Wednesday, December 25, 2019

#IReadsYou Review: UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (2019)

UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (2019) – Legacy #620

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, and Kelly Thompson
ART: Mahmud Asrar; Mirko Colak; Ibraim Roberson
PENCILS: Mark Bagley
INKS: Andrew Hennessy
COLORS: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Leinil Francis Yu with Edgar Delgado
EDITOR: Jordan White with Darren Shan
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: David Finch with Frank D'Armata; Jim Cheung with Justin Ponsor; Scott Williams with Ryan Kinnaird; Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Fonteriz with Edgar Delgado; Joe Quesada with Richard Isanove; Rob Liefeld with Romulo Fajardo, Jr.; Dave Cockrum with Jason; Dave Cockrum
72pp, Color, $7.99 U.S. (January 2019)

Rated T+

X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

“Disassembled” Part 1; “What Tomorrow Brings” Parts One – “A Bishop Story”; Part Two – “A Jean Grey Story”; Part Three – “An Armor & Angle Story”; Epilogue

There is no point in trying to count the number of times that Marvel Comics has relaunched, reinvigorated, or quasi-rebooted its X-Men comic book franchise since 2001's New X-Men.  This week we got the third(?) Uncanny X-Men relaunch.

Uncanny X-Men 2019 is written by the team of Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, and Kelly Thompson.  The artists and art teams will rotate, as the first nine issues of this new series will be published weekly.  The artists for this first issue are Mahmud Asrar (pencils-inks); Mirko Colak (pencils-inks); Ibraim Roberson (pencils-inks); and the team of Mark Bagley (pencils) and Andrew Hennessy (inks).  Rachelle Rosenberg colors and Joe Caramanga letters this first issue.

Uncanny X-Men #1 begins with the main story, “Disassembled” Part 1.  The story opens with Jean Grey having a dream about an invasion of multiple copies of Multiple Man, each one demanding the whereabouts of Kitty Pryde.  Meanwhile, Kitty is among the members of the X-Men who are suddenly disappearing.  Who is behind this mystery?  In a series of back-up stories, Bishop, Jean Grey & Storm, and Armor & Anole take on a foe capable of possessing people in the days leading up to the events depicted in the main story.

20th Century Fox's X-Men film franchise has had some spectacular successes and some failures since the franchise's first film, 2000's X-Men.  In that time, X-Men comic books have been mostly hit and miss.  There have been some interesting, even good series; All New X-Men, New X-Men, and X-Men: The Hidden Years come to mind.  However, the “golden age” of X-Men comic books was over by the mid-1980s, and the various owners of Marvel Comics have ruined the franchise by turning it into a cash cow that has vomited money.  A deluge of X-Men and X-Men-related ongoing series, miniseries, one-shots, specials, graphic novels, and reprint and archival publications in various formats, etc. were money makers.  The quality of these comic books varied wildly.  Some were good.  Some were mediocre.  Some were plain awful.

Personally, I think that without a radical rethinking of the X-Men concept, the best we can hope for is that maybe each new iteration of a flagship X-Men comic book, Uncanny X-Men or the recent X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold, can yield at least a year's worth of good comic books.  Gold and Blue barely did that.

I like that Uncanny X-Men 2019 will be weekly for its first nine issues.  I wish that Marvel and DC Comics published more weekly titles.  Rather than have a bunch of crappy Justice League titles, have one that is published weekly and features rotating casts and creative teams.  If Uncanny X-Men's writing team can maintain this first issue's sense of mystery and keep offering cliffhangers like the ones in this issue, then, this will be a fun run of nine issues.

So I have some hope, but, without going into spoilers, nothing in Uncanny X-Men #1 2019 suggests that this comic book will approach the first quarter-century of X-Men publications, which offered quite a few stories that went on to become classics.  But there is enough here to suggest that this could be a solid title.  I want to be surprised and delighted.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douressaeux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and  syndication rights and fees.


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