Review: Uncanny X-Men #3

Uncanny X-Men #3The story of the latest volume of Uncanny X-Men sees a new issue this week, as the Dark Riders continue their killing spree of mutant healers.

It appears as though my hunch in my last review was correct and the Dark Riders quest is tied to some Darwinian ethos, given the current status quo with mutant kind and the Terrigen mists. This revelation came about courtesy of Psylocke’s psychic sleuthing and Magnetos’s rough handling of the Dark Riders.

I really enjoy the dynamic between these two characters. Their back and forth banter in this issue reminds me of how they were written during Kieron Gillen’s run  on the title. Their relationship seems to be a recognition of each others dark sides, but it’s done in a cordial and teasing way I have always appreciated. These two are really good foils for each other.

This issue is also marked by the re-emergence of Shen Xorn, as M attempts to further the team’s mission of protection to mutant healers. This was among the more interesting re-emergences as Xorn has been a notorious character due to major continuity flubs the characters’ use had previously caused.

During Grant Morrison’s visionary X-Men run, Xorn apparently took on the guise as Magneto and exacted revenge on New York for the atrocity committed in Genosha. Magneto was later revealed to be alive and elsewhere but confusion over what really took place and who was never 100% resolved. Xorn declined M’s assistance, but his reintroduction really has me anticipating an encounter with Magneto. If Cullen Bunn can unknot this continuity hiccup while resolving a long overdue encounter it would definitely add some weight to the current series,  I’m all for it.

I did not mention this in my previous review but I do have some concerns with Archangel falling sway to forces beyond his control again. Admittedly I am a bit unaware (as we all are) as to what has transpired within the 8 month jump but it doesn’t really matter. With something so familiar and recent (an apocalyptic possession) presumably happening to Archangel, I have reasonable concerns that Archangel is becoming a plot device again.

I understand that there is another Apocalypse event on the horizon but this really feels reductive, doubly so with so many Akkaba affiliated characters available for use. During the first volume of Wolverine and the X-Men I had always anticipated some apocalypse event perhaps with Blink, Chamber, and the newly cloned Genesis residing at the Jean Grey School. Anyone of those characters, (Genesis notwithstanding) could have filled in this role I find.  Still a lot remains to be seen, I am hoping I am proven wrong.

The last part of this issue reveals that Fantomex and Mystique have both been working with Hellfire Club with their investigation of the Someday Corporation. While this is an interesting development I felt that it led to a very flat ending and overall not much was added to progress the story to make it worthwhile.

All things considered It seems I have adjusted somewhat to Land’s art, either that or this particular issue wasn’t as overtly offensive as issues past. I found it less noxious as a result. There were some nice touches that I feel were worthy of note, I loved the neat effects that Magneto and Psylocke had while using their powers. The Butterfly telepathic effect is a time honoured effect but its use typically depends on the whims of the artist. In this issue Magneto’s gauntlets and boots had some glowing details that were really cool and made him feel more menacing.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Greg Land
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass/Borrow