Review: Uncanny X-Men # 1

In October 2012, Marvel Comics launched a publishing initiative branded “Marvel NOW!” The purpose of “Marvel NOW!” was to provide clean and clear entry points for new and lapsed fans to get on board with the publisher’s most popular characters. Most of Marvel’s titles were being produced by the same creators for years. Ed Brubaker had been writing “Captain America” for 8 years, Matt Fraction had been writing “Invincible Iron Man” for 5 years, and Daniel Way had been writing “Deadpool” for 4 years. Brian Michael Bendis had been writing the “Avengers” and “New Avengers” for 8 years, when he decided to finish his tenure on the book and move on, these other writers followed his lead and “Marvel NOW!” was born. “Marvel NOW!” would essentially play “Musical Chairs” with the company’s creative talent and the titles it published; their writers would take on new properties and franchises. For example, Matt Fraction would now write “Fantastic Four” and Daniel Way would now write “Thunderbolts”. Brian Michael Bendis would now take over the X-Men franchise, launching “All New X-Men” in November 2012, with artist; Stuart Immonen. Each “Marvel NOW!” comic was re-numbered with a new issue # 1, and the oldest running X-Men Comic was no exception. Yesterday Marvel released “Uncanny X-Men # 1” written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Chris Bachalo.

Uncanny X-Men 1

This volume of “Uncanny X-Men” will focus on Scott Summers aka Cyclops, and his Mutant Revolution. It’s clear by the book’s introduction page that Cyclops is the book’s main character. He is the leader and visionary of the team. Cyclops is the subject of every page of this book yet he barely appears in half the comic. Most of the issue centers on a meeting between S.H.I.E.L.D. agent; Maria Hill and a prominent member of the mutant community. (I will leave out this mutant’s identity as to not spoil this comic for those who have yet to read it.)

The issue is successful in that it is very accessible. The story heavily follows the events and continuity of “Avengers vs X-Men”, but one who has never heard of the X-Men can read this and not be confused. After consuming these 22 pages the reader is completely caught up on who Cyclops is, and his mission statement. All thanks to the masterful pen of Brian Michael Bendis. Chris Bachalo is a veteran X-Artist, and it’s great to see him illustrating this chapter of X-History. Each of the main characters has been given a new costume, and Bachalo really makes the most out of the mutants new looks. Cyclops’ new uniform is probably the biggest departure from the character’s classic look, but it works, in that it reflects his new outsider status.

“Uncanny X-Men” is the perfect companion to “All New X-Men’’. Having two different and distinct X-books gives Bendis the opportunity to explore both Cyclops and Wolverine’s paths towards mutant equality.

Degobot!

Cyclops was right

Uncanny X-Men #1 is on sale now, at your local comic book store or on the Marvel Comics app on Apple and Android devices.

Digital reader? Help keep your local comic store in business! Buy a print version of this comic; it comes with a code for a free digital copy!

In Portland? Buy your comics at Floating World Comics located at 400 NW Couch Street Portland, OR 97209 (503) 241-0227

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