By Brian Michael Bendis, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo
After months of speculation we finally get to see what Eva Bell saw, sort of. The first part of the Uncanny X-Men Annual sheds some light on where Eva went when she disappeared during a training exercise. But this is just the first part, there is still another annual to come.
Of all of the new creations by Brian Michael Bendis during his run on Uncanny X-Men, it seems fairly obvious that his favorite is Eva Bell. She’s gotten the most character development and comes off as the coolest. This month we get a two-part annual devoted to her. As Eva travels through time, Bendis allows us to see her at a very vulnerable stage. She’s lost and confused and ultimately out of her comfort zone. Bendis also shows us Eva in a future where she has a husband and child. Here, we really get to see her at her best. She puts her family first, which also includes Magik, and she has come to terms with who she is. She is fearless as she protects her family from an explosion and goes to Magik’s aid at attempting to take on a demon. Bendis also allows for some line-wide continuity in this issue as Johnny Bart meets up with Eva in the old west. He mentions that she’s hardly the first and he’s met Hawkeye. Brian writes a pretty good script for his favorite new recruit, but us readers have to wait for the second part to see where this goes next.
The art duties are handled by Andrea Sorrentino with colors by Marcelo Maiolo. There is a lot to like about the art this issue as Sorrentino does some cool panels. From the opening page we see several images coming together until they film the larger image of Eva’s face. One of the things Sorrentino excels at this issue are the cool backgrounds. Whether it’s the old west or 2099, he keeps the designs very interesting with his panel set up. If there is a minor gripe about the art this issue it’s that there were a couple of panels that were hard to make out exactly what happened. Other than that it was a very good job by Sorrentino. The colors by Marcelo Maiolo are very crucial to this issue as well. He gives us an almost pop art feel in the book and his colors set the mood for the different times Eva visits.
Brian Michael Bendis writing both Uncanny X-Men and All-New X-Men allows him to stretch this annual out to two different titles. After reading the first part readers should have been entertained and curious for what happens next. The art and colors were top-notch as this issue was very well done. Part two can’t come soon enough.