The X-Men are back in New York and using their powers for the benefit of others. Find out their next challenge in X-Men #2 by Marvel Comics!
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 4th, 2021
Previously in X-Men: The mutant nation of Krakoa has done some magnificent things. They have overcome death by combining mutant powers to resurrect their fallen and they have even managed to terraform Mars. However, the X-Men have decided to reform and return to New York to help and provide good publicity for the mutant nation.
A NEW THREAT
X-Men #2 main conflict is when Cordyceps Jones decides to attack again earth again. This time he sends the Annihilation Wave as a weapon! While Jean Grey is busy trying to teach Synch how to control her power, she feels the wave land in Kansas. Soon, the X-Men are in the air to arrive on the scene. Quickly, the group works to contain the situation and prepares to annihilate the Annihilation Wave but Jean Grey feels something. With Polaris’ creating a force field, both her and Jean travel into the wave and discover a dead mind. Using Polaris magnetism and Jean’s telepathy they effectively do an MRI. Once Jean Grey learns it secret, she tells Sunfire to destroy the wave!
After the battle is over, they are invited to a great Kansas barbecue. Somewhere else, we are introduced to a man investigating the X-Men. A man known as Dr. Stasis!
The X-Men section of the Marvel universe has been attempting some crazy things over the last couple of years. I have found it to be a nice chance of pace that X-Men #2 steps away from the problems of Krakoa. I enjoyed reading on how the island of Krakoa changed Sunfire’s perspective on life and fighting and that he has learned restraint. The relationship between Synth and Jean Grey shows a deeper understanding because of a sharing of powers, albeit briefly. Those small moments made the comic for me but it was overwhelmed a bit by the amount of action on the page. The creative team felt like they were trying to have every X-Men do something. Rogue and Wolverine were simply there to fight but didn’t progress the story at all. Which is the struggle with team books. Not every person is going to be able to contribute in every situation.
X-Men #2 also struggles with revealing the main plot. The X-Men have defeated two threats so far but haven’t told us the true villain of this arc. We have a couple of names but nothing really that we can grasp at. Without this threat of danger or a villain to act against the heroes, the reader loses the tension of conflict. Now, Jean Grey knows something from her mind reading but has not revealed that to her team or the audience. I’m confused by this choice but I’ll digress and wait until the next issue before passing judgement.
BOTTOM LINE: FALLING SHORT
The art of X-Men #2 is good and engaging but the writing seems to fall short for me. I wanted a little more conflict. Right now, the X-Men seem to be getting along with each other and are defeating the threats against them easily. Without that tension and conflict, the book doesn’t keep my interest. 3.5 out of 5 for me but I’m still in for the next issue.
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The X-Men perform some amazing feats of power but are handling their problems quickly and without any real struggle.