This issue is an interim issue, better known in the comic world as a “filler.” Uncanny X-Men #14 is the comic that is right after BoA and right before Inhumanity. Filler issues are not usually thought of as terrific opportunities to tell a memorable story, but can master scribe Brian Michael Bendis make this issue even enjoyable for the fifteen minutes it takes to read it? Is it good?
Uncanny X-Men #14 (Marvel Comics)
Uncanny X-Men #14 is all about the characters. The story revolves around Benjamin Deen, the newest member of the Uncanny X-Men… who just so happens to be gay. I applaud Brian Michael Bendis’ way of introducing this new fact; instead of sticking it in your face or being disrespectful about it he dismisses it with an “I don’t care,” from Emma Frost.
This picture is going to be uber-famous in the comic industry, just remember you saw it here first!
Benjamin’s character also exists outside of the fact that he is gay. He is an interesting new mutant, and a great student to watch develop. Although the whole comic is set during his “training” the changing of him as a person is more subtle and not purely physical.
Emma Frost also becomes a more experienced teacher as she trains Benjamin to hone skills she’s never seen before. All of her lines are witty, but commensurately meaningful — Bendis doesn’t make us sit through forced jokes. Although their appearances are short in length Scott and Magik have some memorable lines as well.
What Bendis did here was something unprecedented and unexpected. Instead of trying to bridge these two events together (BoA and Inhumanity) or try to show just how much the time travel shook the team up, he took a small section of the team and made us love it. This is just a fantastic concept and one that will affect this series positively down the road.
Besides just having a good idea Bendis makes this comic great by writing dialogue that perfectly matches the tone of the book: It’s fun, it’s sharp, it’s sophisticated, and most of all, it’s about the characters. I really think that Brian just killed it this issue.
- Benjamin Deen is such a great new character
- Team of artists is unparalleled
- Better that it’s not part of an arc
- Next issue is part of Inhumanity, uggh!
Let’s also give credit to the dudes who made this book so damn fun to look at. Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend are excellent when they come together. Everything from the backgrounds to the characters’ expressions mix the right amount of weirdness and realism and features a good amount of stippling, a personal favorite style.
Is it Good?
I would say so. This is a bridge issue that reads more like a one-shot, a rare but wonderful occurrence. Great character development, art and writing in general.