Back to Business...
Uncanny X-Men 011
Writer - Cullen Bunn
Penciler - Greg Land
Inker - Jay Leisten
Color Art - Nolan Woodard
Letterer - VC's Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 08.03.2016
Cover Price: $3.99
Ding-dong the Apocalypse Wars are dead. We can finally get back to the business of trying to tell good X-Men stories... for a couple of months, anyway.
Many longtime X-Men fans know there's always a little something special about these quiet post-crossover issues. A little bit more soap for our superhero opera. Can the current creative team live up to such lofty expectations? Let's find out...
With the crossover firmly in our rear-view, we are afforded the chance to meet a potential new threat and sit in with our Uncanny crew as they attempt to process recent events.
Growing up, these were the issues I most looked forward to. These issues that occurred right after an overblown, over-hyped, under-delivering crossover event. You got the feeling that the X-Writers were just as exhausted as we readers... and just wanted the chance to "breathe". These were the issues where we'd join Jubilee and Professor X as they rollerbladed on the school grounds... where the X-Men shared a giant breakfast... just great character-centric, interpersonal drama-heavy little stories.
Here, we open with a group of super-powered characters breaking into a research facility in Utah. They're not terribly interesting, but interesting villains hasn't been the X-Men's gameplan for a little while now. They're clad in black spandex, and for the most part do not appear to be a completely cohesive unit.
Back at the Uncanny Savage Land Base is where this issue shines. We manage to check-in with all the main members, and get their reactions to both recent goings-ons as well as their own place on the team. Monet's dealing with her hand-mouth situation... actually conversing with it. It's pretty well done, and her hand is rendered to be quite horrific.
Psylocke, still a bit put off by the appearance of Mystique and Fantomex during the Wars, gives Magneto the opportunity to come clean about recruiting them. He speaks very little, but his silence gives Betsy all the answers she needs. One thing here... Psylocke mentions that she's "considered leaving [the team]"... however, during the Civil War II tie-in, she did leave. Do we know what order these stories are being told in? Does Marvel? I mean, it's the same writer!
|Okay... give me ANGRY...|
No... Angry... as in stop smiling...
Outside the compound, Sabretooth seems to be falling prey to his more primal urges. Now, this is something I can get behind. He's taken by surprise by his wants... needs to hunt. He ultimately gives in to his urges, biting an unlucky Savage Land dinosaur in the throat... what's interesting is, he than apologizes to its corpse. I look forward to digging deeper into Creed's basic conflict... this was well done.
Looks like we're headed for a Hellfire Club storyline. It's been awhile since we've checked in with them. It's always interesting to see who makes up their ranks at a given time, as they almost feel like a group "out of time". Like sometimes they look straight out of their early-1980's lineup. Shaw might be a member... other times, not... Sometimes Selene is there, sometimes it's Pierce. This time around, it looks like... Monet St. Croix is among their number... wait, what?
Overall, glad we're getting back to business... glad the crossover is behind us (have I said that enough?). Cullen Bunn continues to deliver some nice dialogue, and Greg Land... warts and all, feels almost toned down here. I'd prefer nearly any other artist, if I'm being honest, but this issue feels much less vacant supermodel/pornstar than usual. Don't get me wrong, there are some porny faces here, but it's not nearly as bad as his earlier Uncanny X-Men work.
Bits and Pieces:
With the Apocalypse Wars behind us, we can get to the type of story many longtime X-Fans remember fondly... the relatively quiet post-Crossover issue. An opportunity to reflect. A definite improvement over past issues, and for the most part the art appears "reined in". If you dropped out during the "Wars", it's a safe time to come back.