By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend
This issue of Uncanny X-Men seems like a continuation of issue #17 with issue #18 being used for filling in gaps from previous story arcs. With that being said, Hijack receives a visit from S.H.I.E.L.D and they really want to find Scott Summers. Eva and Scott have an interesting talk that fizzles out when a new mutant is discovered. It turns out to be a set up and the X-Men’s powers seem to malfunction at the wrong time. The question remains, if S.H.I.E.L.D. is behind this, what is their end game? And if it’s someone else, what are they after?
The writing in this issue worked really well as Bendis builds on some of his more entertaining plot points. Magik and Cyclops continue to thrive under his pen as he continues to make them the two most interesting characters in the series. It’s also a treat to see Eva around Scott; Bendis is doing a good job of forming a nice bond between them that has been a joy to see unravel. Bendis also injects a bit more humor in this issue than his previous ones and it pays off quite well. It’s funny to see even super heroes laugh when someone craps their pants.
Last month we were treated to the artistic stylings of Marco Rudy, this month we are back to series regular Chris Bachalo. While Bachalo has a very distinct type of art that is loved by some, it can be a bit of a chore to look at certain panels and not know what is going on. He does some really nice work in some panels and then in others, people have misshaped heads and look odd. Bachalo’s panel set up is always pretty interesting and he seems to shine on splash pages or bigger panels where he can be very detailed. An example of this would be Magik unveiling her sorcery to defeat some foes. If he can get some consistency going, this book will be even better.
Uncanny X-Men is finally feeling like a team book. After Bendis fleshed out some of the new students we are getting our chance to see them act as a complete unit. Chris Bachalo can be hit or miss, but he does an all right job on this issue and if he can keep it up it will make the reading experience that much better. This will hopefully be a stepping stone issue for the story of Cyclops’ revolution the fans have been waiting for, and with Bendis at the helm it should be epic!