REVIEW: Age of X: Chapter 2 (New Mutants #22)

Posted by under *like, Comics |

Age of X: Chapter 2 shipped side by side with Chapter 1 last week and while I’m confused by this publishing decision, I did enjoy the instant gratification. After what felt like a long time waiting for these books after the information blitz leading up to the series, I’m very satisfied with how things are unfolding. Chapter 1 introduced a new world for the familiar mutants of the X-Men line along with a host of mysteries and Chapter 2 really moved things forward.

Spoilers for the series will follow.

Writer Mike Carey continues to show us a select group of mutants holed up in Fortress X questioning aspects of their circumstance. Rogue (Legacy/Reaper) risks everything to learn what Katherine Pryde saw outside the energy barrier surrounding their home and comes face to face with the Magneto’s prison warden, Danger. She uses a host of borrowed powers to escape after learning that “nothing” is out there beyond the walls and Carey unveils every detail masterfully.

The appearance of the character Blindfold who is clearly aware of (and part of) the normal X-Men status quo is perhaps the best part of the issue. Her manner of speaking is always cryptic and it makes for a perfect mechanism to tease the readers about what’s really going on. The things she saw with her precognitive abilities in X-Men: Legacy #244 (which involved Bling, Gambit, Hellion, Xavier and Legion) somehow led to her being imprisoned in this world. If I had to speculate, I’d say she may have been dragged into one of Danger’s digital prisons, perhaps Legion’s given his prominence as a protector of mutants in the Age of X. It’s almost like they’re all inside an artificial reality that bombards them with assailants to keep them from figuring out that something is wrong, something akin to John Byrne’s Next Men or The Matrix.

I can’t decide if I like Mico Suayan and Marte Gracia’s cover for New Mutants #22. It’s a wild new look for Danger and adds to my thoughts that we may be seeing the interior of one of her virtual prisons in this series. There’s just something about the composition and the color palette that I’m not sure I like.

Steve Kurth and Allen Martinez’s interiors were easier to form an opinion on, but unfortunately I know I’m not a fan. There are some awkward figures and faces along with a heaviness that just doesn’t work for me. It takes nothing away from the story, but it can’t hold up the standards set by Clay Mann’s work in Chapter 1. Their best panel is one of the simplest as Rogue stands before the prison doorway and it really captures a powerful scene without the elements in the art that distracted me.

This was another book that I really enjoyed after a second reading (I’ll be honest, I actually fell asleep reading this the first time around. That was all me and not at all reflective of how good the book is). I’m intrigued by how Mike Carey is weaving this story. I always enjoy seeing alternate timelines, but those details have become secondary to figuring out just what is happening both inside and out of Fortress X. March 9th can’t get here soon enough.

Read more about this series at our Age of X hub.

Keep up with all of our Age of X reviews:
Age of X: Chapter 1 / Age of X: Chapter 3

Related Posts with Thumbnails