Uncanny X-Men #6

by Tori B. on May 22, 2013

The X-Men have been dragged into hell (pretty much) and it’s going to be a test for all members, both new mutants and veterans alike. All the while SHIELD is trying to gain some mutant insight as well and have a few surprises hidden in their pocket.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artists: Frazer Irving
Cover: Frazer Irving | Publisher: Marvel
In what I assumed would be an issue that would focus a little more on Illyana, this issue in facts spends more time exploring the students of the New Xavier School as they face their first field test—in Limbo of all places. Also coming from a Bendis book, ample appearances from Maria Hill are also going to be used when possible. Even though the issue doesn’t follow expectations, it’s still a fairly interesting issue.
The issue starts with the introduction of a new mutant, and I love that, despite a team already being established, we still get glimpses of new mutants, because that’s exactly what’s happening. New mutants are showing up everywhere, and a lot of them had no idea about their latent genetics and are handling it in their own right. It serves as a good reminder of what exactly is happening within the mutant community presently beyond just the X-teams.
In Limbo, instead of the attention being on Magik herself, the Stepford triplets surprisingly take a lot of the spotlight. What was a little disappointing was the fact that every single new mutant was running scared—ready to stop being an X-Man at the drop of a hat. Yes, they’re new and being dragged into hell is a scary thing, but it’s incredibly interesting to see how different being X-Men is now and what Cyclops’ team is made of. Years ago, young mutants would kill (figuratively) for the chance to be on the team, and it was expected that anything could happen—but that was the thrill and the responsibility. Not even one of them had that gusto or was even able to at least fake a brave face. It’s a little sad to see. All this being said, not including the triplets because they’ve had previous exposure (as did Angel—who did indeed have a brave face merely quipped at the situation and his decision to join a team that dragged him to hell) and given who they’re modeled after, at least they got their opportunity to save face for everyone. This was definitely the issue that would warm anyone who wasn’t a fan of the Stepford sisters already, I’m sure. But beyond the triplets, the issue seemed to be lacking something.
Irving’s art is aesthetic as a whole (and fitting for the theme, the Stepfords look amazing) with great colours and scenery of dead sentinels and Limbo and his expressions are great when they’re close up, but all of the scenes that required some variety of action look a little too stiff for my liking. Irving is incredibly talented, but his style doesn’t seem the mesh the best with the overall feeling that usually comes from an X-Man book.
As a side note, for those keeping up with Marvel’s solicitations will know who showed up at the end to be SHIELD’s new insight into the mutant community, and I can honestly say I’m extremely excited to see what SHIELD is trying to do.

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