Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Uncanny X-Men #2 Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Chris Bachalo

I originally wasn't going to get this series, hence the reason I'm reviewing it so late. I did however decide to get it as it had decent reviews, but the main reason was the upcoming Battle of the Atom crossover which features this.

Plot


Whilst Emma Frost tries to come to grips with the fact that her powers no longer work properly, Cyclops, and the rest of his X-Men have to introduce the new recruits that they picked up to their school.

Review


This was yet another brilliant issue, and a great continuation of issue 1. Brian Michael Bendis continues to show Cyclops' X-Men in a much different light than the other X-Men from All-New X-Men, with this being a much more serious series, with a much more unique style. This issue, like the last was however still lacking in places, and the series hasn't startled me yet, as although there have been some brilliant action sequences in the last issue, as well as both issues ending with fabulous shocking endings, the series is still lacking a bit in overall quality. Bendis did however do a brilliant job in developing the new mutants that were introduced last issue a bit more, and especially with the dialogue, showing the natural reactions that would come from suddenly becoming a mutant. He also did a decent job of continuing the development of the traitor, as although it wasn't by a great deal, the subtle development made for a perfect set-up for the next stage in this story development. There wasn't any proper action sequences in this issue, and although that wasn't a bad thing, I felt it was worth pointing out. It did however leave less room for excitement, meaning that the dialogue really needed to be interesting, which it gladly was for the most of the issue. There was however still parts that slowed the issue down, and the series still lacks consistent pacing, but overall it shows promise, and I'm sure the pacing problems will be fixed within a couple of issues.

The art was once again decent, but this issue reminded me more of the reasons why I dislike Chris Bachalo's art work. Now his art was still nowhere near as bad as it has been in the past, but the small things started to show through. The main thing that bugged me about Bachalo's art in this issue was how he drew Cyclops out of uniform, as he just looked very unrealistic, as well as looking much younger (almost like a teenager), as well as looking a bit too tin at times. The way he drew the rest of Cyclops' X-Men, who were in uniform was however once again brilliant, and although there was still the odd problem with how people looked from certain angles, overall it was decent. The layout of Bachalo's art was however still brilliant, adding more drama to it, as well as also helping set the mood, with one page showing Emma with her thoughts, that was very eye catching. I also really enjoyed how he drew the layout of the New Charles Xavier School for Mutants, but I'll talk more about that later. His colours where what once again stood out the most from his art, making it much more vibrant, and appealing, whilst also giving the series great tone, and mood.

This issue starts with Emma pondering over her power problems, and how life has changed for her. This was a very interesting way to start the issue, and although I'd have preferred to see development of the shocking conclusion to last issue, this was a very interesting, and different way to start this one. It was also interesting to see her play the blame game over her current predicament, and although her final decision on who to truly blame was probably the right one, it just didn't feel like the final answer that Emma would have normally given. I also loved how despite her usual strong attitude towards things we saw a more deeper side to Emma, actually getting lots of emotion from her, which was really nice, and shows that although she can been cruel, that she still has emotions, and feelings.

This sequence would also splice into a discussion between Emma, and Cyclops over their relationship status, after she accidentally projects her thoughts over the mater, allowing Cyclops to listen. The relationship between these two character's was one of the key things I enjoyed when I started reading X-Men, as you could easily tell that they loved each other, but due to Emma's past it was always questionable over her loyalties. That given the way they broke up, I found this a very dramatic, and in a lot of ways emotional sequence, as we get to see a different side to Emma during this, as she questions whether they should get back together or not.

When Cyclops, and Emma return to the school they have the job of reassuring new recruits, Fabio Medina, and Benjamin Deeds that this is the best place for them. Now it's this sort of sequence that shows how good a writer Bendis can be, as the dialogue was just golden, with each of them being freaked out whilst both having different attitudes towards the feeling. I also loved how Fabio was still questioning whether he was actually a mutant, which was brilliantly handled, adding ton's of humour to the sequence, and I'm sure his character will become a form of comic relief throughout this series.

I talked briefly about the New Charles Xavier School for Mutants earlier, but I loved the art from Bachalo that much that I felt I'd talk about it in more detail. Now to be fair it probably wasn't the hardest thing to draw, and cause of the type of thing it is, it'd be hard to make it look weird. The thing I loved about this piece of art however was how well planed out it was, showing you each room with enough detail as to tell what it is, without taking up too much room. I also liked that due to the way Bachalo laid this out, that we got to see the reactions from certain members along the way, which added a bit of emotion to the page, making it that little bit more special.

WARNING: THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH WILL SPOIL THE END OF UNCANNY X-MEN #1!

The last issue had a mysterious man who was talking about stopping Cyclops. The issue would finish to show that this man was none other than one of Cyclops' X-Men, Magneto. Now before I go any further I'll talk about Magneto's new look, as one of the things that made him harder to recognise was the fact that he's now bald. This is an interesting look for Magneto, and I can't help but question whether this is in tribute to his departed friend Professor X, or if it's just a coincidence added to make him harder to recognise. Anyway the betrayal part I wasn't too surprised about, as given Magneto's background I'd never be surprised at anything he'd do. I do however question where his allegiances lie, and whether he's playing both sides against each other, tricking S.H.I.E.L.D., or seriously betraying Cyclops. I for one look forward to seeing this, and how the X-Men will react when they find out.

Final Verdict


This was a good issue, and a decent continuation to the series. It has however still to wow me, as although the dialogue is good, with some decent emotion to it, the overall pace, and quality feels a bit inconsistent, and the series doesn't feel like it's planted itself firmly in one place. I would however still recommend this issue, as it was interesting, and had a super conclusion which has me for one wanting to read more.

Rating: 4/5