After two whole stand-alone bridge issues, we get…yet another standalone? That’s right, this issue of Uncanny is the beginning of a storyline that will not be continued next issue, or the issue after that. This book is a set up for the new Magneto ongoing, a series I am so excited for. So how does this prompt the newest X-Book, is it good?
Uncanny X-Men #16 (Marvel Comics)
This cover is pretty much guaranteed to be the most badass thing you see all day
Magneto is in a rut. He’s torn between two allegiances, doing two things he thinks are morally right. But it seems like both sides are starting to grow wary of him. S.H.I.E.L.D questions his intentions when he is part of a mutant revolution, while the Uncanny X-Men are suspicious of all the time he is spending away from the team. Magneto is even more troubled when he is introduced to the new Madripoor, a safe haven for mutants, but also the heart of a mutant-drug trade. To just make everything more intense, Mystique reveals herself this issue.
This did not feel at all like a set up issue, to me at least. This felt like honest, dedicated storytelling, not just a quick shot at selling Magneto #1 better. Brian Michael Bendis is really trying to make his time with the X-Men count, and to do that he has to really change these characters. The introduction of the new Utopia is an awesome ploy. There is now yet a third side in this ongoing X-conflict, and it’s going to be so much fun to see how both sides of the initial schism react to this third player.
Magneto also progressed as a character in this issue. Everything just started to get to him, and to see his and Charles Xavier’s dreams obliterated with the construction of Utopia really sent him past sanity. He’s a broken man, betrayed and mistrusted with no one to love him and no followers. He gets so mad I half-expected him to say “I am the one who knocks!” in the middle of his fight with Mystique and co.
And one has to take in appreciation how much this issue will influence the future of the X-Men. I have taken the liberty of listing just a few ways this issue brought more conflicts to the X-Universe:
Introduction of Legion as a key-player in the running of Utopia
Magneto now rogue and on the loose
Uncanny X-Men losing one of their oldest teammates
Mystique’s identity no longer safe
Many people injured
New drug introduced to the X-Universe
There are going to be so many consequences in issues to come, or at least that’s my prediction. This will bring upon a whole ‘nother conflict that will kick off the first real universe wide story since Battle of the Atom.
Chris Bachalo really helped give this issue the spirit it needed with his incredible work on pencils. Magneto’s mind is put on pages as he imagines crushing humans with a car. His pure rage at this horrific city is shown so vividly through the dynamic, bold drawings. However, my favorite part about the art here is the intense colors. The way Bachalo uses oranges and browns to set such a dark and gritty tone is really breathtaking.
Is it Good?
For sure. This is the third Uncanny X-Men issue in a row to really knock it out of the park. So many game-changers and intense moment in this incredible issue.