By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend
This arc in Uncanny X-Men had some expectations, as well as, some hesitancy from readers because it could cause a huge shake up with the mutant line. While this issue was the most anticipated, it didn’t break the Internet in half. Bendis always has a plan though, and there will most likely be some serious repercussions from this issue.
This issue was very wordy and normally that’s a bad thing, but it works out well this issue. Brian Michael Bendis doesn’t over talk as he let’s Xavier tell his dark secret, which is important to keeping reader interest. Bendis continues to do a good job of maintaining the flaring tempers between Wolverine’s school and Scott. Both Beast and Iceman take jabs at Cyclops, while less petty members like Storm and Wolverine let things slide. There is a touching moment between Scott and Ororo that remind us how close they used to be. Bendis really makes us wish that the schism would end soon, but we can’t be that lucky. This was a pretty well thought out issue on Bendis’ part, but ultimately Charles’ secret isn’t as terrible as some of the things he’s done in the past. Still, it’s a good issue, and one that is setting up potential story lines for later.
Some people love Chris Bachalo’s art; he definitely has a unique style, but this issue felt rushed. There were definitely some nice panels, and we start out strong with an Xavier flashback that looks great, but unfortunately it gets muddy after that. Several characters look disproportioned and Nightcrawler has definitely seen better days. Bachalo’s style works in certain areas, like when he is paneling from character to character for reaction shots, but he also loses a lot of detail when the panel is set back a little further. On one page She-Hulk is almost unrecognizable. While Bachalo does deserve a little slack because he colored the issue as well, there are definitely some muddy spots that don’t work. A scene where a new mutant is taking down the Avengers loses some points because it is very dark. From an art stand point, this was all right. It was nothing spectacular, but not great either. Chris Bachalo can do better and hopefully he will get the chance to prove this next month.
As far as anniversary issues go, Uncanny X-Men #25 was pretty good. The art could be better, but that is a question of preference. Brian Michael Bendis is continuing to make the X-Men a troubled team, and that’s exactly when they are at their best. He has a big plan after this arc and it’s going to be superb, as usual. Viva La Bendis!