Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Only one review for the week again, this time ‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’. Hope you enjoy it.
Uncanny X-Men: First Class #7 (preview)
Writer: Scott Gray
Art: Scott Koblish & Nelson DeCastro
RECAP: The issue opens with Xavier confronting the ‘girl’ at the heart of the Hykon citadel and demanding she stop the fight. The Knights are beating Phoenix but the ‘girl’ removes their weapons and ends the conflict for five cycles. Charles identifies her as the referee for the Knights war games. He tells Kurt to take the sword and teleport back to the X-Men and to trust in Moira.
Meanwhile, Jean awakes and is truly angry and Scott has to calm her down. He manages to break Phoenix’s rage and bring Jean back to herself. Moira studies the sword and tells the others that the reason the Knights are unbeatable is that they are phased slightly outside of reality. But that is only true in the X-Men’s universe.
The Professor confronts the ‘girl’ and learns that the Knights were once a race of champions until they ran out of people to fight. They hated peace so they turned on each other in contests and war that wiped the whole race out except for a few survivors. They live now only by following the rules of combat she designed.
Meanwhile, Moira has set up a device to create a localized field that will allow Kurt to teleport all the X-Men to the Hykon’s Citadel. Storm tells Jean about the Knights’ having caused the flare that transformed her into Phoenix before the X-Men and Lilandra teleport out.
Xavier finds out that the ‘girl’ is in fact the repository of Hykon’s history and culture. She does not understand the consequence of their games but Xavier promises to put an end to it. The X-Men arrive at the same time as the Knights and the battle is joined, but this time the Hykon’s are vulnerable. Storm summons a wind and scatters them while Jean attacks Sleeping Mist and puts her down hard.
Kurt follows Bone Dancer and the two fight while Wolverine and Colossus take down the massive Drowning Shadow. Storm downs the girl Sky Song and Xavier avenges himself on their leader who decapitated his Astral Form. Kurt finishes his opponent quickly and Scott blasts down the last of the Knights while ranting that they destroyed the woman he loved.
Lilandra confronts the Lifeforce and destroys it ending the Hykon’s purpose. Xavier decrees that instead of death, they be left alone in hated peace for eternity. The X-Men teleport back and Xavier rejoins his body. Everyone celebrates the victory except Jean and Scott who have not reconciled after his heated words. After a look, Phoenix flies off alone.
MY TAKE: This is a surprisingly good wrap up for the story line, with some well thought out explanations for the climax. I still have some problems with the scope and repercussions of the tale but overall I was satisfied with the way things ended. The explanation for the Knights defeat was especially logical and I am glad they came up with a realistic way to have the extremely powerful foe be defeated.
The characterizations for the most part felt pretty natural as well. Xavier was well done and got to have his moment in the spotlight and Wolverine finally was not treated as a humor character. Nightcrawler seemed a trifle timid at the start but he came back by the end and seemed to be acting normal. Jean was a little over the top but her tantrum was nothing new for the Phoenix persona.
The biggest issue was the way Scott was portrayed. We have never seen him reject Jean this way even when she was the Phoenix and certainly not to her face. I would have not minded so much if he simply apologized and tried to smooth things over but by the end the couple looks to be on the outs. This is another plot point that simply does not gel with the established continuity.
I am glad that we got some of the history and back story of the Knights of Hykon but I was a bit disappointed at how simplistic it seemed. While it was obvious that there were two distinct factions, making the whole thing a giant game did not seem to mesh with the initial part of the history. Heroes and champions do not destroy populated worlds for fun. Fighting on the sun is one thing, but it struck me as odd that they would have so little regard for life after they nearly wiped themselves out.
In the end, this was fitting and enjoyable end to the arc. I still think it was a trifle too ambitious of a story for a series that is set in the past but there was a definite attempt to explain why the villains never showed up again. I am a bit concerned with the altering of Scott and Jean’s relationship, but maybe that will be explained next issue. The series has been a bit hit or miss for me but if nothing else I am looking forward to seeing how everything will be wrapped up next month.
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.