Comic Vine Review

24 Comments

Uncanny X-Men #14 Review

4

Now that 'Battle of the Atom" is over, Brian Michael Bendis explores one of the "new" X-Men.

The Good

After a big event in comics, it's always a great feeling being able to ease back and see the characters adjust to the changes. We did see some in last week's ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 but with this issue, Brian Michael Bendis shifts the focus on one of the newer X-Men, Benjamin Deeds.

When a title has a mix of new and familiar characters, it's easy for a character like Benjamin to fall into the background. If we're being honest, he didn't appear to have a power that would make him stand out and he didn't even have a codename. But this issue, Bendis gives him the spotlight in a way only he can. He may be sharing it a bit with Emma Frost but that only adds to the glorious nature of the story. This issue shows us that Bendis has a reason for introducing him to us. The issue may not exactly be a gamechanger like recent issues but it's a great change of pace and another reason why I'm digging his run on both X-titles.

Adding to the fun nature of the story we get some more Chris Bachalo art. Personally, I can't get enough of it. Bachalo also does the color. I could just keep going back and looking over the pages again and again.

The Bad

As mentioned above, this may not necessarily be the biggest issue in the series. There are definitely some tiny threads being woven here that could come into play later. But this isn't a completely bad thing, as after a big event, having a more down to earth issue is good.

I decided to try the Marvel AR app again (it's been a while). I sat there fighting with it again with no luck until the final page. Not sure why I bother when it always seems like it's a gamble whether or not this will work. And this, in no way, impacts the rating on this specific issue.

The Verdict

Remember all those new X-Men Brian Michael Bendis introduced in this series? They may have been shoved into the background slightly during Battle of the Atom but one character in particular gets the spotlight. The action slows down a little for readers (and the X-Men) to catch their breath and we get a fun look at what this character can do and the potential he has. Chris Bachalo's art and colors are always a plus and adds to feel of the story. If you were worried about the original X-Men jumping onto Cyclops' side this issue shows that Bendis will not forget those that have already been introduced. Seeing the next stage begin is off to a great start.

25 Comments
Posted by War Killer

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Posted by Noteworthington

So far, the way Emma is explaining it, it's a chemical/pheromone/other aspect of his powers that is soothing people, and for all intents and purposes the physical change is just a side effect.

Edited by Renchamp

I have given up on AR. Not only is it a gamble in getting it to work but the content is hardly ever worth the effort.

Posted by danhimself

punk rock/goth Emma Frost may be the hottest Emma Frost yet

Posted by CaptainCyke

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Even with the explanation by Emma I was still left scratching my head...

Posted by MideonNViscera

The whole turning into Emma scene was tickling some weird ass fantasy fetish thing in my head until he said he was gay. What a waste!

Posted by danhimself

@war_killer said:

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Even with the explanation by Emma I was still left scratching my head...

he puts out pheromones that put people at ease and make them slightly attracted to him...sort of like Spiderwoman's poweres

Edited by Lokheit

What I don't get is what's the relation between making people comfortable and changing your face to look like that person.

Unless Bendis TOTALLY loves the bald man on the mirror and thinks everyone else does, I don't get how he made the relation here... Most people would freak out instead of feeling comfortable if someone suddenly changed his face to look like him, so it would be counterproductive with the pheromones power.

Morph (II) is starting to be the Cypher of this team. At least many years later writers found a way to make Cypher's powers really cool for combat with the body language reading thing, if you aren't in an infiltration scenario I don't know what he could do to help the team (unless his pheromones can get crazy and calm an angry mob of mutant hating extremists) and even on infiltration his powers don't make much sense.

And I don't know why, but something about the character told me he was gay before he said it. And did he sign as Scott Pilgrim?

Didn't like punk-rock Emma btw... I hope she returns to White (she is the White Queen)... Oh, and I also hope she and Scott get back together soon!!

Despite I'm liking "some parts" of current X-Men (Scott team specially), I was remembering how much I liked the team around Messiah Complex times, you know, when Beast was a likeable character instead of an hypocrite gorilla, Wolverine respected Scott and was true to his character instead of suddenly deciding he is the voice of moral (even in schism some pannels before turning he was saying Scott was worth following), Scott and Emma were a couple, all the X-Men were a family, the student body (Kyle and Yost new X-Men) was really cool... Can we get back to those times? I like the evolution of some characters, but with all the hypocrites, the break ups and schisms, the time travelling non-sense, the lame students at the Jean Grey academy instead of Hellion, Mercury, Surge, Mercury and company (I'm liking Scott's students though)... I miss those times a lot.

Posted by ravisher

lol at the nickname morph ,memories

Posted by sparty-dbq

Since when does Dum Dum Dugan have an office job?

Posted by ScarletBatman

This issue totally deserves 5 stars.

Edited by War Killer

@captaincyke said:

@war_killer said:

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Even with the explanation by Emma I was still left scratching my head...

he puts out pheromones that put people at ease and make them slightly attracted to him...sort of like Spiderwoman's poweres

Yeah, I got that, but how does his shape-shifting play into that. From how Emma explained it, his pheromones make people feel comfortable around him but what does making himself look more like them help? I mean personally, f someone was hitting on me and they looked almost like me, even with pheromones, I would feel more awkward than attracted to them. It just seems weird for people to basically become attracted to themselves.

Posted by akbogert

The Emma locker room scene made me pretty uncomfortable, not least of which because I couldn't come up with any legitimate reason for her, a teacher, being there like that (and I never really understood why she took on that appearance in the first place).

On the other hand, this is one of my favorite covers to date.

Posted by G-Man

@scarletbatman: Feel free to add your own review! That's the great thing about how the site is laid out, anyone can write their own review to express their opinions on issues.

Staff
Posted by JohnnyGat

@danhimself said:

@captaincyke said:

@war_killer said:

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Even with the explanation by Emma I was still left scratching my head...

he puts out pheromones that put people at ease and make them slightly attracted to him...sort of like Spiderwoman's poweres

Yeah, I got that, but how does his shape-shifting play into that. From how Emma explained it, his pheromones make people feel comfortable around him but what does making himself look more like them help? I mean personally, f someone was hitting on me and they looked almost like me, even with pheromones, I would feel more awkward than attracted to them. It just seems weird for people to basically become attracted to themselves.

I think the powers override the senses in this case that even though Deeds does start to look like the person he's talking to I doubt they notice. Like @noteworthington mentions the physical change could just be a side effect of the mutation and on another note the extent of the power that makes people comfortable could be really strong.

Edited by Kerrigan

"His chemicals scrambled the tech..." Even by the standards of comics that's a half-assed explanation, Ms Frost. All the X-newbies remain vaguely sketched. Fun issue, though.

Edited by muttput

I really enjoyed this issue, It felt like a heist story.

Cyclops though, annoys me. I really hope his pushing is his downfall. For this reason it still bothers me that Kitty joined his side. They're just as hypocritical as Wolverine's team.

Edited by Sampsman

I think there have been real-world studies that show people trust and feel more comfortable around people who are similar to them - hence he's showing people the most ideal and trusting person they can imagine, which is themselves. Combine that with the chemicals he apparently gives off, and its likely he's exhibiting an aura that is most appealing to his subject. And I would suspect that all this influence - even the visual - is on a subconscious level, so the person he's trying to influence isn't outright thinking "wow, that person looks just like me. I think I should trust him/her."

So his power isn't intended to "seduce" in most cases, but rather make folks more comfortable around him, and to portray himself as most trustworthy as possible. It's all about his Aura - which really is a fitting codename for him, now that I think about it.

I liked the story and agree it was a nice change of pace. I enjoy a good epic cross-over and on-going story as much as the next comic fan, but sometimes you just want a stand-alone issue that works on character development, and that's what we got here.

Posted by MideonNViscera

@akbogert said:

The Emma locker room scene made me pretty uncomfortable, not least of which because I couldn't come up with any legitimate reason for her, a teacher, being there like that (and I never really understood why she took on that appearance in the first place).

On the other hand, this is one of my favorite covers to date.

She sucks at boundaries and uses sex to manipulate blah blah blah. Plus she let the dude turn into a naked her, so it's totally tit for tat. I hate puns.

Posted by tximinoman

@war_killer said:

@danhimself said:

@captaincyke said:

@war_killer said:

Ok, can someone explain to me what Benjamin's powers are? I really didn't understand Emma's explanation as to how they work. Ben makes people feel more comfortable by changing his appearance to appear similar to the person in question...how does looking like the person make them more comfortable, I figured it would only freak them out like it has in the past...

Even with the explanation by Emma I was still left scratching my head...

he puts out pheromones that put people at ease and make them slightly attracted to him...sort of like Spiderwoman's poweres

Yeah, I got that, but how does his shape-shifting play into that. From how Emma explained it, his pheromones make people feel comfortable around him but what does making himself look more like them help? I mean personally, f someone was hitting on me and they looked almost like me, even with pheromones, I would feel more awkward than attracted to them. It just seems weird for people to basically become attracted to themselves.

I think the powers override the senses in this case that even though Deeds does start to look like the person he's talking to I doubt they notice. Like @noteworthington mentions the physical change could just be a side effect of the mutation and on another note the extent of the power that makes people comfortable could be really strong.

He doesn't fully become the other person, he just look alike, wich helps on making the other person comfortable around him.

I belive it has more to do with making the other person feel that Benjamin's like them, than turning into them.

Posted by JohnnyGat

I still think whatever it is he emits is the main power at work. Think of it like this we see that he doesn't change shape until after he gets close to the person. I'm pretty sure that him shifting forms in public would have caused at least one person to take note but not a single thing like that happened.

We see him approach the secretary still with his brunette self, we see the secretary look at him while he's a brunette, a pair of panels later he shifts to look like the person. Why didn't the shifting raise any red flags, because the theorized real power that Benjamin has is emitting something throughout his environment that calms and makes people comfortable, not just the person he's specifically talking to but everyone around him.

And as such the shifting is something temporary to whoever he is focusing on at the given moment wherein I still stand by my theory that the morphing is a side effect of his real powers. That the morphing is not intended for the person he's talking to but for himself. Kinda like @sampsman mentions I believe that there is a subconscious factor to his morphing into looking similar to the person he's talking to. If I recall correctly every time we see this kid he seems like the fish out of water type guy even before his mutation more so after finding out he's a mutant and furthermore when he started feeling that he was useless because of his power set so it wouldn't surprise me that he might believe that since he is uncomfortable with himself that he thinks others will too so he shifts form similar to whoever he is focusing on.

TL;DR Version

Whatever he emits is the main power, that even if he doesn't shift it could work and that the shifting is a side effect.

But at the same time I acknowledge that I may be over thinking this since you know "fiction"

Edited by Spidey_82

@lokheit said:

And did he sign as Scott Pilgrim?

That's what I was thinking too. Made me laugh.

Posted by Maddpanda531

Gotta say, I really enjoyed this issue. Loved the development for Benjamin, who's been in some serious need for a cure to his background-character-syndrome.

Posted by rayyonceagain

I was surprised by how much I am liking the newer x men recruits. Wonder how Gold Ball's spotlight comic will work out.