By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend
The manipulation of Charles Xavier continues even after his death. The X-Men and S.H.I.E.L.D. attempt to stop Matthew Malloy from killing more innocent people, but that’s a lot harder than you would think. Trying to trick him doesn’t seem to work, what could possibly do the trick? Leave it to Cyclops to figure out a plan.
Brian Michael Bendis continues his tale of Matthew Malloy, who is somewhat of a sympathetic character. It’s good to see both X-Teams working together, and Bendis of course adds in jabs from Wolverine to keep things spicy. As his tenure on X-Men grows, his characterization of Cyclops grows as well. This is one of the strongest points of the issue, and Bendis plays the similarities between Scott and Malloy well. Bendis also allows us to see more of what Malloy can do, as he seems to have several different abilities, and he seems very tough but not a bad guy. He even says he understands what they are doing and isn’t mad about it. Malloy is a very interesting character and Bendis is doing a great job of making him complex as well.
The art by Chris Bachalo is better than it has been in previous issues. He only draws the issue, it’s colored by Rain Beredo and Jose Villarrubia, which improves Bachalo’s art. That being said, several panels have characters with misshaped body parts, which you could say is part of Bachalo’s style, but it still gets annoying. There is also a rough panel where Logan is falling from the hellicarrier and just looks bad. Bachalo does shine more towards the end of the issue as Scott and Magik are back at the New Xavier School. His art seems to get stronger as the issue goes on, but there were some pages that could have used more detail.
Uncanny X-Men has been a strong title since it was re-launched and Brian Michael Bendis’ storytelling is a huge reason why. He’s taking the time to set things up and fleshing out characters along the way. The art this issue was better but still not great. Bachalo needs to be more detailed sometimes because if he’s not, it ends up looking very cartoony. Overall though, it was a good issue and Bendis and Bachalo continue to make Uncanny X-Men the best X-Book on the shelf.