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Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #2 - Before the Devil Knows We're Dead, Chapter 2

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We get a closer look at Jonathan Standish's motivations in this issue.

We get a closer look at Jonathan Standish's motivation in the second issue of Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force, but how does this story tie into Fear Itself?

The Good

After Standish kidnaps and tortures a young mutant on national television, 3,000 mutants "heed" his warning and commit suicide. It doesn't take long for X-Force to figure out that Standish and the purifiers need to be stopped. Simone Bianchi's on pencils for this very short mini series, and they are indeed quite pretty. But how does the story fare? It's always great to see a book featuring the X-Force team -- these characters generally have a very interesting dynamic.

The Bad

While pretty, Bianchi's panels feel somewhat cluttered; be that because the story is confusing or because Bianchi's pencils are so detailed with so many close ups of characters faces. The issue is heavy in dialogue, but some of it does not feel necessary or like it ads to the story as a whole making the issue feel somewhat disorganized. The transitions between scenes, and the shifts in location aren't altogether clear, either. If you are reading Fear Itself, it's easy to understand the reasons why this series is considered a tie in (there has been an uprising by humanity against mutants in the main books) even though this is not at all referenced here. In a sense, it does not feel like a Fear Itself book, and instead feels like a self contained story that deals with discrimination against mutants -- this is not a "new" problem.

The Verdict

Of all of Marvels voice, I feel Remender has a firm grasp of how the X-Force characters would speak, and I absolutely love that about those books. Their voices, however, do not carry over into this issue. This issue (as well as issue one) did not feel cohesive with the Fear Itself story line, although I can see why Marvel would brand it this way. Still, I think it may be a mistake not to state that in the story itself. The characters don't really allude to Wolverine's campaign with Scott, either. This issue is not an easy read, feeling cluttered at times and overall out of place.