We're about four weeks away from the long-awaited relaunch of Uncanny X-Men, which means we're still far enough out that Marvel hasn't spoiled the whole thing in the New York Times, but close enough that they've released quite a bit of previews and solitications from which we can glean nuggets of X-information about what's going to happen. As such, and barring any other obvious topic for this week's columns, we thought it would be a good time to look back at what Marvel has shown us from the Uncanny X-Men reboot so far.
Let's start off with the most recent preview, unlettered (read a lettered version here). We'll also include an uncolored, unlettered page that was released back in August by artist Mahmud Asrar. In these pages, Storm and Beast are in what appears to be Africa, with Beast collecting samples from the water for science. What is he looking for?
Then we have these pages from Uncanny X-Men #1, showing a Jamie Madrox demanding Jean Grey tell him where Kitty Pryde is before he's stabbed to death by X-23.
Jean then asks around at the Xavier Institute, learning that Kitty took a bunch of the younger X-Men on a plane trip before an upcoming press conference. Or did this happen earlier? It's hard to tell. And by the way, what could that press conference be about?
And we know what happened to Kitty and the X-kids on that plane ride from some other unlettered pages (read a lettered version here), and it isn't good. Also note MLF member Fourarm on the Blackbird's dashboard holo-display (what transport jet doesn't have one of those?).
The Blackbird repair bill for the X-Men must be astronomical. And from the most recent preview again, we know what happens after that crash.
So for one thing, we've got a fully reformed Mutant Liberation Front there. And also, as Jamie Madrox asked, where's Kitty Pryde? Did she survive the crash?
Elsewhere, some amount of time after the first Jamie Madrox dupe asked Jean about it, the adult X-Men are having trouble dealing with more Jamie Madroxes, still wanting to know where Kitty Pryde is.
And then, from a CBR EX-X-XCLUSIVE that we want to take a moment to assure CBR we were all very impressed with, there's some art said to be from Uncanny X-Men #2-#4. Showing the X-Men watching chaos break out around the world…
And fighting more Jamie dupes…
And then in this final page, from Uncanny X-Men #4, watching a much less impressive television than in Uncanny X-Men #2 and in a much shabbier headquarters.
It looks like a few of the kids, at least, made it out of that battle with the MLF alive and hooked back up with their adult counterparts. Is that Kitty, standing on the edge of the first panel? Phew!
So that's everything we've seen so far, and we're less than a month away from the 72-page debut issue. But perhaps we can inspire a little more speculation with a look through the issues that have been solicited so far and their main covers (if you want to track down all the variants, start here):
UNCANNY X-MEN #1-3
ED BRISSON, KELLY THOMPSON & MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W)
ISSUE #1 – MAHMUD ASRAR, MARK BAGLEY, & MIRKO COLAK
ISSUE #2 – R.B. SILVA (A)
ISSUE #3 – YILDIRAY CINAR (A)
Covers by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
THE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM ARE BACK!
New ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic, the flagship X-Men series that started it all is back and better than ever! Starting with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, the X-Men are drawn into what might be…their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and Kelly Thompson (MR. & MRS. X) and all-star artists Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X) and Pere Pérez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT) join forces to bring you…X-MEN DISASSEMBLED?!
ISSUE #1 – 72 PGS./Rated T+ …$7.99
ISSUE #2-3 – 32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T …$3.99 (EACH)
UNCANNY X-MEN #4-7
ED BRISSON, KELLY THOMPSON & MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W)
PERE PÉREZ (ISSUES 4 & 8), R.B. SILVA (ISSUE 5) & YILDIRAY CINAR (ISSUE 6) (A)
Covers by ELIZABETH TORQUE
X-MEN DISASSEMBLED CONTINUES!
Just when things didn't look like they could get worse… The ride of the Four Horsemen of Salvation? The coming of X-Man? And…a return to the AGE OF APOCALYPSE? The weekly epic that threatens to leave the X-Men in tatters rolls on toward its explosive conclusion!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
UNCANNY X-MEN #8-#10
ED BRISSON, KELLY THOMPSON & MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • Covers by Guiseppe Camuncoli
Issue #8 Penciled by R.B. SILVA
Issue #9 Penciled by YILDIRAY CINAR
Issue #10 Penciled by PERE PEREZ
ISSUE #8 – CONAN VERSUS MARVEL VILLAINS VARIANT COVER BY TBA
ISSUE #8 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VARIANT COVER BY TBA
ISSUE #8 – ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
ISSUE #9 – ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
ISSUE #10 – VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
ISSUE #10 – VARIANT COVER BY DAVID FINCH
ISSUE #10 – ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
From the Age of Apocalypse to the end of the X-Men…and the dawn of the AGE OF X-MAN???
ISSUES #8-9 – 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
ISSUE #10 – 40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
And of course…
UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1
ED BRISSON (W) • CARLOS GOMEZ (A)
Cover by SALVADOR LAROCCA
VARIANT COVER BY EDUARD PETROVICH
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
And finally, we know that when the X-Men Disassembled storyline wraps up in the oversized Uncanny X-Men #10, we launch into a brand new storyline called the Age of X-Man and featuring Nate Grey. Who certainly looks like kind of a bad guy in the covers up above, along with Legion, and, of course, Jamie Madrox.
So there's really a lot we've seen from the relaunch so far… and yet, we know so frustratingly little! Well, the wait is almost over. And until then, believe it or not, there's still some other X-Men comics coming out. Let's find out what happened in the ones that came out this week.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
X-Men Black Mystique #1
(W) Seanan McGuire, Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler (A) Marco Failla (CA) J. Scott Campbell
THAT'S SO RAVEN!
What's a day in the life for Raven Darkholme, A.K.A. Mystique? Brutal kills, revenge-fueled chills, seductive thrills…and that's all before breakfast! Award-winning author Seanan McGuire (X-MEN GOLD ANNUAL #2) and rising star Marco Failla take Marvel's multifaceted mutant murderess for a spin! PLUS: Part 3 of X-MEN BLACK: APOCALYPSE!
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
X-Men Black Mystique is a character-focused issue that sees Mystique use her shapeshifting powers in a complex sequence of events that far exceeds the usual "Mystique is impersonating one person" story. It starts out with Mystique impersonating a socialite in order to lure "wholesome" Senator William Blake to a dinner date where she then pretends he gave her a black eye, something she did "to blow off a little steam." Then she impersonates a variety of characters to make her way across the country to a suburban Trask Industries installation where a young mutant whose powers just developed name Whitney James is being held captive. First, she impersonates a flight attendant or two to get through airport security, causing chaos as she switches to pop diva Lindy Starr, then into another random two women before impersonating Whitney James herself and buying some poison and a backpack resembling Whitney's own from a big box store.
A bellboy, a disgruntled hotel guest, and a Trask Industries maintenance man later and Mystique makes her way to the basement of the Trask facility where she dumps poison in the water supply and, for good measure, poison gas into the air supply (I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you. I know you were right believing for so long.) Ahem. Mystique is there to steal some data from the building, working her way up the corporate ladder of impersonations as she makes her way through the building. She's also happy enough to rescue Whitney while she's there.
Unfortunately, that's so she can frame her for murdering everyone in the building with poison before dropping her off outside of Portland.
In the Apocalypse backup story, Apocalypse has gone full caveman, and he's beginning to lose his intelligence too. That's too bad, because he needs that to repair the device he's carrying on his back so he can get back to his world and stop the devolution of his body. Unfortunately, his backpack is stolen by apes who beat the crap out of him, only to run away when some futuristic humanoids show up, but the issue ends there.
This issue served mostly as a showcase for what X-writers could do with Mystique's powers if they put some effort into it, which Seanan McGuire, Marvel's new hot prospect, is happy to do. Seanan, you're making everyone else look bad! Just have Mystique impersonate Nick Fury or something and call it a day!
Ah, well. If we're going to insist on finding inventive new ways to use 40-year-old characters, then we guess we have no choice but to award X-Men Black the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Congratulations to the creative team on this immense honor.
Astonishing X-Men #16
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A/CA) Greg Land
• Havok, leader of…the Reavers?!
• What circumstances have led Havok to side with the bad guys once more?
• And will it stick this time?
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
Astonishing X-Men #16 kicks off with Dazzler, Colossus, and Beast imprisoned in the Office of National Emergency headquarters. Dazzler tries to escape, but is quickly subdued. The evil General Callahan is going to kill her, but Beast, never one to pass up an opportunity to betray his teammates, offers to work for him in exchange for his life. @#$%ing Beast. Meanwhile, Havok and Warpath team up with The Reavers, who need to pull a nanovirus out of Havok's nose (put there by Bastion) in order to track down the X-Men and Donald Pierce, who is also being held by Callahan… or so they say.
At the ONE headquarters, Beast has a chat with Pierce, who seems to be up to something. He also has a built-in communicator in his cyborg body that lets him talk to the Reavers, meaning they must have had another reason for wanting Bastion's nanovirus from Havok. Havok, Warpath, and The Reavers attack the ONE base and free the X-Men. Beast claims he was just working with ONE to find out what they were up to, but he didn't have enough time. Sure, Beast. We believe you. Some Sentinels attack, but the Reavers save the day… by taking over the Sentinels using the nanovirus, which apparently lets them take over any technology and make it part of them. Oops!
Also, the Reavers are now going to kill the X-Men. Next issue.
Sure, this is a lame duck comic with the relaunch coming up, but it's still lots of fun, especially to see Beast characterized as the backstabbing traitor he is. Next up…
Mr. and Mrs. X #4
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Oscar Bazaldua (CA) Terry Dodson
• Undercover in the Shi'ar Empire!
• Rogue and Gambit must infiltrate the Shi'ar homeworld in order to save a precious package.
• But how are they going to wine and dine the Empire's elite when its soldiers are hot on their trail?
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
Rogue and Gambit are spending their honeymoon as prisoners of the Shi'ar on their homeworld of Chandilar. It reminds us of our own honeymoon. The guards have thoroughly searched Gambit to make sure he has no surprises to use to free himself, but it turns out that Rogue was keeping a lockpick in her mouth, which she gives to Gambit via a sexy upside-down make-out session. Gambit frees himself and then Rogue, and they locate Xandra, the daughter of Professor X and Lilandra, who has been using her psychic powers to pretend to be an egg. It turns out that getting captured was part of Rogue and Gambit's plans, since the Shi'ar only have one facility on their planet for holding both invading X-Men and psychic eggs. Slick.
Xandra helps them escape in a Shi'ar ship by using her pyschic powers to disguise them, but they're soon attacked… by the Starjammers? It turns out the Starjammers mistook them for Imperial Guard. They land on a nearby moon to regroup, which lets Xandra reunite with Cerise. Xandra takes this opportunity to offer to fix Rogue's powers so she can touch people if she wants, but Rogue doesn't want to do it because it would be "too easy," and also it would prevent it from being used as a long-running plot device.
Before long, the Imperial Guard attack and a fight breaks out, which writer Kelly Thompson lets us know on Twitter pays homage to a fight from way back in Uncanny X-Men #275 (read it on Marvel Unlimited).
Then Deathbird shows up with a bunch of soldiers and they attack as well. But it all comes to a halt when Rogue and Xandra start glowing and explode. What happened? We'll have to wait until next issue to find out.
Unlike the other X-books, Mr. and Mrs. X is set to continue through the Uncanny X-Men relaunch, and at least during the first story arc, it's not even going to crossover, which is more than most people can say for their honeymoons.
Old Man Logan #49
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Ibraim Roberson (CA) Andrea Sorrentino
RAGE INTO DARKNESS!
• The Maestro made a terrible enemy…
• …one who can take all the punishment he can dish out…
• …one just as stubborn as he is…
• …the man named Logan!
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
It's take two of Elderly Wolverine vs Elserly Hulk, as Old Man Logan wakes up naked in a ditch after being defeated by Maestro last issue, following a nightmare about his family being killed back in the Wastelands (jeez, dude, get over it). He's found by one of the young townspeople of Fort Wells, Joshua, and a patrol partner who might have a name too though it's not really important here. Joshua helps Wolverine, but his partner wants nothing to do with it and believes Joshua is only going to bring down more trouble on the townsfolk. Joshua brings logan to a room in town to recover.
Meanwhile, King Maestro holds a trial for Caleb and Aaron, the two guards who let Wolverine into the town in the previous issue. They turn on each other and Maestro sentences both to be hanged. Later, Logan wakes up after being out for five days. Joshua has brought him his backpack, which contains a dose of regenix, the healing factor drug that can restore Logan to full health but is quickening his demise. Though if we're being honest, they're kind of dragging that demise out as it is, so maybe that's not such a bad thing. Logan says he's going to fight Maestro, but Joshua's partner from earlier barges in with more guards and kills Joshua before shooting Logan, causing Logan to fall out a window and right into the town square where Caleb and Aaron are about to be executed.
Maestro is pleased to get to kill Logan again, while we see the regenix sticking out of Logan's pocket in the final shot before we end on the second cliffhanger in a row featuring Logan dead or dying.
You know what, that's a helluva way to end a book. More comics should end by killing Wolverine as often as possible. There's one more issue of Old Man Logan before it ends, but don't look for Logan to die permanently next issue. That will happen in the 12-issue Dead Man Logan maxi-series.
Weapon H #9
(W) Greg Pak (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Philip Tan
• The days of the lone fighter are gone: Weapon H assembles a team to take Weirdworld!
• But even with Titania, Man-Thing, a Brood-human hybrid named Blake, Hulk's old friend Korg and a mysterious Roxxon fighter named Angel on his side, Weapon H may find himself outclassed.
• Because Roxxon's been keeping secrets – and one of them is about to wake up.
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
Things aren't working out too great for Weapon H and his Roxxon rescue team — Korg, Blake, Titania, Man-Thing, and Angel. They've been captured by refugees from the planet Inaku, who have vowed to kill all "Roxxers" for what the corporation has done to them (murdered a bunch of them). Though they're all bound by glowing chains which appear to be controlled by a glowing orb held by Inaku Protector Hara, they don't know that Weapon H can just shrink back to human form, fall out of the chains, then transform back into a Hulkverine and slice the orb with his claws, so that's exactly what he does.
Unfortunately, the orb also controlled the defenses of the Inaku, and now the Skrullduggers have a chance to attack. Weapon H takes Angel and Blake to rescue the Roxxon team they were sent to extract while leaving behind Titania, Korg, and Man-Thing to protect the Inaku from Skrullduggers. Man-Thing builds a nature fort while Titania and Hara prepare to kill Skrullduggers one by one. Weapon H talks to his wife, who's helping run the mission from back on Earth and also looking into some suspicious HR files about the trapped Roxxon team.
Evil Roxxon CEO Dario Agger just wants Weapon H to kill Skrullduggers though, and he cuts off Sonia's access as well as Weapon H's contact with her as Weapon H and his team locate the Roxxon facility in Weirdworld. Inside, there are some Roxxon soldiers and a scientist called Dr. Espinoza. Dr. Espinoza doesn't want to leave though – she wants Weapon H to protect what she's been working on in the facility, which she says is the solution to all the world's energy problems, which of course means it must be something really horrible.
Sure enough, it's Weirdworld's evil queen, Morgan Le Fay, imprisoned and hooked up to a device that can harness her magic. To be continued!
Who would have thought Hulkverine would be one of the few books to survive the relaunch?
That's all for this week, folks! Next week, we've got an X-traneous Deadpool/Black Panther crossover mini-series, X-Men Black Juggernaut, another chapter in the long, slow Return of Wolverine, and a lame duck issue of X-Men Red to look forward to. See you then!
Read more X-ual Healing here: