Uncanny X-Men #18 (Marvel)

uncanny-x-men-v3-018-000

Rating: 4/5 – Marco Rudy’s art outshines Bendis’ solid writing.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

If you’ve been following Brian Michael Bendis’ work on X-Men or any of his other Marvel books, you’ll know that his stories are usually heavy on dialogue and character exploration.  Uncanny X-Men number eighteen is a prefect example of this.  This issue focuses heavily on Cyclops as he not only deals with his powers not working properly since the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover and also as he tries to put his life back together while coping with the responsibility of killing Professor X while controlled by the Phoenix entity.

Although this book is consistent with what Bendis is known for, the art is different from what we’re used to seeing on this title.  Marco Rudy steps in for Chris Bachalo and does a fabulous job with the visuals.  There is not one single page in this issue with a “normal” comic book page layout.  In the opening pages for example, the two pages take on the shape of giant X-logos.  Later on, panels are separated by random optic blasts that resemble Cyclops’ uncontrollable powers, and there’s even full page splash that has a “David Mack”-ish painted style on one side, while going into smaller panels on the opposite side.  Marco Rudy does a great job of using lots of different styles while still telling a coherent story with the art.  It was a joy to look and fit Bendis’ story perfectly.

Cyclops is forced to address his killing of Professor X by rival X-Men and teacher at the Jean Grey school, Kitty Pryde.  It’s and emotional moment between the two characters as they both cope with Professor X’s death and the ramifications of that tragedy.  Not only that, but there’s also character moments between Cyclops and a younger Jean Grey, as well as between Cyclops and his younger self.  Meanwhile, the Uncanny X-team comes home to find that all is not right at home, setting the stage for next issue.  All in all it’s another solid issue by Bendis, made all that stronger by Marco Rudy’s art.  It doesn’t necessarily move the main story forward, but the exploration of characters while getting there, well, that’s what Bendis does best.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
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