Uncanny X-Men keeps rolling at its weekly pace and churning out a solid opening number to what will hopefully be a longstanding series once again.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
We start off the new year with X-Men recruits at the center of everything, trapped in the Age Of Apocalypse inside Legion’s mind. Both on the inside and outside of this hellish landscape, there’s a moral debate happening between our mutant heroes; whether or not to kill X-Man and Legion in order to save all of humanity.
Revisiting the set of AOA is always fun, especially seeing the X-Kids in their Apocalypse variant look. Glob, Pixie, Armor, and Rockslide getting more upfront attention is a joy, they’ve more than earned more time in the spotlight. The same goes for Anole as he and Beast begin an intriguing subplot in Uncanny X-Men #8.
This issue we get a lot of clashing X-Men ideals and leaders. Kitty Pryde emerges from the rubble to add more drama to the surface level battle against X-Man’s horsemen as well as the mutants trapped inside Nate’s mind.
Over the years, we’ve seen one too many times how the X-Men can be split in two by a difference in opinion. It’s important to have these debates, especially when setting up a new era for X-Men comics. It’s even more important to keep them somewhat contained and not have this debate of “casualties of war” consume all of Marvel’s X-Men comic book line.
Our powerhouse trio of writers (Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg, and Ed Brisson) have impressed with their ability to pump these issues out weekly without falling into bad habits. We get plenty of face time with a lot of mutants who they all seem to have a really solid voice for. We’re also bringing back a lot of classic mutant favorites without retreading old stories and solutions.
By issue’s end, we find ourselves with X-Man and Legion becoming one being (seemingly controlled by Nate). The prior standoff between these two is effectively captivating even if it does only last a page or two. Poor David Haller found himself overconfident and overpowered by X-Man and his unmatched abilities.
One unfortunate element of this standoff is R.B. Silva’s apparent struggle with drawing David in a suit. It’s a big, clunky mess of a suit that looks so out of place it becomes distracting.
Other than Legion in his ill-fitting attire, this is another solid effort by Silva on pencils. The X-Recruits and their tasteful AOA redesigns are a major highlight. Rachelle Rosenberg keeps the promise Marvel made way back with ResurreXion that X-Men comics would be bright and colorful once again. Gone are the days of overbearing shadows and clouds plaguing every panel of an overly dark X-Men landscape.
Uncanny X-Men #8 offers something for everyone. Whether you’re here for the kids we’ve been growing along with for years, or the classic pillars of X-Men continuity. If you’re looking for action or dilemma, there’s plenty of both.
The current creative team is doing a fine job in reestablishing Uncanny X-Men as a Marvel title you should be paying attention to. It’s a well balanced serving of mutant mayhem and drama, which is what we’ve been hungry for.