Uncanny X-Men #8
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend
The short of it:
With Limbo behind them there are a few more loose ends to tie up for the Uncanny X-Men, like Fabio “Goldballs” Medina is saying screw it and send his ass straight home, and I do NOT blame him! Dormammu, demons, hell dimensions, and all he can do is uncontrollably fire goldballs out of himself? Smartest move kid has ever made. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to him, his house is being staked out. So Scott and Emma go back to base and talk to the team, and essentially, everyone there needs to get to work. Scott, Emma, Yana, and Magnus have broken powers, Angel is from his rookie year, and save for the Cuckoos, the rest haven’t even had powers for a month of comic time. But they are one short of where they were, and there are so many more mutants, so Emma goes looking for a replacement for Fabio.
The choice is this guy named David that is trying to show off to his friend that he’s a mutant. He takes her to a parking lot filled with cars at night outside of a movie theater and proceeds to show off. His skill? Machines listen to him, like Mayor Hundred from Ex Machina, and his friend thinks it’s badass. The cops on the other hand? They do not, and that friend? I would hate to break laws with her, because she narcs on him INSTANTLY! “He’s a mutant!” Really? To your buddy? Bitch. Anyway, cops are total dicks and despite the guy having his hands in the air, surrendering, and offering no resistance they pull guns and start screaming and trying to get SHIELD to come in for a cavity search, so kid makes a distraction and tries to run. The cop? Cop shoots him, and then threatens to shoot the friend, and then starts mutant hating to the kid. You know what? Asshole deserves that Magik took the Cuckoo’s on this run, because they damn near kill him for his bad-copisms.
You’ve also got Scott and Magnus out having a heart to heart. About Magneto going behind his back to inform SHIELD of their actions to gain their trust, about the fact that Magneto really hasn’t, and probably will never, forgive Scott for breaking his powers and killing his best friend. That Magnus might be pissed at Scott, but he wants him to succeed, and he has unparalleled faith in him. So now there’s a new mission….these two old war horses work together, first and foremost, they fix each other and then they train everybody else. They will not permit themselves to not be at their best any longer.
New kid, meanwhile, is at the ‘school’ but bleeding out, but hey, that’s why they have a healer! Though the first thing he sees being an Angel really doesn’t help with the whole ‘you’re not dead’ angle. But the real story? Old kid. See, Fabio went home, and at the end of the issue we see how that goes. His parents and sister missed him so much and are so happy to see him, but it quickly turns into them insisting he needs to go to the hospital because he’s definitely not a mutant and those evil terrorists kidnapped him and made him believe things! They’re pretty forceful, pretty sure that they’re right, and eventually Fabio did what Fabio does. He launched Gold Balls everywhere and they still can’t decide whether the X-Men did this to him or Jesus did because they didn’t go to church enough.
Oh well, a fan favorite X-Man shows up at the end to ask him about Scott, and I’ve been waiting for her to show up for a while now!
What I liked:
BACHALO IS BACK! I’m so used to him showing up for an arc and never returning that for some reason I didn’t expect to see him back on this book, and his art is what makes this book so awesome in the first place.
Scott and Magneto have a great interaction. Ever since the first issue where we found out Magneto was talking to SHIELD, and a few issues back when he flat out told Scott, these two have been needing an extended moment. To say they had unresolved issues is to severely understate the reality of their situation, and Bendis handles it perfectly. The cover may have promised us a fight, but the interiors gave us something better.
I like that Fabio is the one to go so that we can get the family reacting poorly to someone being a mutant. He and the shapeshifter I’ve found to be the weakest characters in the book, and with this issue Fabio finally becomes someone I like outside of joking about his crappy powers.
The Cuckoo’s are the comic relief. I never thought I would see the day, but here it is. They’re snarky, smarmy, and make fun of EVERYONE. Their argument stemming over one trying to do the classic “Hope you survive the experience” line is great and cracked me up. Bendis has worked miracles with these girls by giving them individual characters and personalities. They aren’t interchangeable for the first time since the two unique ones got killed off by Grant Morrison.
The new character, David, with his Great Machine from Ex Machina powers, is someone I am immediately fascinated by and want to see more of. Entirely because of Ex Machina.
What I didn’t like:
I understand that hated and feared is the mutant bread and butter, but the cops going after them have just been awful since AVX. Like, maybe it bothers me because I can see the real world cops in these characters, but I REALLY don’t like picturing cops as a bunch of racist murderous unrepentant jagoffs that I should be terrified of if I’m even the slightest bit different. Local rednecks? Sure, no problem. Law enforcement? Does not make me feel awesome. This cop was ready to full on execute this kid for making a car drive hands free.
So in that vein, I didn’t like that Magik showed up with the Cuckoos and didn’t actually teach the guy a lesson. Scare him and knock him out? Not good enough.
Not nearly enough Eva, who I grew to love just before the Limbo arc, and who has been regulated to supporting cast member since.
I’m still very much not accustomed to loving a Bendis book so regularly. It’s strange, and yet, between this and All-New I don’t think I could go a month without him writing some awesome awesome X-Men books.
Fabio’s family existed pretty much for the sake of drawing the comparison of coming out as a mutant and coming out of the closet, and Bendis handled it in a way that I’ve come to imagine is close enough to reality (not something I’ve experienced first hand, but it’s always on tv). His parents tell him that he isn’t a mutant, that the X-Men lied and convinced him that he’s one, that they must have done something to him, and my favorite, that it’s because they didn’t go to church enough. It’s incredibly similar to the scene from X-Men 2 where Iceman told his parents, only with a lot more comedy because, I mean, come on, GOLD BALLS!
If I were the Cuckoo’s I’d have actually punished David’s awful “HE DID IT!” friend. The first thing she did was throw him under the bus. That’s no friend of mine! And then she had the nerve to be all upset that he got shot by racist cops after she SOLD HIM OUT! If the cops were fortunate enough to only get knocked out, she deserves SOMETHING bad to have happen.
Seriously, I REALLY hate the overdone ‘hated and feared’ angle. Like, I get it, but be reasonable, there’s no reason for the cop to pull a gun and start shooting a guy who is surrendering.
Magneto tells Scott that he has more faith in him than his own children. Well, consider his children. Pietro (who is one of my favorite characters) is a self serving jackass that always seems to fall back on doing what is best for him, and Wanda? Well, shit, Scott made Magneto’s powers not work right. Wanda TOOK THEM AWAY COMPLETELY! Scott accidentally killed Xavier while raging with cosmic power. Wanda tried to commit TOTAL MUTANT GENOCIDE! I’d be blown away if Magneto actually had ANY faith in his daughter.
Not going to bother bringing Polaris into that talk.
This book needs another veteran on Scott’s team. I love the lineup, but it would be nice to see someone else thrown into the mix on a fulltime basis without having the job of ‘hunts them down’.