Brian Bendis has been on a roll lately with his X books as well as his work on Guardians of the Galaxy. Uncanny X-Men has been a unique (if not downplayed) success in its portrayal of Cyclops and his rebel team as the Dark Avengers of the mutant community. This “Uncanny X-Men vs. SHIELD” storyline has been a fun high point full of action and intrigue.
This final issue in the story arc picks up with the boiling tensions between SHIELD and the mutants brought to a head. As the curtain comes up and true intentions come into play, the X-Men rally together to discover the true identity of their mystery tormentor. Sorry, guys, but I’m just going to say it: the reveal falls flat. I’m not going to spoil it here, but this blast from the past will either leave you shrugging while saying, “Oh, that guy,” or scratching your head asking, “You pulled THAT guy out of your ass?” In truth, even if the mystery villain wasn’t exactly a big deal, Bendis had a potentially epic opportunity for a staredown with Henry McCoy (he seems to like writing Beast and Cyclops chastising people) that was completely squandered. Meanwhile, Agent Dazzler gets a few good moments that leave us hoping to see more of her in future X-issues. Chris Bachalo’s pencils are dope as usual, but there were way too many chiefs and not enough indians involved. There were (I shit you not) six different inkers involved in this issue. It took less people to defend Gondor in The Two Towers than it did to color this fucking book. Let that sink in.
Bottom Line: There are some fun action beats and it wouldn’t be a Bendis book if banter were at an all time high, but the “big reveal” just doesn’t manage to be the glue that brings it all together. 7 out of 10.