Review: Uncanny X-Men #31

I’ve been reading the Last Will and Testament storyline in Uncanny X-Men from the beginning, and have found it running too long as Scott Summers attempts to recruit the most powerful mutant to ever exist, one that Charles Xavier kept suppressed for decades. I’m happy to see it end, but to say more would be getting impatient.


Brian Michael Bendis (W)
Chris Bachalo (A)
Cover by Kris Anka
32 PGS. / Rated T+ …$3.99


As the fallout from AXIS continues, the Uncanny X-Men seem to be searching for an identity. Viewed as terrorists by some…as revolutionaries by others…as teachers by their students. If odd ones at that. But some don’t see the grey. For those whose world is black and white, the wrongs will add up…and they will see RED.


The cover here is the most misleading image that I’ve ever seen recently on a comic. Given that in the build-up to this issue, we’ve seen Cyclops, Magik, and Emma Frost die, and that the publishing schedule for this book is accelerated, I’m going to chalk these up as the side effects of trying to get it out on time.

Uncanny-X-Men031-005smThe story moves very fast with the X-Men at the Jean Grey school now facing the nearly omnipotent Matthew Malloy and Cyclops’s students. Eva Bell, whose power allows her to travel backwards in time, has brought Professor X from the past in an effort to stop Malloy. The story ends conclusively, but by making use of one of  biggest deux ex machinas that comes very abruptly. The conclusion puts Eva Bell in the position to demonstrate the legacy of Cyclops’ philosophy that created the schism between mutants.Over the past three years, all of the efforts to convince Cyclops that he is wrong have produced results that are subject to interpretation. I feel like just as everything comes to an end with Secret Wars, Bendis is bringing this storyline to an end at long last.

Chris Bachalo is excellent as always, but the colors seem like a cheat, almost doing a disservice to the art by making themselves stand out in how basic they are. There are great colorists in the industry and I don’t think that any of them would take this obvious of shortcuts in their work, and that’s how these colors sometimes look, not as an aesthetic choice, but as a shortcut to meet a deadline.

This is a book for you only if you are already reading X-Men or like me, a fan of Chris Bachalo. Otherwise, I’m wanting to see how the X-Men will look coming out of Secret Wars, because showing me what Cyclops’ new attitude has created leaves me depressed at the kinds of stories I can expect.