Friday, September 18, 2015

Uncanny X-Men #35 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I'll admit that it's sort of weird to read this issue, given that everyone else is knee-deep in "Secret Wars" and Bendis is essentially pretending that it's not happening.  But, it's worth it, because he really does get the chance to wrap up the story that he's been telling for ages.

In a nutshell, Cyclops' former students decide to give it a go on their own.  It goes pretty well for a while.  After rescuing a mutant that we've seen before at some point (I can't quite remember when), the team's feeling pretty good about itself.  Goldballs even becomes an Internet celebrity.  But, when his parents reveal that his powers are mutant abilities, everyone turns against them.  The team defeats Klaw, crowing over taking on an Avengers villain, but a group of anti-mutant assholes attack them, almost killing Goldballs in the process.  They flee to the Xavier School, just in time for Bendis to have everyone under the same roof again (for the first time in a long time) for "Uncanny X-Men" #600.

In all honesty, it's a fitting ending that Bendis doesn't rush.  The kids really make it out there for a while.  I'll admit that I think that it's a stretch for Bendis to want us to believe that no one realized that Fabio was a mutant.  How many normal humans summon gold balls from thin air?  But, it's believable enough that the kids underestimated how hated and feared that they were.  If it wasn't Goldballs, someone else would've eventually invited the anger that they face here.  As such, I'm giving Bendis a pass.  The kids realize that they don't have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated world of superheroing, and they go to the place that they know will accept them.  It's a believable story

In other words, school's now in session for everyone other than Scott, Magneto, Emma, and Alex.  Bendis really brings us full circle from "X-Men:  Schism," unifying the team in a way that they haven't been in four years.  This long arc has really been one of the most consistently well told that I've ever read, evoking the brilliance of the Australian Outback period for me.  We've watched the rise, fall, rise, and fall of Scott Summers, and it's been a character-driven process all along the way.  I can't wait to see how Bendis wraps up the story in "Uncanny X-Men" #600.  My guess is that the word "epic" is going to be involved in my review somewhere.

(Also, despite what the cover tells you, Emma and Scott don't appear anywhere in this issue, in yet another example of pet peeve #2.  But, I'll let it pass.)

*** (three of five stars)

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