Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cullen Bunn Just Made My Day

Teaser Image by Greg Land

For those of you like me who have CompleX feelings about Marvel's direction for the X-Men after Secret Wars, we were offered an additional glimmer of hope today.  I say additional because I already have high hopes for Cullen Bunn's Uncanny X-Men.  As revealed over at CBR, the Uncanny X-Men roster will include Monet St. Croix and what I hope is the real Archangel.

As much as I loved Rick Remender's X-Force run, the only thing I disliked more than the Fantomex 3-way split was the transformation of Archangel back to the uncannily vanilla Angel.  I couldn't understand why a character with such conflicting motivations was reduced to a shell and then put on a shelf.  If I remember correctly, he had maybe two or three appearances in Wolverine and the X-Men and was never heard from again.

Regardless, it appears that our Archangel is back.  I don't really care how.  I just want interesting multi-dimensional characters and it appears that Cullen Bunn does as well. Otherwise, why would he have chosen this group of dual-nature mutants with the some of the most interesting and heartbreaking backstories.

I've mentioned before that his Magneto series is/was the best book that Marvel has published over the past year and a half. Is it because it is vastly different than everything else Marvel is publishing?  Not really.  Is Magneto just that awesome no matter who writes him?  Definitely not.  I think it's primarily because Cullen Bunn really understands what makes Magneto work.  He is a villain for sure, but he's also been a victim.  Though in his own really messed up way, he is a hero. Maybe not by homo sapiens standards, but if you were a mutant kid being bullied by humans, you'd probably look up to Magneto. During the series, Bunn also chose to show us Magneto's acknowledgement of his shortcomings. This allowed us to empathize with Eric the same way we would with a Tony Soprano or a Dexter Morgan and suddenly half of our brain cheered for the bad guy while the other half told us you shouldn't be cheering for the bad guy.

Maybe this series will be cathartic for those of us with a CompleX.  Just like the mutant kid who idolizes Magneto, we'll be rooting for these Uncanny X-Men to take on the humans, the Inhumans, and Marvel itself.

Finally, just in case you're thinking I forgot that the blog is called Key Issue Comics, here's a list of the first appearances for Cullen Bunn's Uncanny X-Men:

The X-Men #1 (1963) - 1st appearance of Magneto. 1st appearance of Warren Worthington III (Angel).
Ms. Marvel #16 - 18 (1978)  -  1st Appearance of Mystique.  This one is tough to judge. Mystique cameos in #16, disguises herself as Nick Fury in #17, and makes her first full appearance as Mystique in #18.
New X-Men #128 (2002) - 1st appearance of Fantomex.
Iron Fist #14 (1977) - 1st appearance of Sabretooth.
Captain Britain #8 (1976) - 1st appearance of Psylocke. Her first appearance in US comics was New Mutants Annual #2.
Uncanny X-Men #316 (1994) - 1st appearance of Monet St. Croix.

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