By Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard
It seems that the “Apocalypse Wars” story is concluding in several of the books. This event came and went without much attention or care. While Marvel is no doubt pushing the X-Men to the back burner, they are still smart enough to try to cash in on the movies Fox is putting out. The reception to this crossover hasn’t been great, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some decent things to come out of it. Uncanny X-Men dealt with Archangel’s Schizophrenia and Genocide, who are harvesting Warren’s wings to create clones.
Cullen Bunn has been a great addition to the X-Men books so far. His handling of the characters in this series has been nothing short of wonderful. This issue wraps up his stint with the “Apocalypse War” crossover, which is a good thing. This is the best issue of Uncanny X-Men in this story arc, the other issues were decent, but nothing to write home about. Of the multiple little storylines being juggled here, the Psylocke and Archangel story comes off the best. Seeing Archangel struggle with his inner demons isn’t anything particularly new, he’s been doing it for a while now, but the voices that Bunn gives them work really well. Psylocke’s concern as she enters Warren’s mind is well written and you can actually feel what she’s going through. There is also a great scene with Fantomex this issue. He’s had a feud with Betsy for a while now, but when he sees an opportunity to strike back, he sees a bigger picture and walks away. The battle between Magento and Genocide should continue to cement him as one of the baddest mutants to ever live. Bunn definitely knows how to handle Erik and this series has been a wonderful platform for anyone who lives under a rock and didn’t know that. The one drawback of the issue is the storyline involving M and Emplate. This started out all right in previous issues, but ultimately just fell a bit flat toward the end which contributed to a waning interest. It was a slower moving part of the book and the story arc could have been better without it.
The pencils this issue are handled by Ken Lashley with colors by Nolan Woodard. Lashley does a very good job on this book with a style that has a scratchy texture to it. You would be hard to find a bad panel in this book with Lashley on duty; even as an army of Archangels attack a crowd of people, the detail is still there. Lashley does an excellent job with facial expressions this issue as well. As Creed holds on to M just after a brutal fight, we can see actual care in his face. The colors by Nolan Woodard are great, as usual. There are a many panels helped by his wonderful colors, but one that stands out is when Emplate gasses M there is a lime green mist that encompasses the whole panel. It’s the perfect color for the mist and Woodard nailed it, once again.
Uncanny X-Men has undoubtedly been the best X-Men book on the market since the re-launch. What Cullen Bunn is crafting story wise could be end up going down as a great run for this great franchise. Ken Lashley really stepped up his art game with each new issue; he clearly got more comfortable and it shows. This arc as a whole may not be as good as their first arc, but Uncanny X-Men is the X-book to read.