By Brian Michael Bendis, Kris Anka and Marte Gracia
We keep drawing closer and closer to Uncanny X-Men #600 but we keep getting hit with unfortunate delays. This week we are treated to Uncanny X-Men #34, which is another stand alone tale that helps set up for the big 600th issue.
Brian Michael Bendis’ run is coming to a close and he is giving us a few self contained stories until the big finale. We focus mostly on Dazzler this issue as she tracks Mystique for all the terrible things she’s done to her. Bendis has really built Dazzler up and brought her back from the joke character she used to be. This issue Bendis shows us a cunning and calculating Dazzler that can achieve something if she wants it bad enough. There are some nice moments between Cyclops and Mystique in this issue as well until something goes awry. Bendis also gives a wink to internet fan boys who think the X-Men are getting phased out, as he has some of the younger students involved in a eye brow raising discussion. Bendis has been doing a nice job on these character focused issues and this is another testament to his ability to flesh out characters.
Kris Anka is on pencils for this issue with the colors being handled by Marte Gracia. One of the big drawbacks of Kris Anka’s style is he omits detail on the faces of characters. If you look at many of the faces in this book you’ll notice that they have no bridge on their nose. That aside, Anka is a step up from regular artist Chris Bachalo. He does a good job with the expressions of different characters, which can be a bit of a chore at times. Dazzler not only steals the book in the writing department, but Anka draws her really well. The colors by Marte Gracia look great on her too, as her blue star will instantly draw your attention.
Just because this was a one and done story doesn’t mean it was filler. Things actually happened this issue and they were important. Bendis is pulling out some of his best work on the series in these last few issues, which will hopefully make #600 epic. Kris Anka did a fine job with this book, but it wouldn’t hurt if he showed a little more detail from time to time. Uncanny X-Men #34 is a nice surprise read this week, so don’t miss out.