Uncanny X-Men #18
By Cullen Bunn, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo and Rain Beredo
There is a certain amount of anticipation when you pick up an issue of Uncanny X-Men from Cullen Bunn. His run has been very consistent and has been particularly excellent in the characterization department. As we’re now forced to have tie-in issues to go along with Inhumans Vs. X-Men, Bunn’s issues have been fairly light on the battle itself and instead focused more on introspective character tales. This month we get to catch up with Xorn, who has been an underused character in the series up to now. Anticipation is high; you can bet Bunn won’t disappoint.
This issue doesn’t feature much of the main cast except for Archangel for a bit, but this was a very well thought out issue. Bunn allows Xorn to narrate the issue, and it’s great to see his inner thoughts. We get a sense of his inner calm as he deals with an unruly Sebastian Shaw. Through Bunn’s words, as you read what Xorn is thinking, you can’t help but feel calm as you read through this book. Even when confronted by Sebastian Shaw or some rowdy Inhumans, Bunn’s voice for Xorn never becomes unraveled. This is a deeper issue than your tyou love superhero action comic, and the debacle between the Inhumans and X-Men has a nice social commentary on today’s society in regards to refugees. Ren from Deadpool’s crew of mercs leads a crew of Inhumans as they try to escape. Bunn allows Ren to bring an outsiders perspective to the issue as she tries to figure out why there is a war, and what the Inhumans would do if roles were reversed. All in all, this is still a Xorn issue in the end. His words and thoughts sell or sink the book, and in this case, Bunn really sells it with an often overlooked character.
The pencils this issue are handled by Edgar Salazar with inks by Ed Tadeo and colors by Rain Beredo. Salazar does a very good job on the pencils. His style is similar to Ken Lashley, who also had a stint on this book. He’s helped out immensely by the smooth line work Tadeo provides. The action scenes are orchestrated well and the distinctive battle panels that Salazar gives orchestrates are impressive. For example, when Sebatian Shaw is fighting an Inhuman, we have a close panel of him punching the creature in the stomach. The next panel Salazar give us a further panel of the Inhuman flying from the hit and Shaw in a similar stance. The colors by Beredo sell a lot of this issue too. His shading in this comic is wonderful. Whether it’s a panel of Xorn with his eyes glowing in a black panel or Archangel’s yellow eyes at night, the shading and colors by Beredo help tremendously. One gripe is that the cover has nothing to do with the contents inside, as is so often the case.
Uncanny X-Men continues to impress month after month. Cullen Bunn certainly has a grasp on the characters he writes. The art is clean and well colored. This is a solid creative team that brings to life the characters’ inner thoughts. One of the biggest draws of this series has been the consistency. We’re not let down this month as Bunn shows us once again that a well crafted story with characters that you love make a huge difference in story telling.