There’s this duet from back in the day by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. You may have heard of it, “Too Much Too Little Too Late.” Now I don’t want to taint this review with negativity, by all means this is such a lovely issue with some amazing points, some odd missteps and overall a feeling that, because of the delay in shipping, it’s largely irrelevant. Extraordinary X-Men coming out on the same day did not help, but let’s get into some bullets, pro/con style. SPOILERS AHEAD. Proceed with Caution.
Pro: Who win’s a face-off between the two most obnoxious, self-righteous, holier-than-thou X-Men in residence? Neither of them. Storm utterly fails in her handling of Beast, and Beast continues to show how deluded and manic and out of touch he is. In front of EVERYBODY. Well played Bendis.
Pro: The representation of x-people in this issue is amazing. There are some really nice visual cameos.
Pro: Talking about cameos, it’s an interesting moment when you see a few members of the Utopians standing behind Cyclops. Did the All-New X-men deliver a hardened and weary group of mutants willing to take extreme measures directly into Cyclops hands.
Con: Representation of the Uncanny cast in Uncanny X-men #600. Emma is reduced to one panel of significant input. What she says is important, but with all the character real estate being spread between dozens of characters, she didn’t fare well.
Con: The Uncanny Kids also missed out. You’re telling me that none of them, not even the Cuckoos could take out Iceman. Not convinced. They may be novices but they’ve also dealt with bigger threats.
Pro: The reunion between the Rasputins. It was a rather nice moment. Colossuss once said that if he ever saw Magik again, bad things would happen, and for a moment I thought something bad was going to happen but then came the first “Hug” of the book.
Pro: The Hug. It was really great. It’s what I’ve been waiting for for a while.
Pro: The Icemen confrontation was interesting. I’m still not sure about it. There were some good points though. I understand both sides of their experience, but was left feeling that they were exclusively representing the situation as completely black and white and a bit too easily resolved. I don’t know what I was expecting, more nuance, more representation of a larger group of people and the fluidity of relationships and people being the outcome of their own experience. That said, it is an experience and this was dealt with in a way that lets our characters move forward and be developed more at a later date.
Con: The second Hug of the book. This was a misstep and it made me cringe a bit, just slightly more than the “isn’t Angel Hot” moment. I guess it made me cringe as I’m still not sold on the “Jean as saint” for facilitating this whole moment.
Pro: Yay, Immonen. It was nice to see him back to the All-new X-men just for a few pages but what an amazing few pages it was. And I knew it. I JUST KNEW IT WAS COMING and it was perfect. I still don’t know what it means for the future, and if this book at come out three months ago it would have been even more perfect.
Pro: Third hug of the book and it was perfect. You probably don’t remember but back in February I had this one Valentines wish. The panel below made it one step closer to reality.
Pro: Things take an unexpected turn. Why does Deeds have the mini cerebro? Is this foreshadowing. Will Deeds show up in All-new or Extraordinary as a possible love interest for either Icemen? Here’s to him not being lost in the crowd.
Pro: Mutants united under Cyclops, even if they didn’t expect to be. Storm is going mental trying not to freak out but of course Nightcrawler points out that this isn’t a bad thing…yet.
BIG Pro: Magneto shows up and is won over.
EVEN BIGGER Pro: Cyclops was right. He won. He did it. He united all of mutantkind. Because of Extraordinary X-men we know this doesn’t last but at least we get to see Beast’s face. Which leads us to our dangling plot thread. What about Eva?
Pro: I feel Eva is on her way to major villainy in the style of Magneto. She thinks she’s doing the right thing but doesn’t care how she does things. This makes her the perfect person to confront Beast at the end. They are now kindred spirits only Eva is getting away with it while Beast is put on trial. Because of Eva’s arc this series we are a bit more forgiving, but let’s not forget she’s wiped people out of existence and we still don’t know the full repercussions of her meddling in time.
BIG Con: So here’s my big con. Why the hell didn’t we see this issue earlier? It makes no sense that it was put back. We could have had three glorious months knowing Cyclops won and that these relationships had changed. Instead we have Extraordinary X-men #1 with a new status quo and about 16 months or so of lost time.Anything could have happened in this time. Cyclops getting a pheonix egg. Cyclops and Havok leading a Utopian team of mutants to become the villains again.I feel that this issue was largely made irrelevant because of Extraordinary. I haven’t had enough time to enjoy the closure. I am in love with this issue but feel cheated somehow which sounds confusing I know, just look at the above pros. Now I’m left with a ton of questions concerning some of the characters I’ve lived with throughout Uncanny X-men and no sign of resolution. This whole change has been abrupt when it could have let me breath and enjoy the end of Uncanny as I knew it.
So yeah. Too much good offset by too little time to enjoy and ruminate. And, this book is too late. Love you Bendis. You gave a great run but man do I wish it could have given me closure with a few more beloved characters.