Uncanny X-Men #7 // Review
The young X-Men and X-Man are trapped in the Age of Apocalypse in Uncanny X-Men #7, by writers Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg, artist Pere Perez, colorist Rachel Rosenberg, and letterer Joe Caramagna. After a lackluster last issue, this one rebounds nicely, as the young X-Men try to get home… while also fighting each other over what to do with X-Man.
Glob and Armor fight off an attack by the Infinites, foot soldiers in the armies of Apocalypse, as they search Chicago with X-Man for a M’Kraan Crystal fragment. A mutant witnesses this and sells the information to Pixie and Rockslide, estranged from their friends because of how they want to fix the problem with X-Man. X-Man leads Glob and Armor to the lab where he was created and they find the crystal fragment. Pixie and Rockslide attack, but the fight quickly becomes a conversation. Armor, swayed by Pixie’s arguments, prepares to do something that can never be taken back.
The ideological divide between the four young X-Men is interesting. In the Age of Apocalypse, X-Man’s powers are weaker and so Pixie and Rockslide think the best course of action is to kill him, while Armor and Glob think they have to keep him alive because he’s probably the only way they’ll be able to get home. This divide becomes physical, but ends in a conversation that changes Armor’s mind. Seemingly trapped in the dystopian world of the Age of Apocalypse, Armor makes a fateful decision and it feels earned. Given the chance to save her world from X-Man’s perverted utopian dream, she prepares to do something drastic.
The Age of Apocalypse setting is always a fun one for writers to play with, and here they do some interesting things with the character’s looks and powers. Pixie is more demonic looking and Glob has learned how to manifest a heat attack. All four characters get cool redesigns, and Pere Perez and Rachel Rosenberg’s art is great for showcasing these design changes. Perez is still the strongest penciller on the book’s art team and he turns in some great work in this issue. Rosenberg brings a darker palette for this one, extremely fitting for a comic set in one of the darkest timelines Marvel has to offer.
The writers throw in some cool Easter eggs for fans of the old AoA, but it’s sort of mystifying that X-Man is weaker in his home universe. It’s never really explained why. For long term readers, this really doesn’t make sense, since back in the original AoA, Nate Grey was created to kill Apocalypse and could go toe to toe with anyone around. This is a minor nitpick, but it would have been nice if some reasoning was given.
Uncanny X-Men #7 is a marked improvement over the last issue, which was just glorified filler. It’s nice to focus on the younger X-Men and the AoA is always great to visit. Combine that with some great art, cool redesigns, and a smart script and this one is a winner.