REVIEW: X-Men Second Coming ø4

Posted by under *like, Comics |

X-Men: Second Coming Chapter ø4 is in stores now, and the book did not disappoint. Spoilers below.

The New Mutants’ victory over The Right comes at a price, though not the one I expected. While Karma is seriously wounded, the real sacrifice is that Warlock is forced to make an impossible choice and take several lives to save his friends. This is dangerous territory for any character, but given the warlike nature of his species, it could be enough to send him spiraling out of control. The fact that the decision came at the urging of his most trusted friend, Doug Ramsey, might not help their relationship going forward.

The way the early chapters of this crossover have dovetailed into focusing on each writer’s characters has been well done. This issue highlights that particularly well as the focus turns to Rogue for the first X-Men: Legacy chapter of Second Coming. Mike Carey is by far my favorite X-writer currently (for past few years actually) and he shines here not only with his continued sure handling of Rogue, but all the X-Men he uses in the issue. The pacing and dialog are outstanding throughout.

Greg Land, the artist for Second Coming’s X-Men: Legacy issues, is a polarizing figure among today’s comic book artists primarily for his use of photo reference in his work. I have a lot of mixed feelings about his art, and this issue had it’s ups and downs. There are a number of transitions in style that were jarring going from page to page. Much of the issue had characters and panels that were drastically divergent, particularly the full page image of Warlock. It just does not fit in with the style of most of the issue. The Right have an admittedly silly look with the “smilely” helmets, but they looked even more absurd with the artistic choice of Land to give some of them teeth that did not match. All that said, there were pages that I thought looked great, particularly once we got to the scenes with Cable and Hope holing up in the trailer park. Everything there seemed fairly tight.

Again this week, I think the superior cover is the David Finch image of Rogue. The Adi Granov cover is beautiful, as I’ve come to expect from him at this point, but the subject of Finch’s is far more compelling to me. I love the way it harkens back to Uncanny X-Men #194, where incidentally Rogue fought a Nimrod sentinel that eventually became part of Bastion. Land’s handling of the same image on the interior was decent, but pales to what Finch was able to capture.

Overall, I’m giving this issue a solid 4 out of 5. We’re still in the first act of a long story, but this is a well put together installment. What it lacks on the artistic side is more than made up for by the writing. It’s a shame a death has been teased for Chapter ø5 as it kind of took away from a character death that occurs in this issue. The stage is set for another major conflict between the X-Men’s alpha team (this time with Cable) and a cadre of anti-mutant extremists, but this time we know someone isn’t walking away (although I really wish we didn’t). Looking back to the teaser image for this, it’s interesting to note that only Cable, Colossus and Angel are at the site of the coming battle, so it’s either Cable or something is coming from out of left field.

X-Men: Second Coming – Revelations: X-Factor #204

Also out this week was X-Factor #204 which is a peripheral tie-in to Second Coming. It’s hard for me to say how well it stands on its own, but it’s a decent issue with a lot of high spots. It would absolutely be unclear who the major antagonists are without reading any of Second Coming proper, but Peter David does his best to give you what you need to understand and the recap page at the front of the book handles the summary nicely. It’s a testament to David’s writing that this issue flows so nicely with the ongoing story, but now it has a giant Second Coming logo. I think anyone coming in just for the crossover would have no problem keeping up and there truly are some revelations, particularly what we learn about Bastion’s degree of control over his colleagues. Artist Valentine De Landro continues to do moody work on the book that fits the tone. Easily a 3 out of 5 with the promise of big things to come.

More on X-Men: Second Coming
Chapter ø3 / Chapter ø5
X-Factor #205

Related Posts with Thumbnails