X-Men:Second Coming Chapter 11 is here, and Zeb Wells’ final New Mutants issue of the cross over was rock solid. It’s a book that made it clearer than ever how much I’m going to miss this when it’s over.
Spoilers to follow.
Much of the issue focuses on the X-Men’s battle with the Nimrod Sentinels at the Golden Gate Bridge. After seeming a bit too easily dealt with in previous issues, the enemy is shown to be a more serious threat here. Despite doing more damage in the issue, it seems these Nimrods are still easier to fight than the original. That machine fought a full team of X-Men to a draw, and it could be that these models just aren’t as powerful even though they’re called the same thing. It stands to reason that the Nimrod that travelled into the past chasing Rachel Summers may have been special in some way, but it does take something away from the current threat to see so many being destroyed relatively easily.
Working with the full cast of characters, Zeb Wells finds high profile ways to showcase two of the characters he’d brought into focus in New Mutants prior to Second Coming. In the future, Cypher is key to getting X-Force and Cable into the human base of operations using his ability to talk to the machines. In the present, Legion is used perfectly to combat the Sentinels pouring in from the future. As Professor Xavier to guides him, Legion’s various personalities, each with their own abilities, present the enemy with a seemingly endless array of power sets to adapt to. It might have helped to set the employment of this tactic earlier in the battle since I can buy that as a way to contain teams of Nimrods. I don’t think it should have come in an earlier issue, they just should have said it was earlier in the battle.
This is clearly Ibraim Roberson’s best issue of the crossover. Some scenes came together much better than others, but the pages with Hope and Rogue were excellently rendered. Everything looks good, but those stood out as exceptional to my eyes. Lan Medina and Nathan Fox are also listed as artists for the book, but I’m not sure how their contributions actually break down. The the opening sequence (along with some other panels) with Legion and Xavier doesn’t seem to be Roberson’s style, but they still look great. So, good work all around. Whoever drew the Master Mold turning its attention on X-Force created something truly intimidating.
The Adi Granov cover this week is beautiful, but maybe a little too posed for my tastes. I really appreciate the fact that Hope and Rogue look different from one another beyond costumes and coloring. Their body types and shapes are distinct and I like it. David Finch’s Legion cover is great, but the fact that those characters were never together anywhere on the pages inside took something away. No chapter has shown the differences in their artistic styles more than this one.
Overall, this book is a 4+ out of 5. The only thing missing is a big payoff, but that’s hard to do in part 11 of 14. The last few pages really set the stage for next week, as Magneto tells Beast to see to his patients in the infirmary and he will “see to their enemies.”