Uncanny X-Men #3
The Story So Far:
Prior to Uncanny X-Men #3, our heroes were fighting on multiple fronts.
Jean and her team were trying to tame the dinosaurs running amok in Montana. X-23 had been eaten by a T-Rex and then ripped her way out in true Wolverine fashion.
Storm took her team to Kansas, where they encountered millions of Multiple Man (trying saying that ten times fast) clones. Okay, it wasn’t exactly millions but definitely thousands and exponentially more than they expected. Storm and her team were in the process of being overwhelmed.
Meanwhile back at the mansion, a mysterious visitor has waded through the piles of protesters to stand at the door facing our new recruits.
Warning: If you have not read Uncanny X-Men #3 There May Be Spoilers Below
- Written by Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson
- Art by Yildiray Cinar
- Cover by Leinil Francis Yu
Uncanny X-Men #3 is the third offering of this 10-part series. While this launch of this limited series started out facing harsh criticism from some for the chaotic story style, the multiple threads are starting to more clearly weave one tale. It’s still not easily understood why some of these events are happening but a complex story-line isn’t a bad thing – especially given this is the Uncanny X-Men.
If you also keep in mind that the events of Extermination & the upcoming Exterminated – it starts to look like Marvel is re-organizing its vast expanse of X-men and possibly moving toward a more cohesive Universe. That would explain why this relaunch is a short series rather than an ongoing. Hopefully, this is setting up for a new on-going Uncanny X-men series but whether this is the case or not; Uncanny X-Men #3 marks the point where we begin getting a few answers. The story is beginning to make more sense even for those who are new to the comic. Little by little, the pieces are falling into place. Unfortunately, it looks like our heroes are still confused.
Jean and her team managed to get the dinosaurs under control and rejoin Storm’s team, where she is surprised by the horde of Jamie Madrox clones. In the process of subduing the chaos, they discover Jamie Madrox in the most unlikely of places. It turns out my prediction about Legion was right. The big question is why. Jamie’s got a few answers and more than a few bumps and bruises.
The Four Horsemen
Our X-kids ignored their instincts in favor of compassion and let Legion into the house. It doesn’t take them long to see that was a mistake. Legion is fixated on saving the world and his patience is running low. Fortunately, Beast is on his way back to the mansion, and he’s not the only one. Jean, Storm, and the rest of the X-Men are in flight back with their injured teammates when Beast appraises them of trouble at the mansion.
Keep in mind that Legion isn’t necessarily a bad guy, or rather he doesn’t really see himself as a bad guy. He informs Jean that he is responsible for the vision she had in Uncanny X-Men #1. His continued insistence that he’s trying to protect them leads jean to demand to know what exactly he is protecting them from.
Enter the Four Horsemen. But these are not the Horseman we’ve seen before. The Four Horsemen traditionally serve Apocalypse after enduring a torturous conversion during which he augments their powers and/or outfits them with specially designed weapons and equipment using his advanced technology. That’s not the case, as these Horsemen look more like they’ve just stepped from the pages of a Christian Bible. We know also where Apocalypse is (Uncanny X-Men #1) and he didn’t look like he was in the condition to do much of anything.
All of these mutants are well known to fans and only one of them has ever been a Horsemen.
Uncanny X-Men #3 ends on a hell of a cliffhanger and there’s so much I want to say but really – you just need to read Uncanny X-Men #3.
Art & Writing
On the whole, I’m quite happy with this series, especially considering that there are three writers’ voices telling the tale. It’s very impressive that you can’t tell when one writer transitions to the next, even in the first issue. Uncanny X-Men #3 has no particular narration that stands out which allows each of character to have very distinct voices.
The story is complex but the character interaction is solid. Their many moments humanize our heroes. Iceman and Jean discussing Laura’s MVP moment, Bobby’s excitement about the Dinosaur mission, the frustration of the recruit causing a bit of bickering, the recruits needing to be acknowledged by the veteran X-Men, and my personal favorite – Jean and Storm having coffee.
As for the plot, yes, it’s a bit convoluted with some familiar elements (anti-mutant politicians are a staple but given that we still have obviously racist politicians IRL…) but the complexity of the plot is intriguing. As of Uncanny X-Men #3 the pieces we have are
- A mysterious Master of the Four Horsemen
- Someone powerful enough to take down Apocalypse
- Legion obsessed with saving the world
- Kitty Pryde captured
- Bishop received a warning about an unspecified cataclysmic event
- Beast retrieving a mystery container from the lab
- Someone with the ability to grant ordinary humans mutant powers
How could you not be interested in where this story is going?
Then there’s the art. I mentioned that I was stoked to see Cinar’s work on this issue. It was everything I expected. The full page of Storm and her team fighting the clones in Russell Springs, Kansas is amazing. I can’t decide if that or the first panel of Uncanny X-Men #3 (the one of Jean’s team in Montana) is my favorite. Cinar does a great job with faces too – Legion goes from benign genial dude to full throttle crazy-eyes. My favorite expression has to be the Horseman (no spoiler) talking with Jean. You’d recognize who he is even if they hadn’t named him. It’s the religious fervency of his expression in the second to the last panel of this comic really got me.
Bishop: “And your sign, sir.”
Actually, It’s not the line – it’s the look and the line. It’s really the whole 4-panel spread at the bottom of the second page. The way Bishop reaches out to help a person who sees him as an enemy. He bridges the hate with the common courtesy that he knows he’d never receive from this guy. It’s the way he calmly returns the guy’s sign painted with the slogan “God Hates Muties” and the disapproval firmly expressed in his face while he remains on a level of polite, calm civility that this bigot will never reach. There’s so much that makes Bishop one of my favorite characters; this single moment illustrates much of it.
Predictions: None I will say. I’m sitting here just waiting eagerly for the next issue. Uncanny X-Men #3 ended on a note I refuse to spoil because it’s a jaw drop.
Next Issue: December 5, 2018