Fresh off of last week’s issue, Matthew Rosenberg, Ed Brisson, and Kelly Thompson deliver another action-packed adventure in UNCANNY X-MEN #2. As the world, both mutant and human, continues to fall apart, the X-Men split up in order to tackle the disasters head-on. Tons of characters make appearances, so no matter who’s your favorite mutant, you’ll most likely be able to enjoy the issue. While far from perfect, UNCANNY X-MEN #2 continues to do what it set out to do: disassemble the X-Men and rewrite the franchise.

Penciller R.B. Silva and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg raise the artistic standard of the series from the previous issue but don’t go above and beyond. At the moment, the writing surpasses the art, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. UNCANNY X-MEN is telling a huge story, which is why three writers are working on it. After just two issues, it’s clear that the series has a lot to say.

uncanny x-men #2
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Natural Disaster

UNCANNY X-MEN #2 explores the theme of unnatural natural disasters that appears briefly in UNCANNY X-MEN #1. Beast notes at the beginning of the issue that strange events are popping up around the globe, from dinosaur attacks to a massive shark invasion. With so many tragic events happening at once, Jean decides to split up the X-Men into two teams, but she leaves the younger X-Men at the mansion (much to their ire). While they’re sitting around bored, Xavier’s son, the Omega-level Legion, randomly shows up at the mansion with the intention of helping. We’ll see in UNCANNY X-MEN #3 whether or not his intentions are honest.

uncanny x-men #2
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Too Much Madrox in UNCANNY X-MEN #2

If you read Matthew Rosenberg’s series MULTIPLE MAN, you know exactly what I mean when I say UNCANNY X-MEN #2 has a little too much of Jamie. In the issue, Jamie doesn’t talk much, but his presence is hard to ignore. The giant wave of Jamie dupes (and their incessantly annoying remarks that it’s “too late”) is just bizarre and frustrating to read.

Rosenberg’s series garnered a lot of criticism for being too complicated and difficult to understand and, unfortunately, I think UNCANNY might be headed down that same path. From what I’ve seen on social media, a lot of X-Men fans weren’t happy to see the duplicating mutant in the first issue of the series, which means they definitely won’t be happy to see him (times a thousand) in issue number two. His character isn’t super likable and the way Rosenberg writes him makes him even less so. To make matters worse, from the current look of things, I think we’re going to be stuck with him for a while.

uncanny x-men #2
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Building Upward

Every good series has to build up to the action. Diving right in, and revealing everything to the reader right off the bat, isn’t the best way to keep readers’ attention. UNCANNY X-MEN #2 is doing the right thing by slowly building both action and excitement.

As of this issue, we still don’t know what’s causing all of these unnatural disasters, but we do know more than we did in the last issue. We know the scope of these disasters and what some of them look like. We know that some of them have to do directly with Madrox but some don’t. Perhaps most importantly, readers learn that the entire superhero community is actively fighting these unnatural disasters. The size of the X-Men’s situation becomes clear in UNCANNY X-MEN #2, which means the writers can start building towards a monumental finale.

This issue may have been a little too action-heavy for my taste, but I think the writers know what they’re doing. Pacing is an art form in serialized comics, especially weekly ones like UNCANNY X-MEN. They’re preparing readers for something of epic proportions.

uncanny x-men #2
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

New Vision

R.B. Silva takes over for Mahmud Asrar in UNCANNY X-MEN #2. The change, for the most part, is a good one. R.B. Silva retains both a unique style and realistic facial expressions, which is something Asrar struggled with in last week’s issue. Both artists are fairly new to the game and they’re, obviously, still learning. From X-MEN BLUE to now, Silva has improved dramatically, though there are still a few panels that lack the depth older artists tend to have. One of the most cringe-worthy moments in the issue is a panel where Jean’s face is in profile and she’s sporting a nose that looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss comic. Still, I can overlook that when Silva delivers a dinosaur that looks like it could run off of the page.

As always, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg does an amazing job with the issue. Her color palette is similar to the first issue, which makes for a nice sense of cohesion between two issues with different pencillers.

uncanny x-men #2
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Final Thoughts

The X-Men comic franchise has needed an overhaul for a while and UNCANNY X-MEN is finally doing that. Personally, I think the direction it’s going in is (for the most part) entertaining and exciting. The series has a lot of energy thanks to its huge cast of characters and I think most fans can get some sort of enjoyment out of it. Multiple Man’s all-consuming presence is mildly frustrating, but I believe it doesn’t have to be. Legion is another character that can easily come off as unlikable, so I hope the writers tread lightly in the next issue. For a series that’s as important as UNCANNY X-MEN, my well of hope is fairly deep.

UNCANNY X-MEN #2 by Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, R.B. Silva, and Rachelle Rosenberg
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
As with all comics, there are a lot of problems with UNCANNY X-MEN #2. Jamie Madrox is probably the biggest one. Still, there are also a lot of positives. With a series with as much weight as UNCANNY X-MEN, the writers are doing a good job creating a well-paced story with a diverse cast of characters. Creating a weekly series isn't easy but Brisson, Rosenberg, and Thompson are making it look as if it is.
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