rating: 3Uncanny X-Men #4 picks up after the cliffhanger ending of All-New X-Men #10. If youre like me then you picked this issue up eager to see just which of the students from the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning were going to take Cyclops up on his offer. What you might not be expecting is that inescapable feeling of Déjà vu. Its as if Bendis is trying to write this book for readers who are currently reading All-New and Uncanny, and also for readers who are only reading Uncanny. Its a tricky task to take on. Ive been reading both books since they launched, and in my opinion you can read All-New X-Men without reading Uncanny X-Men and be fine, but reading just Uncanny by itself might leave a reader with a lot of lingering questions. -->
From this stand point it makes sense that Bendis would try to make sure that he accommodates both groups of readers, but in doing so a good half of this issue is taken up by a recap. I love the Rashomon approach to multiple teams in a comic book series, but there reaches a point where that plot device ventures into rehash territory. Up until this issue it never seemed that Bendis has struggled with his workload at Marvel, which currently consists of All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-men and Age of Ultron. All-New ships bi-weekly (for the most part), Uncanny is a monthly release that occasionally double ships, and Age of Ultron will probably have two more issues out by the end of this article.
The art in Uncanny X-Men is eliciting a lot of mixed reactions from readers. Some love it, some hate it. Personally Im a fan of it because of its uniqueness. Chris Bachalos work really compliments what Bendis is doing with both of his current X-books. By using such stylized art Bachalo is helping Uncanny stand out from All-New, as both books are meant to be read together each telling a different side of the same story, while showing what each team is up to concurrently. -->
I read this issue immediately after reading All-New X-Men #10 and something that I kept wondering was how similar the scripts of each book must have looked. The panels in each are different, and with completely different art styles, but a lot of the dialogue is almost word for word the same as the latest issue of All-New. The one thing that this issue of Uncanny does differently is show what the new mutants at the new Xavier School have been up to. This is how the other overlaps in this issue should have been played out - more of a contrasting parallel than a direct copy. Both schools have their students in the danger room, and you get to see how the mutant teachers at each these schools encounter similar situations differently.
Overall this is the weakest issue of the series thus far. It's still enjoyable, but it's not up the standard that Bendis has previously set for himself. Witch the opening page in essentially every Marvel book being a "What's happened so far" section it makes one wonder how much of overlay into All-New X-Men is really necessary. It feels more like All-New X-Men #10.1 than Uncanny X-Men #4.