Uncanny X-Men: First Class (2006 & 2007)
- Writer: Jeff Parker
- Pencils: Roger Cruz
The first two volumes and accompanying specials were, in general, a joy to read. They are most successful when exploring the characters of the team in uncomplicated ways. Where it looses its mark, are the occasional attempts to foreshadow later events, which feel at odds with the generally light tone.
I certainly felt like I got to know the characters and their relationships a little better than the first 39 issues (1963) allowed, even though no new ground is really forged. Indeed, this is the point of these comics, to grant a little time with the characters without overbearing continuity and without too much progression.
The decision to set the comic in the modern era was initially a little jarring, but it soon settled down. It is interesting that there is little use of the modern world anyway, so for the most part the feel is timeless. The language is clearly more modern, but that allows a more recognisable teenage / early twenties tone, that is a definate improvement on the originals, where the occasional teenage slang felt like it was falling clumsily from the mouths of un-hip squares.
The art is cartoon style and accessible to a younger audience, I really liked it, and it suited the light tone of the stories.
In general I am happy I took the detour into this series rather than plowing on through with the original run. I can now return to issue 40 refreshed and with a clearer perspective on what was achieved in the beginning.