Uncanny X-Men #18
By Brian Michael Bendis, Marco Rudy and Val Staples
Based solely on the cover, I have been waiting for this issue to come out for months. Readers generally know that there won’t be a death of the most important X-Man of all time in a random issue, but every now and then, writers will surprise you. So the question remains: Who is holding a gun to Scott Summers head and why?
This issue jumps around a bit, but starts off with the new students still questioning Hijack getting kicked off of the team. We go back in time two weeks where Magik has brought Kitty Pryde to see Scott. They have some words, Kitty makes some threats, and Scott acknowledges that he has some sins to pay for. In another flashback, we finally get some Jean and Current Scott interaction, as well as Young Scott/current Scott. Back in the present, the team learns of the O5 missing and need to figure a way to get the back, before it’s too late.
Many people may call this a filler issue, but Bendis actually answers a lot of questions and give readers some insight into how certain developments occurred. Bendis finally gives us scenes that show Kitty dealing with the death of Professor X and how the original 5 came to join the Uncanny team. The writing in this issue makes great sense and Bendis manages to tie things together nicely. The conversation between Jean and Current Cyclops was a treat as well. Even though they occupy the same book, they rarely interact, and Bendis makes the scene realistic and genuine. This was one of Brian’s better written issues and it had more depth to it than readers may think.
Before anything is said, Alexander Lozano gets huge thumbs up on the gorgeous cover. Marco Rudy is an extremely talented artist with a great eye and passion for his work. His style is very similar to Simone Bianchi, which is never a bad thing. This is a very differently drawn issue of Uncanny X-Men due to his influence. Panels are very artistic and stylized and met with a certain level of meticulousness. Some of the characters in this book have never looked better and Rudy is a huge reason why. Val Staples does a great job on the colors as well; he’s a true compliment to Rudy’s style. Everything about the art in this issue clicks and Rudy and Staples are absolutely the reason.
This is one of the best issues of the current run on Uncanny X-Men. The writing, which some may say is a bit wordy, is handled well and the art is outstanding. Bendis and Rudy would be a fantastic team for this book, but that is unrealistic. We’ll have to settle for this issue and hope that the tandem can reunite more in the future.