There are upsides and downsides to having a series release more than two issues a month. On the plus side, you can have a bigger story without it feeling like it’s dragging on. You can take the time to have a number of character moments, even in a series with a lot of characters. But at the same time, there’s the danger of stretching things out too far and getting carried away. Not that this is yet a problem with the new Uncanny X-Men, but that is a minor concern for me at the moment.
Uncanny X-men 1 was fun, and it showed a lot of potential, but it felt unfocused at times. Uncanny X-Men 2 kind-of begins where the previous issue left off. It still doesn’t give us any answers as to why all sorts of weird things are happening, like a completely insane army of Madrox’s dupes, characters disappearing and in this issue, a bunch of extinct animals suddenly showing up and attacking everyone. But this issue ends with a potentially major hint as to what’s causing at least some of this. I won’t spoil that reveal here. Uncanny X-Men 2 also feels a lot more focused than the first issue, and that’s a huge plus. It makes for an overall enjoyable comic with a story that’s just a bit too vague to call this a great issue.
Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson are all credited as writers for this issue, so I’m not sure whether they’re all contributing evenly, or if each writer is handling primary writing duties for different issues, while the others contribute here and there. Whatever the case, this is an entertaining comic. The dinosaur fight gives each present X-Men member something useful to do, like Iceman building a wall to protect a nearby town, Bishop shooting a lot of big creatures, Northstar getting in a couple great punches, Jean showing off her telekinetic strength, and of course Laura killing a T-Rex from inside. That last moment also leads to a great joke.
The other action scene with the team fighting an army of multiple men isn’t as good. I can buy that this team is overwhelmed by hundreds of dupes that have suddenly developed a variety of superpowers, but both Storm and Polaris are on the team fighting against the multiple men. Even if they’re pulling punches, both of them have feats that should easily handle a lot of these guys. Lorna in particular once put hundreds of people to sleep at once by slowing down the iron in their blood. But to be fair, if you allow too many powerhouse feats like that in this kind of story, there won’t be much story or drama left to show. I just feel that having Polaris being one of the first members of the team to be taken down without explaining how feels a bit cheap.
The art by R.B. Silva is great for the most part. There’s often a lot of background detail, starting with the opening spread in Beast’s lab, complete with screens showing different superhero fights across the globe, cargo crates along the walls, tools laid out on a desk, and Bishop’s guns leaning on those tables. Hair is not only well detailed with waves and strands, but there’s a nice variety of hairstyles among the women during their downtime. The fight scenes both feel big, showing a sense of progression between panels despite their chaotic nature. The only real downside to the art is that all the women’s faces look the same, including Jubilee and Armour (both Asian characters). This even leads to a couple panels where I first confused Armour for someone else. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring is brilliant throughout the comic. This is a bright and colourful issue, with great use of progressive shading and reflections that gives characters and environments more depth.
This is an overall good comic, that only falls short of being great because the story is still really vague (even if it’s intentional), and that it feels like Polaris was knocked out too early. But as much as we don’t yet know what’s going on in this series, it feels like we’ll start getting answers soon. The Uncanny X-Men Relaunch has a lot of potential, and it’s well worth checking out for X-Men fans.