TheGeek reviews Uncanny X-Men 534.1!
Credits & Solicit Info:
UNCANNY X-MEN #534.1
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Pencils & Cover by CARLOS PACHECO
Special Point One issue.
Magneto is an X-Man. This may not be news to you, but only a handful in the Marvel Universe know that the poster boy for Fearing Mutants is now living just off the coast of one of the United State's largest cities. How on Earth are the X-Men going to explain the presence of one of the world's most infamous super villains? This Point One issue provides the answer, and is a perfect jumping on point to the flagship X-Men book. And to make it even MORE special, superstar-artist CARLOS PACHECO (ULTIMATE AVENGERS, ULTIMATE THOR) gets in on the fun!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
The latest issue of Uncanny X-Men is another addition to Marvel's Point One Initiative, a series of 'jumping on' points for new readers or fans who would like to try new books but don't know where to start. The X-Men have had so many status quo shifts in the past few years alone that getting into them could be a daunting task. Thankfully for Marvel's merry mutants, Uncanny X-Men #534.1 is just what people need.
Writer Kieron Gillen makes good use of the issue to introduce us to the X-Men. They now live on the island of Utopia, and there's a new team in town composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus, Kitty Pride, Emma Frost, Namor and Magneto. Yes, the X-Men's on-again, off-again nemesis and teammate has joined their ranks (again) and if word gets out, it will become a public relations disaster. In the end, who knew Magneto needed a PR expert to improve his image?
I love how Gillen manages to take a particularly boring meeting between Magneto and a PR person and use it to give us everything you need to know about the Master of Magnetism. His thoughts, his views on humanity as a whole, it's all there for readers to absorb. I really appreciate these little character moments, as they help me get to know characters I would not otherwise take the time to discover.
It's not just Magneto that gets fleshed out here; Gillen sets up an encounter with A.I.M. goons to show us how the new X-Men team operates, how they act under pressure. Namor in particular gets in a few lines demonstrating just how much of a suave mofo he is. Faced with the threat of A.I.M. unleashing a massive earthquake on San Francisco., Namor smugly retorts, "Only Namor has the ability to make the earth move...and he reserves that privilege for one woman at a time." Only Namor gets to act like a douchebag and get away with it, and that's just the way I like it.
I was surprised to see the art was done by Carlos Pacheco. His work is more subdued here, more down-to-earth, a departure from his usually stylized art. It tells the story well enough, but with Frank D'Armata on colors, it reminds me too much of the colorist's muddy work in "Invincible Iron Man." The only high point in the art for me was the vibrant color used on Magneto, making him stand out all the more.
In the end, Magneto proves his good intentions, for better or for worse, and I'm interested in where Gillen wants to take this next. For fans following Uncanny" or any other X-Men book, this might underwhelm and seem like a waste of time. Good thing you can skip it and miss nothing. But for new readers, this is an issue that does exactly what Marvel's Point One initiative set out to do; which, according to what I've been hearing around the interwebs, is pretty rare.
Review by: TheGeek