Originally published on bigbaddie.com on December 12, 2018.

Uncanny X-Men #1

Hi, I’m Gino and I’m a lapsed comic book reader. But I’m trying to read comics again — including my pile of unread physical and digital books  aaand new issues like Uncanny X-Men #1.

But before anything else, I’m legally obligated (by myself) to start every discussion about the X-Men with this disclaimer: I’m a big X-Men fan. I got into comics because of bootleg X-Men trading cards, the ’90s animated show, and the very first comic I ever bought, Spectacular Spider #199, where the X-Men and Spider-Man are trapped inside a flying castle that is falling. I fucking love the X-Men.

Spectacular Spider-Man #199
I started to FALL in love with comics because of Spectacular Spider-Man #199 by J.M. DeMatteis and Sal Buscema.

That said, I was super hyped for this new #1 of the flagship X-title. But also wary because I lost faith in Marvel and how they handled and presented their comics in the last few years. So is my hyped yet wary butt happy with Uncanny X-Men #1? Yes. But not so much.

Written by Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg with art by Mahmud Asrar, Mark Bagley, Mirko Colak, and an army of cover artists, Uncanny X-Men #1 kicks off the 10-part weekly X-Men: Disassembled storyline.

While I was happy to see Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, and other X-favorites interacting with each other again, I feel like I’ve been away for far too long. I know it’s my fault for not keeping up with the merry mutants, but why is Jubilee wearing a yellow trench coat again? Why is Madrox a raving lunatic now? Better than dead, I guess. Also, what is up with Caucasian Psylocke?

Uncanny X-Men #1 - Psylocke
At least she gets new telekinetic weapons. In addition to her telekinetic fist knives and face butterflies.

Things could get very confusing very fast for lapsed and new X-Men readers. There’s just so much going on and as we go from one scene to another, it seems we get more questions and not enough answers. I guess it comes with the X-territory. You could say convoluted mutant stories have always been part of the X-Men’s… mystique. Hyuk! Hyuk!

I do like the big cast, though. We’ve seen smaller X-Men teams take the spotlight in recent few years and that doesn’t really cut it for me, so I’m glad we’re back to juggling (Madrox the) multiple main characters while still giving supporting characters their moments. I just need time to catch up on all of them.

Uncanny X-Men #1: New X-Men
[multiple fire emojis]

Mahmud Asrar has been killing it on art in previous X-titles and I’m glad he’s bringing his magic here. Not too crazy about Mark Bagley, but he’s alright.

Speaking of art, I’m glad I picked up this issue’s special digital director’s cut super mega amazing edition on Comixology because I got more for the $7.99 (JEEZ) price. Included in the extras is a gallery of 16 variant covers from uncanny artists like Skottie Young, Cliff Chiang, Leinil Francis Yu (who also did the regular cover), the legendary Dave Cockrum, and [checks notes] Rob Liefeld?

My favorite variant cover though is Jen Bartel’s X-girl gang piece. Just look at this beauty:

Uncanny X-Men #1 - Jen Bartel cover

Pull or Pass?

I’m not going to completely pass on this new Uncanny X-Men volume. I’ll probably pick up a couple more issues before I decide to either make this the first item in my new pull list or pass on the rest of the storyline and just jump back on when they finally bring back Cyclops.

There’s enough here to lure in people who are already fans of the X-Men but I’m not sure if new and lapsed readers will find it palatable. I wish there was a bigger hook in this first issue to get all kinds of readers to come back every week.

I give Uncanny X-Men #1 3 out of 5 all-new, all-different Fastball Specials.

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