First, let me say that I’m glad we’re done with Limbo for a bit. While the art for Limbo was great in it’s own right, I was getting a little down on it in ‘X-Men’ and we’ve now transitioned back to the look I prefer. With that out of the way, the next thing I’ll bring up is also about art. Specifically cover art! The art is a lie! This is another case of don’t let the cover fool you. This issue is not a giant throw down between Magneto and Cyclops. In the last few issues and climaxing in Uncanny X-Men #7, we saw Magik’s powers had failed and she was now on a course to re-train and re-learn how to properly use her powers. This issue is going to take some of the same route just with different characters.
First thing up is we see that Gold Balls has decided to leave Cyclops’ team. He has no interest in being an X-Men after having been dragged through Limbo. Magik and Cyclops drop him off with his family and have a very interesting encounter. The family dynamic is pretty interesting to toss in with their father blaming the mutants for turning his son into one and asking if they touched him inappropriately. Entertaining though.
Cuckoo and Emma Frost must now locate a new mutant to recruit to the team. This one looks as if he can start and control cars (and possibly other electronics or motored vehicles?). They find him right in the nick of time as he had just been showing off his powers when the police came and were reading him the riot act (in quite a racist way) and one of the policemen ends up shooting him.
So the X-Men show up just in time for their healer to take care of him and take him back to safety. While I was cheering that Gold Balls was probably gone, this new mutant seems to be even less interesting on page. Sure it’s only been a couple panels so far, but they’ll have to do something interesting with him quick to grab my attention. Of course Bendis has shown that his take on the X-Men so far has been quite amazing, so I’m willing to hold out before completely passing judgment.
After this mutant recovery, we also have Cyclops take Magneto off to the side for a side meeting. Magneto instantly suspects Scott wants to question him about being a double agent and goes off into a rant about how and why he did what he did for mutant-kind. While his loyalties are still questionable, he makes a very good case on why he feels Cyclops is the only person who can lead mutant-kind back to where it deserves to be. After the rant, Cyclops tells Magneto the real reason he brought him asid: the two of them need to focus and retrain. Their powers are a mess and they need to work together to get them back on track.
You didn’t think that was all we’d see of Gold Balls though, did you? Sadly this wasn’t going to be the case because suddenly someone is knocking on his door to interrupt the family reunion. A couple issues back in Uncanny X-Men #6 we saw Dazzler return from her brief vacation. She had been approached by and had joined the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. and this issue starts to explore that. Dazzler is the one at the door and she has a question for Gold Balls – Where is Cyclops hiding?
While this was slow compared to the last story arc I think it was a needed lead in for the next one. Also the character interactions were as always top notch and a fun read!
UNCANNY X-MEN #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo