REVIEW: X-Men Second Coming ø9

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X-Men: Second Coming Chapter ø9 is available at comics shops everywhere this week. The book featured some great action and moved the crossover into the final act. More details will follow, among them will be what some would consider spoilers.

The issue was a quick read as the first bit of dialog doesn’t appear until page 11. The opening of the book depicts the fight between the X-Men and the Nimrod Sentinels pouring out of a portal to the future above the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the greatest elements in the scene is seeing Namor bashing apart Sentinels for what may be the first time for the character.

After the first wave is defeated, Cyclops devises a plan to stop the Sentinels at the source using a revised X-Force line up and Cable’s last time jump that he was saving for Hope. The problem with one jump is that there’s no return trip. It’s a tremendous sacrifice that the whole team is willing to commit, banking on Cypher being able to knock out all of the Sentinels at once. Chris Yost and Craig Kyle capture the tension and emotions of the moment perfectly, particularly as Wolverine makes a remark about Cypher’s vulnerability to bullets (he was shot and killed years ago before being reanimated by a techno-organic virus) which enrages his teammate Dani Moonstar. The writers deliver a solid issue from top to bottom from the pitched battle to the team’s departure on their one-way trip.

Mike Choi and Sonia Oback deliver some truly brutal images of the battle and from the opening page everything looks good. It was definitely cool to see the art team given 10 wordless pages to tell the story, which they did exceptionally well. I still don’t know what it is about their style, but even though gory things are happening (Rogue absorbs Angel’s powers and grows wings, one of which is in turn ripped from her back) the presentation is almost too clean.

The David Finch cover may be my favorite of the series as it harkens back to one of the great cover images from Messiah Complex. The bonus is that it perfectly captures a moment in the issue as Cable and Hope part company for what could be the last time. It’s tough to make that call this week because the Adi Granov cover featuring Cable and the current version of X-Force is also truly beautiful.

Overall this book is easily a 4 out of 5. It takes the story into some of my favorite X-Men territory with the time travel and puts the characters through their paces physically and emotionally. Some of the X-Men are gravely wounded by the end of the issue (particularly Iceman and Hellion), but I’m afraid there’s going to be far worse to come. Obviously, part of the X-Force team will return considering Wolverine is with them, but I don’t know that everyone will make it back from the future alive.

Again Marvel was at it in May with variant covers in addition to the two covers each issue of Second Coming already has. This time it was a set of “Heroic Age” variants celebrating the end of the Dark Reign/Siege era and the return of a more conventional status quo to the Marvel Universe. While I appreciate the cohesion of the design for these covers, it’s not a design I particularly like. Different artists were used for each of the various titles bearing these covers, and there’s not really any one that’s a must have for me.

More on X-Men: Second Coming
Chapter ø8 / Chapter 10

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