Uncanny X-Men #20
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils & Colors: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Jon Holdredge, Jaime Mendoza, Victor Olazaba, & Al Vey
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Review by Joey Braccino
I’m a big Cyclops fan, so it’s no wonder that I’ve been loving Brian Michael Bendis’ take on the subversive side of the X-Universe with Uncanny X-Men. For the last 20 issues, Bendis has put Cyclops’ team of new mutants up against an ongoing conspiracy that permeates deep down into the depths of SHIELD. This week, Cyclops and the team sneak aboard the freaking Helicarrier and confront head honcho Maria Hill about the Sentinels that keep attacking. It’s super dramatic and an incredible issue for Cyclops’ character and stature. He’s a bad@$$ brother, and I’m glad Bendis takes the opportunity to portray him as such.
Not much in the way of explosions and fisticuffs this issue, but Bendis excels most when he’s snarking up the dialogue. “Cyclops versus Maria Hill: Revelatory Conversationalists” could be the title for issue #20, and it’s just as dynamic and engaging as any big battle in other comics this week. Each panel is loaded with rich characterization for our two primaries as well as the rest of the Uncanny mutants. Ultimately, my only concern for the series is whether new characters like Gold Balls and Tempus will get the sort of defining moments that leads like Cyclops get every issue. Bendis has done such a nice job setting these new mutants up—now he has to take the time to make them permanent figures in the universe!
Chris Bachalo, man. Yeah, the guy draws some awesomely kinetic action scenes, but this issue is all talking and all side glances. And he hits all the right beats. Bachalo is the current generation’s definitive X-artist, methinks, and it’s because of his ability to innovate and entertain with each and every panel. One thing though: damn, that’s a lot of inkers!!!
Buy. Uncanny X-Men gives us the Cyclops and the Maria Hill and the Emma Frost and the Mystique that we deserve. Bendis’ grasp of these characters is spot-on, and he’s putting them through one heck of a intriguing storyline. Who the heck is controlling these SHIELD Sentinels??? I really want to know!