Sunday, January 8, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #4

And now we have reached the bottom of my new comic pile(already?!) and this week's Runt of the Litter, Uncanny X-Men. First things first, the cover of this issue indicates that this team will be facing off against the Phalanx, which means the my most hated X-team ever will be facing off against one of my most hated X-concepts ever... Yeah, this should be horrible... Besides that, this will almost definitely be the final issue of this series I'll be picking up until the X-Men/Avengers event. I just can't rationalize spending $4(oftentimes TWICE a month!) rooting AGAINST the “heroes” in this series anymore. So for the first time since I started collecting comic books, oh so long ago, Uncanny X-Men will NOT be on my monthly pull list. Congrats on that one, Marvel.

Uncanny X-Men #4:

What Happened: Back during a Phalanx incursion attempt on Earth, Mr. Sinister(the awesome, original version) managed to capture an individual Phalanx. Sinister spends years experimenting on the Phalanx (which would actually explain how Sinister gave himself/his annoying clones that hive mind they now share) before he ultimately tires of the Phalanx and locks it in a cage where it remains forgotten. After the battle against Lord Summers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants last issue, current, annoying Mr. Sinister strolls into the lab containing the Phalanx and blows the lab up since he had no further use for it. A small piece of the Phalanx survives and manages to pull itself together through worms and such, managing to form a head. A little girl finds the Phalanx and takes it home with her to play with, and needless to say, the Phalanx tries to take over/add the girl's mind to it's own, and is shocked and horrified to discover that upon touching the girl, it added her mass, but her mind died. Wanting to contact it's race, the Phalanx goes on an absorbing spree, destroying an entire town in order to give itself enough mass to form a Babel Spire. This act doesn't go unnoticed by SWORD, who in turn contact the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to deal with the situation. Lord Summers and his Brotherhood attack the Phalanx, but it manages to hold them off and forms a Babel Spire. Upon transmitting into space, the Phalanx discovers no signal, meaning that there were no other Phalanx out there. Overcome by grief, and not wanting to be alone, the Phalanx puts down it's defenses, allowing Lord Summers and the Brotherhood to destroy it completely. Lord Summers and Storm are kind of perplexed as to what just happened, and realize that they'll probably never know why the Phalanx simply gave up as it did.

The Good: This was easily the best Phalanx story I've ever read. Hands down. I hated the Phalanx Covenant, I hated that LONG storyline back when the Phalanx attacked the Shi'ar, and I hated every other time I've seen the Phalanx. So a HUGE kudos to Kieron Gillen(whose name was embarrassingly spelled “Keiron Gillen” in this issue...) for actually writing a Phalanx story I was able to get into. The Phalanx itself was an oddly sympathetic figure, which isn't something you'd expect. Getting to see the original Mr. Sinister again was a treat. I liked the artwork here. The Phalanx's decision to commit suicide as opposed to live it's life alone made perfect sense for it.

The Bad: That Phalanx talked A LOT!!! It just kept blabbing and blabbing and blabbing! The Brotherhood won and weren't absorbed away by the Phalanx. Why the hell did that little girl bring that hideous Phalanx head to her home?!? That thing was awful looking! Why did SWORD contact Lord Summers instead of Beast and/or the Avengers?

The Verdict: You know, every time I write a negative introductory paragraph I end up enjoying the comic book I read... I can't explain that, but apparently if I get myself good and angry prior to reading something I almost always tend to enjoy it. Go figure! This is probably the perfect issue to drop this series, because it was a one-and-done issue, and it wasn't horrible. That way I can look back on this series and remember it as being not that bad. Oh well, at least for now, adiĆ³s, Uncanny X-Men. It's been... something...

Score: 7 out of 10.Sweet, it's the real Mr. Sinister!


  1. You just lower your expectations so much that you are surprised that it is not as bad as you were expecting it to be. I just really could care less about this issue, and whatever bat thing was in the preview for next week.

  2. I did not know anything about the phalanx, but It was a really good issue for me I was more sympathetic with the poor and lonesome creature than the Brotherhood of evil mutants.
    I will stick with this series anyways, hope that Gillen could deliver more stuff like this issue than the first 2.

  3. They say that a "massive crossover" is coming for the bat-books, and you know "the things as you knew it will change forever"

    Wait do I sound uninterested by that?
    Hell no, A bat crossover orchestrated by Snyder ? I'm all for it.

    and say good bye "to Holding the line at 2.99"

  4. That's exactly it, Jermox. I go in thinking, "This is going to score a zero..." and then if it's okay, I'm overjoyed! Regardless, this is a series I'm definitely dropping. $4 is too much for a comic where I hate all but one of the characters.

    Didn't the things we know about Batman already change with Grant Morrison's run? :P I'm not that interested in it, and will probably cherry pick which issues I do and don't pick up. As for the price hike for Batman? I am NOT shocked at all. With DC's books falling down the charts(except for JL and Batman) the only realistic way DC can compete with Marvel is to raise the prices of their best sellers and hope that the fans continue picking them up. That way they won't lose too much of the market share because the high sellers will prop up the low ones. I am a bit pissed about this, especially after all of that Holding the Line BS, but I'm pretty sure I'll stick it out with Batman... Although I AM annoyed...

  5. .At least there is more material for the extra buck is not like those Marvel books that cos 3.99 and came with 20 or pages of story.

  6. dude your gonna love this!


  8. I spent the weekend working thorugh about 3 months worth of comics I have bought (some back issues, some new, some series MUCH more than 3 months worth of stuff)in an effort to get my pull list under control.

    I have collected comics for about 30 years. One of the first books I bought off the rack was Uncanny 172.

    I dropped the X-Men awhile back, picked up Morrison's run and Astonishing and then dropped them all again.

    I decided to get this reboot...start fresh.

    I found the first three issues nearly unreadable. I had no idea who some the characters were. "Danger"...that "evil" robot thing from Astonishing?!?! Who the heck is Dr. Nemesis? Why is Namor here and enamored with Emma Frost? Magneto is a hero again?

    I actually found myself looking for the recap page but found it SEVERELY lacking. Nemesis isn't even mentioned!

    I am not saying we need to go back to the HUGE word balloons with stilted exposition, but EVERY issue is somebody's first issue...

    If someone like me can't penetrate your book, what hope do we have of getting new readers!?!?

  9. Sorry....did that come across as pissy?

  10. I know what you're saying, Alien, but still, if DC intended on strategically upping the prices of their better selling titles, they SHOULDN'T have done that whole "Holding the Line" campaign. It's great that they're adding a few extra pages, but a) aren't the extra pages for some random back-up story and not an extra 10 pages of Batman? and b) you do notice that the comic books they are bumping the prices up for are the ones that are their best sellers, right? I have NO problem with paying $4 for a comic book I like. None at all, I do it for Marvel all the time, and I'd be willing to do it for DC. But they SHOULDN'T have acted so high and mighty, like they were this shining beacon to the fans, who were bravely keeping their prices low, to their own detriment, while that dirty, evil Marvel jacked their prices up. At least Marvel is forward with their strategy. If people are going to pay $4 for their comics, so be it. They didn't hand us a line of BS about it. There's my DC rant for the day! :P

    Movieartman, I can't WAIT for that Remender to take over that series!! That interview, especially the parts about Hawkeye have me even more psyched now. Not so sure about the robot storyline, but I'm MORE than willing to give it a shot.

    You actually make a great point, Mock, one that I didn't really think much about. I've been collecting Uncanny straight since Austen's run so I knew who Nemesis was, what the deal with Emma and Namor was, Danger's sudden turn as a good guy, etc, but as a first issue, a fresh start for the Uncanny franchise as it was, they really should have done a MUCH better job of laying out who these newer characters were, why they were where they were and acting as they were. Honestly, you have to think a ton of extra fans picked up Uncanny #1, because it was a #1, but without reading the prior issues of Uncanny before it was retooled, you'd be totally lost. That's a really dumb move on Marvel's part, and an obvious money grab. And I am a HUGE proponent for bring back thought bubbles and narration captions to comics. Like you said, we don't need constant narration or every character's thoughts laid out on every page, but maybe Namor thinking something to himself about Emma, or Nemesis pondering why he was with the X-Men, while a little thing, could go a long way in helping newer or lapsed fans into jumping back in.

    "Sorry....did that come across as pissy?" Not at all! Feel free to rant away! I'm always ranting about stuff, and I enjoy reading about what other fans are annoyed by, because it's usually something that I didn't even realize or something that bugs me as well!

  11. Good rant X, yeap I noted that they are bumping the bestsellers books

    and can see the hypocrisy, First low the price, claim how evil the other company is and then they bump the prices in the bestseller's titles

    And for the backup featured Batman will be still at Snyders's hands and related with the main story. There is no info about what will the backup feature in Detective Comics, but I'm not reading that one so I don't care.(of course I will be pissed if that turns to be the place for Cass Cain or Steph)

  12. Personally, I'd rather they just told Snyder to make the main story an extra 10 pages. I'm sure he could do it, and it would give us more Snyder/Batman goodness. As for Detective... I don't know is even Cass or Steph could get me to pay $4 for a series mainly written by Daniel! :P

  13. Ugh. I was annoyed by this issue mainly because it was the third UXM issue in a one-month period. I actually like these sort of random one-and-done stories (like ASM #676), but this one just felt like Marvel was stealing $3.99 from my wallet because it could. Did we really need an epilogue to an event that happened (gulp) 20 years ago? Shouldn't we be spending more time trying to convince me that this entire "relaunch" isn't just the marketing department run amok? It seems like Gillen could've used this issue better as a post-battle, "day in the life of Utopia" issue, helping people like Mocki understand who the Hell all these people are. (Mocki, I've been reading the X-books since "Second Coming" and I still have no idea who a lot of the characters are.)

    What makes me even madder (woot, rant!) is that it's starting to feel like this entire enterprise is going to be completely forgotten by whatever happens in "Avengers vs. X-Men." We're going to get yet another new status quo, and "Regenesis" is going to fade into the background. We'll probably be given yet another X-title, so we'll have, like, five "core" books. [Sigh.]

  14. Yep, this was the issue that actually got me to drop Uncanny X-Men, JW... And I'd been collecting Uncanny for my entire life. So that should say a lot. I don't really remember much about this issue but I seemed to kind of like it... Maybe I was just in a good mood when I read it?

    Awesome, a rant!! Yeah, I definitely think the AvX thing is going to end with all of the X-Men getting back together and singing kumbaya with the Avengers afterwards. I think Lord Summers will realize he's been wrong, and possibly step aside for somebody like Xavier. AND I wouldn't be shocked to see Utopia sunk during the climatic battle leading to the Lord Summers X-Men heading back to Westchester.