Uncanny X-Men (2013) #1 Review
By Andy Frisk
February 17, 2013 - 13:08
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller(s): Chris Bachalo
Inker(s): Tim Townsend, Jamie Mendoza, and Al Vey
Colourist(s): Chris Bachalo
Letterer(s): VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist(s): Chris Bachalo
Aside from a faux news recap article at the end of the issue titled "Terrorist X Revolutionary" and the obligatory blurb at the the beginning, a new reader picking up Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #1 might be pretty lost as to just who the heck the X-Men really ARE. Are they Scott Summers' group? Are they Wolverine and The X-Men's group? Are they the guys and gals running around in Astonishing X-Men? Or is everyone with a mutant gene in the Marvel U an X-Man? The term X-Men (as it refers to the fictional Marvel U team) has never been more confusing. Granted this isn't the fault of Bendis, but...
...as for the story in Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #1, as alluded to above, there really isn't anything groundbreaking or interesting about the story. The new mutant that Cyclops' team intercepts even has a silly power. I realize that it gets hard to come up with unique mutant powers at this point, which is fifty years into the mythology of the Marvel U mutant, but a guy who shoots bubbles out of his body, from no particular appendage or area, borders on silly. It's the kind of mutant superpower that fits Chris Bachalo's quirky style though...
...and I mean that as a compliment. I have a love/hate relationship with Bachalo's artwork. Sometimes it ranks up there with the best artwork currently being produced in the mainstream sequential art world (as it does here), and sometimes it's simply horrible (as it was in the first few issues of Wolverine and The X-Men). Bachalo's art is terrifically moody, dark, and expressive, and it fits the tone of Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 much better than it did Jason Aaron's Wolverine and The X-Men. Some artists are suited to draw (and interpret) any comic book writers' set mood for a book, and some can only handle a certain writer's set mood (and interpretation) of a book. Bachalo is firmly in the latter category.
The times are a' changin' rapidly in the mainstream sequential art business world. Marvel Comics was perfectly fine with there only being one printed comic book titled Uncanny X-Men #1 (1963) for nearly 50 years, even if it wasn't technically called "Uncanny X-Men." Now, we've had had two Uncanny X-Men #1s alone in the past two years. Looks like the legacy of the long numbered book is gone. I can live with that, but only if the new #1s are worth the read. Uncanny X-Men #1 isn't. Hopefully it will improve. Given his track record, odds are it will with Bendis at the helm...hopefully.
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