A more dangerous team heads a familiar title. But does it work?
With the recent re-launching of the Marvel Universe in the wake of Secret Wars, the X-Men have undergone some drastic changes. Where the X-Universe was once a tight knit community operating in harmony with one another, there are now three teams running around with very little interaction. Once again, there has been a shake-up in the main ideological cores around which the mutant universe revolves. Before Secret Wars Cyclops and Wolverine led the two core X-Men groups, but neither character is present in the post Secret Wars Marvel Universe. With the departure of Cyclops and Wolverine, Magneto and Storm have stepped up and assembled teams to handle this new and decidedly not mutant friendly Marvel Universe. Emerging from Secret Wars, the mutants of the Marvel Universe face a new threat in the form of the Terrigen Mists. These mists are the catalyst for the powers of the Inhumans and were released in a large cloud over the earth during Marvel’s recent Infinity event. Before Secret Wars, the mists were not a problem, but after Secret Wars the mists have proven to be toxic to mutants; afflicting them with a disease known as M pox and causing sterility. In this new and frightening world emerge The Uncanny X-Men
Our story begins with the team of Magneto, Sabretooth, Monet, Psylocke, and Archangel ambushing a convoy carrying mutants in stasis pods. Magneto is apparently freshly alive after a brush with death, Sabretooth is still on the side of good after the events of the Axis event, Monet is still as cocky as ever, Psylocke is still consumed with self-loathing after the events of the first volume of Uncanny X-Force, and Archangel is nothing more than a mindless husk that Psylocke turns on and off when the team needs to bring in the artillery. Bunn puts in plenty of banter between the teammates with some interesting jokes and a setup for potential romance or at least some entertaining flirting between Sabretooth and Monet. Psylocke confirms to Magneto, and the reader, that she is with the team as a way to help Archangel and mutant kind. Magneto, of course is hiding some secrets from the team that should setup for the kind of slow burn stories that made the X-Men famous under Chris Claremont. This is a solid first issue, but my main problem with the issue is the team name. To me, the Uncanny X-Men has always been the core team and the public super hero like face of the X-Men. Magneto is operating this team much more like X-Force and is definitely not acting with the sanction of Storm, who is now leading the X-Men. Uncanny X-Men was one of the last titles Marvel re-numbered and it ran for almost 600 issues. I realize it’s an odd problem to have with the book, but the mutants have been my favorite part of the Marvel universe since I started collecting in the early 90’s so a part of me wants the name back with a team more in line to the classic series.
Greg Land is on art duties for the series and his work on the series for the most part reflects is reputation in the industry in regards to his portrayal of women. I don’t hate Greg Land, but I don’t love his art style either. It’s middle of the road modern styled comic book art. The best thing I can say about it is that he seems to have taken recent criticism that he traces faces from pornography and makes all of his women look the same to heart. Each of the female characters in the series has a unique face and they don’t all seem to be traced from pornography, but their bodies are still the rather flat looking figures with large breasts and non-existent hips that Land is known for doing. His male figures look much more dimensional and defined so I hope that Land will put as much effort into the women that he does the men in future issues.