Just when you thought there were enough great mutants in the world, Brian Michael Bendis throws a together a whole new team of great mutants. Writers like Bendis are what allow 20th Century Fox to feel so confident in having enough characters to populate a whole movie universe with just one comic book franchise. With the X-Men there’s an unlimited number of great characters, stories, and team-ups.
Racism is a major topic in today’s world, especially lately, and it has generally been the focus of X-Men books since their inception in 1963. It’s an evil of the world that seemingly will never go away and is always evolving. Therefore, the X-Men books have an endless supply of stories involving the way the general public treats mutants. Each year a fresh crop of new recruits join the X-family and how they adapt and deal with the world’s hatred of them will be different and usually interesting – but this new squad is something else!
Uncanny X-Men #35 opens with an attack on a high school gym teacher by his mistreated mutant daughter. Our new heroes, struggling to find a name for themselves, arrive and handle the situation in standard X-Men style. These kids are funny, have great chemistry, cool powers, and slick designs. There’s potential for them to eventually carry their own series, too – if only they could choose a solid X-team name. After years of X-Men series focusing on the darkness in humans and their outlook on mutants, Bendis has found a different angle to approach the X-Men once again, and one that speaks directly to today’s generation.
This issue will also introduce readers to their new favorite super hero – GOLDBALLS! All the members of this “Hero Squad” are interesting and fun in their own way, but Goldballs quickly becomes the main focus of the issue… and the world. Through social media and ill-informed parents, Goldballs becomes the world’s biggest celebrity hero and public darling, and every single second of it is wonderful.
During this short lived fame, the team manages to take down some heavy hitters of the villain world all while effortlessly endearing themselves to the audience. Nothing lasts forever, though, even Goldballs’ new found fame (Best GN’R parody in history?) and the public soon turns on their new idol after discovering he is, in fact, a mutant. This was a pretty gut-wrenching turn of events, and one that created a moment of sheer panic over the fate of one character.
This issue’s story is a sure home-run and Valerio Schiti’s pencils are for the most part, too. All of the characters’ costume designs are creative while also staying true to designs of more classic X-Men costumes. There are a few times where a character’s expression won’t fit what is going on around them, but other than a couple unfinished looking panels, Uncanny X-Men looks great. Seeing new powers presented in such a rich and colorful fashion is great, too, and Richard Isanove does a nice job bringing it all to life on the page.
Uncanny X-Men #35 is a good read and one that benefits from a writer who really cares about its characters. Bendis and his team take us on an emotional roller coaster in just 19 short pages. And it’s rare for a new character to gain such appreciation and be given such depth in just a single issue. Goldballs is the star for sure, but all seven members have a lot to offer. This is a team of mutants that much can be done with, and Uncanny X-Men #35 will have fans genuinely excited about their development.