And I mean that in the best possible way.
Because when it comes to comics, “insane” could apply to Grant Morrison’s brand of high-concept, sci-fi storytelling. Or, you could be reading a trainwreck of a narrative that makes you question its creators’ sanity (like if the average Michael Bay Transformers movie was in comic book form).
In the case of Uncanny X-Men, it’s the fun kind of insanity… because it’s fun to see a Magneto who has been transformed into a bushy-bearded wizard loyal only to X-Man. This is the type of insanity that makes Kitty Pryde and Apocalypse stand side by side conversing. Ultimately, it’s insanity that’s guaranteed to rock the X-Men’s world for issues and issues to come. What a mess these co-writers have made of Marvel’s mutants!
Again, in a good way!
After last issue’s tighter focus on the X-Kids and X-Man in the Age of Apocalypse, we bring everybody back into the picture. And I mean everybody–not just Jean Grey, Storm and the X-Men, but Beast too! Finally, we find out more about that Beast subplot… before quickly cutting back to the main attraction (Angry Emoji Face).
Now, just as every X-Fan has a favorite X-Men character, they also have a favorite type of X-Men story. While Armor, Glob and the rest of the rebellious X-Kids are wonderful, I’m always going to prefer parts of “X-Men Disassembled” that focus on those classic X-Men. So Uncanny X-Men #8 was definitely more my speed than the last issue. There’s just so much going on: Archangel trying to reason with his former co-worker Omega Red, Blob pissing off X-23 (and a whole lot of Laura’s fanbase, no doubt) and, as I alluded to earlier, an Apocalypse that’s forced to be just one of the gang.
Trust me, there’s a single panel this issue featuring Apocalypse and Pixie that’s destined to become one of those new-classic X-Men moments.
Anyway, it all goes horribly wrong by issue’s end because, you guessed it, this comic’s insane.
This week, it’s artist R.B. Silva’s turn to bring the insanity to life and, as always, he does so beautifully. I know everyone is still gaga over Nightcrawler’s beard, but that Magneto Santa Claus beard has never looked more magnificent.
Beyond the beards (oh so many X-beards to draw this issue), Silva renders an astonishing Apocalypse that’s both imposing and vulnerable. I also think the all-new, all-different Psylocke design looks best when Silva’s illustrating her sleek style. Seriously, where’s that new Psylocke Marvel Legends action figure, Hasbro?
Now, some minor spoilers up ahead, so if you haven’t read this comic yet, you may want to turn around.
What doesn’t have me so excited this week is the fact that more often than not, the endings of “X-Men Disassembled” chapters are spoiled by the following issue’s cover. I know it’s more about the journey, and maybe this is more on me for looking at the covers of comics that are still months away, but I’d love if I didn’t already know this issue’s big cliffhanger before that final page turn.
Still, there are plenty of fun surprises that haven’t been spoiled to go around–like X-Men Group Editor Jordan D. White’s sure-to-be-groan-inducing X-Men New Year’s Resolutions on this issue’s final page. Actually, with all those puns… this may be one time, you don’t survive the experience.