By Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo and Rain Beredo
To say Uncanny X-Men is a little behind is an understatement. This issue picks up directly after Axis, an event that ended months ago. There were some delays with the last arc that caused the post Axis stuff to be moved back and it all eventually turned into a bit of a mess. Having said that, we should enjoy this issue for what it is and not place too much judgment on its lack of continuity with the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Brian Michael Bendis’ stint on Uncanny X-Men is coming to an end shortly and so is Cyclops’ revolution. Bendis gives us an issue of reflection as we finally see Havok lend an ear to Scotty about his troubles. Bendis hits an emotional chord with this one, as it’s easy to put yourself in Scott’s shoes. Attempting something great and admitting defeat is never easy to do. The scenes involving the students are painful to read as well. People who used to admire Cyclops now despise him and turn their back in disgust at him. There were some continuity errors in this issue, such as Scott saying aliens killed his mother in front of them. This isn’t true, she was killed in front of Corsair, but the boys had parachuted off the plane and had no idea aliens were involved. Bendis gives us a sad tale this month and it should get some emotion out of readers.
The pencils this issue are handled by Chris Bachalo with help on colors by Rain Beredo. Bachalo is very hit or miss on art and this issue is just okay. He has several panels that are very consistent, but he also has his misshapen heads in the backgrounds. We get to see Bachalo’s take on Havok’s new look, which he did a good job with. The scars on his face are well drawn and it looks like Bachalo took a little time on them. As always, Bachalo does his best work when he has the chance to draw a character close up. This is used several times during the conversation between Scott and Emma, and it looks very good. Bachalo is also on the colors, but he has a bit of help from Rain Beredo. The colors are fine and have Bachalo’s usual texture to some panels. Overall the art is decent, but you have to like Bachalo’s style of art for it to make the issue pop, otherwise it’s nothing special.
As this series winds down, things are starting to take shape for many of the mutants. It’s a shame we don’t get more time though, Bendis was starting to do some interesting things with the characters. The art won’t knock your socks off, but it’s serviceable. This particular issue was a little on the depressing side, but being a mutant isn’t always sunshine and margaritas.