Uncanny X-Men #14

by Tori B. on November 21, 2013

If you thought it was going to be a crazy issue, post Battle of the Atom and all, you couldn’t be more wrong. But hey, Scott Summers is still kind of a jerk and Benjamin Deeds says what we were all thinking.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend
Cover: Bachalo & Townsend
Publisher: Marvel
It’s a slow week for the X-Men. They’re busy training while wondering how exactly it’s going to work with the X-Men of the past now joining their ranks. Oddly enough, Angel has decided to join in on the training, but not the others. And the only action we really get is when Scott (way to be a great teacher Summers) punches poor young Benjamin Deeds, who’s already struggling enough. But hey, it delivers the following punchline when Scott offers to let Ben punch him back, “You’re Scott Summers, everyone’s dying to punch you.” Highlight of the issue? Probably. Spoiler? Not really, because it’s funny every time.
To help Ben with his struggles, Emma decides to take him on as a personal disciple, to make him one of the most valuable to the team. She manages to persuade him while dressed as a Punisher groupie of some sort. (Bachalo’s one of my favourite artists don’t get me wrong, but maybe he shouldn’t be left in charge of clothing design).  Emma’s intentions are there though, ever the teacher, even if it feels like she’s seducing her student (which wouldn’t be the first time) and she talks Benjamin through what his true powers might be, and how beneficial it would be for the team. It’s nice to have at least one of the major X-Men show faith in your skills when everyone else seems to think otherwise. Emma’s even nice enough to let Benjamin pick where they go to practice.
What follows is Emma and Illyana (both in adorable black dresses, but I miss my Emma in white) tagging along on Benjamin’s romp through Atlantic City as he puts his gifts to the test, pushing them to the threshold. It’s heartwarming really, to see from the beginning of the issue where he was struggling to watching him succeed farther than he has throughout the series so far. So comes his final test that determines whether he gains the approval of Scott Summers or not, I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s fairly easy to guess how it goes.
It’s not totally a filler issue, we’re bound to need to know more about the new mutants joining the team sooner or later; but it’s a very tame approach in doing so. It’s kind of uplifting, and kind of sweet, and gives some other characters more page time (*cough*Emma*cough*) and in the end, there’s that final statement that kind of makes you all sentimental about the X-Men in general. It’s a warm fuzzy feelings kind of issue with just a small smattering of action and suspense because when you have mutant powers, things like that just follow, even for a guy like Benjamin Deeds.
This one’s for you, Morph!

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