8 August 2013

Uncanny X-Men maintains the tradition

The X-Men have a long history and I have been there for most of it, especially since their relaunch with the famous Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975.

I had stopped reading comics for a while, as much as anything because they were very hard to get hold of regularly in Weymouth, and I started to read them again when at university at Southampton. The restart came on a long train journey home when I bought a few comics to read at the station, including a few issues of the X-Men.

As with all the Marvel titles, the X-Men stable has grown and changed a lot since then and where there was once just the one monthly comic there are now many of which I get four.

The latest incarnation of Uncanny X-Men has been around for less than a year, this is issue #9, whereas the previous version was, for a while, the main X-Men title and ran to 544 issues. I have most of these.

If you are going to read any X-Men books then Uncanny X-Men is an obvious one to pick as it is by the superstar team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Chris Bachalo. I quite like Bendis' work but it can be a bit formulaic and obvious, not too surprising given how many books he writes each month, and so that's not the main reason that I read it - that's the Bachalo art work.

There is something almost cartoon like about the simplicity and roundness of the drawing, particularly the people, that is visually striking. The page layout is pretty striking too.

Uncanny X-Men is not at the dizzy heights achieved during Chris Claremont's long run, very few comics ever are, but the story telling is good (both words and pictures) and it deserves its place in the X-Men's exalted history.

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