A writer, historian, and geek through and through. I focus on fantasy, science fiction and whatever comes my way. I am writing and drawing a webcomic called Booger Balls Inc, and I'm working on two graphic novels as well.
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In the third part of Cullen Bunn’s “Superior” story-line, the Uncanny X-Men race to find a former comrade before the Dark Riders, and decide on their next move to stop the mutant hunters once and for all. ComiConverse’s Seth Frederiksen is here to review the issue.
Opening with Magneto and Psylocke slipping through an anti-mutant protest, it is revealed they are looking for Christopher Muse, known as Triage during his time with Cyclop’s Uncanny X-Men. It is also known that the Dark Riders, who are hunting mutants with healing abilities, have Triage in their sights. Though reluctant, Triage acquiesces to the Uncanny X-Men after a short but fierce skirmish between Magneto and the Dark Riders.
Meanwhile, Monet St. Croix locates former X-Man, Xorn, unsuccessfully vying for his support to the their cause. For a quick recap for the Uncanny X-Men, that’s a 2-1 score for our mutant heroes. Not too good at this point.
Psylocke, Magneto, and Triage meet Sabertooth in the ruins of Genosha where they plan to strike at the Dark Riders in their home base.
The issue concludes with Fantomex as he and members of the Hellfire Club raid a building holding mutants wanting to avoid the Terrigen Mist crisis. Barely escaping an ambush inside the building, Fantomex contacts Mystique adding a flavor of intrigue to the Uncanny X-Men’s story-line.
Though carrying the moniker of Uncanny X-Men, the series seems to carry the essence of the recent incarnations of X-Force. These members of the X-Men family take the initiative to protect mutants in ways opposing the vision that the X-Men are trying to convey.
It is worth noting that when planning their next move, they are not at the Mansion with Storm and the others. It’s as if they were acting on their own, retaining the association with the X-Men for legacy’s sake.
In the team itself, the two strongest characters in the Uncanny X-Men team are the leaders, Magneto and Psylocke. Their opposing philosophies in mutant hegemony, the Terrigen Mists, and of leadership provide keen insights into their personalities.
Psylocke has the capability to bloody her hands when needed, there are many lines she will not cross to achieve her goals. She represents what the X-Men are fighting for, and with no information on Archangel’s state of mind, it can be assumed she is the only one representing this.
Magneto, on the other hand, serves as the avatar of the harsher methods of mutant acceptance. While psionically slipping past a group of mutant protesters, Magneto’s contempt is palpable. An understandable view, given his history. In the last issue of Uncanny X-Men, Magneto associated the Terrigen Mists with the gas chambers of World War II, which is an interesting comparison to make. Personally, I would love to see Magneto and Black Bolt debate this issue face to face in the future.
In this issue, Magneto confesses the guilt he feels for past failures to protect mutants under his care during the genocide by Cassandra Nova, and later, with an earlier encounter with the Terrigen gas.
It is also important that though they are in command of this team, neither Psylocke or Magneto have trust in the other. Both seem to think that the other is going to turn and generate more troubles for the world. But despite their distrust for the other, it is easy to see how and why both are a part of the new team, given their history with the team and their conversations with each other.
But this doesn’t seem to be the case with the other members. Aside from being a heavy hitter for the team, little information is given as to why Sabertooth is with the team. The same goes for M. Both have history with the Uncanny X-Men series, but why they’re a part of the current team has yet to be elaborated upon. I’m hoping that this is further elaborated on in future issues, since it would help with connecting with these characters within the Uncanny X-Men dynamic.
This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed Bunn’s writing so far. Quite the contrary. Enjoying his stories with the lovably annoying Deadpool made me very eager to see how Bunn would depict the Uncanny X-Men. But I did have a couple of points come up as this story has unfolded so far.
Bunn’s dialogue is definitely a strong point in the series so far. I particularly enjoyed Triage’s thoughts on the whole situation. The Terminator reference, and the idea that the team appeared to be a new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, were spot on. He serves as the reader’s voice, but since his experience with Cyclop in the previous incarnation of Uncanny X-Men, he isn’t stereotypically naive to the situation. Hopefully this element will play a greater role in the team’s dynamic as the series progresses.
I’m also hoping to see a greater prominence of both Fantomex and Mystique, since their presence in the Uncanny X-Men series has left many questions unanswered. Of course, that could be what Bunn wants right now for the Uncanny X-Men.
I do still see M being portrayed as the “model” for the team, in the artwork and in the story. Aside from her fight in the second issue, little of her personality has been brought forth. She only serves as a female counterpart to Sabertooth, rather than being a character in her own right.
Hopefully when the next issue of Uncanny X-Men comes out, the remaining pieces will come together as the final act begins.
Seth Frederiksen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter @SenseiSeth.
Excellent pacing and fight sequence, but lacking somewhat in developing much of the cast.