I was a bit disappointed with the artwork in the last issue of ‘Uncanny X-Men’ and the way it portrayed the story. Just to reiterate the art wasn’t bad, it just didn’t feel like it fit this iteration of the X-Men. Thankfully, Chris Bachalo is back and all of my complaints from the last issue are gone as the art once more feels like it was made for the writing. This issue we find out a few key pieces of the why and how of Cyclops’ team is about to go to war with S.H.I.E.L.D. and on top of that, we find out where exactly Dazzler has been and part of what Mystique has been up to.
We open with Maria Hill trying to find out where exactly Scott Summers is and she’s asking the most obvious person to ask – Hijack. He was just removed from the X-Men and while I feel it is clearly a setup (so does she by the way) it still works good and she gives some great dialogue. This will probably play into the X-Men vs S.H.I.E.L.D. tagline of the book but it isn’t the true focus of the story, just setup as we flash to the actual Uncanny X-Men!
Once again we have a tease that something happened to Eva while the young mutants were on their training mission and once again it is pushed to the back burner of a future story. At least it isn’t a forgotten plot point that the young woman who has such a crush on Cyclops will have to take to her grave. However, before it can be explored there is a huge new blip on Cerebro. A new mutant has been found! Or has one? Oh no, once again it is nothing more than a trap!
It is, however, actually a very good trap and it’s mutant vs Sentinel and these Sentinels are playing for keeps. They have been finely tuned to deal with all of the mutants they know and are able to dampen their powers accordingly. Thankfully, they don’t know the newer mutants powers and more importantly Magik has some new tricks up her sleeve that she uses to take out a swarm of the sentinels all at once. Is S.H.I.E.L.D. behind this? It looks that way but looks can be deceiving as the last panel of the issue shows us.
Now onto where Mystique has been keeping Dazzler. Apparently she’s been keeping our favorite singing mutant sedated in order to not only continue her farce as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. but for far more nefarious purposes as well. She is showing off to Sabertooth that she has been using her for another reason that has been helping to generate all of the money she has been using to keep her little empire running smoothly. A very good reason to keep her alive, though I suspect it would be much easier to not keep such a potential hostile mutant in her midst. If anything, this is the one point of the issue I took annoyance with as while all of the X-Books featuring Sabertooth and Mystique have them working together, their dynamic does not match up from one book to the next. In ‘Wolverine’ we see Sabertooth running things and about to become a God. In here we see Mystique in control and Sabertooth barely able to figure out anything in front of his eyes.
Overall, from art to writing, this was an extremely welcome issue after the previous one.
UNCANNY X-MEN #19
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo