Bishop Steps Up in Uncanny X-Men #8 Review

Cover of Uncanny X-Men #8

Writers: Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, and Matthew Rosenberg // Artist: R.B. Silva //Marvel

“Disassembled” Part VIII

If teamwork makes the dream work, then Xavier’s Children of the Atom are living a nightmare these days.  In the previous issue, the X-Recruits (Armor, Pixie, Rockslide, and Glob) found themselves trapped in the “Age of Apocalypse” with a year of experiences, memories, and physical changes.  Now divided into factions, Armor is swayed by her the logic that the only way to save their world is to kill X-Man while he is powerless in the AoA dimension. Feeling abandoned by the veteran X-Men, the last hope lies with some one willing to go in after the X-Recruits — someone with experience — someone like Bishop.

The X-Recruits fighting in the Age of Apocalypse universe, from Uncanny X-Men #8

Confused and overwhelmed, the main X-Men team in British Columbia continues a fruitless fight with Nate Grey’s Horseman of Salvation. Even though their leader has finished with the X-Recruits, Magneto, Blob, and Omega Red are still loyal and powerful. In the midst of all of this Kitty Pryde frees herself, along with Senator Allen and Apocalypse, once X-Man can no longer suppress her powers. Aside from the initial shock of a temporary truce with Apocalypse, the X-Men suffer a case of too many leaders. Over the course of the arc, writers Brisson, Thompson, and Rosenberg have set up an interesting dynamic with the tensions and personality clashes amongst that X-Men that allow for the plot to feel organic and driven by actual moral tensions.

Jean, Kitty, and  Psylocke believe that for now they should leave the younger X-Men in the AoA; Bishop on the other hand knows the hell of that timeline first-hand and refuses to leave anyone there. While X-Man and X-Recruits are gone, Legion, though catatonic, remains. They deduce that the missing mutants must be inside the schizophrenic heir to Xavier’s mind. No limit time-soldier that he is, Bishop tells Psylocke to merge his mind into Legion’s. He arrives just in time, stopping Armor from murdering the powerless X-Man. In the chaos of the fight, however, Legion and Nate Grey engage in an astral plane battle that allows Legion to merge himself with X-Man on some Dragonball Z level fusion. Meanwhile amidst the backdrop of protesters, the subplot of Beast investigating how his experimental mutant gene suppressant made its way into the world leads him to one of the young X-Recruits.

Thus far, the arc continues to improve upon a very tepid past two years in the X-Men offices. At the heart of “Disassembled” lies an interesting idea of the descendants of X-Men not failing the dream, but rather trying to create their own path along it. Xavier’s son (Legion), Nate Grey (the clone of AoA Cyclops & Jean Grey), and even the rebelliousness of the X-recruits themselves all represent a shift from the old guard.  Also, Bishop is pleasantly more prominent in this issue. He played a lot in the background doing a lot of damage in the previous issues but shows more narrative and emotional agency now. As the only non-refugee aside from Legion who knows of AoA dimension, he is the only person with enough psycho-temporal fortitude to get results.

Bishop being melded with Legion, from Uncanny X-Men #8

Only two issues remain in this 10 part epic, so now is the moment to catch up if ever.  The ending should be cataclysmic to say the least.

Next Up: X-Legion or Nate Haller or David Grey vs. Everyone Else

Rating: 7.5 of 10 Purple Psi-Blades

Reading Uncanny X-Men? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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