Chris Bachalo – Uncanny X-Men #600

Chris Bachalo, who launched this fall the new Dr. Strange series with Jason Aaron, worked before that on the Uncanny X-Men series written by Brian Michael Bendis. This explains why he’s back for the last issue of Brian Michael BendisUncanny X-Men, where the author concludes his stories and opens some doors for his successor to be inspired by and carry on the X-Men’s adventures.

Reunited in the Jean Grey School, the teachers and the students of both mutant schools since the beginning of Brian Michael Bendis’ work on the X-Men series are transported – thanks to Magik – in Washington DC, the capital city of the United States of America. They were called by Cyclops, who managed to gather almost every mutant of the planet. The look of wonder and surprise on Storm and Kitty’s face is impressive : for the first time, a mutant leader succeeded in his unimaginable idea of united under the same banner all of the mutants. They all answered to his call, like if the recognized him as their leader. It’s only on the last panel that we learn it is Cyclops who called everyone here, to be the witness of the mutant revolution – the same revolution he started under Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo’s pencils. Next to Cyclops stands his brother, Havok – who joined him after the events of AXIS – More than just being a species reunion, this is a family gathering. We can identify a lot of mutants in these panels : Jubilee, Idie, Quentin Quire, Maggott, Colossus, Cable, Pixie, Cypher, Warpath, Rachel Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, Emma Frost, Magik, the new students of the Secret Charles Xavier School.

Chris Bachalo - Uncanny X-Men #600 p.32-33
Chris Bachalo – Uncanny X-Men #600 p.32-33 © Chris Bachalo / Marvel

But the heroes aren’t the only ones present : the next double-page spread allows us to identity Sabretooth, Gambit, Lady Mastermind, Polaris, Psylocke, Juggernaut, No-Girl, Puck (a former Alpha Flight member who fought with X-Force for some time). This double-page spread is cut in half : on the left side Chris Bachalo drew some mutants present at the meeting ; the interesting part takes place on the right side with Magneto’s arrival. Like every other mutants he must have heard Cyclops’ call, and decided to show up after every one else. Like a diva he made a great entrance, flying above the crowd, defying Cyclops. Once again Chris Bachalo is using ben-day dots to draw Cyclops, placing him between our own space and the foreground of the page. We stands right behind him, thus Magneto appears taller and more important. For a long time Magneto and Cyclops fought during this new volume of Uncanny X-Men to know who is the true leader of the mutants. Thanks to Chris Bachalo and Brian Michael Bendis we will have a conclusion to this quarrel.

Chris Bachalo - Uncanny X-Men #600 p.34-35
Chris Bachalo – Uncanny X-Men #600 p.34-35 © Chris Bachalo / Marvel

Magneto hasn’t come to Washington to fight against Cyclops, but to acknowledge his leadership and congratulate him about his idea. The former enemies, whose relationship has been complicated through the years, finally put behind them their differences for the greater good, a mutant revolution which Charles Xavier would have loved. This scene is like a transfer of power. Cyclops is recognized by Magneto as his own heir and Charles Xavier’s, thus he is the most likely to lead the mutant revolution and its population. Two great mutant leader finally agrees, but it’s a shame Xavier had to die for it. But with  Xavier still alive, Cyclops would have been able to lead such a formidable mutant revolution and he surely would not be recognized by Magneto as the leader. It’s because Cyclops detached himself from both Xavier and Magneto’s overwhelming personalities that he was able to rise like he did.

Chris Bachalo - Uncanny X-Men #600 p.36
Chris Bachalo – Uncanny X-Men #600 p.36 © Chris Bachalo / Marvel

The mutant revolution is on its way, but clearly something didn’t go as planned. Despite the events of Secret Wars, we still have a major question : how Cyclops got his Sentinels and a Phoenix egg (see Esad Ribic – Secret Wars) ? The answers to the mutant revolution will be found in the All New All Different Marvel X series, like Extraordinary X-Men (Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos) and Uncanny X-Men (Cullen Bunn and Greg Land).

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