I mentioned this about the last issue, but Brian Michael Bendis might be onto something with this new story arc of Uncanny X-Men. Putting an emphasis on the family aspect of the X-Universe has definitely helped his books find a unique identity. You know those “family reunion” movies where the whole family is called home for a funeral or a wedding and some piece of information comes out and everyone’s at each other’s throat about it? You know the ones. Paula Patton or Zoe Saldana or Katherine Heigl are usually in them. Well, take one of those movies, put superheroes in it and you have “The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier.”
This issue picks up with the dearly departed Professor X telling his deepest darkest secret via holographic message. Of course, some of the X-Men are still a little taken aback by last issue’s revelation that Charles was secretly married to Mystique. I think it’s important to mention at this time that both the Professor and Mystique are one awkward seeming relationship away from being eligible for being the subject of jokes about their exes moving in together to film reality shows together. Say what you want about the man, but Bendis does a good job of bringing material into his realm and telling his kind of story. The reactions to Charles’ final message feel genuine and, at moments, a little heart warming/breaking.
Meanwhile, the art is a sort of mixed bag. On one hand, Chris Bachalo’s work is mostly strong. Granted, I’m on the fence with how I feel about unmasked Cyclops looking like John Krasinski and I wish his action beats were less hectic, but he’s still a perfectly serviceable artist. On the other hand, it seems like I was just lauding Kris Anka’s much cleaner approach to the book and it seems like a bit of a downgrade switching back. Bachalo’s cool and all, but Anka seemed like a better fit for the book. Hopefully, we see more of him in issues to come.
Bottom Line: Despite the slight fluctuation in consistency with the pencils, this is still a really strong addition that’s going to keep me picking it up. 7.5 out of 10