Uncanny X-Men #4
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils & Color by Chris Bachalo
Inks by Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey, & Victor Olazara
Review by Joey Braccino
The Uncanny X-Men visit the Jean Grey School on a recruitment drive!!! The new mutants fiddle about in their dormitories with buttons that ought not be pushed!!! Magik gets sucked into Limbo or something really briefly but it’s still important because she’s not omnipotent!!! Emma Frost and her Cuckoos make snide remarks about Jean Grey!!! Brian Michael Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men keeps on rolling along this week with the fourth installment of this decidedly more subversive, inverted X-title to BMB’s All-New X-Men.
Most of the issue is dedicated to the aforementioned Xavier School hijinx and Emma Frost sequence. The former helps flesh out these new mutant characters as more than just background noise to the more flash holdovers from the Extinction Team while the latter helps… Emma Frost and the Cuckoos be awesome. Which they often are anyway. But I’m a White Queen fanboy (and Emma/Scott ‘shipper), so take that for what you will.
In all seriousness, though, there is a powerful sequence in the middle of the issue in which the Cuckoo sisters try to embarrass their former mentor/mother by demonstrating their psychic prowess. The brief mental flashback and the aftermath reveal the emotional depth Bendis is prepared to mine as he explores Emma, Scott, and the aftermath of Avengers Vs. X-Men on our mutant vanguards.
Chris Bachalo is one crazy dude. It’s exaggerated, sure, and any large group scenes sometimes blur into amorphous, globular figures, but overall the artwork is aesthetically fascinating and innovative. Keep your eye out for the sequence of panels in which dynamically colored Emma and Cuckoos communicate telepathically while the rest of the Jean Grey School is frozen in black-and-white glory. The team of inkers do an excellent job of keeping up with all of Bachalo’s various panel lay-outs, shifts in perspective, and various layers of depth and presentation. And, finally, the brief tease of Magik’s hellish abduction pops off the page in a blaze of fire, brimstone, and vibrancy.
This series is one of the coolest books in the Marvel NOW! line-up. Like Talking Comics reader, Luke H., suggests, Uncanny X-Men perfectly complements Bendis’ work on All-New X-Men. With two must-read, critically lauded X-books on the stands, Mr. Bendis’ X-Universe is certainly in good standing. Oh, and keep your eyes out for a resolution to ANXM #10’s cliffhanger!!!