Comic Vine Review

18 Comments

Uncanny X-Men #23 Review

5

Charles Xavier’s last will and testament surfaces. A victim of the skrull’s invasion of Earth tries unsuccessfully to cope. An exiled student returns and a victimized mutant refuses to surrender.

The Good

This issue is positively chock-full of amazing, well-realized content. That’s a helluva way to start a review, I know, but I was just going over it in my head, and it’s the confluence of three storylines, all of them extremely well-realized, with a ton of witty, truly great character moments sprinkled throughout. The issue opens with two storylines that will end up bookending it, but the main focus is on returning the newly freed Dazzler, ex-agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Scott Summers’ academy, where she proceeds to have a nervous breakdown over her lack of closure in finding Mystique. If it were handled any other way, I’d actually have something of a problem with it as the “victim breaking down in the mirror” is well-traveled, cynical territory often used as shorthand for cheap character development, but the way Brian Bendis portrays it is not only effective, but actually heartfelt as she reflects upon all the roles she’s played. Meanwhile, Scott’s polarizing personality is dragged into the spotlight as he reveals that he knows what happened to Eva and just wants her to talk about it...traditionally, not the best way to go about such things. Summers’ ineptitude at engaging with his students out of a combat situation is actually a common theme throughout the issue, but it’s not always played for laughs and, in fact, is an incredible character moment for both he and the newly returned Hijack. This is an issue where a ton happens, but it almost all feels earned and like it’s building toward something.

Kris Anka is BACK on art and, as much as I love Chris Bachalo, seeing Anka back in full force reminds me of what I loved about his style in the first place. It’s so stylized and so, so smooth while, at the same time jagged. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but the character outlines are generally the parts that are smooth while everything within those outlines is jagged, giving a raw intensity to the facial expressions and actions while keeping the characters themselves fluid and dynamic. And these are some expressions that are calling out for some raw intensity. This is an action-light issue, opening pages aside, which is why I think Anka coming back is perfect: his style is suited to things like intense conversations and introspection and that’s what this issue does best.

The Bad

One of the bookends of this issue, the one with the anonymous man, takes up a little more room than it really needs to. It’s a big lead up to a somewhat obvious swerve, whenever two unnamed characters are having mundane problems in a comic like this, it’s just to distract from the thing that’s ABOUT to happen. Sure enough, it happens and when said character returns by issue’s end, it only leads to further question. This is obviously by design, but it takes up more room than it needs to, especially considering the OTHER tangent storyline.

As much as I appreciate what Dazzler's going through, I really liked the idea of having her as a S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison and seeing that get completely scrapped with little-to-no development nor payoff is a little disappointing.

The Verdict

This is definitely the start of something much, much larger and I’m incredibly impressed with how well Bendis and Anka juggle and unite all these disparate themes and storylines, making all but one of them relevant to the immediate storyline. The one that’s left out will almost certainly become more relevant later. The characters in this issue are the real reason to read it, and they’re very, very worth it. Even for someone like me who absolutely loves what Cyclops has become, I can still delight in him being taken down a peg or two, particularly when it’s well deserved and well observed.

18 Comments
Posted by CheeseSticks

How is this five stars? Nothing happened at all. There was a big publicity toward this issue for the will of Prof X and we got nothing. N-A-D-A. I've lost every hope for ComicVine review.

Posted by kivatt

@cheesesticks: I know right. It was literally the most disappointing comics that I have read too much. I was severely underwhelmed by this issue. And now we have to wait until God knows when, in order to figure out what this last will and testament is.

Edited by mksystem74

@cheesesticks said:

How is this five stars? Nothing happened at all. There was a big publicity toward this issue for the will of Prof X and we got nothing. N-A-D-A. I've lost every hope for ComicVine review.

Exactly. They've been promoting it as the issue that "shakes things up" and nothing happened... at all. I was really disappointed by it.

If i had to call this issue anything, it would be a PREVIEW issue.

Posted by longbowhunter

Uncanny has been good since it relaunched with Bendis and I've always been a Bachalo fan. But Kris Anka totally breathed new life into this title for me.

Edited by Ultron345
Posted by xrs10

For lots of people who don't read uncanny it is a jumping on point. So they had to do it so that people like me could get a very quick catch up and get everyone ready for the next issue.

Posted by LiveForever

How is this five stars? Nothing happened at all. There was a big publicity toward this issue for the will of Prof X and we got nothing. N-A-D-A.

This. I've jumped off this title twice and am considering doing it a third and probably final time. Slow burn, and I'm not seeing a payoff in the distance. Such a disappointing book.

Edited by CheeseSticks

@liveforever said:

@cheesesticks said:

How is this five stars? Nothing happened at all. There was a big publicity toward this issue for the will of Prof X and we got nothing. N-A-D-A.

This. I've jumped off this title twice and am considering doing it a third and probably final time. Slow burn, and I'm not seeing a payoff in the distance. Such a disappointing book.

I'm just like you, i've dropped it 4 times and I just keep starting buying it again because of Scott.

@xrs10: Every Bendis issue is a good jumping on point then.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I'm looking forward to reading this.

Online
Posted by AndySynn

Personally I thought this was a phenomenal issue.

Edited by Teerack

Really disappointed with this issue. It didn't really do anything it just kind of poked at things that we knew were coming. The new horrible Dazzler redesign, the actual reading of the will, and what happened to Eva. Sadly we don't get to see any of these things.

Posted by Jphu8414

I honestly just wish more happened in this issue, especially considering the way it was being hyped.

Posted by lagozzino

Yeah, I've also gotta say that this was in no way a 5 star issue. Its a serviceable in-between story (that is to say it serves to wrap up elements from the last story arc while setting stuff up for the next arc), but frankly it came off more as filler rather than a story that needed to be told.

It kinda reminded me of one of those mid-90s X-men comics where the entire issue just served to check up on the myriad of unrelated subplots without actually advancing any of them (and that was typically because editorial was a mess at the time and those subplots didn't have a planned ending yet)

Posted by Novemberx2

Big problem Here. The Xavier estate was settled months ago in new avengers issue 2. Beast meets with executor who informs him that other x-men take control of the Xavier trusts and estate.

Posted by Krypton-115

Well we already know that part of Prof X's will was about giving the Mind Infinity gem to Beast in New Avengers issue #2, so that's weird...

Posted by derf_jenkins

A few issues of trying to get Scott to show up for this now? I'm a bendis fan half the time and swearing at him the other half of the time. My wife and I have the same relationship.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Posted by Ms-Lola

Tooooo sloooow.