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Uncanny X-Men #8 Review

4

You didn’t think you’d just get to walk away from Scott Summers’ X-Men, did you?

The Good

Chris Bachalo is BACK, baby! I’ve proclaimed my love of Frazer Irving before, and he was a perfect fit for last arc’s descent into Limbo, but it’s great to see Bachalo return to a book whose tone he helped define and he, along with Tim Townsend on inks, haven’t lost a single step. His highly stylized art still frames the revolutionary X-Men’s trials and tribulations in the most appropriate way, and it’s a good thing they’ve got a familiar face back to work with, because Brian Bendis is taking them into some unfamiliar territory.

The man most famous for shaking up his rosters hasn’t lost a moment either, having one team member resign after the last arc proved too much for him to stomach. Cyclops not only confronts Magneto about his triple-agent status, but does so under the guise of asking a much more important question that I will ALSO leave for the readers to uncover. Needless to say, things have been breakneck and intense for the last several issues, so it’s good to see them slow down and take stock to catch their breath. Bendis brings his usual biting wit and quick, ping-pong word balloons we’re used to and there’s actually a lot to say in this issue, so it’s good to have someone used to saying a lot in a little time on the case. He’s clearly having fun writing specific characters, such as the Stepford Cuckoos and Emma Frost, and that fun translates seamlessly onto the page.

The Bad

The issue rings a little bit hollow. Things absolutely happen, and they’re things of consequence, particularly by the end of the issue, but the whole thing feels a little disjointed, not just from previous events, but from itself from segment to segment. It’s a difficult thing to put my finger on, but the issue almost feels more like a series of disconnected, or barely connected, vignettes than they do part of the greater narrative. It’s understandable that they’d want to take things a little slower after the venture into a Hell dimension, but this feels a little TOO much like a whiplash effect in the other direction.

The Verdict

We get some great pay-off by the end of the issue, so the fact that it’s not the strongest in the series is of little consequence as it’s still excellent. I always like to see new or formerly-second string characters get their time to shine and Bendis is one of the best in the biz at doling out those moments to those characters (remember Luke Cage BEFORE Bendis?? Me either, Sweet Christmas!) in a way that still seems organic and in keeping with the rules of the established universe. Chris Bachalo returning is just icing on an already filling and delicious cake as he sinks his teeth back into the characters he helped establish with appropriate gusto. Pacing issues can easily be ignored in the case of an issue this strong, and I still heartily recommend this book.

20 Comments
Posted by tommyx

Where has Bachalo been for the past couple months? I speculate that he's been studying Rob Liefield comics; some of the characters don't have feet!! The new mutant's girlfriend Karen appears to have a Brood tentacles instead of feet; later Emma and Angel have exchanged theirs for pointy stumps; and Fabio's mom has at least one pirate peg-leg! Draw the damn feet, Bachalo!!

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

i hope Bachalo does art for more than 4 issues (5 would be enough) for any future arcs... but that's a stretch =/...I bought the first trade, and i enjoy just looking at it. His art is uniquely awesome

Posted by Owie

Some nice characterization in this issue...the conversation between Magneto and Scott felt very real, it got back to the core of those characters, esp. Mags. It was also funny what the triplets did to those cops balancing the guns on their noses). And I'm glad we're seeing some of the family of "Gold Balls"--it's important to deal with the fact that they keep absconding with these people, and that their friends and family would wonder where they are.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Last two issues dropped a little in quility, hope the story picks up again with this issue.

Posted by dcguy

Cover is completely fake. Liked they tossed gold ball , he was a douchebag. Disliked a new douchebag introduced. Ah come on! Creating new mutant powers are really that hard? I really hyped up for this title but it starts to be boring.

Posted by Nova`Prime`

Who is the dude that looks like Taskmaster?

Posted by Lokheit

I'm liking the character evolution here, and I'm glad the so anticipated Cyclops vs. Magneto battle was just some words and even then was all reasonable and nothing frontal (and in fact made their relationship closer).

I'm interested to see how Goldball deals with all the SHIELD and Dazzler thing. Dazzler hunting Cyclops for SHIELD doesn't makes too much sense as she was on his side post Schism, but we will see what happens.

My only "but" so far is that Triage is a bit redundant with Elixir who as a young student and an Omega Level one with lots of unused potential, and being a good character could be great (I would like Kyle and Yost kids being featured more), but let's see how all evolves.

Posted by Veitha

I keep loving this title, I just can't help

Edited by LoatheMe

Oh boy. A power even more useless in combat than Goldballs' one. Talks-To-Cars-Man. Amazing.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Edited by HopesummersFORtheFUTURE

shouldnt cyclops and emma frost and hell even magneto be in more than one book?????

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Posted by Lokheit

@loatheme said:

Oh boy. A power even more useless in combat than Goldballs' one. Talks-To-Cars-Man. Amazing.

He probably has technopathy (the ability to communicate with machines), which could be a very useful skill and make the team curbstomp any machine using opponent (which includes Sentinels and starktech geared SHIELD forces). Granted he needs machines to work, but other mutants need something around for their powers too (like Pyro who could manipulate fire, but couldn't create it).

Edited by Mercy_

@lokheit said:

@loatheme said:

Oh boy. A power even more useless in combat than Goldballs' one. Talks-To-Cars-Man. Amazing.

He probably has technopathy (the ability to communicate with machines), which could be a very useful skill and make the team curbstomp any machine using opponent (which includes Sentinels and starktech geared SHIELD forces). Granted he needs machines to work, but other mutants need something around for their powers too (like Pyro who could manipulate fire, but couldn't create it).

This was my thought. It's been a gooood while since the X-Men have had a technopath active on the team. I think the last one was...Sage? It's a really underused power in comics, and for good reason.

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Edited by MACarpenter

The art in this book was a little distracting, I'm pretty sure some of the snow is actual photos of snow they photo-shopped in.

Edited by GonnaRain

Loved it. I love that characters are getting some development, even if just a little and certainly somewhat slow, but some development at least, unlike AXNM which has become a full Jeen book.

Missed Bachalo, and the new look of Magik's portals are AWESOME.

@hopesummersforthefuture said:

shouldnt cyclops and emma frost and hell even magneto be in more than one book?????

Totally. Kitty is on two books, three if we count WaTXM, Storm is on, what? 2? (I'm not really counting ANXM since even Scott has made more of an important appearance as a "guest" than the few cameos she gets), Wolverine is in pretty much every Marvel book...

And I know mutants are pretty much divided as of now, but I would really like a book where they have to set their differences aside and WORK together, keeping both schools apart, but working as a team.

Edited by skyjumpermike

Is that a Wolverine snowman behind Magneto when he's talking to Cyclops?

Posted by HolySerpent

Where can I find spoiler reviews

Posted by jonesy10

Once again, we get misleading cover art :) This has become a pattern with Bendi; he promises a big free for all battle, but inevitably it turns into a battle of words. For the most part this works for me, but this issue's wordiness had me skimming whole pages. I don't need 2-3 pages of Cyclops and Magneto conversations. The characterization (which is spot on), is at odds with the dialogue, which is the usual Bendis speak. His Emma Frost and Stepford Cuckoos(!) still don't sound right, but I like his version of Cyclops

Edited by Perfect 10

awesome issue as always

Posted by mickeymayhew

I'm not sure about the whole Dazzler agent of Shield thing either