REVIEW: X-Men Second Coming 12

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Mike Carey’s final X-Men: Legacy issue of the X-Men: Second Coming crossover is on the shelf this week. Carey is one of my favorite writers, so the expectations are high. I haven’t been disappointed by many of his issues over the course of his run on this title, but  how does this one measure up? Read on to find out.

Spoilers ahead.

I have to start off with the cover art this time since the Adi Granov image is simply amazing. It’s not often that images don’t show up in solicitations or websites months before books ship, but this is an image that was seemingly kept under wraps until a preview appeared last week. There’s just something I enjoy immensely about seeing things for the first time when they’re on the shelf or will be the next time I go into a store. I found myself going back to check it out more than once in the past week, and the printed product is even more impressive. The David Finch cover is something I did see a few months ago, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. It’s a great image that speaks volumes seeing the mighty Magneto in what appears to be a hopeless situation.

The question mark going into this issue for me was Greg Land. His work on Second Coming has been decent, but this might be his best X-Men work to date. There are some truly great pages here as Cypher enters the cybernetic mind of the Master Mold, and just about every image of Cable is spot on. His emergence through the portal is epic and Land’s art really sells it. There’s also a page when Magneto attacks the invading Sentinels that’s brilliant. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the change to Bastion’s appearance since his confrontation with Nightcrawler and Rogue. It’s certainly not Land’s fault, I just noticed it more in this issue than previous ones.

Mike Carey does a tremendous job with every character and scene in this book. This is an issue where he really shines and serves as a great example of what he’s capable of with these characters. Magneto, Hope, X-Force, Cable, Wolverine and Cypher all have outstanding moments and Carey handles them perfectly as they bring large and small elements of this crossover together. Wolverine offering to carry Cypher away to safety is a particularly compelling scene considering the derision he showed for the boy a few issues ago. This is a 4+ out of 5 and ramps up the intensity more than I thought was possible at Chapter 12 of 14.

X-Men: Second Coming – Revelations: X-Factor #206

X-Factor’s tie-in issues for X-Men: Second Coming conclude this month as three very separate stories of the team are brought together nicely after having been separated for several issues. The pacing Peter David uses to move all the players into place is fantastic and artists Valentine DeLandro and Pat Davidson use great images to end each story beat. The major revelation here is that Bastion’s human coalition are not all willing participants. Bolivar Trask is shown to be so desperate to regain control of his actions he orders his men to stand down and takes his own life. When the opportunity presents itself, he acts to save his enemies and sacrifice himself, thanking the mutant who made it possible.

This three-issue story was effective at showing the affects of Second Coming on X-Factor without bringing in too many outside story elements.  It’s not terribly disruptive to the flow of the series, and seeds were planted for future shorelines with the inclusion of Baron Mordo and more mysteries revolving around Layla Miller. It’s a story worth reading, if you’re following Second Coming, X-Factor, or ideally both.

More on X-Men: Second Coming
Chapter 11 / Chapter 13
X-Factor #205

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