The last issue of Uncanny X-Men (The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier) left us hanging with a sense of “uh, oh,” as the X-Men at the Jean Grey School learned that they had to find and bring in Cyclops to be present at the reading of Charles Xavier’s will.
This particular issue could have been better written. Brian Michael Bendis is usually one of the better plotters and writers in Marvel’s stable, but in this issue, he disappoints. In the previous issue, we see several interesting cliff-hanger moments, such as the afore-mentioned reading of the will, but also the sub-plot involving Alison “Dazzler” Blaire. In Uncanny X-Men #23, we are left with a last image of an emotionally distraught Dazzler alone in a bathroom with a pair of scissors.
A reader’s first thought may have been “oh no, Dazzler will attempt suicide,” though a look at the cover of the new issue, shows her in a punked-up gothy-style new look. When she is seen in her new outfit, (which is of course, highlighted by her appearance on the cover), there is no mention in the comic book story by any character as to what is going on with her. Why no real mention of Dazzler in this comic? Did the cover artist read the script prior to creating the cover? Where is Marvel’s editorial staff in all this? At best, it is a miscommunication between cover artist and writer. At worst, it is a bait-and-switch by Marvel to entice the reader. Either way, it is disrespectful to Marvel’s readers and customers.
One of the legacies of Marvel’s rise to greatness in the Silver and Bronze Ages was the company’s ability to develop deep characters with real personalities and real personal and emotional problems. While this review has never been a fan of Dazzler, the recent story arc involving her and her abuse at the hands of Mystique have lent an air of seriousness and gravitas to the character of Alison Blaire. The potential to really go deep and develop her as a major plot-line in the X-Men comics may have been wasted here.
And by the way, has anyone noticed that Marvel seems to be highlighting her lately? In addition to the whole kidnapped-by-Mystique thing, Dazzler also appeared in several recent issues of Deadpool and had an interesting mention in All-New Marvel Now! Point One (2014) #1?
So, on with the whole last will and testament stuff: She-Hulk waits around playing games on her cell-phone while one faction of X-Men round up Scott Summers and some of the other X-Men (including Dazzler), and they all end up back at the Mansion. She-Hulk (Xavier’s attorney), then starts reading the will…
Oh, major spoiler here, if you want to look away for a while…
And Xavier appears (as some fancy Shi’ar-generated hologram), and reveals that at the time of his death, he was married to…
Yes, according to the ending scene of Uncanny X-Men #24, the spouse and (we presume) beneficiary of Charles Xavier’s estate is none other than Mystique. Oh, wait, isn’t that who Dazzler is all upset about? Isn’t Mystique a murderer, kidnapper, terrorist, and over-all blue skinned hottie? And she is the mother of Nightcrawler and the adoptive mother of Rogue. Wow! Update the X-Family Tree!
So what this all means, we will have to wait for the next issue of Uncanny X-Men. Bendis does have a way of creating cliff-hangers, his Dazzler problems not-withstanding. Looking forward to the next issue, that is a for-sure.
Look inside Uncanny X-Men #24 with our video comic book review, for a look at the art by Kris Anka.