Uncanny X-Men #3 wraps up the first mission of Cyclops's Extinction Team — get the head of the Dreaming Celestial back from Mr. Sinister before the other Celestials destroy the Earth. Sinister, however, wishes to use the head in order to create what he believes is a perfectly evolved species — and cover the planet in nothing but duplicates of himself. It's up to the Utopia-based X-Men to stop Sinister, retrieve the Celestial's head, and stop the remaining Celestials from attacking the planet.
The battle with the Sinisters is more talk than action, but it serves as a philosophical backdrop for this new "Extinction Team," as Sinister poses the question of, if a species is genetically superior to another, should it simply wipe out the less evolved group? Even as mutants stand on the brink of their own extinction, they possess the power to potentially wipe out humanity, and it's that knowledge that Cyclops has based the continued existence of mutantkind on. He wants humanity to know they could force their way into being the dominant species on the planet, dwindling numbers or not. However, where Sinister aims to take that last step and wipe out all that he sees as weaker, Cyclops instead is holding back and using that fear as security for his species. If people fear what you can do, then they won't take steps towards making you do it — or at least that's what Cyclops is counting on.
This issue is a good set-up for a new volume of Uncanny X-Men, setting it apart from the previous X-Men who would fight simply because it was the right thing to do, regardless of how humanity felt about them. Now, these X-Men still live in a world that fears and hates them, but instead of wanting to change that, they've embraced the fear, encouraging it in order to use it as a weapon against anyone who would hurt them. It's an interesting twist on the X-Men, and one that has made for a compelling read so far.
While this issue felt a little slow at times with Sinister's numerous speeches, it was overall a good comic that successfully opened the door for many possibilities as this new volume of Uncanny X-Men continues. With the new Extinction Team, the split between the East and West Coast teams, and the hints of the return of the Phoenix, it's already shaping up to be a busy year for the X-Men — and hopefully an entertaining one as well.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.