By Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Mahmud Asrar & Rachelle Rosenberg
Uncanny X-Men #1 sets up an intriguing mystery in a way that echoes X-Men: The Last Stand, by bringing back a mutant cure, an idea that’s been around for an age, and racist politicians who want to remove mutants’ powers. It’s got all the beginnings of a classic X-Men storyline, and Uncanny X-Men gets a lot right about the team in a fun, entertaining issue that sets the ground running for this title in a fun way that isn’t without its flaws.
Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson know how to raise the stakes and come up with a way that gets readers instantly hooked. It’s difficult to balance such a large cast of characters and it’s something that artist Mahmud Asrar can’t always get right, but Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours do their best to make up from any of Asrar’s shortcomings in juggling this many characters at once. There are some impressive designs here by Asrar, it’s just that the issue as a whole feels inconsistent in how it treats certain characters, with some being better than others particularly in regards to their emotions more than anything. But again, that’s down to the sheer weight of characters being featured in this issue, and that’s just the number of Jaime Madrox’s that appear throughout, before you even get to the rest of the cast. They’re looking for Kitty Pryde, for reasons unknown at this point, but it’s clear that whatever is going to happen will somehow heavily involve her.
After opening with a tantalisingly shocking moment that would have normally been a cliffhanger, Uncanny X-Men #1 knows how to grab your attention throughout. The book follows the X-Men battling various fronts, and the cure storyline wasn’t enough Storm and Beast are investigating a new lake in a desert that until the night before, was seemingly dry. It’s an all-encompassing cast that covers most characters that fans are used to, but hopefully future issues will find a way to give characters to breathe, as right now, this issue feels like the “greatest hits” of the X-Men.
Asrar’s artwork for the most part is eye-catching and whilst the character’s faces aren’t always top notch, there are some moments where he brings the characters fully to life. There’s a stunning panel early on in the book where the X-Men are fighting against the Multiple Men and Asrar gives it a truly epic scale. If he can find a balance between the quieter, more emotional moments and the action-packed scenes then readers are in for a treat, especially with Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours making sure that every page looks as vibrant, clean and as detailed as ever.
The accompanying short stories to justify the book’s $7.99 pricetag are good if nothing memorable and all the talking points here will be on the main chapter, which can feel a little daunting at first and as a result is a bit too chaotic for newcomers. But it’s a real treat for fans who are familiarized with the characters despite a few rocky moments that it manages to overcome, especially for those enjoy the X-Men working as a team, because that’s one of the best things about this issue. It gets the banter between the X-Men and how they operate, with some pretty funny lines to be found throughout that won’t be spoiled here. For an issue with so many characters it could have fallen under their weight, but thankfully, Uncanny X-Men manages to juggle them nicely to create an engaging experience that should not be ignored.