Review: Uncanny X-Men #2 By Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo


Uncanny X-Men #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Al Vey, and Victor Olazaba

The short of it:

Emma Frost is not coping well with the changes in her abilities, realizing now that things have grown quiet just how much she misses the voices she spent a lifetime trying to shut out. The quiet has made her introspective, and remarkably honest with herself. From knowing full well that her problems are her problems, not the fault of Scott or the Phoenix, or even her most hated deceased rival, Jean Grey. From her powers, to her running from the law, to her break up with Scott, it’s astonishing how much she’s willing to take the blame for when she’s sure it’s inner monologue. Except that it’s not, and with her control over her telepathy gone, she can’t stop herself from projecting it. From dealing with Scott when he is made privy to bits and and pieces of her thought process without any control on her part. The former couple has their issues, but there is a purpose for everything. He has a school, she’s a fantastic teacher, and there are kids who need them more than they need each other.

After all, they just started up a new school with the new mutants that they’ve been rescuing across the globe. Most of them are completely freaked out, but one of them loves it. Scott and the gang go over the usual X-Men sales pitch; what being a mutant means, how they happen, and the government’s love for sending giant robots to attack them. We even get the classic ‘new mutants tests out his powers, knocks everybody over’ moment. All in all it’s a rather successful sales pitch for the new Charles Xavier’s School For Mutants.

But despite these students not really being kids, all seemingly in the 18-23 age range, most of them weren’t given a chance to say goodbye to their families before Scott and company were forced to rush in to save these mutants from cops and sentinels and federal agents (seriously, mutant hunts are all the rage). So it’s field trip time, as everyone goes to Australia so Eva can see her mom. Unfortunately, our X-Traitor decides to not keep this a secret….

What I liked:

  • I can’t remember the last time Emma was given a chance to spotlight a story where she wasn’t portrayed as a sneaky and manipulative bitch. Bendis does a fantastic job of getting into her head and exploring where she is now that she has been stripped of all the reasons behind her arrogance.
  • “She scares the hell out of me.” “She’s been through a lot.” “We’ve all been through a lot. She scares the hell out of me.”
  • Seriously, Illyana is awesome in this book. She’s creepy as all hell, and the fact that the Phoenix has seemingly only made her crazy soulless self more powerful is….well, scary.
  • Christopher, the healer, is making fast steps towards being my favorite of the new mutants. Despite having passive and peaceful powers, he’s the one most interested in a new life as a mutant revolutionary. He’s got his goggles and stick, and he is loving this whole situation way too much. He even named Fabio “Goldball”.
  • Chris Bachalo never ceases to be amazing.

What I didn’t like:

  • Magneto’s look. Bald, no sleeves, long gloves, wearing all white. He just doesn’t look like anything resembling Magneto when his helmet is off.
  • Goldball. His powers amuse me greatly, but the character is beyond irritating.

Final thoughts:

The map of the new school was pretty cool, and shows how ridiculously big the former Weapon X base actually is. I can’t wait to see the ‘Off Limits’ area, which I imagine is the room Wolverine was born in. I don’t that you’re going to get a positive learning environment when you have to explain away the torture chamber.

Emma gets some fantastic work done in this issue, her arrogance finally pierced as she finds herself vulnerable without her telepathy. She can’t read the minds of others, she no longer has that step up on everyone…and on top of that, she doesn’t know when shes broadcasting her thoughts outward. This means the layers of ego are stripped away and we get to see the insecurity of someone who has never had to ask someone what they thought, or how they felt. She lost her favorite safe place.

Illyana starts talking about being a child and that’s about the point where I realized…she deaged back to being a little girl during Inferno, and died a little girl. So why was she rezzed at about the same age as the original New Mutants are now? I know this was answered somewhere, but for the life of me, can’t remember.

Speaking of ‘Yana, if I saw this girl in black short shorts and that top she’s got on, holding a giant glowing sword; I’m not sure if I’d crap myself or want to marry her. But seriously, first instinct of the neighbors should be freak out, right?

This team of X-Men needs about one more name value character to really have a thumbs up roster.

Man, Emma’s costume really is a Bachalo staple. I just keep seeing other women wearing it in different colors in different books.

Overall: 8.5/10

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