Uncanny X-Men #5 // Review
As the older X-Men get outclassed by the Horsemen of Salvation, the younger ones make some headway in Uncanny X-Men #5, by writers Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg, artist R.B. Silva, colorist Rachel Rosenberg, and letterer Chris Eliopoulos. This issue continues building the plot, but adds another interesting wrinkle and ends with a big return.
As Storm’s team struggles with Magneto and Angel in Chernaya, X-Man consults with Apocalypse, Kitty Pryde, and Senator Allen on what he should do next to save humanity. Apocalypse presents a startling idea and X-Man goes through with it, taking away the symbols of humanity’s biggest religions. At the wrecked X-Mansion, the young X-Men dig through the rubble to Cerebro and Legion is able to locate X-Man. Jean’s team is able to recuse the oil rig workers but look on in awe as the rig itself is transformed into a strange tropical paradise. Back in Chernaya, Psylocke has a plan for Angel and it unleashes something that could spell doom for everyone.
The most interesting part of this issue the X-Man’s “council”. Since the first issue when he kidnapped Kitty Pryde and Senator Allen and was revealed to be holding Apocalypse, readers have wondered why he was holding them. With Apocalypse, it would make sense if he was holding him for some kind of revenge; X-Man’s home reality was ravaged by Apocalypse and X-Man was meant to be a weapon against him. That is not the case, though. Instead, he’s willing to listen to him and follow his council, while completely ignoring Kitty Pryde and what she says. It’s a novel turn of events; X-Man listening to a being who only wants to destroy the weak while he is ostensibly trying to save the planet and ignoring someone who has spent her whole adult life fighting to save the world is surprising and seemingly goes against everything he’s espoused so far. It will be interesting to see how this all works out, whether X-Man will be corrupted by Apocalypse’s influence or whether he will stay true to his mission of peace.
The conflict between young and old X-Men isn’t as played up in this issue as it has been before, but the youths more proactive plan has gotten more results than the older members and their methods so far. Instead of chasing the Horsemen and reacting to their plans, the young team has used Legion and Cerebro to find X-Man. There’s no guarantee that Legion will be able to trump X-Man, but it’s nice to see the writers not going the stereotypical “brash young members screw things up” method. That still might happen, but so far, the younger team seems intelligent and competent. It would be a nice touch if this story ended with the younger generation of X-Men being instrumental in the endgame. The X-Men is always about evolution and these younger members are definitely ready for the big stage.
R.B.Silva’s pencils are perfectly competent, but much like the last issue he drew, they’re nothing special. The best page is the last page of the book, the return of a familiar and potentially frightening face. Other than that, the real winner of the art team continues to be Rachel Rosenberg. Her colors give the book the feeling of artistic continuity it needs and make the sometimes uninspired pencils a lot better.
Uncanny X-Men #5 keeps adding more to the plot. The art isn’t great, but it’s not terrible and there’s plenty of interesting little turns in this one to keep readers coming back. It leaves readers with a lot questions- will Apocalypse be able to influence X-Man? Can Legion and the young X-Men actually hurt X-Man? Exactly how powerful are the Horsemen of Salvation? Will Psylocke’s gamble blow up in her face? It’s questions like these that intrigue readers and drive them back to the book and this book is definitely worth coming back to.