X-Men: Second Coming One-Shot Review
- Published on Monday, 05 April 2010 15:00
- Written by Kevin
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I gave up on reading any X-Men title for about two years now. The last X-Men comic that I picked up was Uncanny X-Men #501. It has hurt not picking up a X-Men title (outside of Wolverine: Weapon X) for so long as the X-Men are titles, along with Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Batman, that I have been reading since I was a kid. I actually really enjoyed Messiah Complex the problem was that Marvel completely botched all the potential coming out of Messiah CompleX that I had to drop all the X-books from my pull list. From what I’ve heard from some friends the X-Men titles have not gotten much better since I stopped picking them up.
Call it nostalgia, but there is something about the X-Men that will draw me back. When I saw this one-shot to start off the next big X-Men event, just like the one that launched Messiah CompleX, I could not resist picking it up to check out what is going on with the X-Men. So did X-Men: Second Coming One-Shot kick off this big X-Men event right? Or does it just disappoint? Hit the jump button to find out.
Writers: Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Artist: David Finch
Inker: Matt Banning
Colorist: Peter Steigerwald
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Now this is what I am talking about. When you kick off an event or crossover you better start things off with a bang. Don’t give me a slow, methodical issue in order to set-up everything for your big story. Catch my attention with big things happening to the characters involved that doesn’t have to feel like a complete set-up. It should feel like a continuation of the ongoing stories for the group of characters involved in the story. And that is exactly what Craig Kyle and Chris Yost do with this one-shot that kicks off Second Coming.
Even though I have not followed the X-Men and their adventures for close to two years now at no point in the issue did I feel lost with what was going on. Kyle and Yost quickly layout what is going on with the X-Men as they face their opposition who are trying to exterminate the mutant race. There is a great sense of desperation and that facing the brink of extension has taken its toll on all of the X-Men.
While some characters are given much more dialogue than others Kyle and Yost write all the characters involved like they are supposed to be written even if a character only gets one line. A big example of this is Namor who gets two lines in the whole issue and it still sounded like how Namor is supposed to sound. I really liked how Cyclops as the leader of the X-Men understood what buttons he had to press to get all of the X-Men to listen to him. His line of having Rogue tell Namor that Namor needs to stay on Utopia because he is the strongest mutant they got really worked well with a character that has as big an ego as Namor.
As someone who has always been a fan of Cyclops character it is great seeing Kyle and Yost showing different layers to the character especially with him having to carry the weight of the whole mutant race on his shoulders. Professor X and Magneto aren’t around anymore as two other leaders of the mutant race. Scott is now the big dog that everyone, even Prof X and Magneto, are looking at too led them. And just like any great leader Scott shows all the confidence a great leader needs while in private moments shows how great of a weight being the one leader of a nation has on a person.
The moment after his meeting, with what looks like his council of X-Men, in which he waits for everyone to lead before showing his true emotions and lets out a optic blast that blows a hole in the wall of the meeting room was a great character moment where you could tell how much the past year, in Marvel time, has affected Scott. What made this scene even better was the panel right after that Scott shifted back into confident leader mode when the Stepford Cuckoos inform him they found something on Cerebra, which turned out to be Cable. It was a great turn that Kyle and Yost, as well as David Finch with the art for that scene, masterfully handled.
I loved how quickly Scott assessed the situation and split the X-Men into various groups in such a quick fashion to go save Cable, have back-up ready, and keep some heavy hitters on Utopia protecting the mutant nation. I am very interested to see what Scott and Logan know because once the Alpha team was assembled and arrived at the destroyed X-Mansion it seemed Scott and Logan knew much more than everyone else that they are keeping secret.
And probably the character that is feeling as much of the weight of what is going on is Logan. It really felt as though Logan has been just as in the center of things as Scott is. I especially liked the last panel Logan was in where you could tell that Logan wants to tell Nightcrawler and the X-Men everything he knows but knows he can’t. It was another scene stealer that Finch absolutely nailed.
Also, not to be outdone all the other X-Men are given some moments in this issue, like Namor and Logan that I mentioned above. Two other characters that were real standouts were Nightcrawler and X-23. Nightcrawler had some great scenes here as he is sort of the voice of the reader as he is on the outside of the inner circle that seems to only include Scott, Logan, and Emma. His reaction to what X-23 did was great as it was basically what I thought when I saw what X-23 did and how someone like Nightcrawler would react.
X-23 was the other standout in this issue. There seems to be a lot going on with X-23 as she was taken things much more serious than the other X-Men. She was definitely very focused and prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.
Not to be left out Cable and Hope had some great scenes in this issue. Seeing Hope tear up at the picture of the original X-Men you could tell that Hope has a lot of emotions she has been hidden inside that shortly came out in that one moment. I liked that Cable quickly came in and acting like a father and a soldier at the same time told Hope she needed to calm down as they can’t waste time.
Cable and Hope’s fight with the Sapien League Sentinel-type robots was a great scene to show how much a soldier Cable is. Cable is first and foremost a soldier. He has battled in wars his whole life and seeing him take down all those robots with such efficiency was a great way to establish this. Hope also showed that she has some great training from Cable as she was able to takedown some of the robots without using whatever her powers are.
Also, I liked that the villains for this X-Men event is basically all the X-Men human villains who have come together as one massive group. It fits the tone of this story being about saving the mutant race. It’ll be interesting to see how all this turns out.
The only thing I had a problem with when it came to the story was finding out that Second Coming is a 14-part story that spans Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants, X-Men: Legacy, and X-Force while also having X-Factor and 4 tie-in issues that are not included in those 14-part issues. That is a huge commitment from April to July that will kill it for a lot of people. Just seeing that list automatically means that I will not be reading this crossover in the monthly format and will trade wait instead.
So while this issue did its job in getting me excited to read the story seeing how long and big of a monetary commitment it this crossover is it difficult to continue to read the story going forward in the next three and a half months. I can’t wait for the trade though at the same time I hope this is the last time we see such a big and long crossover for the X-Men because once a crossover/event gets to be more than six issues it is just too much.
This was David Finch’s swan song as it was his last work for Marvel and what a great way to go out. Finch absolutely knocks it out of the park with this issue. The whole issue felt like you where watching a big budget summer blockbuster movie. The biggest example of this is that big two page splash page where all the X-Men appear and dive straight into the Sapien League’s vans. That was just a spectacular splash page that gives this issue a “Hell Yeah!” type moment. And the issue as a whole had some great moments like Cable and Hope’s Terminator type appearance at the beginning of the issue, Cyclops moment after the meeting, and Cyclops assembling all the X-Men which Finch beautifully illustrates. This was the perfect way for Finch to go out on his tenure at Marvel and goes off to start his new gigs over at DC Comics, which I am excited to see what he does at DC.
Overall: While I am not going to be picking up the whole Second Coming event, thanks to it being a 14-part story, this one-shot to kick off the event did its job in getting me excited to read the story in the eventual trade. Craig Kyle and Chris Yost delivered everything that you expect from the opening chapter of an event and more. Though I can’t recommend picking up the whole event because of the huge monetary commitment I will say if you’re interested in the X-Men I recommend picking this issue up to see if it gets you interested in picking up the story when it comes out in trade. I know this got me looking forward to picking up the eventual hardcover for the event.