The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 drags the few X-Men left in the world into the epic crossover event The War of the Realms. Full disclosure: I’ll stan X-Men until the day I die. That said. I’m not in love with this issue, but I don’t hate it either. Overall, it’s a good book with solid art, and it does a good job maintaining a consistent character tone with the current X-Men series. It feels like a lot of set-up, though, and it reminds us of the connection between Dani Moonstar and the Asgardians. The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 isn’t a critical component in terms of understanding this event, but it is a fun compliment to both The War of The Realms and The Uncanny X-Men continuity.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1; The Uncanny X-Men #15 or #16 There WILL Be Spoilers Below
War of the Realms Timeline:
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 fits into The War of The Realms reading order checklist after Venom #13 and just before The War of the Realms #3. In terms of chronology, it seems to follow just after The War of the Realms #2 because Dani Moonstar felt Odin’s call but arrived too late to join the Valkyries.
Publisher: Marvel Writer: Matthew Rosenberg Artist: Pere Perez
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg Letters: Travis Lanham Cover Artist: David Yardin
Variant Covers: John Tyler Christopher; Whilce Portacio & Chris Sotomayor; Giuseppe Camuncoli & Elia Bonetti
The Uncanny X-Men Timeline:
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 comes into the Uncanny X-Men timeline oddly due to the publication dates. Given Rahne’s presence on the team, it has to go before The Uncanny X-Men #16. Dani and the others aren’t afflicted with the Transmode virus, and Hope appears to have integrated with the group which places it after The Uncanny X-Men #15. What is odd is that The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 released after The Uncanny X-Men #16 in which Dani senses Rahne’s death. There’s nothing in the later to suggest that The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 tie-in ever occurred. Wolverine’s absence from this tie-in also seems odd given he doesn’t leave the group until The Uncanny X-Men #17. His presence in The War of The Realms #1 and his conversation with Punisher in The War of The Realms #2 implies he’s already left the group.
There is also the odd fact that Dani is also present in Age of X-Man: Prisoner X. She’s the only member of the team present in both the utopian world of Age of X-Man and Earth 616 simultaneously.
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 Cover
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 offers some lovely variant covers, but I have to say my favorite cover was the standard one drawn by David Yardin. The focus on Dani Moonstar is evident, but positioning and shading build a strong presence of Rahne, Magik, and Karma. The ladies are realistically detailed with the fierce, fearless expressions you’d expect from warriors who’ve spent so much time in battle. The intricate linework on Dani’s armor and hair wraps, combined with the lighting from the background and the spell effects on Magik’s sword and around Karma is gorgeous. The most stunning feature of this cover is the eyes. From the piercing blue gaze of Magik to the intensity of Dani’s glare, eyes and faces of these ladies showcase Yardin’s exceptional talent.
Before The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1:
The battle with the X-Man has left the mutant population decimated, and the bulk of the X-Men are missing and presumed dead. Following that cataclysmic event, mutant hate has grown. The few X-Men that remain have united with the unlikely duo of Cyclops and Wolverine. Systematically, the team works through a long list of lingering threats to mutantkind. Most recently, the team added Banshee and Hope Summers to the team, after resolving an incident in which Hope shot one of Cyclops’ eyeballs out of his head. Dark Beast was able to heal Cyclops but not able to save his eye.
Call of The Valkyries
Low on morale and low on resources, the X-Men are unaware of the hordes that Malekith has unleashed on New York. In The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 they have no clue that Earth/Midgard is the last standing realm in an ongoing war of gods and madmen. Dani Moonstar feels the call of Odin because she is a valkyrie. It’s that connection to Asgard that will drag the few remaining X-Men into The War of the Realms.
Mid-battle, Dani feels the call as she tries to focus on the fight with Nanny and Orphan Maker. She can’t ignore it. She and Magik vanish mid-fight. The others manage a hard-won victory and, as they are recovering, Magik appears with news that Dani’s in trouble.
Cyclops, Rahne, Havok, and Jaime follow Magik and find themselves in The West Village facing an army of Dark Elves, Trolls, and Frost Giants. It’s then that Magik fills them in on the details of Malekith’s assault and the War of the Realms.
Overwhelmed by Malekith’s forces, Cyclops sends Magick to bring back everyone from Harry’s. In the nick of time, Banshee, Hope, Chamber, and Karma arrive. The group doesn’t stay together long, though. Magik suddenly dives into a hole after learning Rahne fell. Hope takes Chamber and heads after Magik against Cyclops’ orders. Karma takes Scott (Cyclops) to task for not going with them. A big takeaway from The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 is that this whole team concept needs work. Scott might consider investing in one of those team building programs that uses trust falls and such.
In the tunnels, Hope and Chamber find Rahne and one of the Jaimes. They’ve lost Magik now but found someone else. This someone is affecting Hope’s powers, and she looks scared. Above ground, Cyclops and his group find Dani and witness the devastation Malekith’s war has wrought.
The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 brings only consistency to the table. That’s not a bad thing. With X-Men fans, it’s crucial to avoid spinning off to many divergent plot threads. Matthew Rosenberg does a great job balancing the War of the Realms with the events of the current Uncanny line. I love that Rosenberg capitalizes on this opportunity to highlight characters that haven’t gotten much attention lately. Havok, Magik, and Wolfsbane (Rahne) get a lot more action-oriented screen time in this title. This makes me very happy, especially in light of what is happening in issue #17 and #18 of The Uncanny X-Men.
Havok fans will love the work artist Pere Perez and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg pull off in The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1. The level of kinetic energy their combined talents bring to this issue put it right in line with Dauterman’s work on War of the Realms. Travis Lanham’s lettering manages to flow right along with the action, helping us keep track of who’s talking mid-fight which is no easy task with battle royales like these. I love the way his sound effect work in this issue did a lot of the foreshadowing. Indeed this creative team turned in an excellent performance worthy of an X-title.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
Marvel’s doing a great job keeping the action high while reducing anything that might take this title beyond their 12+ recommendation. I’m happy to agree with their call on this one.
As always, I caution those sensitive to violence simply because this is war. A global war of this scale with enemies of this nature is going to have its share of death and dismemberment. Nothing graphic is focused on in this issue, but the final scene could be upsetting depending on your level of tolerance. Honestly, if you regularly read X-Men titles, The War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1 shouldn’t put you out of sorts.
Best Line & Why
Cyclops: “Havok, do something dumb.”
Havok: “ON IT!”
These brothers swing back and forth between bickering and backing each other up. This line is quintessential Summers boys.