Review: Uncanny X-Men #5 by Brian Bendis and Frazer Irving


Uncanny X-Men #5

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Frazer Irving


The short of it:

SHIELD is not overly pleased with Scott’s new X-Men. Not the fact that Scott is issuing statements that speak to the disenfranchised mutants of the world, not that they took out the Avengers without lifting a finger, and especially not that the Avengers don’t want to say a word about it. Maria Hill is not happy. Then again, neither is Magik, and this is her story, so let’s get to that.

Illyana’s powers are as broken as the rest of them, she just didn’t realize it before her powers pulled her into Limbo, which is now under the control of Dread Dormammu! Who has bided his time and waited to take over this dimension, and in her current state he sees no better time. Her powers are ripping through Limbo to tear other worlds apart, his included, and he will not die because of some overpowered little girl. He damns her to death, but unfortunately Illyana does not have her form to herself. There’s always her other half…the Darkchilde. The broken part of her abilities, her other personality, the evil chunk of Limbo living inside of her…it was let free of her control. And even now she can feel it pulling her back to Limbo in order to take charge.

But hey, there are students too! New students! Like Angel who is having second thoughts on his decision while Illyana screams in utter agony, and Magneto tries to be the voice of reason. Yes, that Magneto. Then there’s Triage, poor horny Triage, who now realizes he’s at a school with triplets. Triplets who have no problem erasing connections in his brain simply for the crime of looking at them with lust. I love the Cuckoos. And Eva, the time bubble girl? She loves Cyclops. AWKWARD!

But then we’ve got the teleporting disks of hell. Magik’s powers dump them all in Limbo!


What I liked:


  • The Cuckoo’s way of handling Triage is priceless. He’s obviously harmless, but they’d most likely be accustomed to the unholy thoughts of one Quentin Quire, and because of that I understand them viewing “Guys wants us” as a super threat.

  • If Marvel could make magic happen and give us Bachalo and Irving on this book trading off arcs, I’d be very happy. Few artists can successfully come in after Chris and not change the tone of the book, but that’s what we have here. Frazer turns in some absolutely amazing work here. So much better than I was expecting!

  • Angel’s first reactions are great, because, really, he was promised a school and Xavier’s mission and he gets a big room with a few students and bare armed Magneto. I’d be confused too.

  • Very cool design on Darkchilde. Almost like Black Lantern Darkchilde, I mean, obviously it would be, but it has a very undead tone to the design. Very Limbo.

  • Eva’s hot for teacher and I dig it, I mean, she’s legal, it’s not illegal creepy.

What I didn’t like:


  • Not to knock the awesome Frazer Irving in any way, shape, or form, but I MISS CHRIS BACHALO!

  • The problems in Illyana’s powers took me a few read throughs to pick up on and I’m still not sure I get it. The broken part is Darkchilde, right? Or is it her teleporting holes out of dimensions? Both?

  • Angel is just sorta there. You bring him into the book, give him a throwaway moment last issue, then remember he’s around for three or four panels this issue. Potential! Do not waste!

Final thoughts:

So I feel like a total idjit, but I’ve been calling him “Dormannu” for the last twenty years. Those were m’s? Really? Boo-bloody-urns.

I like the story Bendis is trying to tell with Illyana, and I like that I care more about her now than I have probably ever, I just want it to be a bit more clear. All I’ve really taken out of this is that Dormammu took over Limbo, but she took it back, and she doesn’t control the Darkchilde which happens to be a lot more powerful, except for maybe she does control it? Yeah, I think I need another issue of explanations.

It’s so nice to have Emma’s girls back in a book where they can be characters and not just plot devices. They’ve been pet-telepaths for a few years now, and now we’ve had two issues straight where personalities have been firmly established. The Cuckoo’s REALLY needed that.

Just like Eva really need to spark a feud with Emma. I grinned ear to ear when she dropped her bombshell, it can only go horribly and I can’t wait to read it.

Dormammu. Talk about a villain I never expected to play the role of arch for an arc on an X-Men title. I mean, a book that clearly will have no Doctor Strange presence. Come to think of it, I want to see that more often. Take some established and seldom used villains and put them into other sandboxes to see what happens. Can I pitch Typhoid Mary as a Captain Marvel villain?

Overall: 8.5/10

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