You can call me a comic book newb as I only started reading at the start of The New 52 after taking a series of Stephen’s classes last semester that immersed me into the culture. I wanted to branch out from DC and when I found out that Uncanny X-Men was getting a
reboot renumbering I figured it was a snap call since I like starting a collection from #1. Can Uncanny X-Men deliver to a newb, or do I need to empty more of my wallet to follow the story?
UNCANNY X-MEN #8
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Colorist: Guru eFX
Inker: Jay Leisten
Penciler: Greg Land
Cover Artists: Land & Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, in Uncanny X-Men: Although the Immortal Man has retreated, Tabula Rasa is still in impending danger. Namor and Hope still have their tapeworm situation under the sea, and Colossus searches for his sister, Magik, who was abducted by some Natives.
BETTER WRAP THINGS UP SHALL WE? (AND SOME)
“Savage”, the Immortal Man’s unwife and the X-Men’s “guide”, fears that his entire ecosystem is threatened by cancer caused by the sun’s rays with their protective barrier down. Since Super Heroes solve problems they dive into the think tank. There is a lot of scene jumping from this point in the issue, but all loose ends are tied up from the Extinction Team’s venture into Tabula Rasa. (I always thought the boss fight came after you cleaned up all the trash?)
I felt there was a lot of fighting in the first seven issues, and after the last one I still didn’t feel like I knew any of the characters that well. This issue gives us some breathing room from the constant suspense as well as some time for character development and interactions. Namor and Hope create an interesting pair after the King seduces the tapeworm Queen. They even extend their friendship by sharing a sunset in the aftermath of Tabula Rasa. Meanwhile, we finally get to see Colossus tap into the Juggernaut’s powers in his search for Magik. After massacring her abductors Magick and Colossus share a moment and allow us to see the seriousness of the Juggernaut and a powerful sibling bond.
THE FOG ROLLS IN
Remember that sunset shared by Namor and Hope? I have no clue when this takes place. I originally thought it was at the end of the day, but they are viewing the protective dome which now covers Tabula Rasa to prevent cancer to the inhabitants. Now I know Super Heroes could accomplish this feat in a day, but the panels describing the construction show cranes and helicopters working on the structure. I’m missing a puzzle piece somewhere; A timeline is needed, time slipped the script writer’s mind, or there’s an outside Super Hero construction business I need to learn about (Can S.H.I.E.L.D. accomplish this?). Perhaps my memory or observation escapes me. Either way, a reader with limited knowledge like me can become confused.
Have you ever seen an X-Men show their teeth when they smile? Three members in this issue do and they all look like donkeys. I would not be surprised if Marvel enacts a new art policy that forbids artists from exposing the Extinction Team’s pearly white’s when they smile in the future. The art in the beginning of the issue is stunning, but it seems to fall apart in the last few scenes except for the encounter between Magneto and Psylocke. Some of the later character shots of Cyclops and his giraffe neck just caught me off guard, but it was enough to distract me from the comic.
BOTTOM LINE: A BREAK WELL EARNED…
I actually laughed out loud a few times during this issue which is not something I remember doing since I started this run. I especially appreciated the reference to our term of Super Hero as a discordant word compared to the Apex’s term in their superior language. I was not fully lost in this week until the end of the issue, and I’m beginning to dread that I won’t fully grasp the upcoming inclusions to Uncanny X-Men unless I start reading Uncanny X-Force and Generation Hope. I feel the issue somewhat constructively utilized this break in action, but I would have liked to learn a little bit more about the team by this point. I do have to finish on this note though: The art for The Juggernaut was awesome. I once had a teacher who told us awesome was overused and should only be used to describe powers such as a Tsunami, but yeah, The Juggernaut was pretty awesome. Wrapping that all together and spitting it back out, Uncanny X-Men #8 comes to a 3.5 out of 5 stars for me.