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Amusing Bit About Uncanny X-Men #1…

A friend of mine, Darren, pointed this out to me and I hadn’t noticed it and it IS pretty amusing.

Okay, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR UNCANNY X-MEN #1!!!

Okay, so the big last page twist in Uncanny X-Men #1 is that the mysterious person who is spilling the beans about Cyclops’s X-Men to Maria Hill and SHIELD is Magneto, who is seemingly secretly plotting against Cyclops.

However, here’s a curious little thing writer Brian Michael Bendis ran up against in his efforts to keep Magneto’s identity a secret during the issue.

First off, Maria Hill knows that this is Magneto she is talking to. This is established in an early scene in the issue…

Obviously, though, Bendis doesn’t want the READER to know it is Magneto until the end of the issue

So even though Magneto, is telling a story about events that happened to him and his team of X-Men, he narrates the story a bit oddly…

In effect, it’s like me talking to you and telling you about me going over to a friend’s apartment to watch a movie. “The people watching the film were Person A, Person B, Person C and Brian Cronin.”

Not a big deal, of course, but it’s just funny that Bendis got sort of backed into a corner = he wanted to make sure everyone was properly introduced for the first issue, but he didn’t have any other way of introducing them all in the flow of the story, so Magneto had to be secretive for no in-story reason (unless you would prefer to believe that Magneto just likes to casually refer to himself in the third person. Either way amuses me).

37 Comments

In many previews of Uncanny that were released, the readers could see that new Magneto is bald. And there are many scenes in this issue where we can see that Maria Hill is clearly talking to a bald guy. So much for the suspense.

That’s supposed to be Emma Frost in back? Her belly button is way off from the way Bachalo drew her in Generation X.

… Your belly button comment has freaked me out.

This sounds like a non-issue to me. If anyone is going to needlessly speak in third person, it’s Magneto.

I agree with above statment.

This needs to become a meme. Never use any plural personal pronouns. If you want to include yourself in a group, say each person’s name, your own inconspicuously in the middle, but with a nice, big self-aggrandizing descriptor tacked on: Why just the other day, Jim, Sally, the expert internet commenter Cass, Susie, and Joe were discussing the very same scene. What a coincidence!

He could have made Maria Hill (or another SHIELD agent) recap the roll call — it would have been an easy enough fix.

Oddly, though, it’s almost Silver Agey for Mags to refer to himself in the third person. “Magneto, master of magnetism, shall brook no interference!”

This is mitigated to an extent by the manner with which he refers to himself: Are we really beyond believing Magneto likes to refer to himself in the third person? It’s MAGNETO! On a second read, yes, the artifice seems to cry out to the reader, exposing itself as a pretty clunky piece of dialogue (I guess Bendis is writing himself out of it as best as he can) but at the same time, Magneto’s little admission works for me, whether he is being disingenuous with Hill (and therefore the reader) or not.

Still holding out that given the appearance of Mystique in All-New X-Men, there’s more to this reveal than the face value revelation.

I found that Magneto narration to be odd, too. Bendis tried to be tricky it seems, but in the end, it just became a bit of bad writing.

So far, I have to say that I like All-New X-Men way more than Uncanny X-Men. I know it’s only been one issue for Uncanny, but the art is terrible compared to All-New X-Men. Bachalo is usually very hit and miss for me anyway, yet I expected some of his best stuff here (along the lines of his early Death and GenX art), but unfortunately that’s not what we got. Some scenes were okay, while some were just sloppy and rushed looking — very inconsistent. Plus, there were times I had a hard time distinguishing Emma from Magik, especially since they are both blondes wearing weird black costumes (Rumor has it Dazzler is going to show up — Will that make three indistinguishable looking blondes now?).

Overall, I love the concepts of both books; I just wish Uncanny had a better, more accessible and consistent artist.

It’s got an interesting idea at its core — what the Hell is Cyclops actually trying to do, and how realistic is his “revolution?” — but the writing tics really do some damage to the comic. Emma Frost has lost her distinctive speech pattern entirely, and I wonder if the story wouldn’t have worked better if we knew it was Magneto up front. Then the issue’s central question becomes “why is he doing this?” Since we don’t get a full answer until the final page anyway, the “mystery” angle still works.

Rollo Tomassi does not see what the problem is. Perhaps someone could better explain it to the Magnificent Rollo.

“But he’s a healer. Heals people.” I’m waiting for Magneto to add “It’s a thing.”

“It’s all sorts of crazy! It’s this — listen, it’s this whole thing. Crazy! I mean cuckoo banana crazy! I’m telling you! Right now, here, in this instant — this, listen, this level of crazy is crazier than ever!”

I laughed at this and chalked it up to Magneto being Magneto.

Hey, on a quasi-related note, how about a “Crazy Drawing Patterns” of characters who refer to themselves in the third person? (The Hulk shouldn’t count–he doesn’t do so out of pretentiousness.) It’s always driven me crazy whenever a writer has Dr. Doom constantly refer to himself as “Doom”–it seems heavy-handed, forced, and I can’t help but think that even a crazy, third-world dictator in a comic book wouldn’t speak like that.

Young Australian Girl Mutant is a mouthful. Girl already implies young. Mutant is pretty much a given. He really could’ve just called her an Australian, if nationality is that important, rather than Mutant Australian Young Girl, or Girl Mutant Australian Youth, or Girl Mutant Young Australian.

@bg
I just chalked it up to Bendis being Bendis, and decided to continue to ignore his run on the X-books.

I don’t think Bendis’ run will be awful. The X-books have set a very low bar in that area. But I don’t think it will ultimately bee that good, either. And so far Bendis has done nothing to show me that his X-book run will be any different from his previous books.

…. and this is just another reason why Bendis doesn’t belong on the X-Books. They were actually doing fine w/o him Post-Schism, now not so much. Someone wrote an article a while back about why he’s not that great, he was a talented guy who got way too much work way too fast, and the product suffered because of it. He got into a rut, developed a shtick, and hasn’t really improved on his craft since the early 2000s. So basically, he’s the writer’s equivalent of Rob Liefeld. Someone back in 2006 wrote a pretty decent article about why he wasn’t cut out for the Avenger’s titles, in about a year you’ll be able to do the same with his X-Men work.

It’s bad writing. It’s not a deal breaker for me. I’ll probably pick up the trade and enjoy it. But he could have found a better way around it.

I agree it’s kind of clumsy, though I can live with it. Sure, Magneto might refer to himself in the third person, but that doesn’t really work here – he’s hardly in bombastic, “big talk” mode in this issue. But you can read it as ironic mock-arrogance, and I think that works.

We now know the secret identity of Magneto / Erik Lehnserr , call him Alain Delon

(French joke about that great actor,Showing him with a bit of megalomania and speaking of himself at the 3rd person … )

The other odd thing about this issue is that his faceis deliberately obscured throughout the issue and then on the last page it’s revelaled… and it’s Bruce Willis. There’s nothing recognisable about it being Magneto anyway: they could have just shown his face through the whole issue – it’s not like he has a facial tattoo or was wearing his helmet.

Hey, if it’s good enough for Doom…

Didn’t make a difference for me personally, I figured it was Magneto when she freaked out that he had a tiny metallic object that looked fairly innocuous. Okay, I didn’t know FOR SURE, but I had a pretty strong inkling. I liked the issue, and what Bendis is doing with the X-Books at the moment considerably.

I say Brian old sport that really is gosh jolly good story. By jove, a jolly good story. Would you happen to partake any plans about my future with Bendis, old chap?

But what if it isn’t Magneto?

What if it’s his son, Quicksilver?

Doesn’t he talk in the third person, too?

Theirs is a dyfunctional family, and conflicted, too.

not to mention, complicated and confused.

Blame it on the mutant gene, why don’t they?

Emma Frost has lost her distinctive speech pattern entirely

I haven’t read the issue in question, but I find it rather hard to believe that Brian Michael Bendis hasn’t maintained a character’s established speech pattern. That’s just crazy talk.

I’m going to guess that Tom Fitzpatrick hasn’t read the issue yet.

And I’m gonna say that the mighty fine Omar Karindu is so totally right about me.

It’s on my to read list, sometime, within the next decade or so. ;-)

What I like is the way that Magneto arrogantly calls himself “master of magnetism”, but buries himself amid the list rather than leading with his name (if you were listing those characters, you’d list Magneto first).

“but he didn’t have any other way of introducing them all in the flow of the story”

No, there’s a perfectly natural way of doing it, one which was done in comic books for dozens of years. “Captions”. Not everything in those boxes *has* to be narrated, other than just a personal Bendis quirk. He opted to continue to stick to that limitation, even when it resulted in something happening which made no sense. In other words, his own style is more important to him than the actual writing.

Which is hardly a revelation, of course.

For that matter, if introducing the characters is the important point of that illustration, then why are the names written off to one side in a different order than they are pictured? Tell me how somebody who needs those characters introduced could tell, from that drawing, which one is Magik and which one is Emma. I honestly don’t actually know — I would’ve assumed that the prominent woman was Emma, but she has a sword, which would seem to tip her off to be Magik. But the girl in the back doesn’t look much like Emma (or Magik), and the girl with the sword looks like Magik-possessed-by-Emma or Emma-pretending-to-be-Magik.

I found both the art and the writing on this book lackluster. I was pretty disappointed actually.

Nothing Bendis does ever has an in-story reason, so maybe this should be a weekly feature.

I would say that within the book, it works. As I said over on What I Bought about another part of the story, where Maria Hill supposedly doesn’t know that Sentinels attacked San Francisco (or wherever it was, I can’t remember right now), I think she was “playing dumb”.

With the “list” of who was there, Magneto could be trying to tease out of Hill what exactly she already knows — if she were to respond, yeah, I know you and the rest of them were there, that reveals something to Magneto.

My guess is that there’s some sort of trickery involved here — that Magneto isn’t necessarily trying to do what he says he’s trying to do.

I hope all of that’s true, anyway, because otherwise Bendis doesn’t know what he’s doing and the story’s just a dumb way to make Magneto out and out bad again. Blegh.

Not as bad as Frontline: Civil War playing fast-and-loose with Mysterious Shadowy Figure’s facial hair so people wouldn’t know it was Tony Stark.

Travis, I get the feeling that this is the opposite story. It’s more about Magneto feeling like he’s been down the same road Cyclops is starting on, and he thinks that A) all those gangs of Brotherhoods and Acolytes didn’t do mutantkind that much good in the long run and B) Cyclops’s recent history of erratic actions and now erratic powers makes him even less likely to do much good for mutantkind in the *short* run.

Fans are doubtless supposed to argue about whether Magneto is Right, or whether he’s just bitter at not being in charge and losing his powers because of Cyclops. So let’s get to vitriolic argument, folks; there’s a new comic Marvel wants us to market for free!

While the Submariner does talk about Namor in such a manner I feel in this case it should say “the one who was power. Men called him….Magneto”

Of course “young girl” combined means younger than young enough to be called a girl (so an 18 year old may be called a girl, maybe a 5-year old would be a young girl) …of course given Magneto’s age he probably considers 30-year old women to be girls and teenagers to be young girls.

Of course given Magneto’s age he might be getting senile

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