After a surprisingly fun issue #1 with impeccable art by Chris Bachalo, issue #2 arrives expanding on this new direction for the X-Men. A new rival school named after Xavier, superheroes who have been depowered and a traitor in their midst, what could possibly go wrong? More importantly…is it good?
Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #2 (Marvel Comics)
In case you missed it, my review of Uncanny X-Men #1 was surprisingly positive. I wasn’t expecting much, but I loved the setup. Plus Bachalo is doing interesting things with slanting X-positioned panels and his action is always interesting. I was hesitant to see how he’d handle the wordy dialogue writer Brian Michael Bendis usually employs. We didn’t have to wait long, as this issue is dialogue heavy with many small moments between characters interwoven with long expositions of what is going on.
She may have lost her telepathy but clearly she gained the power of staying extra warm when nearly nude.
This issue is going to be remembered for two things, the first of which being Emma’s internal monologue discussing her loss of powers. It’s seven pages of well thought out and well written stuff. The second thing will be a fun full-page breakdown of how the new school is designed. The rest is sort of filler; or at least it reads as such, because nothing much is said. Sure, the new recruits are scared and it’s interesting to see characters who are worried for their families, but it’s mostly jibber-jabber. It is nice to see the characters starting to find their voices in the book and it’s clear this is something Bendis is going to focus on in the coming months.
What are you guys, 12?
One one hand, it’s getting good because the characters are starting to feel real. It’s especially noticeable when a character is relatable in a story about mutants, and in books like these it’s exceedingly rare. In most cases comic books get on with the bang-bang and don’t go beyond basic human emotions in the story. Bendis is clearly trying to craft something that’s more meaningful and we’re only in issue #2.
Who wouldn’t be thrilled to have a superpower?!
That said, many folks are going to come away from this issue wondering what exactly happened. Aside from characters voicing their fears, not a whole lot. Magik once again comes off as super creepy and weird, Magneto is revealed to have a hand in a major plot point, but that’s about it. Everything else is stuff we already know or won’t care much about an hour after reading it.
Cool diagram (cut off here) and some ultra odd dialogue there about feeling up girls. Is he a pedophile?
I’m having a tough time enjoying Bachalo’s art when there isn’t action to speak of. The way he draws faces varies from page to page and in some cases downright baffles me. Cyclops looks like some kind of ogre in some panels while at other times he’s pudgy looking. The composition of the pages is great, but with so much dialogue to go around the varying quality of facial expressions because all the more obvious.
You should be.
- Nice character moments especially for Emma
- Sick school diagram
- Wake me up when something happens
- Wonky facial expressions
The second issue in nearly every comic series is a slump of an issue. It doesn’t have the bang of that first issue and spends most of its time setting up what’s next. It’s not too surprising this issue falters in the excitement department and it’s especially disappointing considering how slow things are moving. That said, there’s a strong seven pages of Emma in here X-Fans will adore.
Is It Good?
Meh. The casual reader would do well to just wait for the next issue.