By Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti and Richard Isanove
Everything in Uncanny X-Men has been building towards the epic 600th issue, which will be out sometime by the end of the year I hope. As we wait, we’ve been getting one and done stories that pretty much put all of the characters in place for the big finale. This issue focuses on the kids that were part of Cyclops’ revolutionary team. If you’re looking for star power, you’re in the wrong place.
Brian Micahel Bendis has been giving pretty much anybody who’s stepped foot in his Uncanny X-Men run a chance to snag some glory. This issue is geared toward the kids, but Goldballs gets a chunk of the spotlight. Having this story about the kids is a good and bad thing. We miss out on the star power from characters like Cyclops and Magik, which could turn some readers off. As a plus though, Bendis allows us to see where these kids are without leadership and what they’re capable of. Most of the students come off well here. Hijack seems to take on the leadership role, but Bendis shows Benjamin Deeds as a character with a calming presence, similar to Nightcrawler. Bendis touches on some social topics here, including racism and parental abuse. Some of that seems a bit forced, but the bits that work, work well. The issue gets a little serious towards the end, but that fits nicely into the issue and places our former students in the right place for the big finale.
The pencils this issue are handled by Valerio Schiti with colors by Richard Isanov. Valerio Schiti puts down some of the best artwork this series has seen in a while. Kris Anka has been decent, and Chris Bachalo has not been great, but Schiti does a really nice job here. Schiti’s style is similar to what Anka does, but it’s more detailed. The young students look great in this issue for the most part, there are a couple of spotty panels where faces look a bit distorted. The first few pages of the book are very good and Schiti draws some of Animax’s projected creatures awesomely. There is also a cool montage of Goldballs making the TV and magazine circuit that is executed very well. Misleading covers are a terrible thing in comics, and this issue suffers from the cover by Kris Anka. Let’s move onto the colors by Richard Isanov. He does an excellent job with this issue and really makes what Schiti puts on the page leap out. Isanov’s vibrant colors are one of the best things about this issue.
Uncanny X-Men has been slowly chugging along with several delays along the way. This seems like a book that just isn’t going to end any time soon. Blame shouldn’t be placed on Bendis because he’s had to change-up a few things due to editorial. His writing this issue was fairly good and it was nice to see some of the younger members use their powers and take the spotlight. The art was the strongest it’s been in a while and the colors by Richard Isanov are flat-out great. Hope you got your X-Men fill though, because there is no telling when the next issue will be out.