REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #14
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Chris Bachalo / Colors by: Chris Bachalo / Inks by: Tim Townsend, Mark Irwin, Jaime Mendoz, Victor Olazaba & Al Vey / Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Benjamin Deeds is put to the test! The Uncanny X-Men and the Original Five start their training! But can they hack it under Cyclops’ tutelage?
Finally! A Benjamin issue! It’s long been wondered just when his specific place on the team would be highlighted. Rarely seen and often used as panel decoration, Ben hasn’t really had as much exposure as the rest of his team. And for good reason. Cyclops mentions how his abilities are more passive than aggressive as the team is being pushed to their limits. But is it just me, or is climbing a muddy hill in the rain not that hard? Unless they ran a two-mile sprint beforehand or something.
Emma Frost totally Mrs. Robinson’s Ben, confronting him after he gets out of the shower. Which could be considered creepy, depending on how young he is (if his age was ever established). She reiterates how his ability is better suited for subterfuge than combat, and takes him on a field trip, (humorously) teaching him how to better use his powers. To be specific, his powers seem to allow him to infiltrate/make comfortable anything surrounding him. Both people and technology just sort of go ‘okay, that guy’s cool’ and move along. The minor shape-shifting aspect is presumably meant to to play into the fact that people tend to trust people that look similar to themselves.
All in all, this was a great character issue that was sorely needed. In one issue, Ben was taught by Emma to explore both the implications and the ramifications of his powers, came into his own as an X-Man, inflitrated a S.H.I.E.L.D office, and delivered a warning shot across the bow on behalf of Cyclops’s revolution. Quite a bit of character development here, and it was great. It should also be noted that Ben’s sexuality was revealed for the first time this issue as well.
The length of Emma’s hair seems to shift from page to page. Also, some of Bachalo’s characters appear very similar (particularly the blondes).
Other than that, I’d say it was a standout issue.