Thursday, February 28, 2013

Uncanny X-Men # 2 Review

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Jamie Mendoza, Al Vey & Victor Olazara
Marvel Comics


            Love. Love is a wonderful thing. Then love gets broken by betrayal. And there is more than one betrayal dealt with in the second issue of Uncanny X-Men. Emma really looses her shit … as tweeted by writer Brian Michael Bendis himself. And she does. But not in the way you’d think. No. Emma’s … frustrated. She’s frustrated cause her telepathy is in flux. She’s frustrated cause her relationship to Scott is torn to shreds because of her cheating on him. (HA. Karma Scott. Karma! Aka He cheated on Madelyn with Jean and then on Jean with Emma).  We get a very nice look at her relationship with Scott now. They aren’t together. It is obvious something is still there but they are not together.

            Meanwhile, we get to see the new students of Cyclops’ New Xavier School with a bitching schematic of the new facility while we have character interaction. We get a little more development of the new students as a bunch of X-Men head on to visit Eva’s, new codename Tempus, home to tell her mother she’s okay. And then we get a cliffhanger of an ending as the Avengers show up.


            Bachalo once again delivers an issue full of innovations and slight usage of propaganda. While the propaganda visuals are far less this issue, there are a couple in certain panels that work well. Yet, some of the innovations in panel work this issue really helped deliver a strong impression.
            We got great panel work that is fragmented which is a physical representation of Emma’s current state of mind. There is an order to it but its shuffled because of her powers being in flux. It is also an interesting way to visually describe her relationship with Scott.  Using 1 part propaganda, one part vacation package and one part schematic, Bachalo and the gang really do a splendid job of showing the schematic of the base in a way that let’s readers know what’s going on, add it to the main story and sell it as part of Scott’s revolution all at once.  It’s gripping to see and I am impressed how the students are taking to it.
            The new costumes are growing on me save for Magneto’s. I’m sorry but white on him just does not feel right. Red. Yes. Purple. Yes. Black. Yes. Even blue and yellow would be better than white on him. But that is more a personal thing.
            All the inkers really do a great job to flesh out Bachalo’s pencils but Bachalo’s coloring this issue feels more vibrant than it did in issue one. Really wonderful job by the art team.


            I like Bendis. I like this issue. Emma and Scott’s early conversation about where she’s act and their relationship was really good. It keyed into what has happened between them. It shows Scott keeping himself strong while show slight vulnerability when it comes to Emma. Emma’s vulnerability was definitely brought to bear for the readers and to Scott. Yet, that’s all who see it. It is good seeing Emma remembering that she’s a damn good teacher. And it is good to seeing the evolution of the characters.

            Magik, honestly, felt nice and fresh here. She knows she’s no good but at the same time, she wants to fight for Scott’s revolution. I can agree with it. And I certainly understand it. Illyana seems to have also grown in a good way. Which makes her reasons being with Scott all the more interesting. And her has a teacher, even though she’s the same age as at least one student makes the dynamic even better. Magneto … honestly, I am loving him right now. He was with Scott till Avengers vs. X-Men and then things when nuts. Magneto, in his own way, must feel some blame for Charles’ death yet is putting it on Cyclops. And this issue continues his Judas ways. Yet, Bendis writes it in such a way that you can’t help but agree with Erik a little.

            The new characters give fresh eyes as we are seeing a brand new generation of Mutants coming in. With that said, characterization is not a problem this issue. The panel work worked extremely well with Bendis’ story. Save for my one gripe … the ending seemed a bit too fast. Like the pacing of the issue was great till the last 4 pages.  The cliffhanger was great. The conversation between Scott and Emma was superb. The students getting used to the new Xavier School was wonderful. Yet, because of the issue having quite a few pages in the beginning devoted to Emma and Scott, the end of the issue didn’t feel balanced. Things felt rushed at the end. Yet, still … Bendis writes a great X-Men book with a distinctly different voice than his All New X-Men Title.


            While The ending seemed to be go from 30 to 90 within a few pages, the over all issue was really spectacular. We’re getting great character development. The characters feel real. The art was better this issue. And there is a building of investment alongside all the innovations done this issue. Uncanny X-Men may very well redefine the way you look at the mutant struggle both verbally and visually. Solid job by Bendis, Bachalo and crew.


            I give Uncanny X-Men # 2 a 8.5 out of 10. Really great job.

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