Another very enjoyable, and very talky issue of X-Men from Bendis. I know a lot of people will be annoyed by the lack of action, but I’m loving it, mainly because Bendis’ dialogue is awesome, and also because so much of what’s exciting in the X-World these days is expressed through dialogue. These comics are all about opposing ideologies and plans, not just about punching and shouting. Of course, I’m sure there will be plenty of awesome punching and shouting when Battle For The Atom kicks off. But until then… awesome talking.
This issue opens with a training session for the new recruits out in the snow, and we find out a new wrinkle in the powers of Tempus. Not only can she stop time, but she can also make people travel through time, which is a cool new development. These new characters are taking time to grow on me, but they are getting there.
This issue also returns to the tantalising plotline regarding Magneto’s loyalties. Here, he is called to a meeting by Maria Hill, where she says she can’t trust him, and from now on, if he wants to contact SHIELD, he needs to talk to Dazzler (who we know to be Mystique). I’m really finding the current status quo for Magneto fascinating, who’s side is he really on? I know this is going to be a slow-burner, but I’m hooked.
The central scene in this issue is Cyclops and his team gate-crashing a Pro-Mutant Rally being held in Michigan. This rally looks to be mostly humans, protesting about the terrible treatment of mutants, in particular of Cyclops. Here, Bendis brings into the story a lot of what fans have been saying in an around the last few years of stories. That Scott is a hero, that the Avengers were aggressive dicks in AvX. It’s very interesting seeing that stuff come into the actual comic, and it really does show how fascinating and grey the character of Cyclops has become.
Also interesting is the reaction of these humans when Cyclops and the rest show up. I may be reading Irving’s art wrong, but to me, they looked scared. It’s one thing to support a supposed terrorist in abstract, but when he shows up? Are these humans just posers? I wonder if Bendis is trying to show that only Mutants can stand with other Mutants, that when push comes to shove, Humans are still scared. Or maybe I’m wrong.
The contents of Scott’s speech were very exciting, he starts to bring up Charles Xavier, but, since he killed him, moves away from that. He then says that people shouldn’t blame the Avengers, and just before he’s about to say who’s really to blame for the oppression of Mutants (it’s probably the Government, or Wolverine), a Sentinel shows up, and it is on for next issue!
This was just another great issue, Frazer Irving’s art worked brilliantly, the characters are getting more and more developed, and most importantly, the dialogue of ideas is getting stronger and stronger. These days in X-Men, it’s not about how powerful you are, but it’s about what you think and say.