After six issues of a fast-paced event, Uncanny X-Men #7 slows down quite a bit, and focuses on a smaller group of characters in an impossible situation. I know I keep saying this, but it might be the best issue of this story so far.
This issue was brought to us by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson and Ed Brisson, Pere Perez, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna, with a great cover by Elizabeth Torque.
At the end of last issue, Legion transported X-Man and four of the young X-Men- Pixie, Armor, Rockslide and Glob- to the Age of Apocalypse. This issue picks up months later, with the quintet split up, both physically and philosophically. Nate leads Armor and Glob to a facility that may give them a key to return home but not before coming in direct conflict with their friends!
Up to this point, Uncanny has been telling an exciting event story. It’s been a good event, but it’s the sort of story that long term wouldn’t be a good idea. X-Men is a soap opera with punching, and that’s why it’s so beloved.
This issue, the writing team seemed to say “We get it, that’s what we love too, so here you go.” The drama between the young X-Men and Nate Grey felt authentic, and the circumstances leading to their schism, while off-screen, were understandable and relatable. The dialogue is another particular strength, with each character feeling distinct and unique.
While the writing team was giving us the interpersonal drama, the art team submerged us in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Pere and Rachelle work hand in hand, filling the page with atmosphere and dread, both in design and color. Pere brings back the feel of the classic Age of Apocalypse, but he also makes it feel more dire. Sinister’s hideout in the back half of the issue is a highlight, with the familiar bodies of several X-Men scattered around, as well as strange and horrifying technology.
This issue felt like a break from the breakneck action of the last two months, but it adds so much depth and growth for the characters involved. I hope this is a sign of things to come after the event ends.
Uncanny X-Men #7 is available now from Marvel Comics.