Uncanny X-Men #518 Review: Mental Games

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Second review for the week is ‘Uncanny X-Men’. Hope you enjoy it.

Uncanny X-Men #518 (preview)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson

NOTE: Wolverine does NOT appear in this issue


RECAP: The issue opens with an unknown mutant panhandling in New York City. She is not getting any money and calls it quits  for the day, heading into the subway. She goes home and is greeted by a Predator X.

Back on Utopia, Scott, Xavier and Betsy are preparing to perform psionic surgery on Emma to remove the piece of Void trapped in her head. With the Cuckoos still unconscious and Cyclops not willing to let the Professor take the field, Frost is needed to keep them linked. Scott is going into Emma’s head with Xavier providing the link. Betsy is the fail safe to take out either of the telepaths should they become contaminated. Scott and Emma take their chairs and get ready to begin.

On another part of the island, the Science Team and Warren are visiting Magneto. They are in his room to see what sort of man he is now and hopefully solicit his help. The island is sinking due to the weight and they need another source of electromagnetic power. Although he is still weak, Magneto agrees to help and offers to get started immediately.

Scott and Emma meet inside her mind. They only  have a moment before a hoard of alternate Frosts attacks. Emma is dragged away while Cyclops is buried under the attackers. He is afraid to fight back and is soon being pulled under the surface of Frost’s mind while Xavier and Psylocke try to anchor him from the real world.

On the surface Hank seeks out Bobby to talk about what he is feeling. Beast is not happy with the current situation and it has only been exasperated by having to ask Magneto for help. Iceman tries to convince Hank to stay and be there to support Scott but Hank is only thinking of the torture that he endured that Scott allowed to happen.

Inside Emma’s mind, Scott is convinced that the duplicates are not really part of Frost and so he fights back  and destroys them. Emma is being attacked by the Void sliver and Cyclops blasts through her mind to reach her and pull her to safety. They share a moment before Emma is forced to wake up shifting to her flesh form in the process. She tells the others that the Void wanted Cyclops all along and is now in his head.

MY TAKE: This is a okay issue although honestly it is a little bit boring.  While I definitely approve of moving the plot forward and introducing important new elements to the story, everything here seems overly extended. Hank and Bobby’s conversation, for example, takes three pages including one whole page of Iceman standing there watching Predator Xs burn. That does not seem like a good use of space at all.

Most of the issue takes place inside a white room in Emma’s head which is also not particularly exciting either. I am definitely glad that the whole Void sliver is finally getting addressed, however this is white room is something we have seen before. There is no reason to make the mind be so plain, in fact it seems better to use that setting for something imaginative.

The plot itself is certainly not bad. Scott being infected is not surprising but has a lot of potential as does Magneto’s involvement.  Hank’s sudden change of mind even makes sense although the timing is a bit odd.  I do understand needing to write Hank out of the comic though since he is in another series now. I just wish it had been done in a more condensed form. As it is written it felt like they were overdoing the emotion for what is essentially a real world decision driving the story. Of course I might just be a bit overly sensitive since I have always hated moving characters off a title due to editorial mandates.

In the end this was a decent if uninspired issue that did help advance the various plots but just did not move them as fast as I would have liked. In truth I believe the Predator subplot is the best one and it was barely mentioned here, although it did have most of last issue.  Still this one just did not really grab my attention and found myself flipping ahead to see just how much was left in a couple of scenes. Hopefully next issue will pick up the pace a little and add some more excitement.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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14 years ago

Another great review. I like reading these! Now why, of ALL the mutants on Utopia, why the heck is Iceman supervising a giant bonfire? Isn’t he like, the LAST mutant you’d think of to stand right next to an extremely hot raging fire all day? Aren’t there two guys made of solid rock? Liquid metal? Armored mutants? Anyone else who CAN’T MELT????

I agree about the white mindspace. I’d much rather see a white room with complex line art or some kind of exterior monochrome landscape.

Well good job on the review, I read them all

14 years ago

Not to mention at least two mutants that can actually control or turn into fire so yeah. That’s for the kind words I am glad you enjoy them.

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