Sunday, July 5, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #34 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Lately, Bendis has shown a knack for wrapping up stories quickly but satisfyingly, as he recently did in "Guardians of the Galaxy" #27.  Unfortunately, he's a little less successful at that here.  This issue seeks to bring closure to the Dazzler arc of this series, as she recruits Maria Hill and the New Xavier School students to get revenge on Mystique for stealing her life.  (If you bought this issue based on the cover, I'm sorry, since, in a perfect example of pet peeve #2, the cover depicts Mystique fighting Emma Frost.)  The problem is that he has to do a lot of hand-waving in front of the board to get us there.

Dazzler starts her campaign with Maria, assuming that she has information on Mystique's whereabouts.  Maria lets Dazzler see the files, acknowledging that they don't know where she is, but Dazzler somehow sees something that leads her straight to Mystique.  The problem with that is that Dazzler and Mystique don't know each other at all.  It would be one thing if Storm was looking through Logan's files to find him, but it's not.  Bendis doesn't explain at all how Dazzler manages to realize that Mystique is currently posing as a Bollywood star in India.  She just does.

However, Dazzler doesn't just bust down the door and invade Mystique's life.  She poses as Scott Summer's to have a man-to-woman talk with Mystique.  The problem with that is that Bendis never tells us why she does that.  Alison clearly doesn't care what Mystique thinks.  She's not looking to find some sort of possibility of redemption in Mystique before pulling the trigger (so to speak).  My best guess is that it was meant to give the Cuckoos time to assert control over Mystique so that she would dramatically discover the same loss of control that Alison felt.  But, it just seems too elaborate.  The Cuckoos clearly have that control from the get-go, since they're the ones that disguise Dazzler from Mystique.  (I was hoping that it was a reappearance of Dazzler's ability to project holograms, but I guess not.)  As such, couldn't Dazzler just have waltzed into the room after ordering the Cuckoos to prevent Mystique from moving?  Why take the risk in impersonating Scott?  This part just doesn't come together as well as I think Bendis hoped that it would.

All that said, though, I still enjoyed the issue, even though these sorts of inconsistencies usually drive me crazy.  Bendis still has an amazing knack for getting everyone's voice right, so I think that it helped make the logic problems, if you will, less prominent.  Based on the end text-box, announcing that the story will conclude in "Uncanny X-Men" #600, it seems that Bendis also still has one more issue to clear the decks for "Secret Wars."  I doubt that we're going to learn about Scott and Nation X, as we saw previewed in "Secret Wars" #1, and I wonder if he's going to have time to address the Utopians that we saw in "All-New X-Men" #40.  One possible ending seems to be that we're going to see the New Xavier School kids throw in their lot with Dazzler at S.H.I.E.L.D. and become a new X-Factor.  (That would honestly be pretty cool.)  But, hopefully, by wrapping up the Dazzler story here, it'll give him time to really finish the greater story that he's been telling in "All-New X-Men" and this series.  It's been one of the best runs on X-Men that I've ever read, and I saw that as someone that loathed his run on "Avengers."  Fingers crossed that Marvel gives his time to wrap up everything in the way that it deserves.

*** (three of five stars) 

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