This past November, during AiPT!’s Uncanny X-Month event, I spoke to Adam Reck and Zack Jenkins, co-hosts of the very entertaining “Battle of the Atom” podcast, about “X-Men Twitter.” This loosely linked online community of X-Fans loves Marvel’s merry mutants–and especially, it seems, some of the most obscure characters to ever grace the pages of an X-Men comic. Without revealing too much about Uncanny X-Men #9’s big twist, I can confidently say the penultimate chapter of “X-Men Disassembled” will be X-Men Twitter’s favorite issue of co-writers Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson’s run.
And if I’m wrong, I’m sure X-Men Twitter will let me know.
If I am wrong, this comic is at least my personal favorite issue of the relaunched Uncanny X-Men. From the high-stakes action and its celebration of classic X-Men tropes to yet another very powerful moment for Jean Grey (following a run packed with powerful moments over in X-Men Red), this comic truly has everything an X-Men fan could ask for (except Cyclops and Wolverine, of course).
We open with X-Man now in control of Legion’s body. Nate Grey’s brought along his trademark “X” chest tattoo but kept David Haller’s Marge Simpson hairdo. But X-Man’s no joke; he’s, as Iceman puts it, “An omega-level mutant in the driver’s seat of another omega-level mutant.” X-Man’s had it with the X-Men — even his “mother” Jean — and unleashes his super-powered fury on both the X-adults and X-kids we’ve been following since this series’ debut.
There are tons of mutants flying around all over the place throughout this issue and artist Yildiray Cinar handles it like the pro this series has transformed him into. And, in a wonderfully epic two-page spread, Cinar ensures that his artwork will serve as Jean Grey fans’ desktop background for many years to come.
Also, Cinar provides the answer to the question I never knew I wanted to ask: What happens when you squeeze a Glob?
In between all the action, the Uncanny writing trio truly shines with the quieter character moments. The interactions between Jean and the X-kids, Beast and Anole (yes, that subplot is finally resolved!) and Kitty and Senator Allen are all 100% true to the X-Men and it’s a beautiful thing to see. I really respect how amongst all the insanity, Brisson, Rosenberg and Thompson have made a point not to lose sight of those core values at the center of the X-Men franchise.
And I continue to love the take on Apocalypse we’re seeing in “X-Men Disassembled.” This is a version of Apocalypse who, in the height of battle, just decides, “Ya know what, I’m gonna go kill that human.”
No matter how readers feel about X-Man, or the fact that this obscure ’90s mutant has suddenly become the X-Men’s greatest adversary, I will say that this issue does a solid job of explaining not just his motivation, but his always-questionable codename. It’s a heartbreaking sequence that ends on the most heroic note possible, setting up an epic conclusion next week that will somehow lead into the long-promised “Age of X-Man.” How we get there, I have no idea.
The eXtremely complex “X-Men Disassembled” has had more than a few high points, while also being anything but a smooth ride from the get-go, with the story often tripping over its frequent pacing issues. With that said, after this week’s solid outing, I have complete faith in this creative team to successfully carry this first — very crazy — story arc past the finish line. Or, at the very least, an alternate dimension where X-Man reigns.