Bendis and Bachalo once again provide an exciting, incident-filled issue of Uncanny, and this one is even better than most because Dazzler: Agent Of SHIELD takes centre-stage.
I seriously love this new development for Dazzler, and Bendis puts it to really good use here, especially with Goldenballs’ sister recognising her and pulling out one of her albums, complete with awesome 80s cover. This is like if Madonna joined the FBI, and it is awesome. I also found it interesting how this issue showed just how shady SHIELD can be. I love it when that organisation has an edge, because as Fabio points out, Cyclops didn’t kidnap him, SHIELD did. Slowly but surely, Cyclops is being proven right.
As for Cyclops, he and the rest of his ‘team’ continue to train, and we find out more about their new recruit, David, who can not only control cars, but also planes and yes, Helicarriers. I like his codename too, Hijack, although, he is on a team that are labelled as ‘Terrorists’ my most of the rest of the Marvel Universe, that can’t be good PR, surely?
Bendis also does something new and cool with the Stepford Cuckoos here, which I didn’t think could be done. One of them (does it matter which?) arrives for the training session with a new hair-do. Unlike her sisters, she is no longer blonde, but has got a pitch-black bob. These characters have often barely been characters, so it’s really great how Bendis is changing them, and actually giving them individualities. How does someone in a hivemind assert their personality? That’s going to be a cool plotline.
Of course, Cyclops’ team go and rescue Fabio, and that leads to let more sort of awkward, sort of amazing mutant allegory stuff, as Cyke labels Dazzler ‘the Uncle Tom of mutants’, which is just… wow… I know this stuff is going to piss a lot of people off, but I love it. These kinds of metaphor have been at the heart of the X-Men concept since the very beginning, and now they are back, and front and centre like never before. It’s making these titles feel truly vital, and most of all, it’s causing a lot of discussion and thought amongst fans. The best science-fiction causes us to question our society, and these days, the X-Books (and Uncanny Avengers) are doing just that.
The end of this issue was also very interesting, as Mystique, who just had her plans foiled in All-New, poisons Dazzler and takes her place. Is Dazzler dead? I hope not, but either way, this is a cool development, I’m really enjoying Bendis’ take on Mystique, as whilst the heroes are all fragmented and fighting amongst themselves, a true villain like her is free to get up to all sorts of shit, and she’s a real wildcard.
I feel like I should talk up Chris Bachalo’s art a bit too, he’s doing some really great stuff on this book, it’s visually different from his previous X-Men work, and I think a lot of that is because of the colours he himself is providing, he’s using a lot of cool colour techniques that I don’t really have the language to describe, but this book looks different than I expected, and that’s a good thing.