By Matt Fraction (Writer), Terry Dodson (Pencils), Rachel Dodson (Inks), and Justin Ponsor (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: While a bit scattershot, I really enjoyed the first chapter of Matt Fraction’s new Uncanny arc. It was loaded with fun character moments and it left me feeling as though the writer is having a blast playing in Marvel’s mutant sandbox. Now it’s time to see what plans he has for everything that was set up last month.

The Story: The latest issue of Uncanny is put together very much like the last. It continues to develop a number of different storylines at once by jumping from one location to another throughout the book. Colossus meets a Russian from his past that has an offer for him. Emma Frost continues to ponder her place among the X-Men and in mutant-kind in general. Beast continues to go through the process of recruiting members for a science team that can work to solve the current state of the mutant race. Lingering above all those stories is the politician, Simon Trask, and the outing of the chaos that happened as a result of the birth of the “Messiah” baby.

What’s Good: The best thing about the current state of Uncanny is that Fraction is doing a real nice job of weaving the smaller, more personal stories in and out of the Marvel universe as a whole. The latest issue manages to touch upon X-Force, Dark Reign, Cable, and the bigger aspects of mutant life without ever feeling forced or unnatural. It makes the book easy to like whether you only care about mutants or are a full-blown Marvel zombie.

As for the individual stories being told, they are filled with personality and hold a lot of potential. In addition, the attractive, vibrant visuals by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Justin Ponsor do a great job of complimenting the storytelling. The colors pop and the characters display an impressive level of emotion and liveliness.

What’s Not So Good: Despite how dense the issue feels due to the large amount of dialogue, the storylines don’t really develop enough to be considered satisfying. In short, I like where things are headed, but I don’t really like the glacial pacing being used to get there. There is a whole lot going on, and I give Fraction credit for keeping things well in order. However it almost feels as though the issue has a bit too much on its plate.

Conclusion: There is a lot to like about Uncanny X-Men #505, but at times, it feels like it could buckle under its own weight. While the various stories being told at once are interesting, they are moving forward at a pace that is sure to irritate some. In other words, it will leave you wanting more, in ways both good and bad.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny