UNCANNY X-MEN #3 by Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Yildiray Cinar, and Rachelle Rosenberg
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
UNCANNY X-MEN #3 is a fun, well-paced read with quality art and quality writing. If you think the UNCANNY X-MEN relaunch is a little gimmicky, give this issue a try. You won't regret it. Thompson, Rosenberg, and Brisson are finally giving the X-Men the makeover they deserve.
97 %
Near Perfection
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Writers Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, and Ed Brisson give readers everything they could possibly want in this week’s UNCANNY X-MEN #3: Legion going crazy, Jean Grey kicking some ass, and Magneto sporting a Gandalf beard. We also finally get some (key word being some) answers as to what’s been going on with Multiple Man and the worldwide unnatural disasters. Artist Yildiray Cinar and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg bring some of the best artwork in the series so far, helping to make UNCANNY X-MEN #3 as close to a perfect issue as a comic can get.

uncanny x-men #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Solving Mysteries in UNCANNY X-MEN #3

In some ways, UNCANNY X-MEN #2 was a bit of a filler issue. UNCANNY X-MEN #3 is the exact opposite. Along with the witty banter between teammates (and the amazing action scenes that come with it) this issue sees the end of the Multiple Man mystery. After looking around for a few seconds, Jean finds a beaten up Jamie locked in a basement cellar. He tells the team that Legion (Charles Xavier’s psycho son) forced him to create thousands of dupes against his will. Legion then used his powers to give these dupes mutant abilities. Furious, the X-Men attack Legion at the X-Mansion. Of course, Legion assures Jean that he’s on their side. The last page sees the entrance of the Four Horsemen of Salvation, which is, apparently, what Legion has been fighting against.  

uncanny x-men #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Keeping Pace

The writers of UNCANNY X-MEN really know what they’re doing. The series is balancing a huge cast of characters (which isn’t an easy thing to do) and, perhaps most importantly, it’s keeping the perfect pace for a weekly comic. There isn’t a lot of room in a single issue to tell a huge story, yet somehow UNCANNY X-MEN #3 manages to say so much in only a few pages. Even better, those few pages don’t feel cramped or rushed. The story is flowing naturally and the mysteries that Brisson, Thompson, and Rosenberg started in UNCANNY X-MEN #1 are slowly resolving themselves.

I assumed that the Jamie Madrox dupe problem would last until next year, with the writers continuing to drag it out, but in this week’s issue, Jean finds Jamie. This means the plot can move on to bigger and better things that don’t revolve around a multiplying Multiple Man. The addition of the Horseman of Salvation (no matter how you feel about Gandalf Magneto) does offer a nice touch of newness and intrigue to the series. Even if you don’t really like the direction the writers are taking the series, you have to admit that they’re doing a good job of keeping every issue interesting. This series makes me really want the next issue, which isn’t always the case in the world of comics.

uncanny x-men #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Why Legion?

Legion is clearly a pretty popular character. He’s had numerous solo series and a television show dedicated to his bizarre ability to spontaneously create mutant personalities. I understand why the writers wanted to put him in the UNCANNY X-MEN series. The move makes sense, but I can’t help but wonder why, on a deeper level, he made the cut.

Yes, casual X-Men fans watch his television show, which might bring a few new readers. Ordinarily, I’m all for that, but this is UNCANNY X-MEN. It’s supposed to be a huge overhaul of the X-Men and the creation of something new. With Legion on board, I’m not sure that’s possible. As a character, Legion is horrifyingly difficult to pin down. Although his struggles with mental illness translate well when it comes to solo series, where writers can give him time to develop, in a series like UNCANNY X-MEN, Legion lacks meaning. He’s the kind of character who’s so “incredibly powerful” that every scene with him doesn’t make any sense. The X-Men fight with him for a few panels, which, when you consider all that he can do, shouldn’t be possible. Honestly, he’s best left as a “break in case of emergency” deus ex machina.

There are a host of other characters I would’ve rather seen in UNCANNY X-MEN #3 than Legion. Characters who, in the wild world of comics, are a little more realistic. Hopefully we’ll see some of those characters in future issues.

uncanny x-men #3
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

New Week, New Art

One of the coolest aspects of UNCANNY X-MEN is the ever-changing line-up of artists. Every issue sees a new artist, which, ordinarily would really annoy me, but somehow UNCANNY X-MEN just makes it work. It does help that with every issue, the art has gotten considerably better. This week Yildiray Cinar brings his A-game and delivers an issue packed with realistic action scenes and perfectly proportioned figures. Unlike the past two issues, UNCANNY X-MEN #3 is a smooth read artistically, with very few panels that stand out as strange or wonky. Everything is crisp, clean, and well done.

As with the past two issues, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg gives readers a successful and realistic palette. Personally, I’d like to thank her for bringing back Jean’s classic red hair. The orange hue from X-MEN RED just wasn’t cutting it.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the strangeness of Legion’s general presence, UNCANNY X-MEN #3 is an undeniably strong issue. It balances action, meaningful dialogue, and real plot points perfectly. Everything that happens in this issue probably could’ve happened over the course of multiple issues, but, thankfully, the writers don’t make us wait that long. In this issue, they give us a well-written story that efficiently uses every single page, panel, and speech bubble. Artistically, Cinar uses his impressive abilities to help the writers say much with little. With any other artist that might not have worked, but with Cinar it does.

While I know everyone won’t have the same opinion as me, I urge you to give UNCANNY X-MEN #3 a shot. For those who think all modern comics are rubbish, this one might just change your mind. 

One Comment

  1. […] much ignores her, saying Legion is too dangerous to trust. Personally, I’m on Jean’s side. Legion is beyond creepy and I’d really rather he just disappear from UNCANNY X-MEN (we can hope, right?). Still, I live […]

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