Posted on April 27, 2013 AT 07:25pm
Cyclops and the new X-Men team are back, and some interesting things are beginning to happen inside the new Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. Magik has been showing signs of having something wrong with her, as Emma, Scott and Magneto have shown in earlier issues. The Phoenix Force has broken their powers, and with Magik’s abilities also working in the supernatural realm of Limbo where she took over the realm during the AvX event, more complications than usual have arisen. In this issue these come full force, with the Darkchilde persona of Magik that has been subdued for quite some time making its presence known more than ever.
This is another very focused issue on Magik, who was one of the less prominent members of the team when the new volume of the series first began. With her demonic powers regulated by her mutant abilities, the very power that was broken by the Phoenix Force. With her demonic powers and the Limbo realm now being assaulted by a certain demonic Marvel villain, her demonic Darkchilde persona has been unleashed, and the new X-team, including the new recruits, are in for some trouble.
Brian Bendis is working hard to make this team just as prominent as the All-New team, which cross over between both titles (All-New’s Past Angel is now a member of the Uncanny team). This has been going pretty well so far, with both books being done incredibly well. This issue is, despite having a lot of intensity, surprisingly lacking in engagement, with the supernatural element seeming a bit too prevalent. This is still an entertaining book, however.
There seems to be very little in the way of sub-plot (aside from a small and basically ignored completely), and with this looking to be the major arc of the next few issues, hopefully some new plots will present themselves, because while putting some focus on Magik is great, she seems unable to really carry an arc for this team book, especially so early on in the series. Bendis has a lot on his plate at the moment, and some of his titles seem to be suffering just a little as time goes on.
On the art side of the title, things are on the right track. Chris Bachalo is no longer on the title, at least for the moment. He is replaced by Frazier Irving, whose style seems to work a lot better with the title. With no disrespect meant to Bachalo, Irving’s work seems to be more in the vein of a Marvel superhero book, with Cyclops looking more like Scott Summers and less like Gumby with a giant “X” on his face. Irving did all of the artwork on the title, and this looks to be a valuable partnership for a title that is coming back off a long lapse and is already starting shakily.
Summary: Uncanny X-Men has been starting off strong, but in its fifth issue, things are beginning to slow a little bit in the introduction to an arc that may or may not be too interesting, especially for those who have no opinion on Limbo, demons and the like. While the characters are well done, the artwork is much improved and the title has great marketability with it’s ties to All-New X-Men, this is still a series to watch in the Marvel NOW! universe.
Pros: Improved artwork, great characters.
Cons: Unappealing plot arc, uneven weight placed on characters.
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