Comic Vine Review

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Uncanny X-Men #4 Review

4

Cyclops’ recruits acclimatize to their new home while Magik finally begins to feel the effects of the power-shattering Phoenix Force loss.

The Good

Bendis and Bachalo continue to move beautifully together on this title. Bachalo’s hard-edged-yet-cartoony look perfectly compliments Bendis’ hard-edged-yet-cartoony writing as we get a look at the encounter from All-New X-Men between the faculty of Cyclops’ new school and everyone else of the Jean Grey school from inside the minds of the most powerful psychics present at the time: The Stepford Cuckoos. The whole “retell a story from a different angle” notion can work to give the reader a different perspective or can come off as lazy and here it’s definitely the former as the Stepfords immediately get into their mentor’s mind and realize that something’s gone horribly wrong with her powers. This leads to one of the few open, honest, frank, and rather touching dialogs between the four of them and better explains why the Cuckoos seemingly arbitrarily decided to side with Emma Frost and the rest of Cyclops’ team.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as it is, we get to see Cyclops’ flock of new mutants doing what new mutants do seemingly do best: experimenting with their powers and flirting like awkward teens. Bendis has a real knack for writing naturalistic yet sharp dialog, and while I can’t fully deny the complaints that his characters tend to have a similar voice, I can’t say I have a problem with it either. I want to live in a world where everyone’s a little bit witty. Bachalo continues to show that he’s a master of his craft with scenes of everyone standing still and posturing for one another looking just as dynamic and interesting as the scenes of people frantically fleeing from dino-dragons. And to everyone who thought Magik escaped AVX unscathed, this issue lets you know you that there WILL be consequences as her powers begin to flare up in horrifying and unexpected ways.

The Bad

A lot happens in this issue, but a great deal of it could be summed as sound and fury signifying nothing. I love the dynamics forming between all the characters, but it’s forming at a glacial pace. I know it’s only been four issues, but very little has actually happened in this book that wasn't covered in All-New X-Men and reading both books is ALMOST starting to feel redundant. I’m still unsure of precisely what Cyclops wants or is trying to achieve and I have absolutely NO idea who the villain or threat of this story is supposed to be. And speaking of All-New X-Men: that cliffhanger that the last issue ended with? Completely and casually revealed in this one!

The Verdict

It’s only been four issues, so perhaps my problem with the pacing isn't fully warranted, but this book almost feels supplemental. It’s amazingly well-written and well-drawn supplement, so for now it’s still easy to recommend, but I’m hoping they cut to the chase in the next issue or two. It really did bother me that they just casually revealed the All-New X-Men cliffhanger, but to be fair, those two things are the only things that kept the book from being a perfect 5. I can’t stress enough how much I hope these new characters are sticking around for the long-run as I’ve come to absolutely love each and every one of them in a very, VERY brief time.

20 Comments
Posted by spinningbirdcake

I was wondering if this was just going to be a waste of an issue but it seems like it's taking the more interesting route of "being in the same place at the same time." The next few issues should probably see them separate a bit as I believe Dormammu is solicited in issue 5 or 6, I'm not sure. That being said, it seems like these two are going to bump heads for quite a while, what with Logan and Scott supposedly having clashing ideologies, I'd assume they'll be out to sabotage one another now and again.

Posted by NathanXplosion

I am loving this series and can't wait to pick up this issue at Two Cats Comic Book Store 320 West Portal Avenue San Francisco, California 94127.

Edited by The Stegman

I really hope that the time manipulation mutant becomes important, that's my all time favorite power, and I wish more people had it, not just this guy.

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Posted by SolthesunGod

I think a problem with this issue was that they released the most interesting part in the preview. It was fine but I wasn't blown away but for me at least this series has been solid issue to issue so a bit of a meh one once in a while is okay.

Edited by Lokheit

They revealed the cliffhanger "casually" but to be honest it was the most expected pick.

I liked this issue, the Cuckoos-Emma relationship has a lot of writting potential, and what's happening with Magik seems interesting, I wonder what would the new "not-so-mysterious-now" recruit will think when the first think he sees after arriving is that.

My only disappointment is that only the Cuckoos and the other one were recruited, I had my hopes high for what Bendis could do writting Hellion, Mercury and other young mutants from Kyle and Yost times. In WatXM they're just losing potential to a bunch of mostly boring (except 2 or maybe 3, an even then those 2 or 3 aren't as interesting as the ones from that run) characters taking all the spotlight.

Posted by CaptainCyke

The one thing I wished would have been done, is a mention from Emma that this isn't the first time there have been two X-Schools (referencing her role in the Boston Academy).

Also, the jump back to the danger room seemed rather awkwardly transitioned. I felt like I missed a page.

Edited by Jacobin_Wisdom

I was and still am pissed that this issue just casually reveal whom from the previous All New X-Men cliffhanger joined up with Cyclops. For people (like me) whom are reading both books, it ruins how I'll perceive the next All New X-Men issue.

They could of had Cyclops show the Stepford Cuckoos, and show the other individual in silhouette form to keep it still a mystery, and show their shock expressions.

If writers are gonna have any cliffhangers, then they should have the decency to make the reveal occur in the next issue, and not in another series.

I disagree with the pacing complaint but that just me as I like when the pace is slower as it helps show more story elements than action ones.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I really hope that the time manipulation mutant becomes important, that's my all time favorite power, and I wish more people had it, not just this guy.

HAHA HIRO!!!!

Posted by fesak

I really hope that the time manipulation mutant becomes important, that's my all time favorite power, and I wish more people had it, not just this guy.

Kiden Nixon, Tempo and Sway are all female mutants with similar powers. Would be much better if he used someone of them instead. And Elixir instead of the new healer guy, any shapeshifter instead of the new shapeshifter, and i forgot who the last one was.

These new mutants are the most uninspiring and pointless designs i've seen in a long time. Couldn't he at least have tried to come up with something original?

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Posted by The Stegman

@fesak said:

@the_stegman said:

I really hope that the time manipulation mutant becomes important, that's my all time favorite power, and I wish more people had it, not just this guy.

Kiden Nixon, Tempo and Sway are all female mutants with similar powers. Would be much better if he used someone of them instead. And Elixir instead of the new healer guy, any shapeshifter instead of the new shapeshifter, and i forgot who the last one was.

These new mutants are the most uninspiring and pointless designs i've seen in a long time. Couldn't he at least have tried to come up with something original?

The X-men have been creating mutants with unique abilities for decades, what original ideas are left?? I personally have no problems with them introducing new mutants, even if their powers have already been done before

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Posted by danhimself

the casual reveal of the cliffhanger from All-New X-men was the worst part...what was the point of having a cliffhanger if they were going to spoil it for themselves in such a bad way?

Edited by sparty-dbq

Geez, Marvel's gone from spoiling their own cliffhangers in the news to spoiling them in their books themselves.

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Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

@sparty_dbq: Marvel NOW!... spoils stuff in PREVIEWS!!! =S

Edited by GonnaRain

@jacobin_wisdom said:

I was and still am pissed that this issue just casually reveal whom from the previous All New X-Men cliffhanger joined up with Cyclops. For people (like me) whom are reading both books, it ruins how I'll perceive the next All New X-Men issue.

They could of had Cyclops show the Stepford Cuckoos, and show the other individual in silhouette form to keep it still a mystery, and show their shock expressions.

If writers are gonna have any cliffhangers, then they should have the decency to make the reveal occur in the next issue, and not in another series.

I disagree with the pacing complaint but that just me as I like when the pace is slower as it helps show more story elements than action ones.

^ I totally agree with you. As I'm reading both books, I really thought they weren't going to show who the new recruit was until the next issue of ANXM, and certainly the way they showed Warren didn't really give any kind of shock or surprise, it was like it didn't mean a thing and the whole cliffhanger was kind of pointless.

Anyways, aside fromt that, I LOVED the issue, every single part of it. Emma's interaction with the Cuckoos and the fact that they're growing to be different from Emma and each other, the New Mutants getting to know their new home and also the opinions they have on the matter. Also, Eva and Benjamin's little conversation was quite interesting as well.

And of course, who could forget Magik's power malfunction.

Again, I can't wait for the next issue to come out.

Edited by akbogert

I thought it had already been made pretty clear that the reveal from ANXM was going to happen in this book...and that it will happen in ANXM as well for people who are not reading both. The overlap was neat in a continuity way but did feel very recycled in parts as a reader of both books. I thought the element of seeing the "unspoken" conversation between Emma and the girls within the context of the conversation we already watched in ANXM was cool though.

Agreed the transition to the Danger Room was really awkward.

Also, people need to please drop the sort of thinking that paints new characters as unnecessary or lame because they share powersets with other characters. Time-based powers may not be a first in Eva but last I checked there aren't many awesome teenage Aussie girls around. Characters are more than their mutations. I love Elixir but I'm going to give Triage a fair shake. Besides, Foley's nicer :P Complaining about underused other characters is perfectly legitimate but you don't have to convert that into hatred for new characters.

Edited by Lokheit

To be honest, it's very probably that it was going to be revealed on the first page (which means, on the preview too) of next issue, and then develop the entire issue from that first page reveal, so knowing it before doesn't change much about the other twenty-some pages on next issue.

He was the obvious choice anyway given what has been happening with him recently.

Posted by feargalr

Great great great.

Posted by Owie

Definitely a little redundant. And I wish that whatever happened to Magik was given a little more detail. But overall, enjoyable. I like their new set of mutants.

Posted by drawman71

Considering Magik was on the cover, you'd expect more of her in the book itself......hopefully her situation will be explored more next issue. So far Bendis is more into exploring the ideals and conflicts between the rival X schools than introducing any external villain. It's all really entertaining to read, but it's not adding up to much yet. The new mutants don't seem like willing recruits; I like the fact that they don't yet buy into the 'hated and feared' mantra that Cyclops is selling them.

Posted by mrpandopool

I think the issue was good, and it showed us some insight not only with Emma and Cuckoos but at the same time with a better understanding about one of the new mutants powers, being an strange type of empathy based shapeshifting but even that is only seen in a panel so maybe there is more to that gus powers or not.