UNCANNY X-MEN #18
Writer: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Artist: MARCO RUDY
COVER BY ALEXANDER LOZANO
• Cyclops finds himself in serious trouble.
• Who’s got Scott Summers at gunpoint?
Brian Michael Bendis is a great writer. For better or worse he changed The Avengers in ways that will forever impact the brand. His work on the Ultimate Universe, albeit primarily Ultimate Spider-Man, cannot be denied as some amazing comic book writing. His more recent work with the X-Men also stands as a great example of how the writer brings his own unique style to each and every book he writes. And it’s paying off! We’ve been getting some quality X-Titles out of Bendis since he left duties on Avengers books and made the switch to writing X-Gene only characters. Oh, and he’s also writing the Guardians of the Galaxy, but honestly THAT seems more like an X-Title lately than anything else. And that’s the problem with this issue of Uncanny X-Men #18: It’s the same story I read in just about every Bendis book in the last month or so, and it’s gotten pretty tiring. Good thing the art is fresh!
This issue was another great use of nostalgia and previously detailed newer character developments all surrounding the Original X-Men team, Bendis’ current bread and butter in the X-realm of comic books. The neat character interactions between the Original X-Team and their present-day counterparts continues to bring smiles to the faces of X-readers, no matter how many times it’s seen. The true standout of this single issue is Marco Rudy and Val Staples on the artwork. Layout, design, pencils, colors; everything just comes together in such a brilliant fashion. Each and every page is a feast for the eyes, and the level of effort put into this single issue of a comic book is rarely seen even in a 5 issue story arc. I have to be completely honest and tell you that I hadn’t heard of either of these two artists prior to reading this issue, but now that they are on my radar there’s no way I’ll let a book with their names on the cover without adding it to my stack.
Alright, Bendis, we get it! The Original X-Men have traveled through time, and their interactions with their present-day counterparts are interesting and entertaining. But, damn it, we’ve been given this same exact story; these same exact character interactions; in every damned book Bendis has put out this month. The last Guardians of the Galaxy and the last 2 issues of All-New X-Men were this same exact issue of this Uncanny X-Men #18, with a worse paint-job. There’s NO ONE holding a gun to Cyclops’ head at any point in the entire issue, despite what the cover OR the solicit says. This was just an outright boring issue, depicting things we’ve already seen before.
If you’ve read anything from Bendis in the past month or two you’ve probably already read this comic book. It’s nothing more than the same old tired and overused cliches and nostalgic interactions that have been the mainstay of Bendis’ work with the mutants of Marvel Comics. But the art was amazing! Almost enough to save this book from being entirely worthless. There’s obviously something to say for good art, and there’s certainly something to say for good writing, but, damn, it would be nice to get both in a single package. Unfortunately, Uncanny X-Men #18 is NOT that package.
Writing: 2.5 out of 5
Art: 4.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5