By: Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung
I have to admit: I was actually shocked at the identity of the solicited death in this issue's cliffhanger. There were at least three better candidates in my mind, so I'm excited to see what happens next.
But other than that, this issue was a mess. This whole origin of Scarlet Witch's new powers still goes unnamed or unexplored, as Dr. Doom is defeated way too easily. There are a few good character moments, but there are simply so many characters here that this issue feels half done. Basically, this series might have been better off being one issue shorter. Or perhaps they just needed to take up time until Avengers Vs. X-Men?
By: Duane Swierczynski & Jesus Saiz
When this series rebooted, with new character Starling and no Barbara Gordon anywhere in sight, I was worried. I tried it out, though, and I actually liked it - Swierczynski writes a mean Black Canary and Saiz's darker style hearkens back to when I first read the series with artist Butch Guice. The addition of a crazy Katana (more personality than she's had in a while) and a trying to do good (and well redesigned) Poison Ivy were stellar choices.
But then the first storyline has dragged on for five issues now, with a rather blank villain, when it feels like a 2 or 3 issue story. Barbara Gordon has even shown up, there might be a surprise gay in the mix, and I still can't be bothered to care. If this series doesn't pick up the pace in the next few issues, I'm afraid I'm going to have to drop it from my pull list.
By: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, & David Lopez
The main thing I love about the post-Schism New Mutants is the art. Lopez has got this engaging style that's different than anything in the X-Men line or the majority of the Marvel line. While a bit on the cartoon side, each of the characters are distinctive to the extreme, there are great facial expressions all around, and his Warlock (a shape-changing, techno-organic alien) is one of the best I've ever seen.
And Abnett and Lanning (two writers I loved on Guardians of the Galaxy) normally bring it. But this issue, the final of the three-parter, feels blah. The writers play to their new artist's strengths, but the overall plot just feels pointless. Fan-favorite Blink, a recurring X-Men fringe character, appears but just leaves again, and the villain doesn't seem like they'll be returning anytime soon. It just begs the question: why did this story happen again?
By: Kieron Gillen & Greg Lang
When Gillen first took over Uncanny X-Men from Matt Fraction, it felt like busy as usual. The same issues Fraction had, Gillen had. In fact, it was almost hard to tell that the writer had changed at all.
But with the relaunch of this series, Gillen suddenly emerged as the most engaging new X-Men writer in a long time, thanks mostly to a great understanding of the characters, a heavy dosing of humor amidst the melodrama, and the best dialogue anywhere on the Marvel line (take that, Brian Michael Bendis). You know a writer's got chops when the walking goddess Storm is consistently funny while still in character.
And sure, Greg Land is the artist on this issue. It's better than it was, pre-relaunch, but it's still not great with several recognizable phototraces from previous issues. Overall, though, I'm loving it.
By: Christos Gage & David Baldeon
Gage takes over the Legacy series here from longtime writer Mike Carey, and I have to say, I like it. For the first time since that school bus blew up, the X-Men's school feels like a school. Unlike previous incarnations, where the students were constantly fighting, it appears the students might actually be students. Especially if Rogue has anything to do with it.
The character mix Gage is using is a nice continuation from Carey's run, with the additions of a few new faces that might inject a much needed picker-upper for the series. Minor X-Men Rachel Grey, Cannonball, and Husk need more attention in my book, so I'm all for it. Overall, a good start to a new direction, with pretty, bright, but not remarkable art.