Dormammu has transported Cyclops and his X-Men to Limbo, where he plans to make Magik suffer for channeling the dimension’s energies by killing off her comrades. With the situation growing ever dire, Emma is forced to have the Stepford Cuckoos do something she previously told them not to in order to make it out of this mess alive. Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. Deputy Director Maria Hill is trying to get a better handle on the mutant dilemma and has Agent Coulson surprise her in who to bring on board as a liaison. He doesn’t disappoint.
It’s always curious to read Uncanny X-Men in comparison to All New X-Men. The latter book is a magnificent title, as I’m sure you all no doubt already know, that is showcasing some of the best writing to date from Brian Michael Bendis. Uncanny X-Men is quite the different experience. While I’m sure that is what Bendis intended, it does require some getting used to. I presume this is the same way readers before were feeling when Bendis had Avengers and then New Avengers and then Dark Avengers, each one being told in a different style and manner. Uncanny X-Men is likable in that it doesn’t quite glorify Cyclops and his revolution as much as one would figure. In fact, Bendis is showing just how badly Cyclops is cracking and the affect it is having on those who decide to join them. Yet they feel they have to stick with him because the alternatives they have experienced thus far feels much worse. Even if it means having to take on legions of the Mindless Ones in Limbo.
When it comes to illustrating Limbo, Frazer Irving is the right guy to pull it off. His visualization of Limbo is horrific to such a degree that one can easily believe it to literally be what Hell looks like. His use of lighting and shading is even more effective, making the landscape feel far worse than one could possibly imagine. My issue is with the way he draws the characters from time to time. Dormammu looks fantastic, as does Magik in her demon form. But most everyone look as though they came from a completely different book and Irving is trying to adapt them to his style. There are a number of panels with Emma that I didn’t find all that appealing to me, as does when the Stepford Cuckoos go into their diamond form. But I’m merely nitpicking as the art is not so much about the characters as it is about Limbo and the nightmare turned real aspect it projects.
Brian Michael Bendis writes Uncanny X-Men in a very intriguing way. On the one hand, it’s nowhere near the level of greatness Bendis is achieving with All New X-Men. But then that’s not the point. The point is to show how a different group of X-Men try to function and how badly it is turning out. Frazer Irving presents a fantastic vision of Limbo, even though it is at the cost of character designs that don’t look as impressive. The fun, though, is the fact that readers never know what to expect from Uncanny X-Men, which makes it worth a recommendation.
How do you envision Hell looking like? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.