Friday, June 28, 2013

X-Men #2

After a very promising start with the first issue, I have to admit that the second issue of X-Men (which I still say should be called "X-Women") was a bit of a letdown.

That's because it is almost entirely given over to a stuck-in-their-own-house battle royale with very little in the way of character development or actual tension on display.

I admit that a lot of my struggles with this issue spring from the fact that I've never heard of some of the characters involved. Perhaps they appeared in one of the zillion X-books that I haven't read (I have generally only followed the main X-Men or Uncanny X-Men comics, but I have been reading since the title started in the 1960s), or perhaps these are new characters created for this comic. No idea.

So we have a couple of ancient lifeforms duking it out - one biological-based (named Sublime), the other technology-based (named Arkea). The evil Arkea invades the Jean Grey School looking to kill her brother and takes over the body of Karima Shapandar, the Omega Sentinel.

I only know these things because I cribbed that paragraph from the information text on page one of the comic - I never heard of any of those characters before (or if I had, I've blocked them from my memory).

Arkea takes over the mansion and turns it against the team, leading to a big knock-down, wall-smashing battle worthy of the last 30 minutes of Man of Steel. It's one of those issues where you get to the end, and the only thing you've accomplished is reaching a new cliffhanger.

Look, the art is terrific - Olivier Coipel does wonderful work, working alongside inkers Mark Morales and Scott Hanna - geat character designs, powerful layouts - it's the best thing about the issue.

Next issue's story will wrap up the opening storyline - here's hoping the ending holds together better than the middle.

Grade: C+


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