The first issue of Brian Michael Bendis’s Uncanny X-Men introduced us to Cyclops’ newfound goals in the mutant world and the direction this series will likely take. It also showed us that Magneto might not exactly agree with Cyclops and his upcoming mutant revolution. This issue introduces us to the new Xavier center for higher learning, and further introduces some of the new mutant students.
This is a great setup issue, with some well-written drama to even things out. There’s a nice page mapping out the new underground school, and each of the young mutant students get some basic characterization in this comic. Also, Magik continues to be entertainingly frightening.
Perhaps the best scene is between Cyclops and Emma Frost however. Their damaged relationship is explored deeper than it has been before, and while I’ve complained a bit about how Bendis has written Emma Frost in the past, she’s written in character here. She seems both genuinely remorseful for her actions during Avengers vs. X-Men, and she’s appropriately distressed by her fluctuating powers. While Miss Frost doesn’t have any of her snobby attitude that she’s known for, this issue gives us a good reason why she might have lost that.
For the most part, the art is good too. While I’m not really a fan of Chris Bachalo’s style, he does a great job at portraying Emma Frost’s wide range of emotions. While some panels have little or no backgrounds, each scene is established and you’ll never be confused as to where the characters are. Also, even though Emma Frost and Magik look fairly similar, you’ll never be confused as to which one you’re looking at even when it’s a close-up on their face. The only real problem is that a lot of the colouring seems to blend together.
While it’s not completely perfect, Uncanny X-Men 2 is a great setup issue for what could end up being an awesome X-Men series. The only real complaint is that both issues so far could be described as setup issues, and that nothing big has happened yet, but this comic’s ending teaser suggests that things will start happening in the next issue. Still, this is an easy recommendation for X-men fans in general.