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Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours Spoi

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Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours Spoi

Postby Punchy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:22 pm

Wow, this is an exceptional issue of Uncanny X-Men. Part of this is down to the beautiful art from Marco Rudy, and part of it is due to the excellent character work done by Bendis on Cyclops. I’ve enjoyed the last few issues of this book that moved the focus towards the new students, but the real star of this title, and of the X-Men franchise in general really, has always been Scott Summers, and this issue moves the spotlight back onto him, with awesome results.

The issue begins with Cyclops and his team returning from a mission, and Tempus badgering Cyke about why he kicked Hijack off the team and saying that he should be allowed back. But before the argument can really begin, they discover that the base has been attacked, and that Kitty and the rest of her team have vanished. They find a Shi’Ar Weapon, which of course, leads them to come to the correct conclusion that they came and kidnapped the young Jean Grey, as we’ve seen in the pages of All-New X-Men and Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Cyclops grits his teeth, and we get a series of flashbacks that fill in the gaps between Kitty and the original team’s defection to this side, and today. The first one sees Illyana bring Kitty to the New Xavier School, for a gripping confrontation between Cyclops and Shadowcat, where she has her first right to his head, ready to phase through and kill him for what he did to Xavier. Since this is a flashback, there’s not as much tension as there could have been, but this was still a great scene, as Bendis gets down to the nitty gritty of whether or not Cyclops was responsible for killing Xavier, and perhaps more importantly, whether he thinks he was or not, as different writers have had him saying contradictory things. It basically comes down to Scott not blaming himself for what the Phoenix did, but rather blaming himself for not being strong enough to stop the Phoenix from controlling him, which makes sense to me. Cyclops also tells Kitty just how truly guilty he does feel, and this seems to be enough for Kitty, and she and Scott sort of reconcile, and agree to move the original team to his side.

I loved the short scene that showed Emma Frost’s reaction to this, how she made it all about her, and how it was a plot by Kitty Pryde to rub a young Jean Grey in her face and piss her off. I love egotistical Emma, such a great character.

After this, there are two really strong scenes with Cyclops interacting with members of the All-New X-Men, which are just rife with awkwardness and pathos. The first is with Young Jean, and man, it’s awkward. How weird would it be to meet a teenage version of your dead wife? And to have her hate you? So sad. Jean handing Scott the copy of their wedding invitations she found a while back, and telling him she can’t imagine how she’d ever get married to him was just heart-breaking. The scene between Cyclops and his younger self was a bit lighter, as Scott basically warns him to stay away from redheads and blondes, and basically women in general, but it ends on a dark note, as Young Scott asks his future self what happened to Professor X. We don’t see the answer, but, yeah, more awkwardness. That’s what I love about the time-travelling X-Men storyline, Bendis is using it to more for interpersonal dramatic scenes than crazy science fiction nonsense, and it’s made for some amazing conversation scenes.

The issue ends with the X-Men still working out what to do, but all Cyclops can do is just unleash a massive blast of angry red energy. Scott Summers is an angry, messed-up man, and as this issue shows, he has good reason to be. It looks like next issue, he’s taking that anger out on SHIELD. I can’t wait.

As I said, a big part of how good this issue was is the art, and man, Marco Rudy blew me away with his work here. The layouts were JH Williams-level good, the present-day pages split into Xs, and the flashbacks split like Cyclops’ fractured eye-beams. I also loved the way he used different styles at times, there was one page that was painted like David Mack (colourist Val Staples deserves a lot of credit for this too), and he also did a good job at homaging classic John Byrne panels. This volume of Uncanny has featured artistic style that you wouldn’t normally associate with superheroes throughout, and this might be the best example yet. I can’t think of an X-Men book that looked this different since Bill Sienkiewicz’ New Mutants.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Grayson » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:29 pm

I think that Bendis did an extraordinary job in this issue of sorting through all of the confusion surrounding what actually happened between Scott Summers, the Phoenix, and Professor X during Avengers vs. X-Men. I'm completely comfortable with the explanation that Scott Summers assumed responsibility for the murder of the Professor because he couldn't stop the Phoenix from committing the act. The idea that Scott was present facing the man who he viewed as his own father but couldn't stop his own body from taking that man's life is tragic in and of itself but the fact that Scott refuses to excuse himself of those actions, simply because he couldn't control them, is a powerful message to the heart of the character himself.

That being said, I was kind put off by Marco Rudy's art.
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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Johnny Smith » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:58 pm

Grayson wrote:That being said, I was kind put off by Marco Rudy's art.


It reminded me more of Simone Bianchi's worst art :lol: ... rather than anything drawn by JH Williams :shock:

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Punchy » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:22 pm

This art was amazing, y'all are crazy.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Zero » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:18 am

The art reminded me of some Bissette\Totleben Swamp Thing and that is never a bad thing.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Grayson » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:16 pm

I guess that I should clarify that I wasn't trying to imply that Marco Rudy's art was bad, just that in this particular setting, it was off putting. At least to me. I could totally see it working in a comic book like Swamp Thing or even Animal Man. I just didn't think that it was a good fit for the flagship X-Men title.
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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby habitual » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:46 pm

I didn't care for the art at all, I found it distracting and it made the comic harder to read.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby GHERU » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:00 pm

habitual wrote:I didn't care for the art at all, I found it distracting and it made the comic harder to read.

Hab

agreed
whats worse, the art made it more boring as well
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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:09 pm

After all the back peddling on Scott Summers, whose been an asshat since the late 80's when he abandoned his wife and child, I'm just glad that there's the younger model. Maybe he'll be the hero in this story. It sure as shit isn't the one we've had for the last few decades.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby habitual » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:18 pm

alaska1125 wrote:After all the back peddling on Scott Summers, whose been an asshat since the late 80's when he abandoned his wife and child, I'm just glad that there's the younger model. Maybe he'll be the hero in this story. It sure as shit isn't the one we've had for the last few decades.


His development during Astonishing was the best part of that run.

Also Madelyne told him not to come back, so it wasn't abandonment.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:26 pm

habitual wrote:
His development during Astonishing was the best part of that run.

Also Madelyne told him not to come back, so it wasn't abandonment.

Hab

I'll agree with Astonishing. It was actually startling to see a decisive non-whiny wet noodle.

As for Madelyne, yeah, he ditched them. You can parse however you'd like, but he made the first move.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Grayson » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:50 pm

It's not Scott's fault that the powers that be at the time wanted Jean Grey to come back from the dead so that the original 5 X-Men could be reunited and the writers didn't know what to do with Madelyne Pryor. If you are going to hold sloppy writing against a character for the rest of their existence, then pretty soon there won't be very many characters out there for you to like.

Besides, Nathan has clearly forgiven Scott. :P
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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:17 pm

Grayson wrote:It's not Scott's fault that the powers that be at the time wanted Jean Grey to come back from the dead so that the original 5 X-Men could be reunited and the writers didn't know what to do with Madelyne Pryor. If you are going to hold sloppy writing against a character for the rest of their existence, then pretty soon there won't be very many characters out there for you to like.

Besides, Nathan has clearly forgiven Scott. :P

I think it can be argued that Scott was written poorly by more than just those powers that be. Fair or not, that was a huge creative mistake that has tainted that particular character for a very long time. I'll admit that I personally can't stand the Scott Summers I grew up reading, and I just don't see that changing. But I appreciate that others are finding the...uh...well, I can appreciate different opinions.

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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby Grayson » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:31 pm

alaska1125 wrote:I think it can be argued that Scott was written poorly by more than just those powers that be. Fair or not, that was a huge creative mistake that has tainted that particular character for a very long time. I'll admit that I personally can't stand the Scott Summers I grew up reading, and I just don't see that changing. But I appreciate that others are finding the...uh...well, I can appreciate different opinions.


Scott has pretty much always been my favorite X-Man and I never had a problem with the way that he was written but I also didn't discover some of the stories in question until I was a little bit older, so that may be where the disconnect comes from. I never had a connection with Madelyne Pryor, so I really didn't care what happened to her because I knew what she would become. Then again, I think that the stories that have been written about Scott since the start of Morrison's New X-Men to the present have been getting progressively better. Writers like Morrison, Whedon, and Bendis have really taken the time to make the character even more interesting and dynamic than ever before, so much so that I think he is easily the most interesting character in the X-Franchise, at least in my opinion.
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Re: Uncanny X-Men #18 (Not joining this revolution of yours

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:49 pm

Grayson wrote:
Scott has pretty much always been my favorite X-Man and I never had a problem with the way that he was written but I also didn't discover some of the stories in question until I was a little bit older, so that may be where the disconnect comes from. I never had a connection with Madelyne Pryor, so I really didn't care what happened to her because I knew what she would become. Then again, I think that the stories that have been written about Scott since the start of Morrison's New X-Men to the present have been getting progressively better. Writers like Morrison, Whedon, and Bendis have really taken the time to make the character even more interesting and dynamic than ever before, so much so that I think he is easily the most interesting character in the X-Franchise, at least in my opinion.

And clearly you aren't alone in that assessment. It seems like I'm the outlier in this forum. I didn't find his repeated infidelity during Morrison's run interesting, just in character.
I have know idea how long they're going to run with the original X-Men storyline, but I appreciate young Scott without all the baggage.

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