Uncanny X-Men: First Class #8: A Wee Problem

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Playing catch up, so here is last week’s review of ‘Uncanny X-Men: First Class’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #8 (preview)
Writer: Scott Gray
Art: Fernando Blanco

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with a murder in Cassidy Keep. The librarian, Master Finnan, is dead and so the caretaker calls for the Lord of the Manner, Sean Cassidy. He arrives with Logan, Kurt and Piotr determined to unravel the mystery. Sean does not believe it is a suicide despite a note left by Finnan and he promises Finnan’s daughter, Molly, to find the truth. Inspecting the area discovers chamomile in the tea, a deadly poison to the leprechauns.

Before they can search more, Conall the head of the museum, comes in and gives more bad news. The family museum was attacked and the ring of Sean’s ancestor, Liam, was stolen. Liam was the one that built the keep and was a great champion and with his leprechaun friend, Malachy Quinn, they defeated a great Sidhe evil. Besides the ring, Liam and Malachy’s tapestry was damaged far above where a leprechaun could reach.

Sean next visits Owen McGuinness, the apothecary, and keeper of the only supply of chamomile in the castle.  Owen introduces his grandson Declan who shows them the chamomile supply. Sean cuts himself on a lantern before discovering the supply is gone. He then talks to the kitchen staff who relates the events of the night in question, saying Finnan was acting strangely and there was a giggling noise from the room.

Sean takes another look at the note and declares it to be Finnan’s handwriting. What is more he knows who killed the old leprechaun and sets up a meeting of the house. After going through the suspects, Sean fingers Declan as his name was spelled in the note. The young leprechaun admits it and says it is because he has always been ridiculed because he is half Sidhe. He has wings which is how he damaged the tapestry. He needed Sean’s blood and with it he uses the Cassidy ring to control all the fae in the castle and even summon the Sidhe to battle.

The X-Men are limited in the fight since none of their attackers are in their right minds, but eventually Sean is able to use his power to shatter the ring and free everyone. Once the threat is ended, the whole castle turns out for the funeral of Finnan and Banshee once again says goodbye to his family’s keep.

MY TAKE: This is a fun little issue, with a nice mystery and good character moments. It actually felt like a First Class issue and I was glad to see it. There is nothing really new or earth shaking here, but the story is well told and it does pull you into the plot. Banshee has proven to be the strongest character for this series and so ending with him is a good idea. Using the leprechauns is a nice way to keep things a bit lighter and more child friendly without having to alienate the adult readers.

Although Sean gets the most screen time, and is certainly the best used character, the rest of the team make good supporting players. Logan feels more natural here and both Kurt and Piotr get a few good moments. I specifically liked Kurt’s interaction with Declan about how it feels to be an outsider.

The murder plot was very well done and felt like an actual murder mystery, just trimmed down to fit the book. There were clues and suspects and even several false leads and potential villains. While the eventual killer’s motivation was not the most logical or fitting, it was solid enough not to hurt the story.

The biggest flaw, for me, was the forced combat at the end of the issue. I do understand that a certain amount of action is expected in a comic book, especially those aimed at younger viewers, but it did not really fit. It did give the rest of the X-Men something more meaningful to do, but it would have been better to make defeating the villain a smaller and more personal affair. Bringing in hoards of creatures just confused the story and made the ending longer then it needed to be. A quicker conclusion would have given more time for the murder plot to play out.

In the end this was a good stand alone story that combined an interesting story with some strong characterizations. It is too bad that this is the end of the series because it has had a lot of promise for the past few issues, after a somewhat shaky start. Hopefully, the sales will increase for these issues and we can see another series in the future. Now that the creative team has found their stride, I expect it would be very entertaining.

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.

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