For such an action-oriented storyline, Avengers Vs. X-Men (AVX for short) is centering a lot on feelings. That’s especially true with the various monthlies that tie into Marvel’s latest event. Uncanny X-Men #11 is a prime example of how the tie-ins are delving deeper into what’s happening around AVX. Writer Kieron Gillen splits this issue into several smaller storylines to help illustrate how those around Cyclops and Captain America feel watching the first shots being fired.
Story wise, Uncanny #11 moves rapidly from events before AVX #1 through the first battle. The focus may seem like the battle between Red Hulk and Juggernaut-Colossus, the subtext is more about feelings of betrayal and solidarity between the mutants. Gillen expands on Cyclops’s new attitude of almost cult leader. The holes in his logic in AVX #1 and #2 are filled in, at least for me. After the events in Schism, I’m curious if the final issues of the AVX will see Wolverine and his school of mutants taking on Cyclops or if they’ll join their mutant kin against the world.
Uncanny #11 also gives us a section devoted to Namor’s reasons for joining the mutant fight. I’ve enjoyed watching Namor grow from a pissed off king to true rebel these past years. In Uncanny, his drive for standing with the X-Men is simple, he enjoys fighting for the underdog. The progression of The Unit plotline is reduced to two pages so not a lot happens there. In much the same way Gillen expanded Cyclops’ mindset, the writer gives us insight to why Hope ran from Utopia
So how is the big battle between Red Hulk and Colossus? Awesome. Watching these two brutes pound each other into hamburger is very cool. You have to read this battle section a couple of times to get the full flavor of Gillen’s words. Being caught up in the action, Colossus’s inner monologue gets lost the first time. This final look into the mind of an X-Man at the start of this war gives the event series new emotion. How will the varying feelings of all mutants play into this event and will Cyclops ever realize he’s his own worst enemy?
I know Greg Land gets a lot of static from people on his art style, but I dug his pencils here. His Cyttorak-powered Colossus is an ass kicker. Land also brought great movement and pacing to the Colossus/Red Hulk fight. Granted, a lot of the faces looked the same, male or female, but overall Greg Land does some nice work with Uncanny X-Men #11. I’m digging the way Marvel is handling the tie-ins for AVX. Instead of handing us filler issues, they use the tie-ins to develop the surrounding story. Uncanny X-Men #11 is the best of that lot so far.
(5 Story, 3.5 Art)