Uncanny X-Men #31
By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo and Antonio Fabela
After an extended wait between some issues we are finally wrapping up the last will and testament of Charles Xavier in this weeks Uncanny X-Men #31. Many of the main cast are dead and Eva Bell has brought Professor X, who is also currently dead, to the future. It’s a giant undead party as more fan favorites die off courtesy of Matthew Malloy.
Brian Michael Bendis has openly stated that he was going to make his run on Uncanny X-Men a slow burn, and we finally see some results in this issue. The growth in Eva Bell from his run is impressive. Bendis has written her well and she was a fan favorite, all of that may change after this issue. The fix to the X-Men’s current predicament seems to go quickly, but how Bendis handles it makes sense. There are pages in here where Bendis really makes us question who a hero is. What Eva and Xavier do could be looked at as heroic or villainous, it all depends on your point of view, and therein lies the beauty of what Bendis was doing. This is an issue that really will change things up for the franchise and we have to wait and see where Bendis takes us next.
The art is done by Chris Bachalo with colors by Bachalo and Antonio Fabela. This was hands down one of Bachalo’s better issues. There is a lot to like here, whether it’s the look on all the students faces as they meet Xavier for the first time or the extreme close up of Rachel as she tries to recover from seeing Matthew kill Emma. This was a strong issue for Bachalo because he was able to showcase a tremendous amount of emotion in different characters and he does it well. One of the best panels of the book involves Xavier going through several different emotions after he realizes what he’s done and just where his dream has led him. The colors are a combined effort from Bachalo and Antonio Fabel. They work well together and essentially stick to the same style that Bachalo likes to use with his work. In certain panels there is texture on the page, but it all works out in the end.
This has been the best issue of the story arc and possibly one of Bendis’ best on Uncanny X-Men. His writing was very good here and things fell into place nicely. Chris Bachalo also turned in a great performance with his artwork. This was a great issue all the way around from the team. Next month can’t come soon enough!