Solid story and build-up here as Cyclops and his team of mutants come to the Jean Grey School for higher learning to announce they have their own school to run, using Charles Xavier’s name. Tension builds between the two teams and someone leaves the Jean Grey School. Over at S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria Hill finds out that Mastermind is using her powers and robbing banks.
This is a pretty slow paced book, but it works. There’s a lot going on here, and a lot that the X-Men have to deal with. These two opposing factions are on the brink of going at it, but remain composed because both factions have something to offer the new mutants of the world: two separate schools for mutants with two different schools of thought. The exchange between current Beast and young Cyclops was a fantastic scene, and a great way to follow up current Cyclops and Beast talking it out. Writer Brian Michael Bendis does a fine job with the dialogue here.
The Maria Hill side-story was a complete hit. She has to deal with the fact that Sabretooth, with Mystique who was disguised as her, went crazy on Rykers. The hunt for Mystique is on and Maria Hill is leading the way. It may be brief, but it left a lasting impression. I like seeing elements outside of the X-World make their way into this book in order to connect the Marvel universe a bit more.
Artist Stuart Immonen does a stellar job on this issue, for the most part. One of the opening scenes is a beautiful splash page featuring, what we are lead to believe, the old-school X-Men and Wolverine jumping into the scene to cause havoc. I love the amount of detail in the piece and the sense of movement here. In addition, colorist Marte Gracia, who is probably the premiere colorist currently working in comics, does a fantastic job on the issue, especially in the scene with Krakoa. Marte fits so many shades of brown seamlessly into this panel. It’s amazing work, as always, by Gracia.
I’ve been won over on Cyclops’ new outfit. It was a bit silly at first, but I came around because well, it’s kind of an awesome design.
The ending of this issue had to have been my least favorite ending to a comic this week. It comes off as a really bad daytime soap as “someone” announces they’re leaving and we’re left with the caption “Who will join the Uncanny X-Men? Find out next issue!” (Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel) Ok, so it reads like the ending of an episode of Batman. It’s this great, big build-up to essentially nothing.
What is up with Stuart Immonen drawing Wolverine, in this issue? I love his work, but unmasked Wolverine constantly looks like he’s taking a poop. On top of that, his face looks very puggish. The final panel of this issue makes Wolverine look like very smashed. I don’t know what it is but Wolverine doesn’t look good at all in the issue.
I’ve been back and forth on this issue, but when it comes down to it, it’s a lot of bickering. Sure, there is some solid art here and some good story, but for me, this is the weakest issue in the series thus far.
I liked the issue, but this one didn’t really get me excited. It was cool to see both of these teams, in the same place, not fighting and talking things out (kinda). I really enjoyed the scenes with Beast and the Cyclopes, and I really enjoyed the reaction from younger Cyke when he finds out how the Phoenix Force ended up in the Phoenix Five. The art is great here, but the colors by Gracia Marte really stand out. One of the biggest problems I had was the ending. It was a bit of a buzzkill because nothing happened. Aside from that, Wolverine’s face looked a bit messed up throughout the entire issue. It may not be my favorite issue in this series, but nevertheless, I still enjoyed it.
Overall, I give this a mild recommendation