Overview

Uncanny X-Men #523

Review

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Uncanny X-Men #523

Credits

  • Words: Matt Fraction
  • Art: Terry Dodson
  • Inks: Rachel Dodson
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: Second Coming: Chapter 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 7, 2010

Second Coming comes to the monthly books in Uncanny X-Men #523. Cable and Hope are on the run, with the combined forces of all of the anti-mutant X-villains hot on their heels. The X-Men are also in pursuit, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Nightcrawler finds out that Cyclops commissioned X-Force to kill threats to Hope and Cable. This deeply upsets him and worries Cyclops a lot, as he fears he has to face the repercussions of doing such a thing in the name of mutantkind.

This issue is the culmination of three years and five titles worth of storyline. The X-Men face their enemies, Cable and Hope return home and the New Mutants are deployed to serve the mutant cause. It’s packed full of story and action and really sets the stage for the coming months. Terry Dodson’s art is fantastic, as always. His figures are all attractive and dynamic, while his settings and background art are expansive and incredibly detailed. Overall, the story moves fast and hits hard… possibly too hard.

While there’s no doubt that this issue is meant to be grandiose and dramatic, it is a bit too much so. All of the characters, while great to look at, are posed dramatically with dramatic expressions. While there are some very well executed dramatic moments, they lose a bit of their effect because that tone is maintained throughout the entire book. It’s a drastic change from the last few issues, which were primarily plot oriented, and took their time to get to their climaxes. This issue has no big events or reveals. The biggest things that happen are that the X-Men find Cable and Hope, and Bastion explains how he’s tracking Cable. Neither was really framed in a way that made them stand out from the rest of the story. It really just served to build tension, which makes the story exciting, but without a payoff, it’s just a bit frustrating.

This issue does feature a lot of promising developments for the next few months, though. One is a closer look at Hope’s character. Matt Fraction again takes the time to develop personalities. In this issue, the focus shifts to Hope and Nightcrawler. While we do find out quite a few things about the other X-Men, (mainly that Colossus and Psylocke, who aren’t part of X-Force, also agree with Cyclops’ stance), Nightcrawler draws our attention by making a stand against it. He even goes so far as to close one of his dead enemies’ eyes. That was one of the best panels within this issue. Also, while Hope has spent her entire life surrounded by death and gunfire, she also longs for peaceful comforts and girly things. It’s hard to see how someone that innocent can bring about Mutantkind’s downfall, like Bishop thinks she will.

Finally, with Cable, Hope and the X-Men united in this first issue, and a major battle already underway, things are going to heat up fast. If this is the opening chapter, then I can’t wait to see what happens in the subsequent issues of Uncanny X-Men.

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