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Comic Review: Uncanny X-Men #2

Uncanny X-Men #2 vol 3 Emma Frost Marvel NOW! cover by Chris Bachalo

For a comic with Emma Frost on the cover, Uncanny X-Men #2 is a warmer, more character-centric second showing for Cyclops’ new X-Men team than we saw in this title’s debut.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis injects some welcome humour and lightheartedness into Cyclops’ grim crusade for mutant kind, and Chris Bachalo continues to put his own artistic stamp on this comic to make it feel distinctly different from its All-New X-Men companion title.

Bendis did a lot of narrative heavy lifting last issue in setting up Scott Summers’ team while also establishing Magneto as a S.H.I.E.L.D. double agent. Magneto certainly gets his moment in issue #2, but for the most part, this comic focuses on the mutants Scott has collected for his Charles Xavier School for the Gifted.

Bendis and Bachalo use this issue to fill out a lot of the dynamics of the new team. Bendis puts everyone in a room and lets the mutant newbies play off the veterans, while Bachalo gets the chance to lay out the entire school in a room-by-room schematic. It’s all set up and executed wonderfully. This is a team you’ll want to follow and a facility you’ll want to see more of. There is an off limits section, after all.

Emma Frost serves as an excellent reader entry point for this issue. She, like Magneto and Cyclops, is still struggling with her diminished powers, but she’s also struggling to define her relationship with Scott and her role on his team. Chris Bachalo is at his best in this early sequence as he renders Emma first alone, then with Scott in the snow-blanketed ruins of the Weapon X facility.

Uncanny X-Men #2 Volume 3 Emma Frost in the snow Marvel NOW! by Chris Bachalo

A gorgeous Emma Frost panel from Chris Bachalo.

While Emma provides much of the heart, the gaggle of newcomers bring some much-needed energy and innocence to keep this comic from becoming the “bad guy book” that it might have turned into. Case in point: this issue is called “Poink is the new Bamf”, and owes its name to Fabio, the gold ball-producing new mutant.

With dour mutants like Magik and Magneto brushing shoulders with a cast of wide-eyed rookies, and with grim Cyclops and Emma at the helm, there’s a lot to love and fear about this X-Men team. And that, of course, is what makes X-Men comics great, isn’t it?

Uncanny X-Men #2 is a strong second step into new territory, with an expletive-inducing last page that will doubtless bring readers back for issue #3.

9 out of 10

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  1. March 2, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I think a lot of fans get upset when Emma shows even the slightest sign of weakness, but yeah, I loved this issue. I really do believe she loved the hell out of Scott. It’s interesting having Bachalo on such a talky book – I still think he’s better suited to tones like WatXM. But his artwork is still incredible here, of course!

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