Bendis’s run of Uncanny X-Men has been consistently good. Until this issue.
I’ll just get this out of the way now because it is the most obvious thing: the art in this book is bad. From the pencils and inks to the colors, this issue is hard to look at. So much so that it becomes a distraction.
When it comes to why we read comic books, there is one fundamental question: is it because of the art or the story? To me it comes down to the art. If there were no pictures, it wouldn’t be a comic book. You would be reading a book or a short story (Don’t get me wrong, I value story just as much, but the two are not mutually exclusive when it comes to comics). And when the art distracts you from the story, that just makes things worse. Come to think of it, the story in this issue was not really that good either.
Maybe it’s just me and I just don’t get Frazer Irving’s art. I just can’t help it.
Reading this issue, it seems like we are getting the Bendis B-game. Seeing Cyclops continue to train the new mutants in his camp is par for the course. And seeing that is just about as much action as you see in this issue. And that isn’t much at all.
Cyclops seems cheesier than ever and his decision to attend a pro-mutant rally at a college to deliver a speech is mind boggling. Meanwhile, Magneto’s conversation with S.HI.E.L.D. director Maria Hill was like watching two upset teenagers arguing over the last slice of pizza. It just didn’t seem to fit.
And…that’s about all we see this issue. Nothing much. Even the ending cliffhanger left me un-impressed and anything but excited for next issue given how we got there in the first place. It seems like Brian Michael Bendis’s talents are focused on the stellar Guardians of the Galaxy this month and not with Uncanny X-Men.