Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Uncanny X-Men #494
Brubaker & Tan
The tenth chapter of the Messiah Complex may be the best yet. Perhaps it is the deception that continues from the traitor held over from the previous issue. Perhaps it is the movement of the future timeline plot (finally). Or maybe it’s just because I like Gambit and he’s in this issue a lot. For those reasons and others, I found this issue to be the best of this arc so far.
We begin with Bishop ready to kill the baby. He knocked out Cable from behind and is about to execute the baby (assuming the kid can’t heal – that’d be a bummer). When in comes the Marauders. I didn’t see this one coming at all and it was a nice surprise. Who am I kidding? This whole story arc has had me guessing wrong.
While Sinister is not among the attacking Marauders, Gambit is and he is giving Bishop a beatdown. This brings up an interesting question with all this. What do the Marauders plan to do with the kid anyway? Bishop doesn’t stand a chance and Gambit dishes out a heavy-handed beating. Another interesting point that comes from this is that Gambit decides not to let the Marauders kill Bishop, so that the X-Men will have to deal with him as a traitor when they find him. I found this odd. I also found it interesting that Gambit ponders for a while about why Bishop turned. Isn’t it obvious? Bishop wanted the kid dead and the other X-Men didn’t. I am missing something here?
We zoom to the future where Jamie bears the mark of Bishop. As do the other prisoners in the camp. Jamie and Layla meet back up. Layla brings Jamie to a youth, who is in the camp, named Lucas Bishop. Ah-ha! Now I see how this all plays out! Not really.
The X-Men show up and Bishop feds them a lie about Cable attacking Forge by the time he showed up and how the Marauders came in a stole the baby, etc. Now, apparently, Cable is missing. Which brings up the question of why didn’t the Marauders deal with him? Anyway, Bishop’s story is believed by the X-Men and all is as it should be from their perspective.
The X-Men inform Bishop that Caliban is dead and he reacts with some sympathy, but is it sincere? Does he care about any of them at this point if they get in the way of him killing the baby?
The issue closes with the Cerebra being used to find the Marauders and the baby. Meanwhile, Cable enlists the help of another X-Men to fight on his side. So from an X-Men perspective they are back at square one, which is, tracking down the Marauders.
Wow, is this getting layered! I really don’t know how this will all get wrapped up in three issues. But for this issue, it’s great. It moves very fast. We get lots of action, plot movement and a little character development (mostly from Bishop). In all, a fantastic issue.
I enjoyed the art. It was a seamless transition to go from a couple of issues of X-Men battling to having Marauders battling. I was a little miffed at having Beast on the cover and not in the issue, but whatever.
At this point you are either all into this arc or you just don’t care. If for some reason you are interesting in this and haven’t read an issue I would say read any of them you can find. If that means just reading this one, I’d say do it. This story is as good as a story gets.
5 out of 5 geek goggles.
Uncanny X-Men #494