The colors by Nolan Woodard are fitting to Land’s style. They make Land’s work look real and that is a huge plus for the book.
Out of the two major X-titles right now, Uncanny X-Men has a leg up. Cullen Bunn turns in a good script that should keep fans excited for who and what comes next. The art a nice complement to the story and at times jumps off the page at you. A good introductory issue for Uncanny X-Men.