Uncanny X-Men #3
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey, and Victor Olazaba
The short of it:
Several years ago a young Eva Bell stood up in front of her class and gave a speech about how much she admired Captain America and how much she wished Australia had a hero like him, and how she would want to be that hero. Today she stands in front of her house, along with her new classmates and the Uncanny X-Men, and they are face to face with Captain America and his A-team of Avengers. Cap wants Scott to answer for the murder of Charles Xavier, and Scott wants Cap to do the same thing. What proceeds is Emma breaking down what exactly they did during AVX, namely that Iron Man broke the Phoenix, which then possessed them against their wills and drove them completely out of control. And that despite the fact that they were being corrupted by power, their opening move was to feed the poor and save the world. Great comments to be made as onlookers start recording it, especially given how true it is.
It’s a battle of philosophy for the sake of the public, as countless people have surrounded them to watch and record the confrontation. Captain America makes as bad of a decision as Iron Man, trying to bring up the police and government officials that Scott and company have ‘assaulted’, but as is his way, he completely forgets about the mutants being persecuted. That the kids standing at Scott’s side were the ones he fought to protect from humans who see a mutant and assume them to be guilty. That despite having their species reborn, things are worse than ever. That a mutant can’t even manifest without a threat of violence against them by bigoted humans. Cap has done nothing; though he would tell you that he has Wolverine and Havok on his side. Hell, the kids even start to speak up. The Avengers answer? That the X-Men should understand that people fear what they don’t understand. Congrats, Avengers, your stance on intolerance is that ‘it happens’.
Scott tells them they can go to hell, and that’s when things get interesting. Big fight? Maybe. Revelations about the X-Traitor? Possibly. An awesome final line? Oh yes.
To me, my X-Men.
What I liked:
- Bendis manages to perfectly capture the fact that, despite this being the ‘bad guy team’, they’re only the bad guys because of the recurring incompetence displayed by the Avengers. Drove me nuts in AVX, but now we finally have a book where you aren’t forced to make everyone look worse than Cap so he can be the hero.
- I’ve never looked at Magik and thought ‘funny character’, but Bendis has made her the comic relief in a pretty natural way. Snarky comments, a bitchy nature, and her prank ideas? She’s so much fun.
- The entire sequence with Magneto at the end of the issue is brilliant. It alleviates questions from the characters, while keeping the reader wondering just which side he actually favors. Is he a traitor to the X-Men? Manipulating SHIELD to his benefit? Both? Yay for complexity with Magneto!
- I like Eva Bell quite a bit after this issue. Handled right, she could be a very over powered Kitty Pryde for this team.
- How much do I really need to say about the artistic abilities of Chris Bachalo and his inkers? The book is gorgeous and I don’t want to swap out Chris for Frazer Irving. At all. Sure, it’s much better than going from Chris to Daniel Acuna, but come on man, Bachalo for longer than an arc!
- After years and years of stick in the ass Scott Summers, I can’t express how nice it is to see this version. He’s speaking what he believes, talking from his heart, and enjoying the fact that people actually seem to like him for rebeling. The fact that the character is drawn smiling multiple times in this issue is enough evidence of the positive changes.
What I didn’t like:
- Hawkeye is kind of an asshat.
- Well, really, the Avengers as a whole are asshats. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but I can’t wrap my brain around these idiots being the most beloved heroes on Earth. Their stance on bigotry essentially says that they would stop a black guy from running from a Klan rally to tell him that it’s not the guys in white hoods fault that they want to kill him. It’s because he’s different, and they can’t help being afraid.
- And this comes from Iron Man! The futurist!
Why is the Hulk wearing armor? That really doesn’t make sense.
I’d buy a book where every issue had Captain America made to look like an idiot about his personal politics.
Scott Summers mastered public relations at some point, because he has this ability to stand in one place, make a speech, and get the people present to spread his gospel for him. And it’s not even gospel! He simply states that he refuses to sit idly by while mutants are mistreated by ‘scared’ humans. A message of peace and tolerance by force if necessary. It’s not contradictory, he wants the peace and tolerance he speaks of, but he’s not afraid to fight for it. He’s the voice of the voiceless, the defender of the helpless, and even humans are understanding his mission.
Eva has a lot of potential, really, all the new kids do, but it’s something about the new female characters on the X-Men that radiate potential. Kitty, Jubilee, Pixie, Hope, X-23. Not even counting the full blown adults that have joined up.
Why does Magneto not have sleeves?
Between this and All-New X-Men, Bendis is essentially writing X-Men on a weekly basis. I like this. I like it a lot. Along with Bryan Q. Miller’s Smallville, this is about the only thing I want to read weekly. Keep doing what you’re doing, Brian, and I will drop four bucks every single week for the best X-Men in years. And I’ll review every issue!
Which I totally need to do for Smallville.
Seriously, damn near perfect books. Brian Bendis is must read on all things X-Men, and I am so happy to say it over and over again. The X-Men are finally must read again!
Tags: Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, Cyclops, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Reviews, The Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men