Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Carlos Gomez
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
For the past few months Marvel has been focusing on returning their X-Men franchise to the top of the charts. At one point in time the X-Men could do no wrong. The franchise expanded and readers gorged themselves upon the multitude of comics. Eventually Marvel lost their way and with it so did the X-Men. The books became mired in a mixture of old and new with some great stories and not so great stories, the latter of which had become more prevalent over the past few years until Marvel decided to pump some new creators into the lives of their merry mutants and the franchise has seen an uptick in content and quality. Leading the charge has been writer Ed Brisson, who in this weeks Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 puts a cap on the relaunch by returning the greatest X-Man of all, Cyclops, back to his historic heroic roots.
At one point in time there was no questioning Cyclops heroism. He was the first X-Man and the best X-Man. He led the team for years but sadly took a militant; some may say villainous turn in the wake of the Avengers vs. X-Men event and was unceremoniously killed off in the poorly received Death of X mini-series that kicked off the underwhelming Inhumans vs. X-Men. Brisson and artist Carlos Gomez have decided to right this wrong by restoring Cyclops to his heroic roots by literally going back to his earliest days as an X-Man. At the end of Extermination #5 it was revealed that Cyclops was among the living, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 reveals how this came to be. With a before unseen adventure from Cyclops early days, seeing him save a young MIT student who will later prove crucial to the technology needed to bring Cyclops back to the present. Vital to the return of Cyclops is young Cable, who not only brings his father back from the dead but also helps to put him back on the path of redemption. A heroic return of the Cyclops of old, the greatest X-Man of all time.
Ed Brisson has proven over the past few months that he has a wonderful grasp of the history of the X-Men yet has added some great new sensibilities and characterization, especially with the addition of teen Cable. His handling of the time displaced father and son in Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 was a highlight of the annual as was seeing the return of a Cyclops that I recognize. Carlos Gomes’s art was nice fit as it has a similar vein to the rotating artists on the relaunched Uncanny X-Men title. Yet the highlight of Gomez’s work, along with the retro colors of Guru-eFX, were the flashback pages of a young Cyclops in the classic X-Men uniform taking on a giant robot on the campus of MIT. It’s this mixture of old and new, retro and modern, that has really helped to define this new iteration of the X-Men and made Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 a wonderful comic.
Verdict: Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 is a another great comic in this new relaunch of the Marvel mutant franchise. Full of great characterization and great retro feel Ed Brisson and Carlos Gomez have crafted a wonderful annual and is a Buy for me.