Review: Uncanny X-Men Issue #14

Uncanny X-Men 14

UNCANNY X-MEN #14
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art and cover by CHRISTOPHER BACHALO
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

The aftermath of Battle of the Atom is upon us and the event’s repercussions are being felt throughout Marvel’s X-Title, but I guess someone forgot tell Bendis that. Uncanny X-Men issue 14 had absolutely nothing to do with the event it just tied-in to for the last two issues, and it looks like, yet again, an event will have no impact on the titles that made it up. Oh well, I digress. But there were bigger problems with this issue than not addressing current events. This book doesn’t even address the promises made in its own solicit! Despite those failings, this issue was a fun look at the New Xavier School’s unique training methods.

The Good

The story begins with Cyclops’ team of young mutants in the middle of an X-Men training session, chugging through the mud and rain. The primary focus, however, is on Benjamin Deeds, college student and new mutant who has the seemingly useless power of morphing into someone he is in close proximity to. Just as Cyclops ponders kicking the hopeless X-wannabe out of the team, Professor Frost takes the young student on an unconventional field trip to Atlantic City in an attempt to reveal the youngsters hidden talents. Without spoiling the ish, Emma is quite successful with her lessons, but the entire process does a great job of showing readers just how different the teaching tactics of the New Xavier School’s staff are from its Wolverine Headmastered counterpart, which was truly fun to see. The art is beautiful and unmistakeably Chris Bachalo and all his stylized wonder. There are some unique character changes that come with a morph like the new Morph, and it’s pulled off brilliantly.

The Bad

Besides there being nothing going on in this ish that had anything to do with the latest tie-in event story that encompassed all of the X-Universe for a month or two, there was a huge problem with this book’s solicit. I was promised two things:

• The effects of X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM are felt!

• Magneto goes off on personal mission that sets him at odds with much of the X-Men and Marvel Universe.

Not only was there no Battle of the Atom effects whatsoever, there was literally a single panel showing Magneto, and it was at a distance. Maybe there will be a flashback to this, but why must they lie to me to sell the book? This was a good freaking book! Hey, if there was an announcement made and I missed it, pass it along, but there’s just no reason to solicit something to me that simply isn’t there. Besides the misleading market line, there just isn’t any other bad.

The Verdict

Buy this issue, but be on the lookout for preview pitches full of lies and deceit! There’s just no excuse for that sort of thing, and if you want to boycott just for that reason, I wouldn’t blame you…but you shouldn’t. Even if you haven’t picked up Uncanny in a while this is a good point to get onboard. There’s fun dialogue, amazing art and a great introspective into the teaching methods of the New Xavier School, without requiring much recent required reading to be enjoyable. Next month we may get some Magneto drama, but issue 14 of Uncanny X-Men is fun in its own way.

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