Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 review

No X-Man has had a rougher few years than Cyclops. Save for the Chris Claremont era, he wasn’t written better than his days as the leader of mutant kind presiding over Utopia.

Then Schism came, then Avengers vs X-Men arrived and then finally the M-Virus. For longtime Cyclops fans (like myself) it was one poorly conceived editorial decision after another. Finally with Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, Cyclops is getting back to where he belongs.

But how did the original X-Man come back to the land of the living after being unceremoniously killed off by the M-Virus? That’s the big question writer Ed Brisson hopes to address. Mutant resurrection is hardly a new thing. At this point just about every classic member has been killed off only to return when sales needed them most.

In fairness, I wouldn’t have cared how Brisson brought Cyclops back so long as he A) wasn’t a young X-Man or B) wasn’t cast as the worst hero ever. Due to all the damage other writers did over recent years, Brisson has some work to do, but this issue lays the groundwork for Cyclops’ ultimate redemption. And it all starts with Cyclops’ early days as a hero.

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A flashback reveals Cyclops rescuing a brilliant college student Paul Douek. This would be the same Douek that young Cable recruits to help him resurrect his father. As far as resurrection premises go, Brisson didn’t make the mistake of going too complex. He keeps it simple enough to understand even for lapsed X-Men readers who didn’t even know Cyclops made a brief return earlier. Teen Cable does help in terms of a cheat code to facilitate Cyclops’ return.

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Brisson also doesn’t completely wash away the time young Cyclops was in the present day, a nice gesture for fans of that era of X-Men. Maybe because it’s never been done to a worthwhile extent, I’m actually intrigued about an adult Cyclops interacting with his teenaged son.

Artist Carlos Gomez does quality work throughout. My lone gripe is Gomez doesn’t age Douek enough to sufficiently show the passage of timee. Beyond that, the art is very good for what’s such a dialogue heavy story. Color artist GURU-eFX is consistently good, particularly in the flashback segment, where a vintage dot matrix style of color application is used.

X-Men fans, this was the return you’ve been waiting on. Brisson and Gomez make an easy case for the return of X-Men’s leader and with a refocused Cyclops back, things are about to get much more interesting.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Marvel

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