Uncanny X-Men Special #1 (Marvel)

CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – Decent Storytelling, Poor Marketing.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Uncanny X-Men Special number one is the first part of a three part series titled No End In Sight. Although you wouldn’t know it know it from this issue, this is actually the first part of a multi-series crossover with Nova and Iron Man. Unfortunately, Marvel chooses not to advertise this in any way inside of the book, which can cause new and even experienced readers confused on where to go next. When the story ends, instead of letting the reader know that it’s continuing in an Iron Man Special, it just says “to be continued” which would lead a new reader to believe that this would be picked up in issue two of Uncanny X-Men Special. It’s an unfortunate mistake that would have been easy to fix.

In terms of story though, this issue delivers a fun tale that’s easy to read and is not bogged down by recent X-Men continuity. Writer Sean Ryan has a team of newer X-Men being trained by Cyclops. As they’re being flight trained on the Blackbird, the plane is shot down from the sky by the robotic bounty hunter known as Death’s Head. Death’s Head bounty target is Cyclops and although he’s successful in his kidnapping, not all goes as planned. It’s an entertaining tale, but knowing that this is just the first part of a crossover with characters in Nova and Iron Man that may not appeal to X-Men fans, may prevent potential readers from giving it a try. Add in a $4.99 price tag and you create an even bigger barrier to entry.

Ron Ackins is the artist on this book and I enjoyed his style. It’s a relaxed line that doesn’t try to make his characters perfect. Unfortunately the art doesn’t always look consistent with the three different inkers involved. The first half’s pencils feel tighter with a heavier ink, while the second half’s inking feels grittier and loose. It was nice to see Ackins art here as I was unfamiliar with his work, but with more time and the right book for his style, he could be someone to watch.

Overall though, this isn’t required reading, nor is it something I’d recommend just giving a try unless you’re a fan of the all the characters involved (X-Men/Iron Man/Nova).  For $4.99 to get the 1st third of a story, choose how you want to invest your comics buying $ wisely and get this if the premise sounds really good to you.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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