REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #3

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With Avengers vs. X-Men we saw the two teams argue and fight over whether Cyclops and his revolution were out of control. In the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men, the Avengers have stepped in to, um…argue and fight over whether Cyclops and his revolution are out of control. Is this just more of the same or something completely different? Your Major Spoilers review has the answer young mutant!

Uncanny_3_coverUncanny X-Men #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Chris Bachalo
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Uncanny X-Men: Cyclops and his team have been quite busy gathering all the new mutants as soon as they appear. Magneto has betrayed Cyclops by secretly going to S.H.I.E.L.D. to help them bring the mutant leader in. Of course, that’s now led to the Avengers stepping in…

WE’VE HEARD MOST OF THIS BEFORE, GO!

As the Avengers arrive to arrest Cyclops, the two sides bicker over who is in the right and wrong. Cyclops believes he is doing what needs to be done to help his kind survive against the prejudice and hate humanity has against mutants. The Avengers believe he is out of control and should be arrested for the murder of Charles Xavier. We also learn that Magneto is not quite the traitor that we thought he was.
Bendis titled this issue “Avengers vs. X-Men, Go!” and as I read that, I prepared myself for another fight between the two teams. Of course, this concerned me as we’ve seen this in the Avengers vs. X-Men event last year. What we get is an entirely different fight between the two and something we’ve seen in the Avengers vs. X-Men event last year. The fight consist entirely of words, with both sides arguing over who’s right, who’s wrong and is Cyclops really responsible for Xavier’s death. It’s a clever idea and I was glad to see Bendis take this approach. We’ve already seen the X-Men and Avengers in fisticuffs and I really don’t need to see it again. The problem with this issue is that we’ve also seen this debate before all be it slightly different. That doesn’t mean this issue is bad, quite the opposite, but a lot of it feels familiar. The dialogue is written well, ramping up the tension as it goes, leading the reader to the eventual breaking point where the two sides battle. The thing is, that battle never happens as the new mutant Eva freezes the Avengers in a time bubble. Cyclops announces to the world his intentions, gives the D-generation X gesture (minus the crotch chop) and teleports back to base. There, Magneto reveals his betrayal as a ruse to get S.H.I.E.L.D. to supply him with information. This was unexpected as well and provided a nice twist that will be interesting to see play out.

All the dialogue is well written, with Bendis’s trademark humor thrown in. Magik’s comment how a child could figure out it was Magneto who sold them out felt like an acknowledgement to first issue and was quite true. Some of it was a little excessive (This is better than Netflix) but didn’t grate on me like usual. All this makes the issue a fun read but as I said, very familiar. This argument’s been had multiple times in Avengers vs. X-Men and we already know how both sides feel. The only reason I figure this was done was to initiate new readers. Bendis does his best at making it fresh and shows that both sides make good points but provides very little new material. Still, I quite enjoyed the issue as it threw a curve ball and provided a gripping read.

KINETIC, FREE FLOW STORYTELLING

I love, love, love Chris Bachalo’s art. He has a style that, when you see it, you know exactly who drew it. Artists like that become my favorites. It has a kinetic energy to it that makes an issue consisting almost entirely of dialogue feel action packed. In the past, though, I have found his sequential storytelling very poor, providing so much energy and visual information that the natural flow is entirely lost. That hasn’t been the case with his work on Uncanny X-Men. Panel layout is well done and even when he does something unique it never ruins the storytelling. He’s reined it in and the book is even better for it. I’m quite impressed that he does his own coloring as well. That’s tons of work to take on and make a monthly deadline that, so far, he’s met. I really hope he sticks around past this first arc because that would take away a lot of the uniqueness this title has.

BOTTOM LINE: GOOD READ BUT REDUNDANT

Uncanny X-Men #3 is a good comic but somewhat redundant. All the aspects of the storytelling, from dialogue to art, are great but much of it has been done before. This argument of right or wrong doesn’t need to be made again as most readers have chosen a side by now. I understand this may have been done for new readers but it could have been handled better. There is still great tension in the dialogue and Bachalo’s art provides energy to an issue that might have been boring otherwise. Kudos goes to Bendis for giving us an issue where not a punch was thrown as the reader expected. Despite its flaws, Uncanny X-Men #3 receives a well-earned 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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