Uncanny X-Men #5

by Tori B. on April 25, 2013

It’s the return of Dormammu. He knows the mutants’ powers are broken, so there’s no better time really for revenge and a takeover of Limbo.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artists: Frazer Irving
Cover: Irving | Publisher: Marvel
 Uncanny X-Men is finally taking a direction that lends itself to be more of an individual title again. Yes, there are still tie-ins with All New, and other titles as well, but as the character focus shifts onto Illyana and the consequences of her broken powers, the Uncanny team are being taken where All New won’t be going.
Naturally the issue opens with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Maria Hill discussing previous events of the X-Men stopping the Avengers while in Australia, the underlying story of these mutants facing the world after everything they had done still remains, but for now, it’s left to the opening pages and then quickly pushed aside for the rest of the issue. Bendis’ well-known love for Hill gives her some of the best dialogue though, easily, at least you’ll get a chuckle while having countless numbers of Scott Summers’ face staring at you like some eerie propaganda (it’s just S.HI.E.L.D. footage, but it doesn’t make it less overwhelming—which is probably the point).
Warren’s placement on the team also serves as reminder to the sister title All New, but it’s so easy to just pretend that it’s just good ol’ Warren whose place is going to be interesting to watch as it develops while he justifies the actions taken by the group, he also acknowledges that they’re all crazy. It’s nice to see Jean’s brain whammy hasn’t hit him too hard as the poor boy has enough of that coming to him in the future. (Have I mentioned how much I miss Warren and how great it is to have him back?).
As if Cyclops didn’t have enough to worry about, Magik’s broken powers are showing to be the most detrimental out of the group bringing about Limbo and Dormammu to face. I love this because it’s so far seems to be a break from the other teams and hopefully a nice portion of the next issues involves only the Uncanny team, and we can really see their dynamics, especially when they’re not on solid grounds. Also with this new turn of plot comes a new artist, Irving, who is incredibly well suited for this title especially for his vision when it came to the “hellish magical dimension between dimensions”.  Great colours, brilliant facial expressions (there’s only one I was iffy on, because Scott looks less concerned and more well, constipated (which perhaps emotionally he might just be at this point) but I’m mostly thrilled to be seeing him out of the costume and with his glasses back)—the best show of this is Emma’s expression between two panels as she realizes that time manipulator Eva Bell, is eyeing Scott. As the story moves on, the art has to progress as well. I adore Bachalo and his work on the first few issues were great, but they’re not dealing with Sentinels and Avengers anymore, they’re dealing with mystical stuff here, and what Irving brought to the issue reflects that brilliantly.
 The timing couldn’t have been better, a new plot before anything can get too boring. I for one am still looking forward to seeing what happens next and have yet to see this series have a dull moment.

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