After a disappointing issue #18, I really felt that the last issue really kicked it up a bit as Mystique has pit the Uncanny X-Men against S.H.I.E.L.D. though there might be something else going on here as well as it doesn’t look like Mystique sent the sentinels after our mutant heroes. Now while I quite enjoyed this issue, I felt that with Eva’s issue being ignored this week, no focus on Sabertooth’s plan, and no focus on the creator of the new sentinels, that we lost a little steam. Don’t get me wrong, this was still a good issue they just have too many plot points laying around right now and need to close some of them off.

The stand out in this issue is where the bulk of the story takes place and that is on one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s helicarriers. While Maria Hill is scrambling to have everyone go after the mutants, all of a sudden time freezes and Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, and the psychics show up. The purpose? To question Hill herself to see if she or S.H.I.E.L.D. is responsible. The girls dig into her mind and finds out that she doesn’t know who is behind it and is worried that if it is S.H.I.E.L.D., that it is a rogue faction or a self serving one.  Apparently Hill is also extremely attracted to Scott Summers and the two exchange quips, but when he lets her go, she orders to immediatly chase the mutants. Suddenly Hil sees everyone around her is passed out and Scott pops back in just long enough to tell her to behave.

We’re going to take a moment to cut to Madripoor here. While I did say above that they don’t focus on Sabertooth at all, they do find that someone has stumbled upon what Mystique has been using to create the MGH that so many ex-mutants are relying upon. Will this finally be what leads Dazzler to freedom?

The one thing they have learned though is that whoever has been tracking them down has been using Cerebro to trick them. Somehow that was obvious to the readers and not our mutants but still Scott instantly thinks that the only people who could pull that off are the deceased Professor X, Magneto, Tony Stark (who isn’t that interested), Reed Richards (who is busy elsewhere), and of course Beast. This leads them to pay a visit to the Jean Grey school and talk to the blue mutant.  While that doesn’t go over well, all of a sudden there is an attack. While it isn’t spelled out that it was actually a sentinel, I think that the next issue we’re going to have a slew of mutants taking down a rather large one.

Oh, and for once S.H.I.E.L.D. is on top of things because right as the attack happens, Hill is notified and commands that they head over to the school immediately.

While the book was almost as enjoyable as the last one, I really think a couple of the ongoing story arcs need to be put to rest. I understand we’re most likely a couple issues away from that happening but with a monthly release it feels like Bendis has too many (gold)balls in the air and isn’t doing any of them justice because of it. Bendis, please, let the next one not be another filler issue.


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo