By Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley, Nolan Woodard, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Jesus Aburtov
There is no secret that the breakout series in the X-Universe is Uncanny X-Men. It had a good first arc with excellent art that propelled the story into even better graces with fans. Now we move on to the second arc and an Apocalypse Wars crossover. These can be messy at times, especially if it’s just a mini-crossover, but if nothing else, always have faith in Cullen Bunn.
The writing of this series has been great so far, and it doesn’t stop in issue #6. Let’s just be clear for a minute here, Cullen Bunn is a writing wizard with Magneto; he makes the character feel extremely fresh and cool. Something so small as Magneto commenting on how he would have expected Psylocke to have better manners because of her British upbringing makes a ton of difference for a character. Another thing that has made this run great so far has been the continuity that Bunn uses in this series. Sabretooth getting a tiny bit remorseful about being in tunnels again is a great throwback to the Mutant Massacre. The back-up story (with solid art from Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Jesus Aburtov) focuses on Xorn and Magneto is also an awesome bonus. Xorn is a character that has been in limbo (no pun intended) for quite some time, but Bunn has taken him and made him a favorite again. The calm dialogue that Xorn talks with, even in the face of danger (as witnessed last arc) is very refreshing to see. If there is one nitpick about this issue, it’s that there doesn’t seem to be much of a tie to the Apocalypse War crossover just yet. We get the little logo on the cover, but nothing that is too directly tied to it; perhaps that will be explained next issue.
Greg Land is out on art for this issue and replaced by Kan Lashley. The colors are still handled by Nolan Woodard. Lashley comes in and does a great job on the pencils. Land was having a very good streak, but Lashley’s art is impressive as well. He has a very cool full-page spread of Angel’s history with the X-Men that hits all the major events in his life. This is a great page that gave Lashley an opportunity to draw Angel in different costumes and styles, and he did a great job with it. The coloring of the page by Woodard is also done very well. He uses a light pink, the color of Psylocke’s telepathy bubble, while Psylocke herself is front and center and shaded. This doesn’t seem like it was an easy page to color, but Woodard did wonders. The battle between Creed and the secret informant in the issue was handled very well by Lashley. There are some ghosting character panels, blood and sharp knives; what’s not to love? Woodard should get another shout out here as well. His shading of Creed as he takes a knife out of his neck is great, but made immensely better by the vibrant red blood that leaps off the page at you. Land is out, but the art of Lashley and colors of Woodard keep this book in tip-top shape.
We’re six issues in now and if you’re not reading Uncanny X-Men you are missing out. This is consistently a great read and there hasn’t been a disappointing issue yet. Bunn succeeds in making every character a likable one. The art, even after switching out pencilers, doesn’t miss a beat thanks to Lashley’s skill and Woodards’ continued mastery. This is a top-3 Marvel title.