Review: Uncanny X-Men #1
Written by Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Mahmud Asrar and others
After a more than two-year absence, Marvel has finally resurrected the flagship X-Men title. The Uncanny X-Men has hit stores with a generously-sized first issue that kicks off a new arc, along with a few smaller backup stories. This issue is first part of a ten-part story that will set up the series’ new status quo.
The analogy between the X-Men’s mutants and other marginalised groups, including LGBT people, is one that has taken on different forms over the years. This time the team faces off with a group promising to ‘cure’ their condition, a plot point that evokes more than a little of the discourse surrounding so-called conversion therapy. The X-Men have been split into two separate teams, one led by Jean Grey and the other by Kitty Pride, and the story criss-crosses between the two teams’ stories.
Those hoping to see the members of the original team will largely be disappointed, as Marvel plans to deal with their stories in later issues. While Insights will not spoil this first issue, the mainline story finishes on a cliff-hanger that will pique long-term readers’ interest.
Uncanny X-Men #1’s artwork is quite strong, particularly considering that the team of artists is quite varied. The main artist for this first issue, Mahmud Asrar, captures both the characters and the flow of the action well. He is joined by a number of additional artists on the backup story, including Marvel veteran Mark Bagley.
Complaints are few, but the story has some confusing beats where it is hard at first to distinguish between two threads. It should also be noted that The Uncanny X-Men will be a weekly title, at least for the first ten issues. As popular as the franchise is, in the days of populated pull lists, this may prove to be overkill.
Following Stan Lee’s death, the outpouring of grief (and interest in his work) has been palpable. The X-Men are a Kirby/Lee creation that Lee was exceptionally proud of. As such, it is promising to see that they are in good hands.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor