The “Divided We Stand” storyline which ran through X-Men comics after Messiah CompleX (see Uncanny X-Men: Divided We Stand and X-Men: Legacy – Divided He Stands) lead to a new home and a new ideology. The “Manifest Destiny” storyline that ran in all of the books right after set up a new beginning. For the X-Men, we see this in Uncanny X-Men: Manifest Destiny.
A prologue of sorts introduces readers who don’t follow New X-Men to Pixie, who begins to take her place as an X-Man. Then, the main storyline kicks in, with the X-Men now in San Francisco, celebrating their new beginning while struggling against a string of hate crimes against mutants, lead by the Hellfire Cult. Also, we see some short stories that explore a number of X-Men as they deal with Messiah CompleX, Divided We Stand, and Manifest Destiny.
Uncanny X-Men: Manifest Destiny contains: Free Comic Book Day: X-Men 2008 (“Pixies and Demons”), Uncanny X-Men #500, #501 (“All Tomorrow’s Parties”), #502 (“Beginning to See the Light”), #503, and stories from X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1 (“Control”), #2 (“Good With the Bad” and “Flaw”), #3 (“Abomination” and “Uncheerable”), #4 (“Mercury”), #5 (“Dazzler: Solo”).
This volume feels a bit broken up, with a number of shorter, self-contained stories of sorts. Free Comic Book Day: X-Men 2008 gives us a story of Pixie at home in Wales, as she realizes that her town is overrun with demons. It is a fun, fast-paced tale, that does a lot for the character (who otherwise I would stare at incredulously, saying “Pixie?!”).
Uncanny X-Men #500 also feels more at home as a standalone. Gala celebrations, a rather racist art display, and the attack of the first villain the X-Men ever faced cap off the anniversary issue, as well as a subplot involving the High Evolutionary that seems to be a holdover from the last Eternals series, and one that gets no mention later in the volume.
The main story begins in Uncanny X-Men #501, with the X-Men exploring their new lives in San Francisco, and dealing with the Hellfire Cult, a group that is perpetrating hate crime after hate crime against mutants. It is a fast-paced and engaging tale.
This is followed by a string of short stories pulled from the miniseries X-Men: Manifest Destiny. These seemed like an odd inclusion, on some parts. Only some of the stories, not all, were bound into this volume. Others were included in the volume X-Men: Manifest Destiny, which focuses solely on the “Manifest Destiny” miniseries. It seems they should have been collected all together, but so it goes. They were pleasant reads, not much to most of them (the obvious exception being “Abomination,” dealing with one young characters abuse at the hands of his father), but a nice end to the beginning of the X-Men in San Francisco.
In the full view, this was a nice volume, likely a great jumping on point for new readers, and one that gives you a lot of little tidbits instead of one long story.