Writer: Matt Fraction. Pencils: Greg Land.
What Happened: We start off with a group of mutants abducting Scalphunter from his job as a short order cook, seemingly in order to feed him to the "predators". On Utopia, Cyclops admits to the rest of his leadership team(Emma, Storm, Beast, Prof. X, Namor and Iceman(???))that he really doesn't have any plan on what to do now that he has moved the remnants of mutantkind onto Utopia island. This causes Emma to get snippy, which almost leads to a fight between Emma and Storm. While this is going on, Psylocke enters the room to alert the mutants that one of the members of Beast's X-Club, Dr. Takiguchi, has apparently died of old age. Beast is naturally devastated, while all Cyclops can think about is what they should do with the body, since they obviously have nowhere to put it. Needless to say, Beast seems pissed at Scott's lack of sympathy. Later, Prof X seeks Scott out and the two discuss many things, from Scott's recent behavior to Scott's decision to return to San Francisco to speak with the mayor. Emma decides to have Danger watch over the prisoners that are still being kept at the X-Men's former base in San Fran, and Scott meets with the mayor, who tells him that she'll help him as much as she can, but that the X-Men should definitely be careful. Beast and his X-Club decide to cremate Dr. Takiguchi and neither Emma nor Scott attend the ceremony. Emma continues to be cold and distant to Scott, explaining that she is acting this way because she is trying to keep the portion of the Void that latched onto her in check. While Scott and Emma argue, Magneto(!!!!!!!!!!)arrives above the island, apparently brimming with his lost mutant powers!
What I thought: Wow... You know, before I read this comic, I already had a rant in mind that I was going to unleash upon finishing this issue up. That's how sure I was that I was going to hate this issue. After finishing this comic though, I can gleefully say this was the best issue of Uncanny X-Men Matt has EVER written! Hell, this is the best x-comic I've read in YEARS! I'm actually feeling a little bit giddy! This comic was about as close to the magnificent x-comics of the early-mid 90's that I grew up reading. Thank you Matt Fraction for restoring some of my confidence in this, my one time favorite comic series. Where do I even begin. Let's start with Cyclops. This issue was the first time in a long time where he actually acted in a manner resembling the character I used to admire so much. He wasn't an overbearing jackass, he was filled with the doubts and indecision. THIS is the Scott Summers I was a fan of during my childhood! Of course, the return of Prof. X to these pages was also a VERY welcome sight. Prof. X IS the X-Men to me, he is the mentor/father figure and he was gone/disrespected for way too long. Prof. X's character acted exactly how I would have expected him to act, he was trying to support Scott, although you could see he did have some doubts as to the current direction Scott had taken mutantkind. The tension between Scott and Beast was perfectly done as well, as the rift between Scott and Hank has been growing in recent issues and now, with the arrival of an apparently re-powered Magneto, you have to wonder how Hank, who has devoted his every waking hour to to trying to re-power mutantkind, is going to react to Magneto regaining his powers. Hell, I even liked Emma in this issue! That should say A LOT! Excellent, excellent issue here. For the first time in AGES, I'm actually looking forward to the next issue of this series, and I couldn't be happier!
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.I have been waiting almost 4 years to see this awesome scene.