Uncanny X-Men

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Marvel relaunches its flagship X-Men title with a new team of Psylocke, Archangel, M, Mystique, Fantomex, and Sabretooth led by Magneto. Uncanny X-Men #1 starts off with more of a whimper than a bang with a pointless story about Magneto’s team rescuing mutants who don’t have any interest in being rescued and have chosen to hide from the world until a time when mutant hostility and deadly mists are things of the past.

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Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Uncanny X-Men comes to an end with the return of the original volume’s numbering structure (in yet another example of Marvel’s bizarre system where 600 immediately follows 35). The oversized issue brings a close various plot threads explored in his run, finds a way to bring Cyclops (at least partially) back into the larger X-Men family, the Beast being called on his (many) questionable decisions, and makes a couple of statements concerning the love lives of some of the time-displaced X-Men that other writers will have to sort out.

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Uncanny X-Men #29 not only offers us a battle of words between Cyclops and Magneto over the fate of the extremely powerful, and a bit out-of-control, Matthew Malloy, but it also adds a mew wrinkle with a pair of time-traveling subplots one of which may stabilize the situation and another that may through the X-Men’s entire history into chaos.

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In an attempt to fulfill the final wish of Charles Xavier, the unlikely force of Rachel, Cyclops, and Wolverine go after an Omega-Level Mutant whose knowledge of his immense powers Professor X wiped from his mind. With the professor gone, those memories are returning making the man a potential danger to every living being on the planet.

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After months of slowly building towards a showdown between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men by both Mystique and an unknown puppet master from the shadows Uncanny X-Men #22 delivers a conclusion that’s less than satisfying. Quickly wrapping up events, including the recent limitations on Cyclops‘ powers (which would also mean Magneto and the rest should soon be back to full strength as well), the issue sets up a climactic battle involving out-of-control Hellicarriers about to go nuclear and Sentinels only for a single former X-Men to step-in and stall long enough for our baddie to… unceremoniously die all on his own?

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Cyclops and Magik showing up at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning turns out badly for everyone as some mysterious force forces both mutants to lose control of their powers, and Maria Hill and the fake Dazzler’s attempt to show up and take custody of Cyclops ends with S.H.I.E.L.D. losing control of the Hellicarrier and attacking a school of students – much to the glee of the mysterious figure who continues to watch from a distance and make his puppets dance.

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Uncanny X-Men #18 feels a little off from the get-go. Because of other storylines the series hasn’t had a chance to reincorporate (or even acknowledge) the rest of the time-displaced X-Men who have joined Cyclops‘ team (other than Angel who joined months ago) and now the entire group is missing the entire issue is an attempt to play catch-up to events that have been going on for a couple of months now.

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The good feelings caused by Cyclops and his X-Men showing up a a pro-mutant rally soon fade with the appearance of a next generation Sentinel sent to kill each of the “terrorist” mutants. After showing us glimpses of the team’s training since returning from Limbo, Uncanny X-Men #11 gives us a good look at how far the team has come. Hell, even Gold Balls proves to be effective.

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As a covert operative the Dazzler kinda sucks. Hand-picked by Maria Hill to learn more about Cyclops and his team, Dazzler knocks Fabio‘s family unconscious (but not before they recognize her), kidnaps the young man, leads the X-Men straight to S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s secret detention facility, and then uses her close personal relationship with her fellow mutants to insult Scott Summers and make a new enemy. Oh, and then she gets poisoned and replaced by Mystique. That’s not a great first day.

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After the fallout from the X-Men’s adventure in Limbo, Fabio decides to return to his family who have all sorts of questions when they discover his mutant ability and concerns about just what the X-Men terrorists did to him. This half of the storyline also picks up the loose thread of Dazzler (started before the Limbo arc) who shows up wanting Fabio’s help to find Cyclops.

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