‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’ #5 Review: The Knights Strike

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Next up from this week is ‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #5 (preview)
Writer: Scott Gray
Art: Nelson Decastro & Scott Koblish

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Xavier flying to the Starcore One space station in Astral Form. The place has been demolished and Xavier finds Peter Corbeau and the rest of the surviving personnel being tortured by the Knights of Hykon. The Knights are arguing, one wants to invade Earth immediately but the leader, Burning Moon, wants more knowledge about it first. He then senses Xavier and is able to catch and hold his astral form. The alien pillages Charles’ mind before sending his companions to Earth. One, Sky Song, is to scout and the other, Cloud Runner, to mark the Earth as theirs.

At Xavier’s, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Banshee are sitting in the kitchen waiting for the call to action. Logan gets restless and goes for a walk as Sean decides to check on the others’ progress. Scott, Moira and Lilandra are monitoring Xavier who has yet to return to his body from his mental scouting trip.

Back in the kitchen, neither Kurt or Piotr notice Sky Song’s arrival. But when Wolverine returns he is able to sniff her out and attack. Colossus tries to talk to the alien but she easily knocks him through the wall. Wolverine presses his attack but is unable to hurt Sky Song and is soon disabled. Nightcrawler’s attack fares no better.

Cyclops and Banshee enter the fray and are still not able to breach Sky Song’s defenses. Colossus hurls the diving board at her but she easily knocks it aside with a conjured sword. Scott laments not having Jean and Storm there to help keep her contained.

The two X-ladies are having problems of their own in New York. Jean hears Charles’ psychic scream and then they see Cloud Runner’s marking. He has made the whole sky burn and spew fiery rain. S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fury discover the origin but unfortunately neither the Avengers or the Fantastic Four are available to help.

The X-Men are still not having any luck with Sky Song. Kurt teleports in and grabs her sword but when he goes to bamf out something goes horribly wrong with his ‘port. Fury orders the Helicarrier to attack Cloud Runner who fights through the barrage then grabs and throws the helicarrier like a toy.

Sky Song stops playing with the remaining X-Men and takes Scott, Piotr and Sean down quickly. Moira shows up in time to see Banshee fall. As she cradles him, another figure steps out, it is an unknown Knight of Hykun. Another new Knight has appeared in Central Park. Jean and Storm intercept and Jean is taken out quickly. Storm attacks with a wind storm which is interrupted when she sees the helicarrier falling towards her.

MY TAKE: This is a very good start to the new story arc. The character pieces, of the past four issues, were a mixed bag but this feels a lot more like a classic X-Men tale. There was a lot more action here as well as more actual interaction amongst the team. They have a strong adversary in the Knights and it should be interesting to see how the villains are dealt with.

There is not a lot of motivation for the Knights but then they seem to be a warrior race so they do not really need a reason to invade. The plot is simple but well done and explained. Using Corbeau is a nice tie in to get the X-Men involved early and I was glad to see a mention of both the Avengers and Fantastic Four. It made this seem to be a global event and really gave the story a broad scope.

Of course that ties into my biggest problem with the story. It is so huge that it is hard to fit it in regular continuity. A world wide fire storm and a massive alien attack should have made some sort of impact in history. Also, the Knights are so unbelievably powerful that it seems nearly impossible for the X-Men to prevail. The entire team could not manage to even scratch one member of the Knights and there are at least five of them. Hopefully the story does not end up feeling forced because of that.

I am also a bit confused at where the other two Knights came from. We had only ever seen three throughout the series and suddenly others appear without any explanation. Maybe it will be addressed but the X-Men certainly did not need to have more of a threat to deal with.

In the end this is still one of my favorite issues of the series so far. There is good conflict and a fun and original villain to fight. We finally get to see the whole team in action which is something I have been eagerly awaiting. I just hope there is a smart and logical conclusion to the story arc and we get some indication as to why there has been no mention of the Knights in the present.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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