By Cullen Bunn, Greg Land and Nolan Woodard
The latest Marvel re-launch has not been very kind to the X-books. Extraordinary X-Men has been a disappointment, especially for a flagship book and All-New X-Men has been alright, but nothing to knock your socks off. Fans of the X-Men need a book they can get behind. Enter Uncanny X-Men. We’re only two issues into the series, but this seems like the book to back.
Cullen Bunn doesn’t use every character this issue, but the ones he does use are well done. He actually made Mystique a likable character this issue. She’s a character that under a bad writer can become generic, but Bunn handles her nicely, as he shows off a little of her sense of humor and purpose. One thing fans griped about in the first issue was the sexy talk between M and Sabretooth. Bunn fixes that this issue, and there is pretty much no flirting. Sabretooth mentioning what some mutants smell like is pretty comical though. Who would have guessed Cable smells like old spice and gun powder. Bunn has this book clicking because there is a serious feel to this it. We’re actually seeing mutants people love getting killed. The other X-books just don’t meet the level of seriousness that Uncanny X-Men has at the moment. The premise alone is reason enough to keep reading.
The pencils are handled by Greg Land with colors by Nolan Woodard. Land has often been criticized for his work, but this issue looks very good. While there is an off panel here or there, it’s hard to come down on him because the issue looks good. The Dark Riders look menacing and you may be genuinely creeped out by the panel of a dark rider entering the church to kill mutants. Another little thing Land does this issue is he has Mystique’s persona slightly resemble Jennifer Lawrence, which is kind of cool. The action scene featuring Mystique also look great this issue. Land has really stepped up his game this month. The colors by Nolan Woodard, who must be doing every X-book on the shelf, are a nice addition to the pencils Land lays down. He gives it that extra touch that makes Land’s pencils come alive.
Uncanny X-Men is definitely the X-book to beat. Cullen Bunn has the most original storyline out of the bunch and he writes these characters very well. Greg Land has improved on the art from last issue and will hopefully build on that. This isn’t just one of the best X-books, it’s one of Marvel’s best books after the re-launch.