After ten weeks, the “Disassembled” storyline is over. It feels a little strange to write that since before the first issue of UNCANNY X-MEN even came out, I’ve been excited about what Marvel had planned for these characters. There was a lot of hype surrounding this series. Big things, according to UNCANNY X-MEN’s writers, were coming for the X-Men but, as issues came and went, I started to doubt their promise. Solicits for February revealed, partially, what would come of X-Man’s reign of terror. I expected a predictable conclusion in UNCANNY X-MEN #10. Something that would offer a lot of action but little substance.

Uncanny X-Men #10
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

I’m elated to say my prediction was wrong. Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, and Ed Brisson pulled out every stop they could think of in UNCANNY X-MEN #10 and almost all of them worked. This issue dabbles with the absurdist, overdramatic, and over-the-top themes that make the X-Men so unique and lovable. For the first time in years, I saw hints of Grant Morrison’s revolutionary NEW X-MEN in another X-Men series. Is this issue as polished as NEW X-MEN? Not yet. But, UNCANNY X-MEN #10 shows a frightening amount of potential. Paired with Pere Perez’s masterful illustrations, UNCANNY X-MEN #10 might just be the issue X-Men fans have been hoping for.          

X-Man’s Breakdown

If UNCANNY X-MEN #10 can teach us anything it’s that a man cannot be a god. X-Man’s efforts to heal the world before his death fail to take hold after the X-Men call in reinforcements. With dozens of X-Men fighting against him, X-Man’s resolve falters. Jean and the other telepaths remove Legion from X-Man’s mind, cutting his powers in half. Storm and the Horsemen of Salvation manage to free themselves from Nate’s hold.

Uncanny X-Men #10
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Everything seems to be looking up…until Jean gets locked inside X-Man’s mind. When she separated Legion and Nate, she unintentionally placed herself into the same psychic prison. Calm as ever, Jean has a heart to heart with her “son” that leaves him emotionally drained. Nearly beaten, Nate decides he has only one option left: make the X-Men disappear by creating the Age of X-Man.

Stranger Things are Happening in UNCANNY X-MEN #10

If you’re looking for your basic, punch-and-jump comic book, UNCANNY X-MEN #10 shouldn’t be your first choice. Or your second choice…or your third choice. More so than any of the past installments of UNCANNY, this week’s issue is weird. These writers bring tentacles, creepy mind prisons, and two black pages of nothing. Add that to the disappearance of (almost) every X-Person on Earth and you have a comic that will make your head hurt — but in a good way.

Uncanny X-Men #10
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The X-Men are a weird bunch. If they weren’t, they’d be called the Avengers. We love them because they’re weird, but in recent times, they’ve lost some of that. UNCANNY X-MEN #10 begins the tediousness process of rekindling that sense of the uncanny (see what I did there?) that writers like Grant Morrison originally fostered. Let’s just hope Cyclops’ return doesn’t mean backtracking to the mundane.

New Horizons

So, what’s next for mutantkind? UNCANNY X-MEN #10 sees the disappearance of the X-Men and the release of a new vaccine that reportedly “cures” the mutant gene. It’s safe to say things aren’t looking so good for the X-Men. But, in comics, there’s always a loophole. Insert Cyclops and Wolverine.

Cyclops unofficially returned at the end of the EXTERMINATION miniseries with the appearance of a man in red glasses. That same man appears at the end of UNCANNY X-MEN #10 and on the cover of UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1. That’s right, folks: Cyclops is back for good (most likely)! From the looks of February’s solicitations, it looks like a Wolverine and Cyclops team-up is coming very soon. With the rest of the X-Men gone, that makes sense. It’s, assumedly, up to them to save the other X-Men from…wherever they currently are. Can they do that without nearly killing each other? Probably not.   

How to Draw the Mind of God

Pere Perez is a veteran X-Men artist which means he knows what he’s doing. He’s mastered anatomy, realistic expressions, and detail-oriented backgrounds. This issue is undoubtedly beautiful…except for a few choice panels. Like I said earlier, UNCANNY X-MEN #10 is strange. Numerous panels take placed inside Nate’s head. A whole page is dedicated to the telepaths violently separating Legion from Nate like an unwanted conjoined twin. Some of these things, visually, are difficult to look at. The scene where Jean and Nate are talking inside his psychic prison is particularly unusual. From abnormal page layouts to unusual use of scale, Perez’s attempt to make this scene uncomfortable for viewers succeeded. Was that his intent? I’m assuming it was but I’m not entirely sure.

Uncanny X-Men #10
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg kept this issue consistent with the past issues, which is something a series with multiple different artists desperately needs.  

Final Thoughts

Read UNCANNY X-MEN. Read the “Disassembled” storyline. Give it a shot. As an X-Men fan who’s felt disillusioned for a long time, this is the series that renewed my faith in these characters. UNCANNY X-MEN tests the bounds of what a comic about superheroes can and should be. For years, that’s what the X-Men were all about and, finally, thanks to this series, it’s come back around.  

Whether or not this series, and the upcoming AGE OF X-MAN series, can keep the momentum is questionable. UNCANNY X-MEN’s “Disassembled” served as the needed “jump” but now the X-Men need to fly.

UNCANNY X-MEN #10 by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Pere Perez, and Rachelle Rosenberg
The final chapter in the "Disassembled" storyline doesn't disappoint. Plot twist after insane plot twist help make UNCANNY X-MEN #10 something that is both familiar for veteran X-Men fans and something entirely unique.
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