Spoilers for Uncanny X-Men #17 –
Uncanny X-Men #17 begins with Magik dropping off the kids of the secret New Xavier School in the middle of nowhere, as part of an impromptu training session. In this kind of school you’re really almost always training, but it turns out the middle of nowhere is a hyper-time pocket of land in Montana, where evolution is 130 million years ahead of most of the rest of Earth. I can’t stress enough how much I love what happens next, as Cyke’s new class of X-Men use their powers and their wits to interact with (and when necessary defend themselves from) these strange and previously un-encountered wonders and dangers of the universe. The color schemes change wildly from purple, to green, to yellow, just as adventurously as the story, which takes a dark and not completely explained turn for Eva.
It turns out David isn’t cut out for the mysterious and unexplained though, not with this team. His reliance on his old cell phone is enough to expose their location to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, who arrive on scene to turn a training exercise into a real threat to the X-Men’s overall mission. Magik bails them out, and David is immediately expelled.
You can nitpick the plot a bit here if you want. While it serves to highlight Scott’s style of leadership, wouldn’t sending David back out in the open just put him immediately back on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar? He did blow it big time, and maybe this is all part of the lesson, but if they scoop him up, I imagine they could learn plenty from interrogation.
My score: 4.5/5 –
This is exactly what an X-Men comic should be, young mutants learning about their powers, encountering strange situations, and on the run just for being who they are. Uncanny X-Men continues to evolve its ongoing story one satisfying-on-its-own issue at a time. If it already isn’t, this should be considered the flagship title of X-Men.