The new mutant homeland is located on Krakoa… but what is this OTHER island? Your Major Spoilers review of X-Men #2 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 13, 2019
Previously in X-Men: When an island full of unspeakable horrors appears on the horizon, the X-Men have their work cut out for themselves keeping Krakoa safe!
THE ADVENTURES OF CYCLOPS AND HIS AMAZING CHILDREN
We open with Cyclops announcing to Prestige and Cable, his future children sent back to the present, that something is on a collision course with Krakoa and offering some father/son/daughter bonding time as they go to check it out. Their investigation quickly leads to the revelation that it’s another island, and that both atolls are making a beeline for each other. Worse, the fauna of this new island is out to kill them, leading to a triple dose of Summers Family Ultraviolence. They are then confronted by a Summoner of Arakko (whose whole deal is explained in a text page, which is nice) but the language barrier keeps them from finding out what is going on. Then, Cable offers the Summoner a gift: His last stun grenade…
…which then goes off, leading to some more battle sequences, until Cyclops reminds Prestige/Rachel that she’s a telepath. The resulting conversation leads to the revelation that Krakoa and the island of Arak Coral are in love, which leads to some remarkably racy island sex.
WAIT, THE ASSASSINATION OF WHO?
My biggest problem with this issue is how remote it all feels, including the odd and awkward use of famililal terms of affection among the Summers clan, who aren’t exactly a typical family. Rachel and Cable even squabble in a sibling rivalry sort of way, but it lacks a lot of emotional punch for me, since we never saw the buildup of these relationships. It doesn’t help that Leinil Yu’s art tends to have a limited range of expression, making it unclear whether the teasing is meant to be friendly or something else. in fact, with the excpetion of wone subtle smile from Cyclops and an angry Summoner face that’s pretty terrifying, there aren’t a lot of moments where I could tell what anyone was thinking. The rendition of the islands is impressive, I will admit, and a scene where a monster attacks a strange wild rhino creature is remarkable to look at, but the combined effect of this story is one of alienation for me. I’m interested in it, it feels like there’s a lot of potential just waiting to be tapped, but I feel like so much of the story is still being held back and it’s hard to get into.
BOTTOM LINE: I… DON’T REALLY LIKE THIS
This isn’t to say that it’s a bad comic. X-Men #2 has a lot of enjoyable moments and a whole new dynamic for Rachel, Scott and Nate, and the art has it’s successes, but the wide-screen take on the entire X-franchise makes this issue feel like I have to read all the X-books in order to understand what’s going on, leading to a still better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. This comic book will be right up a lot of readers’ alleys, though, and I recommend giving it a look, if only to keep up with what’s happening in the X-corner of the universe, much of which works better for me than this particular issue does.
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It's a story that has a lot going for it, but the combination of Yu's art and a lack of context for the story/character beats doesn't really do it for me. That's not to say it's not good, just that it's not for me.