Anghus Houvouras reviews the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men…
“SHIELD has a new agent and she’s a fan favorite mutant? Cyclops loses full control of his powers on the streets of Los Angeles. “
Things are moving at a rapid pace in the X-Universe these days. All the titles are getting their respective houses in order before the latest Marvel Event Battle of the Atom launches. This is giving all the mutant-themed books a defined timeline to wrap up their respective plots before engaging in a crossover event of epic proportions.
Uncanny X-Men has been on a good run. The last few issues have taken sufficient time to develop the newer members of the group, as well as dealing with some of the baggage carried by veterans like Cyclops and Magneto. The book is still about broken people and broken dreams in need of mending. The outlaw mutants are still convinced a revolution is coming. And they’ve convinced a half dozen young mutants that they need training and fellowship if they’re going to survive the coming apocalypse.
Issue #10 gets the X-Men back to the fundamentals. First, we see our young mutants in training as some learn there may be more complexity to their abilities. This kind of situation gives us a look at the old Scott Summers. The one who is inspired by other mutants, the ones he has devoted his entire life to. Brian Michael Bendis gives us a glimpse of the Cyclops readers once loved, right before whisking him back into the ideological war that is brewing around him. A rally is televised showing those who support the Uncanny X-Men. Cyclops decides it’s time for his team to make a public debut and they appear at the event. Bendis uses this opportunity to show another of old Cyclops favorite pastimes: giving speeches. He tells the audience not to be angry with the Avengers or the other heroes of the world who hunt them, but to fear those who seek to persecute those who are different. Then, he’s knocked off his soapbox, rather dramatically, by a new type of Sentinel.
It’s another solid issue in what has been a banner year for the X-Men titles. Bendis delivers another issue with equal parts character and story development. Frazer Irving might be the best artist working in comics right now. There’s a level of expressiveness and pop art to his panels that make the characters feel so fully realized. I can’t remember Magneto ever being this grizzled, or this morose. His style feels perfectly suited for a story that focuses on so many wayward souls.
Uncanny X-Men #10 is another good issue. Based on the previews for Battle of the Atom, the status quo is once again about to take a radical shift. Hopefully Bendis won’t take it too far off the rails as Uncanny and All New X-Men continue to be two of the best Marvel books on the shelf.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.