The short wait for the sophomore installment of Uncanny X-Men is over, and thankfully, it proves that #1 wasn’t a fluke. Strap yourselves in and add another Bendis book to your pull-list, friends. Chris Bachalo is a massive reason why this title feels different from the other X titles out right now, and that is a very good thing. His unique style, coupled with a very cinematic approach to visual story-telling make this one of the highlights of the week.
Bendis, relying on his tried and true style, spends a ton of this issue talking. Not one word feels wasted, (okay maybe Magik replying “k” after given a command was a little odd), but we shall forgive Bendis his trespasses as he delivers a very compelling issue that brings us closer to our cast of characters, serving up one heck of a cliffhanger on the final page. When I saw that last page a big smile crossed my face and I said something that might not be suitable to repeat. Next issue should be an absolute blast and will feature a ton of what we didn’t see here: action.
As I mentioned it’s the characters that Bendis hones in on in this issue and ultimately the series will be better for it. We are afforded insight into mankind’s stance on mutants, mutants being away from their families, losing powers, gaining powers, and each other. There is a ton of information to absorb here and all of it will make the next issue that much more interesting. Cyclops and Emma Frost get a great scene and Bendis manages to pack a lot of feels in that conversation, which is sorely needed as they’ve behaved like a giant D and a great big B of late (remember that whole Phoenix force debacle?).
I’ve recently been praising Marvel for the diversity of the artists they have working on their books, and Chris Bachalo is a perfect example of what I’m talking about as he has a very unique style that isn’t quite like anything else out there. Bachalo also colors the comic, which makes the work that much more impressive. At first glance the pages and layouts look complex, but they are actually put together very well. Bachalo has a clever way of whisking your attention this way then that, and then slamming you with a gorgeous splash page or menacing glance.
Uncanny X-Men is definitely heading in the right direction and there is a lot of potential for this story to carry on for quite some time. Literally the only thing that really bothers me about this title are the silly costume designs for the ladies, as they walk around in the snow in leather dominatrix suits. Ultimately that should only distract you for a moment, and shouldn’t spoil the awesome story that Bendis and Bachalo are telling.
P.S. What is the plural of dominatrix?! Dominatrixs? Dominatrixi? Dominatrixy? Probably not that last one. Behave yourselves, friends!