Readers with long memories (or ones with the ability to click this link and scroll to the bottom of the page) may recall that I was originally planning to make a podcast out of this volume. If the fact that you’re reading my review of it now suggests that something has gone wrong, well, it has. “Disassembled,” like the “Avengers” arc it takes its name from, is a general mess of a storyline whose only real purpose is to move its massive cast from Point A to Point B. Writers Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, and Ed Brisson try their best to disguise this fact by having the team beset by a worldwide monster invasion, the return of a disturbed Multiple Man, and a senator who’s proposing the use of a vaccine to “cure” mutants who want it. All of these things are a sideshow to the real main event: The return of Nate “X-Man” Grey. Mutantkind’s shaman has returned to lead his people to their best world whether they want him to or not.
(Oh, and Legion is back as well. If you’re wondering, “Wait, how’d he do that after he wiped himself out of existence?” then thanks for taking the time to read Simon Spurrier’s really quite good run on “X-Men: Legacy.” If you’re looking for an actual answer to that question, all this volume has to offer is a handwave. Ugh…)
While Nate wants to make the world a better place, the fact that this storyline was followed up with the “Age of X-Man” series of miniseries should tell you how that goes. As a lead-in to that, “Disassembled” doesn’t really generate a whole lot of excitement for it. It’s too frantic, focused on big action than telling a cohesive and coherent story. Not helping matters is the fact that the writing for these issues feels very anonymous. There’s little sense of the individual style that Rosenberg, Thompson, and Brisson bring to their projects and it leaves you with the feeling that they were just ticking off editorially-mandated plot points with this assignment. The same can’t be said of the art, with Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildray Cinar, and Pere Perez all turning in solid and distinctive work. It’s just disappointing to see Marvel throw all this talent at “Uncanny’s” latest relaunch only for it to fall flat like this. I guess this is why they decided to bring back Hickman and let him put his own spin on things.