The new era for the X-Men did not get off to the desired hot start. The core X-Men team that was featured showed that they will be the driving force of at least this first story arc, “X-Men Disassembled.” Though what kept Uncanny X-Men #1 back was the sloppy way the antagonists for this first story arc. That unimpressive presentation of antagonist was just further emphasized by the lack of impact with the main story’s ending. The mutant-gene vaccine that was introduced in the first issue also has the potential to either be what makes or breaks Uncanny X-Men. Let’s see how things go for the X-Men with Uncanny X-Men #2.
Writers: Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson
Artist: R.B. Silva
Inker: Adriano Di Benedetto
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Above the Earth a team of astronauts send a message about stopping something growing in Kansas.
A closer look shows Multiple Man continuing to duplicate.
At the Xavier Institute For Mutant Education and Outreach the X-Men watch as the Avengers, Champions, Winter Guard and other heroes are responding to various attacks from giant animals across Earth. Beast mentions that Montana has been left unprotected by a tyrannosaurus attack. Psylocke thinks that they should be more concerned about Kitty Pryde’s disappearance, Jamie Maddox attack and Angel abandoning them.
Listening to all this Jean Grey tells Beast to lead the X-Men to defend Montana while she continues to search for Kitty and the others with Cerebro. Beast turns it down as he has other commitments. Jean then assigns Storm as the leader of the X-Men strike team.
While the X-Men are getting ready Jean uses Cerebro to look for Kitty. When she does Jean finds out about Multiple Man emergence in Kansas. She rushes to the other X-Men and splits them up into two teams: Storm leading one squad to stop Multiple Man while she deals with the crisis in Montana.
Elsewhere in the mansion Armor is pissed that she and the other students were left behind. Pixie, Rockslide, Glob and Anole remind her that the X-Men left them their to watch over Oya and the mansion.
At the Fairview Medical Laboratories the construction crew that is cleaning up the X-jet crash comment on how the X-Men haven’t been made to answer for crashing a jet on a lab.
Beast listens to this from the shadows and enters a hidden room left intact from the crash. As soon as he enters the room Beast finds what he was looking for.
In Kansas Nightcrawler teleports the X-Men to Multiple Man’s location. There they find an army of Multiple Men. The Multiple Men attack the X-Men, displaying a wide range of mutant powers much to the X-Men’s surprise. Though the X-Men are able to fight them off the Multiple Man army soon start overwhelming the team.
In the outskirts of Missoula, Montana Jean leads the X-Men to the location of the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs instantly charge at the X-Men. As the X-Men hold their own against the dinosaur a tyrannosaurus eats X-23. X-23 is able to cut her way out of the tyrannosaurus that ate her.
Outside the Xavier Institute a group of anti-mutant protesters has surrounded the mansion much to Armor’s displeasure. As the X-Men students talk about what they should do someone knocks on the front door.
When the students open the door they are surprised to find a cleaned up Legion in front of them. Legion states that he is Professor Xavier’s son and he is there to save the day. End of issue.
The Good: Uncanny X-Men #2 is a comic that overcomes an odd start to turn into a much better issue than its debut. The thing that made Uncanny X-Men #2 stronger than its debut issue was the presentation of the story. Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson are able to juggle multiple stories at a much better pace. In turn it helped build momentum for several plotlines being developed for “X-Men Disassembled.”
By far the strongest part of Uncanny X-Men #2 is the way Brisson, Rosenberg and Thompson wrote the team once they got into action. They do not waste time in putting the team together. At this point the X-Men have been a team long enough that any combination can work well together. That was on display with how the X-Men were split into two teams and both were able to work together extremely well.
This portrayal of the X-Men puts the team over as a strong unit when working together. It also emphasized the importance of Jean Grey being the leader of the X-Men. Through her we see the X-Men be put into action. The quick shift from one big strike team to two showed the quick flexibility that Jean has to create a squad that efficiently uses everyone’s talents.
At the same time Brisson, Rosenberg and Thompson show that Jean is able to banter with her team. The back and forth with Iceman in particular helped give this issue a much needed light hearted aspect. What made Jean and Iceman’s interaction work is that it was written to show the pair have been friends for a long time. The comfort in which they had their back-and-forth was refreshing since we don’t normally see Jean and Iceman be paired up.
The rest of the X-Men are given a good chance to shine as Brisson, Rosenberg and Thompson make good use of everyone’s abilities. Every X-Men’s powers was unique enough to keep the action fresh, especially during the chaotic battle with the army of Multiple Man. And while not everyone gets pages of panel time there was enough dialogue to put over how different the personalities that make up the X-Men are.
The development of Multiple Man suddenly being able to use different mutant powers was a much more effective use of the character. In showing different mutant powers Multiple Man’s appearance now has some intrigue around it. This development puts into question how he is able to do this and why he has become psychotic. The tie-in to Kitty Pryde’s disappearance makes how this is all tied together much more interesting to see play out.
All of this is given added tension with the growing anti-mutant sentiment that has started back up. This wouldn’t be the X-Men without that anti-mutant protest. What made it work this time was the fact that it at least follows up on the Blackbird crashing into a building and Multiple Man’s attack. The X-Men answering for this shows that they need to start being accountable for events or at least providing answers. Because by just keeping things within the walls of the Xavier Mansion they will only make things worse for them and mutants in general.
The appearance of Legion at the end of Uncanny X-Men #2 was an effective way to close this chapter. The change in Legion’s appearance creates a sense that the character could go any of multiple ways. Whether it is being an actual ally, secret antagonist or something else there are many possibilities that Legion’s part can go.
R.B. Silva delivered some solid artwork in Uncanny X-Men #2 that was consistent with the main story in the first issue. Though the artwork won’t blow anyone away, Silva did a good job showing the wide range of powers and abilities the X-Men have at their disposal. The artwork was definitely at its best when there was frenetic action going on, which is what the last half of this issue is all about.
The Bad: One of the things that kept Uncanny X-Men #2 from reaching its full potential was the opening. Rather than showing the X-Men as a strong and compelling group it actually made them look bad. Because while the Avengers, Champions and other heroes were quick to protect the world the X-Men had to spend time arguing if they should get off their assess to help. This is no way to build the X-Men as a likable team. It actually makes them look lazy that they had to discuss this even as other heroes were already fighting.
This created even bigger problems with how the X-Men weren’t even trying to progress the story around Kitty Pryde and Angel’s disappearances and the mutant vaccine. All they were was big talk without doing action. Instead it took Jean telling everyone what to do to actually start doing things. It made the whole discussion look like a big waste of time.
It would’ve been much more effective if the X-Men were already getting prepared to go out while Beast made the announcement over a loudspeaker about their mission in Montana. Then by doing that there would’ve been greater impact to when Jean detected Multiple Man in Kansas and splitting the X-Men into two squads. But since we had to waste so much time with the opening discussion there was a lack of urgency to what was going on if there was one or two adjustments made to the opening of Uncanny X-Men #2.
Not helping the story at all was the portrayal of the New Mutants squad, particularly Armor. Every scene with the New Mutants made them look annoying as rather than sympathetic after suffering a major loss in battle. Armor’s attitude did not help any as she came across as a major jerk that did not take into account her team’s current state of mind. All she was doing was thinking of herself getting into the action rather than the larger picture.
Overall: Uncanny X-Men #2 was an improvement over the debut issue of this series. The opening few pages of this issue does stall the progress of the story that was started in the first issue. Luckily Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg and Kelly Thompson quickly recover as Uncanny X-Men #2 progressed to show the team tackling multiple conflicts at the same time. That along with an intriguing end gives “X-Men Disassembled” the much needed interest that it was previously lacking.