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April 14, 2014 / Jett

Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2: Broken Review

Of the modern X-Men books I have read so far, Uncanny X-Men is the series that has the most upside. Centred around a strong-willed, yet misguided Cyclops, he and his band of fugitive mutants are in the midst of starting a mutant revolution while squashing anyone that may try to stop them. The base premise and all of the nuances around it make for a compelling take on this anti-hero/villain group. Unfortunately, I think most of Vol. 1: Revolution‘s potential is squandered on idle chatter and exposition.

With most of the table-setting out of the way, Cyclops and the gang can move the story forward in a meaningful way. First stop: Limbo.

Of the corrupted X-Men, Magik so far has been the only one whose powers seem to work normally. Or so we thought. As it turns out, she’s actually been inadvertently destroying Limbo each time she teleports in he corrupted state. Dormammu isn’t having that, so he forces everyone into Limbo so he can kill them. Considering the fact that this group is made up of skilled veterans with broken powers and newbies with no experience, this encounter does not go over well.

Beyond that, there are a number of other moving parts to this five-issue collection. They recruit a new mutant but another one quits. Cyclops and Magneto aren’t exactly on the best of terms after Magnus snitched to S.H.I.E.L.D. Also, a classic X-Men character from the past makes a surprising return in a new role that’s sure to complicate things even further for this group of rebel mutants.

I’m still not the biggest fan of the art in the real world, but there are a few issues in the beginning that take place almost entirely in Limbo. These pages look fantastic, as the dark and eerie paint style perfectly captures the sequence. Without needing to set anything else up, Brian Michael Bendis has the liberty to push things forward. This is definitely an improvement over Vol. 1, particularly the battle with Dormammu.

I do, however, have some concerns with all of the different elements at play which are executed to varying degrees of success. In particular, I think the inclusion of the vintage X-Men character in the way that they have doesn’t really highlight what was good about them in the first place. To it’s credit, the nod to this person’s past was pretty funny and well done.

Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2: Broken is a step in the right direction, but I also have grave concerns for where this could ultimately go. They’ve dug themselves a hole by having so many characters in play – many of which are brand new – and a myriad sub plots that I think they’re at risk of having the whole thing collapse on itself. For now, I’ll enjoy it as it is, but I hope they can find a way to find a focal point to work towards.

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