Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Second Coming Part 2 - Uncanny X-men 523
Well the Second Coming event continued today. This time it came within the pages of Uncanny X-men 523. Picking up right where the Second Coming #1 special left off, this issue hit the ground running. There is action, revelations, character development, and pretty much everything else you could want in a comic billed as the greatest X-event of all times (those are the editors words, not mine). That’s the good news. Unfortunately, there were some stumbling points.
Normally, I like Matt Fraction. He’s got a good feel for the X-men even if he ridiculously bias and damn near blatant at times. You can always tell when a comics is written by him based on the unique style. Unfortunately, that style just does NOT mesh well with what was established by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost. Whereas the first issue was dark and serious, Fraction injected a little humor and light-heartedness. This is all well and good, but it flows about as well as mud through a straw.
The problem lies with his portrayal of Hope Summers, the Mutant Messiah that everybody is fighting over. In the previous issue she was shocked and saddened by the grim surroundings she found herself in. Reading the events of this issue, it’s hard to imagine she was the same girl. For one, she was obsessed with the hair care section of a convenience store she and Cable held up. Later on she entered a motel with Cable and as soon as she saw a nice, comfy bed her eyes lit up like a fat kid in a candy store and she started jumping on the bed. I understand that Hope has grew up in a living hell, but she’s supposed to be 17! Not 7! A few pages later she has Hope stuffing her face with candy, looking like a slob in the process. Not a very flattering image of the messiah. That would be like Jesus Christ getting drunk at the last supper. You get the sense that Fraction doesn’t care much for Hope and doesn’t mind making her look goofy. Not sure what the motivation behind that is, but he doesn’t seem to be taking it as seriously as Kyle and Yost.
Hope’s childishness aside, Fraction does make up for it with the other scenes. The secret of X-Force officially came out and Cyclops was on the wrong side of a moral outrage from Nightcrawler. He didn’t beat around the bush. He flat out admitted it and essentially told his team that he would face the consequences later. Based on his choice of words he didn’t sound too ashamed. That’s some pretty stern leadership and the others continued to follow, despite their outrage.
At the same time Cyclops was coming clean, he organized a mission for the New Mutants. He’s sending them on a collision course with the Sapien League’s big guns and taking the fight to them. It’s playing both offense and defense. It’s the kind of strategy that would make General Zod proud. One would expect nothing less from Fraction, who seems to go out of his way to make Cyclops look badass. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there is a point where the writer starts to push it.
Overall, it sets things up nicely for the next chapter. The New Mutants are taking the fight to Bastion while the rest of the X-men stand poised to meet Hope in all her 17-year-old glory. It’s worth contemplating how they will react to her appearance, given that she looks uncannily similar to another certain redhead they all know and love. It depends on how big a douchebag the writers want to be when it comes to teasing Jean Grey’s return. That confrontation may still have to wait because the next issue will follow the New Mutants as they get a chance to kick some ass and further showcase the awesomeness of Cyclops’s plan.
Second Coming still hasn’t missed a beat! It’s well on it’s way to being every bit as awesome as the writers and editors have claimed. It all depends on whether or not they’ll follow through. They’ve been known to fall flat on their ass before. It only takes one issue. Thankfully, this isn’t the issue. Second Coming is still awesome! Uncanny 523 gets a solid 4 out of 5. I want to give it a perfect score, but I can’t when Hope comes off so goofy.
Bring on the New Mutants! Let the awesome that is Second Coming continue!