Review: Uncanny X-Men #26
Uncanny X-Men #26 follows up on the fallout regarding the last will and testament of Professor Charles Xavier. In the last issue we learned that Professor Xavier secretly hid a prodigiously powerful mutant away from the world and his X-Men. Xavier has left instructions for the X-Men to delicately deal with this mutant as his power levels are extreme enough to threaten human-mutant relations. In the aftermath of Charles death, the X-Men are now left to deal with this volatile issue. The trope of Xavier’s dark secrets coming back to haunt the X-Men has been staple of the franchise since the decimation. Where in my opinion it’s becoming a bit overused, it’s definitely a plausible state of affairs because lets face it, this is Charles Xavier we’re talking about. Given his telepathic reach, Xavier has always occupied a unique moral space, having to make nearly god like decisions for the benefit of human and mutant kind.
This issue made me think a lot about the problem of mutant “externalities” a persistent problem for the X-Men as well as mutant kind. Despite being the de-facto advocates for mutant kind, it’s an interesting and important fact to recognize that X-Men do not and cannot control all mutants. This was was revealed recently that a rogue mutant (dark beast) was responsible for SHIELD’s rogue sentinels. SHIELD by necessity has to be prepared for these externalities. With this in mind it’s very telling how Scott summer’s current view of the world is. During the dark reign, mutantkind was endangered and Norman Osborn’s corrupt regime ruled the day. Neither is the case now and yet Scott Summer’s is marching mutants new and old down the path of his enigmatic revolution.
This brings us to Triage. The neophyte mutant healer has a moment to shine in this issue questioning the rationale and justification for Scott’s so called revolution. I thought this was the nice stand out moment for his character , as he in way appears to be speaking to and for the audience. Ever since issue one of this volume I’ve questioned why Scott sees the need for a mutant revolution. Those questions have become more pronounced after SHIELD was shown to not be complicit in the rogue sentinel attacks. The fact that SHIELD has employed mutant liaisons (Exodus in this issue) and the Avengers have dedicated a squad to mutant human unity should quell most perceptions of a widespread conspiracy against mutants, and yet Scott summers is still leading his faction down a warpath. Triage’s questions are timely and strike to the heart of Scott’s obscure intentions.
A major gripe of mine for this issue was the classification of of Matthew Malloy as “Beyond Omega” Admittedly I am a bit of a purist when it comes to all matters of continuity. To my knowledge the designation of an “Omega” mutant meant simply a mutant with unlimited potential, whether realized or not. Ed Brubaker made this error earlier classifying the mutant Gabriel Summers “Vulcan” as Beyond Omega. I recall Ed Brubaker eventually admitting this mistake. With respect to power levels omega simply denotes a nominal category not a quantification of power. I really wish Bendis would pay attention to such details.
The pacing of the current arc is a minor gripe of mine, i feel as though I’m being cajoled to read on, pending further reveals from Xavier’s will. Two issue’s in with more questions asked where the will is concerned seems a bit unfair to me. Maybe I’m impatient.
I was a bit iffy on Kris Anka‘s art but it’s slowly winning me over. There’s almost a Bachalo-esque vibe to it, quirky and enjoyable.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Kris Anka
Story: 6.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read