‘Uncanny X-Men #4’ Choices, Sacrifices, And A Savior

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'Uncanny X-Men' #4 is available both online and in stores
‘Uncanny X-Men’ #4 is available both online and in stores

Uncanny X-Men #4

The Story So Far: 

Uncanny X-Men #4 released today and if you haven’t grabbed your copy, then head out now and grab it. As we discussed last week, the mysterious Master of the Four Horsemen has not been discovered. Legion in desperation wound up attacking the X-Men recruits, Jamie Maddrox was discovered bloody and bruised having been abused into creating the army of clones that were wreaking havoc. The X-Men arrive at the X mansion just ahead of the Four Horsemen. Facing Blob, Omega Red, Angel, and Magneto, they realized all too late that they had arrived just in time for their own demise.

Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Uncanny X-Men #4 There May Be Spoilers Below

 

Uncanny X-Men #4

Creative Team: 

Publisher: Marvel

Written by: Ed Brisson; Matt Rosenberg; Kelly Thompson

Art: Pere Perez     Cover: Elizabeth Torque

Series Rating: 5/5 Pull List Material

Maybe because I grew up on Marvel, or maybe because I’m eager to understand where the X-Men are heading in this new generation of the Marvel Universe – but this one was on my pull list from before the first issue dropped. While this isn’t the best of all of the Marvel storylines, it’s complex and interesting and seems to be pulling in some of the less known characters. I’m excited to see where this leads.

Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Uncanny X-Men #4 There May Be Spoilers Below

From MAJK’s Coffee Corner: 

Uncanny X-Men #4 is solid. The Master of The Four Horseman has finally shown his face, so has the ugly monster of distrust. Our recruits are fed up. They want to be heroes, they want to save the world and they are convinced that the veteran X-Men are closing themselves off potential assistance by locking up Legion. I mean, it’s not like he kidnapped and abused a fellow mutant. It’s not like he created an army of crazy clones… Oh, wait… yes, he did.

Unfortunately, the veteran X-Men aren’t exactly open to listening to the concerns of the children. Now, I realize that Jean never really had the chance to parent but I’m sure shutting down a conversation completely is a pretty solid recipe for teen angst and resentment. That rarely ends well, I’m thinking if those angsty resentful teens are mutants then the potential for bad things gets a lot worse.

Beast is back in the lab and whatever he has discovered has the normally calm scientist in a state of panic. He’s discovered a bottle of the vaccine is missing. The fact that he went from “it probably doesn’t work” to “What have I done” says there’s a lot more we need to know. I’m betting that vaccine does a lot more than stop a baby from developing the X-gene.

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He Are Legion

Our X-kids are feeling pretty compassionate toward Legion after their close call with death. Unfortunately, while they can see that Legion has issues, they don’t really know his history. How this story plays out with Legion is going to be interesting. There’s a lot of hope that Marvel is going to finally do something really good with Legion. Maybe even let him redeem himself as an actual hero instead of a repentant super villain.

Prior to Uncanny X-Men #4, Legion has been treated as a well-intentioned, complex, former supervillain with incredible powers and a terrible lack of good judgment. Too often, Legion has been yet another figure in pop culture that demonizes those with mental illness. The thing is that he’s not actually evil. There’s really not a malicious intent in the things he does. As a very astute Twitter user pointed out to me last week:

Maybe this could be a turning point. Could Marvel finally be extending the same “it’s okay to be different” philosophy to mental illness that they’ve extended in so many other aspects of humanity? It certainly seems possible since some of the recruits are willing to at least hear him out. They are determined to do what they think is right, even if they have to defy Jean Grey and the rest of the X-Men to do so. Legion is convinced that this is all his fault and the fault of the X-Men for not listening to him. (Remember that vision in Uncanny X-Men #1?)

X-Man is Back

Uncanny X-Men #4 prominently displays a character that we haven’t seen in a long time. In fact, if you haven’t been keeping up with Marvel comics in the last decade, you may not recognize X-Man. Most will realize by virtue of the name, Nate Grey, that he’s related to Jean Grey.

The fact is that he is the biological son of Earth-295’s Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Not to be confused with Nathan Summers, the biological son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey’s clone), Nate achieved vast telepathic and telekinetic powers (powers Cable might have had if he had not been infected by a techno-organic virus). Those powers are fully on display as X-Man declares that he is here to “save the world” and remake it to a more perfect place.

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The problem with people who claim they want to save the world is that often they are not bothered by the little things. I mean, what are a few thousand deaths in the process of achieving perfection. (yes, that’s sarcasm you smell) As we see in Uncanny X-Men #4, Nate is quite blinded by his self-appointed savior status and he considers no price too great. The fact that he has somehow convinced the others, including Magneto, to serve him is a testament to his power. How the X-Men are going to stop him is anyone’s guess.  Given that Marvel has announced an Age Of X-Man story-line for January 2019, I’d say it’s going to be a long and drawn out battle.

MAJK’s Age Recommendation:

While the Marvel age recommendation is Tweens & Teens – 12+ years of age. I generally agree with their guidelines. I would definitely advise parents to keep in mind there are some pretty intense themes here. Jamie’s discussion of his captivity and abuse by Legion evokes some pretty intense emotion. Also, there is comic book violence – after all saving the world isn’t exactly an argument over tea.

Best Line & Why

Best Line: X-23 “It was totally a megalodon. Do I get to stab it?”

There is a lot of good dialogue in here and some pretty deep philosophical lines. This whole issue offers a lot to unpack in the discussion of the cost of making the world a better place. I think though it’s the overall serious tone that makes this line my favorite. In the heat of battle with the world facing inexplicable disasters, Laura is still very much Laura. The idea of her excitement over the possible fight with a megalodon blows into the rest of the tension light a cool summer breeze. Also, I just freakin’ adore her character.

Next Issue: December 12, 2018

Uncanny X-Men #5

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