I wish I had more comics to review at the moment, but some news just hit the message boards of the comic world and it's BIG. While new comics were delayed this week because of the 4th of July holiday, they were not delayed in Canada or Europe. That means some fans got their hands on them before they hit the stands here in the states. One of those books was X-Force #28, which was supposed to have a big revelation for Second Coming. Well it looks like that revelations has arrived and for once I can say it wasn't a tease.
According to a thread at the Comic Book Resources X-Books board, X-Force #28 brings the powers of Hope Summers to the forefront. In this issue she essentially confirms that she's a mimic of sorts. She forms armor and wields optic blasts. But that's not the big revelation. That comes near the end when she taps the motherfucking PHOENIX FORCE to take out Bastion and destroy the dome covering San Francisco. That's right. All those teasers from before...they weren't bullshitting for once. Hope has taken on the Phoenix Force and used it to great effect.
So that's one plot hole filled. Hope has the Phoenix Force and by the end of the issue, she was hovering over Utopia looking pretty damn powerful like any messiah ought to. It makes for a nice setup as to how she'll undo M-Day. No other power in the X-men's arsenal has been able to undo what Wanda did. But all those powers were a lit fart compared to the Phoenix Force. Solicitations have already revealed that M-Day is going to be undone (as if Marvel couldn't have kept that secret any better). Now we know how.
So Hope has the Phoenix. That still leaves a few questions left unanswered. There still aren't any clues as to the circumstances of Hope's birth. Nobody knows who her parents are or how her powers work. Plus, there's the whole issue of her having red hair, green eyes, and now wielding the Phoenix. Jean Grey anybody? It's been hinted at before. Matt Fraction famously cited Hope Summers when asked about Jean Grey a little over a year ago. Yet that hasn't really come up since. Was Fraction just dicking with us? Joe Quesada said something similar later on. Could Hope be some sort of incarnation of Jean Grey?
It would be a great and novel way to bring her back, but again it may make too much sense. As I've said before, making Hope a redhead with green eyes and Phoenix powers (now confirmed Phoenix powers) essentially makes her a Jean Grey knock-off. That wouldn't be too big a deal of Rachel Grey wasn't still alive, but if for some reason she's just another character that happens to look like Jean and has no connection to her (even though it was established in Endsong that Jean and Phoenix are one in the same) then that is a pretty big plot hole. Marvel managed to do the right thing with the Phoenix. They did not make all those teases meaningless. But will it happen with Jean Grey? We already know from solicitations that Hope will survive. But what about Jean? Can they avoid making a connection at this point? If they do, then Second Coming's caliber of awesome will severely be hindered.
There is only one issue left. That issue may finally resolve this matter once and for all. Or it could be dragged out so it takes years to resolve. Either way, one big teaser has been realized. Hopefully the other doesn't get negated either. I'll try to get a full review of X-Force #28 up when I get a chance. For now, here are the spoilers. The awesome potential is still through the roof. The question remains, will it still be tainted by a gaping plot hole named Jean Grey? I'll blog the news when I hear it along with whatever rant/opinions I have with it.