10 Thoughts Review on X-Men Second Coming #2 by Mike Carey, Matt Fraction, Zeb Wells, Kyle and Yost

1. In four mini-stories, each told by a different creative team, we get the fallout for the massive Second Coming event, which ended when Hope manifested the Phoenix to destroy Bastion, but not before her adoptive father, Cable died.

2. Zeb Wells gets the actual wrap up to the battle, with Hope seeming like she’s the savior, then collapsing with her father’s arm. This is a great way to show that Hope is the savior while maintaining her humanity.

3. The scene, still by Wells, (I’ll note when we change writers), with all of the mutants being helped with their injuries by Beast and Dr. Nemesis is excellent and full of tiny character moments, but the best is Hellion fearing Magneto, along with the budding relationship between Hope and Magnus.

4. Chapter 2 is Mike Carey at Cable’s funeral. Cyclops being upset is absolutely well-handled. He’s even repressed in his grief, shown wonderfully by Esad Ribic’s art, even though he does break down.

5. Hope’s discussion of the tenets of Cable’s life are absolutely pitch perfect for the characters of both and fitting for their relationship. They’re so good, here are the blessings for which a soldier prays:

1) To fight for things that matter — things that are real.
2) To find comrades who he loves and trusts to fight alongside him.
3) And to die on his feet.

6. And after, Carey shows himself a master of tone as he switches from this sad, humanizing moment to the other young mutants viewing her as more a symbol than a person, saying she represents them all. It’s jarring and fits perfectly.

7. Rogue really did almost cost the team everything by letting Hope fight, so Cyclops taking her off the active roster is absolutely on point. She deserves it, even if we can sympathize.

8. Storm and Wolverine’s big talk about X-Force by Kyle and Yost really doesn’t work wonderfully well, despite the well constructed, in character dialogue. Has Storm really been away so long that she forgot that Wolverine kills?

9. The X-Force formation stuff worked well for me. X-23 really shouldn’t be used as a killing machine, Cyclops really should be trying to rise above it, and Wolverine really should know better.

10. The X-Force team, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Wolverine, of course, leads and makes perfect sense. He’s also got a relationship with Fantomex that makes him fit in. Archangel’s dark side means he belongs. Deadpool should, however, have no interest in hanging around, and I’m not sure what Psylocke is doing there- she’s in the body of an assassin, not an assassin herself and feels added on just to have a female.

11. Chapter 4 is Matt Fraction taking us to where Uncanny X-Men are going. Namor as a representative soldier of the new X-Men and Beast of the old dream superhero team are great contrasts.

12. Cyclops actually reaching out throughout the issue, vulnerable and determining the quality of the decisions that brought him here is an excellent progression of the character path that Grant Morrison put him on in X-Men so many years ago.

13. The Phoenix, likely Jean Grey, talking to Emma, presenting a threat to her and Scott, is subtle and beautifully done. Not to be lost in this is that Emma isn’t the only one staring at the giant flaming bird.

14. So, the five lights are the new mutants that Hope has brought about. Validation for Cyclops was needed and now he has it.

15. Rating: 8/10 – This is a great comic, mixing contrasts, emotional moments and various degrees of fallout from the major event. Second Coming is the best X-Crossover since Age of Apocalpyse.

Stay tuned tomorrow morning for a 10-Thoughts Review on The Heroic Age Uncanny X-Men with still more fallout from Second Coming and the fate of Hope! For another review on this book, click here.

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