REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #4

I know that Cullen Bunn has immense talent. I’ve read other titles that he has authored and the craftsmanship is apparent, that’s why his run on Uncanny is so baffling to me. I can’t figure out how a writer that has so much talent seems to be struggling so hard with a book that has a litany of fantastic characters with the entire roster at his disposal. It’s left me wondering how much influence Marvel’s editorial staff has over this title. Is Bunn under pressure to tie this series into the upcoming film release? Is that why the story has been saddled with The Dark Riders as its main group of villains?

The slow build up to, what I’m guessing, is the eventual return of Apocalypse is tedious at this point. Four issues in and now it’s getting frustrating to slog through this drawn out narrative of the X-Men trying to save mutants with healing powers while the Dark Riders hit and run. It’s boring.

If the idea at Marvel is to use Uncanny as a movie tie-in for the character of Apocalypse there was a thousand better ways to do this. Readers have been introduced to a bland team of X-Men and now we watch as they repeat and drag out the same plotlines. If you passed on this title and are thinking about jumping on here is what we’ve been subjected to so far…

-Psylocke and Archangel are in a rocky relationship, which is barely touched on.
-Sabretooth and M are in a rocky relationship, which is barely touched on.
-Magneto is up to something shady.
-Mystique is up to something shady.
-The Dark Riders stop by every issue and say something about how only the strong survive.
-The entire plot is blamed on the Terrigen Mists.
-I yawn and pray for a better book.

I still stand by my assessment of the title. This is the FUCKING UNCANNY X-MEN! This is the book that millions of fans flocked to for decades. It was THEE go-to-title month in and month out for years! This should be the engine that drives the Marvel universe forward, but instead we are locked in on a melodrama that I couldn’t care about. Four issues in and I’m already hoping that either this story is dropped all together or the creative team is replaced.

But again it comes back to the question of who’s to blame? Is it the creative team? Is it the editorial staff? Is it the higher-ups at Marvel? Where does the buck stop? This book is starting to smoke, a few more issues like this and it’ll be a full on dumpster fire.

At this point I can only recommend this book to the hardcore X-fans and the collectors who are completest. Everyone else stay away until the smoke has cleared.

Story: Cullen Bunn
Art: Greg Land
Inks: Jay Leisten
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel

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