Review: Uncanny X-Men #17 by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo


Uncanny X-Men #17

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, and Jaime Mendoza


The short of it:

What’s the best way to teach untrained mutants survival? Have Yana dump them off in the strangest place imaginable. It’s the middle of really strange terrain, the Stepford’s assume it to be the Savage Land, Triage thinks they’re in the Danger Room again, but Hijack breaks one of Cyclops’s big rules and pulls out a cell phone to find out where they are. Montana….sound familiar yet? He also calls out Eva for her crush on Cyclops, she denies it, but then pretty much everyone else there lets her know that it isn’t a secret. That’s when giant monsters charge in and make everybody scatter. Scatter and freak out, and in Eva’s case, not be able to stop thinking that everyone knows she likes Scott….and that this is obviously some training exercise. And that’s when the giant chicken monster attacks. Eva vanishes and Fabio takes the thing out with GOLDBALLS!

Elsewhere, Triage screams like a girl and the no longer blonde set of Cuckoo’s use mind powers to make him man up until Fabio arrives looking for the missing Eva. Triage wants to know where they are, and that’s when the scene cuts to Celeste explaining Tabula Rasa to Ben and David until she hears some sort of mind…that promptly fries the crap out of her. Ben does his Morph thing to try and gain the trust of these odd advanced beings, and they accept him…unfortunately, Celeste wakes up furious and yells until the creatures turn hostile with giant mouths and teeth. That’s about when Eva returns though, with a perfectly timed time bubble to go with her battle damaged look and…she’s huggy. And secretive, asking a Cuckoo to keep a secret (is that possible from someone who shares a brain with two other people?), and even refusing healz from Triage. That’s when trouble arrives.

Why does Scott have a rule against phones? Because SHIELD looks for phones, and it’s taken them fifteen minutes to track down David’s usage. Arrest is on the table, for working with Scott, and there are jokes about how Nick Fury isn’t Nick Fury, but then Hijack takes over the armored guards behind Fury, Phil, Clint, and Jessica and then everyone is gone. Magik picked them up, and Scott is FURIOUS. This was a survival test and there’s a failure on the team, and failure is met with swift punishment. Scott isn’t going to lose another X-Man, so this one is sent home.


What I liked:

  • GOLDBALLS! Killer of giant chicken monsters!

  • Looks like Phoebe finally went redhead, which means that the Stepford sisters now all have distinct looks for the first time in a current (non alternate reality/future) story.

  • Triage screams like a little girl.

  • GOLDBALLS! Crier for momma OR poppa!

  • “There is NO WAY this is Montana!”

  • Best use of Tabula Rasa since Remender created it.

  • Seriously, Tabula Rasa may as well have been custom designed for Chris Bachalo to go absolutely crazy with.


What I didn’t like:

  • Scott sending people home, or letting them go home, is getting to be way too much of a thing. Fabio, Eva, Ben…kinda, and now David. Scott really needs a new method, or to let one stick to show he means business. Right now I just expect him to go pick him back up.

  • Oh, hey look, a few Avengers showed up to act like total assholes. Some things never change.


Final thoughts:

Literally nobody noticed that Eva’s hair randomly doubled in length to go along with the battle damaged costume. There is a story to be told here, and given that she’s my favorite character in this book, I can not wait to read it. The true nature of her powers is going to be something amazing to discover.

The students are the best part about this book, and giving them the full focus here made for a great read. With Magneto gone, the book should be able to breath more with the original characters. Also, doesn’t hurt that the All-New X-Men aren’t overtaking this book as well.

Did I completely miss Phoebe changing hair colors in a previous issue? I remember her commenting about wanting to dye her hair red, but I don’t remember actually seeing it yet.

GOLDBALLS is competing with Eva for my favorite new X character in the last few years. Neither is close to Layla Miller Madrox for my designation of “Best new X character of the 21st century”, but hey, it’s a new decade! Or it has been for a while.

You know what I love more than anything with this book? That Chris Bachalo keeps drawing it. I’m so used to him doing two or three issues on a book and then moving on that the fact that he’s been here and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere just makes me so damn happy. His art REALLY pulls this book together.

Without Bachalo this would just be the funny X-book as opposed to the amazing looking funny X-book. There is nothing about this book that isn’t to be absolutely loved. This is the best book Marvel has, and easily the best thing I’ve ever read out of Brian Bendis.

I still can’t believe that Bendis was the new blood that the X-Men books needed to really turn into something special again.

Overall: 9.5/10

Tags: , , , , , , ,