writer: Brian Michael Bendis / artist: Chris Bachalo / Marvel Comics
Brian Bendis’ X-books have entered something of a speed bump where, despite dope characterizations and top notch artwork, the plots themselves haven’t really gone anywhere. This month, he seems to be picking up the pace in Uncanny X-Men just as is with All New. But is it too little, too late?
This issue starts with the fallout of SHIELD, after a couple of issues on the sidelines, going on the offensive against Matthew Mallow, the most dangerous man alive. Maria Hill just cannot seem to catch a break dealing with the mutant community EVER. Meanwhile, time traveling Eva Bell puts her foot down and goes back in time to do something stupid. That’s only barely an exaggeration, by the way. As bad as Beast has messed up the time stream by bringing the Original Five from the past to snap Scott Summers out of his slump (which, by the way, failed miserably), there are probably only a handful of things you could possibly do to make things worse. Eva Bell did what could be considered the #1 dumbest. Cyclops has effectively stepped in deep shit on behalf of all mutantkind and because **spoilers**, he isn’t even in this issue to take responsibility for any of it. Wow, when I put it that way, he’s basically become my ex-girlfriend. Anyway, that makes for a pretty good twist in the narrative that causes all parties involved to completely rethink their roles in this giant mudhole they’re all stuck in.
Chris Bachalo’s visuals have gotten a lot more tolerable than usual. The faces are much more expressive during the beats of exposition and he’s found a way around overcrowding panels that makes for a slightly cleaner reading experience while still retaining his signature art style. Matthew is getting a lot scarier as a character and Bachalo does a really superb job of reflecting that slight tilt towards the Dark Side.
Bottom Line: This book is finally picking up speed by throwing a monkey wrench in the works to shake things up a bit. Things should get pretty interesting from here. 8.5 out of 10.