The last issue of ‘Uncanny X-Men’ wrapped up the previous story line with a nice bow without giving us many cliffhangers. In fact it left us down a villain with Dark Beast not surviving the encounter that he had so meticulously had planned. That is rare for Bendis, Marvel, and the X-Men series in general but I’m happy they didn’t keep us going with a ton of subplots. In fact, the only major one is that Dazzler hasn’t resolved anything that has just happened and that appears to be a focus going forward in this book. This issue kicks off the Original Sin tie-in via ‘The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier’. This story arc is supposed to shake mutant society to the core as secrets are revealed, friendships are tested, and teams are shaken up!
So how did the first issue play out here? Well for starters, I just have to say that Bendis decided to play the ultimate tease in this issue on the entire will. We get the book split between Scott’s “Uncanny X-Men” and the mutants over at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. Though I think my favorite part is the will itself and how it arrives to the mutants.
If Xavier is going to have a will, he isn’t going to just have it laying around his office. Oh no. First he has to have been dead for awhile. After that he has to have it mysteriously sent to a lawyer. Not any old lawyer either as She-Hulk is the one that receives the package!
Honestly, Bendis does a great job here. We see a focus on Dazzler trying to track down Mystique with Scott’s Uncanny X-Men helping her. We see Storm for all intents and purposes running Logan’s school and no one being happy on who needs to be there for the will to be read. We have a slew of subtle flashbacks and mentions of events from the past few years that have led up to this. Best of all, we have She-Hulk making asking a few times if everyone is sure Xavier is dead (considering the open door policy that mutants seem to have when it comes to the afterlife). We also get a cliffhanger that just begs us to come back for more.
While I wish we didn’t have to wait for the next installment, that usually is the sign of a good book and I really couldn’t put this down. Only, I think what I was waiting for is in the next issue. ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #23 is a fun read and for how much they touch upon it was a surprisingly quick read.
Oh before I forget, Kris Anka on art? Brilliant! I loved the look of all of the characters and each scene felt like the characters from their own repective looks and books.
‘The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier’ is a strong first chapter towards the future of the X-Men. It has the perfect combination of mixing history, current events in the mutant universe, and hinting at what is to come.
UNCANNY X-MEN #23
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Kris Anka