Uncanny X-Men #3 is… an interesting comic. It’s also a good comic. But after finishing the third part of “X-Men Disassembled,” I couldn’t help but experience contradictory reactions to what I’d just read. For instance, this comic is packed with action and story developments, yet, it left me craving more. And it begins to provide answers to the series’ many questions, while also leaving me in the dark in other ways.
Ultimately, I feel as though Uncanny X-Men has reached a point where it can’t help but suffer slightly from the fact that it kicked off with a weekly, 10-part story. A week between issues isn’t a long wait at all, but the fact that writers Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson only have so many pages to work with every week definitely affects their epic’s pacing. There’s a plot point from Uncanny X-Men #1, for example, that we still haven’t revisited by this issue’s conclusion. Again–not the biggest deal when you’re reading all 10 parts in one sitting, but on a weekly basis, these details are a lot more noticeable.
With all that said, I’ve been reading X-Men event comics for many years now. Going into a third, fourth or fifth part of a larger arc, I know I’m going to get some minor plot developments, but nothing too internet-shattering. Marvel always saves the big stuff for later on. It takes a few issues to lay that foundation. And that’s the case with Uncanny X-Men #3.
Though, I will say, readers who have been following this series since its debut earlier this month will be happy to see we’re finally getting somewhere, specifically with the ongoing Multiple Man mystery. What’s wrong with Jamie Madrox? Why do his dupes have different powers? Why was Jean Grey getting glimpses into the future? Yep, all those questions are finally answered.
Where is Kitty Pryde? Yeah, you’re going to have to keep waiting for that one.
While the X-Men are in the field dealing with the crazed Madri, the X-Kids have their hands full with Legion, who showed up on their doorstep during last issue’s cliffhanger. I feel like Professor Xavier’s son is one of those X-characters who can’t help but be confusing, and that’s certainly the case here due to his new status quo. As I mentioned in my review of Uncanny X-Men #2, I’ve yet to read Marvel’s recent Legion mini-series (though I ordered the trade paperback over the weekend!), so I’m as clueless as some of the X-Men he interacts with. The writers do enough to catch me up on what I need to know, but it’s a bit frustrating–and very X-Men–to toss this new take on David Haller into an already very busy story. Then again, maybe I know exactly what I need to know and catching up on that Legion comic won’t have any impact on my reading experience. We’ll see.
Still, despite my nitpicks, I said this is a good comic–and I mean it! While not as much as in the previous two issues, the writers make time for some nice character moments… mostly involving Bishop. I know, I’m as shocked as you are–Bishop the baby hunter! There’s a simple-yet-strong interaction between Bishop and a racist protester early on that perfectly captures the essence of the X-Men, and then a funnier scene with Iceman immediately following. It’s moments like these that make me wish we could see the three Uncanny writers cut loose on one of those classic X-Men issues where the team’s just hanging around the mansion doing everyday stuff like eating breakfast, because I’m confident it’d be the most entertaining X-comic of the year.
Also strong–this issue’s art by Yildiray Cinar. The idea of rotating artists on this first arc made me nervous, but I feel like Cinar’s pencils are similar enough to Mahmud Asrar’s on Uncanny X-Men #1 that there’s some nice continuity in the visuals department. The similarities are especially apparent when Cinar recreates one of Asrar’s scenes from Uncanny X-Men #1. At the same time, Cinar has a style all his own, which is a bit more detailed and realistic than Asrar’s more animated images.
If you’ve seen the covers for next month’s four issues of Uncanny X-Men (and let’s face it, you have), then you likely have a sense of what this issue’s cliffhanger could be or who it might feature. Marvel’s always-revealing marketing is one more knock against this series. Aside from the first issue’s ending, the cliffhangers to Uncanny X-Men #2 and #3 have been pretty predictable due to the following issues’ covers. We know the “Age of X-Man” is coming, but hopefully “X-Men Disassembled” still has some surprises up its sleeve.Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. But you know what? Here at AiPT!, we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! Brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…