Rick Remender recently ended his critically acclaimed Uncanny X-Force run in December 2012. Now Sam Humphries has taken over Marvel‘s NOW! version of the title, carrying on Remender’s story a teensy bit after the events in his final issue. That means keeping some of the same characters, their relationships and past mistakes, while adding a few more heavy hitters to the roster. Suffice it to say, after Remender’s UXF ended on such a high note, the buzz surrounding this series has been resonating ever since it’s announcement. Can Humphries carry the hype forward and make something equally special?
Well, the first issue certainly made it seem like Humphries was out for blood; stirring the pot with some insane plot developments and WTF moments. That issue was way up there on the crazy scale, and this issue just let a filler fart out in the room and walks away. There is really much less substance to this issue than there was to the last, even less on the WTF meter. There’s some fighting, some chasing, some more fighting and some really awkward romance that seems completely out-of-place. All of the mess that the first 3/4 of this issue leaves out is almost tidied up by the intense ending, but after finishing reading you’re still left with that filler fart taste in your mouth, and that’s just not a good taste.
Filler or not – there is some light to be found in this issue. The way Sam Humphries plotted the action scenes really is exciting; despite how far the plot actually advances. This issue is very action packed and the action and sense of urgency are portrayed very well. Humphries has a good grasp on these characters, showcasing a lot of their unique talents, servicing readers who are not familiar with them yet. Humphries really seems to be full of some very intense ideas, let’s just hope he can execute them quickly and effortlessly before readers lose hope. Don’t give up on the series just yet because there is a lot yet to be revealed as long as the pacing finds its groove.
One thing that definitely adds to the fast paced tone of this comic is how well the art team portrays that urgency. Ron Garney does an impeccable job drawing the fight scenes and action sequences. His style is bold and extravagant, making the intensity jump off of the page. Then Danny Miki and Scott Hanna round off Garney’s intense pencil work with a bold and slick accuracy really making everything pop. Marte Gracia, with help from Israel Gonzalez and Wil Quintana add a unique colouring style, driving home the intensity of the art work. This entire team does a stupendous job in making this issue look fantastic; which could essentially save this comic from mediocre status.
Uncanny X-Force #2 definitely intends to wow with its action packed battle plot and insane twists but still falls into the filler issue category. The best part about this issue is the art work, almost perfectly executed by a great and diverse team of artists. Hopefully the hype isn’t too much for this team to handle and they can turn the story around for the next issue.