Bad news, Carlos Pacheco fans. “Uncanny X-Men” #3 is another guest-artist round-robin, with Rodney Buchemi and Paco Diaz sharing pencil duties with Pacheco. That said? If you’re going to use guest artists on short notice, it’s nice to have ones chosen whose style closely resembles that of the main artist.
Buchemi, Diaz, and Pacheco all provide open expressions and postures for the characters; I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you can’t tell the difference between the three artists (eagle-eyed viewers most certainly can), but the transition from one to the next is never jarring. There are some definitely consistencies from one to the next, too. The most notable is that ever-present sneer of superiority on Mr. Sinister’s face. It’s that look which makes him feel dangerous more than anything else here. All three artists bring such a wonderful level of arrogance to the character that you can’t help but start feeling like, somehow, Mr. Sinister is going to win.
The story itself, after a strong first two chapters, peters out in the conclusion. It’s probably because Mr. Sinister’s story itself isn’t resolved, just his current scheme. So after two issues of “what the heck is he going to do next?” this third part isn’t at the same level. There’s some sneering, a lot of punching, and a rather blatant four panel lead-in to 2012’s big X-Men event. It probably doesn’t help that half of the team is curiously absent from contributing in any way toward the conclusion of the story. While some (Emma Frost and Danger in particular) get a shining moment, too many are relegated to standing in the background.
All in all, this “Uncanny X-Men” story feels like it doesn’t deliver on its promise. We get lots of sly lines hinting about the future, but Mr. Sinister’s plans now come across as uninteresting, and the story itself unfinished. There are some fun moments — don’t mess with Emma Frost — but I feel like the potential from the first two chapters is, for now, unrealized. For the conclusion to the first storyline in the re-launched “Uncanny X-Men,” I think everyone was expecting something stronger.