Review: Uncanny X-Men #23 by Brian Bendis and Kris Anka | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Uncanny X-Men #23 by Brian Bendis and Kris Anka

Posted by Sean Hamilton Friday, August 15, 2014
Uncanny X-Men 23 review cover
Uncanny X-Men #23 - Original Sin Tie-In
The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier.

For Uncanny X-Men 23, it couldn't get more serious in nature and portend a more sombre tone. Brian Bendis has recently mentioned that this idea had been floating around some time ago as Marvel writers retreat, and now he is pleased to see the events  come startlingly from Avengers vs. X-Men and continue to ripple outward. Bendis has played the long patient game here and we are not left doubting his ability as a master story-teller to mold the narrative so well.

Not only is this an important plot development for the X-Universe with Marvel, but it is also a tie-in to the massive Original Sin event.

There is just so much happening in this issue. I picked it up, read it, and couldn't put it down. I was absorbed, lost even, in the story.

After the sudden conclusion to the last arc in Uncanny X-Men, the Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier has started off in a rip-roaring way. Bendis covers so much development in such a short space.

Uncanny X-Men interior madripoor
Dazzler cant keep it in anymore!
A new powerful and emotionally fragile mutant, Matthew, is emerging, Dazzler is dealing with the fallout of her identity crisis, Cyclops is reflecting on his Phoenix episode, Hi-Jack is back, and the Jean Grey School is visited by She-Hulk gathering X-Men for the reading of Xavier's Will. Phew, take a breather, and strap yourself in, this ride is going to be bumpy.

Bendis sets up this arc extremely well. We know from the outset the main plot surrounding the reading of the Will and the conflict that will stem from the main protagonists during this story, but it is the supporting plots playing the background, such as Dazzlers transformation that provide heaps of enjoyment. It feels like we are getting more than our money's worth for this issue.

I won't hide the fact that Cyclops is one of my favorite characters, and to see his introspective reflection in this issue is fantastic. The Phoenix disaster for him holds so much story potential, and it is great to finally see him really start to deal with this personally. 

Uncanncy X-Men phoneix flashback for cyclops
Cyclops relives past mistakes.
Building on this Cyclops interaction with his students, Hi-Jack and Eva (Tempus) shows us how the new Uncanny team is coming along. They are a team of individuals that are beginning to find some cohesion. The tease of Eva's recent disappearance and what happened to her was also nice to see, especially after the recent announcement during SDCC about the upcoming Uncanny X-Men annual later this year, which will reveal all the details.

Kris Anka has picked up the art duties this time round, though Chris Bachelo provides the somber and appropriate cover design. The penciling and coloring by Anka supports the story effortlessly, ensuring the story is not hindered in any way. This is a skill in itself, to balance out the artistic nature of the imagery in a manner that doesn't detract from the comics aim of telling a good story. More often than not this is taken for granted, but it needs to be recognized.

I can't wait for more of this story, I know the conflict between Cyclops and the other original X-Men is going to be worth the wait. What did you think, are you as gripped as I am? Tell me your thoughts about Uncanny X-Men, The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier down below.

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