Wednesday, August 04, 2010

‘Second Coming’: Recycled villains, mutant epic

The X-Men crossover event Second Coming reintroduces the mutant child from “Messiah Complex,” Hope Summers, now 17 and hunted by all types of mutant-haters led by old robot foe Bastion. The 14-chapter story runs through four regular X-books, and is written by the titles’ respective scribes (Fraction, Carey, Yost, Kyle and Wells). It’s one big slugfest after another, as the X-Men fight recycled villains Cameron Hodge, William Stryker, and Donald Pierce, among others. There are major deaths, which don’t necessarily feel final, but they’re nicely done. There are three tie-ins: X-Factor is simple but satisfying; X-Men: Hellbound brings back N’astirh and Gambit’s Horseman persona (groan); the one-shot Blind Science starring the X-Club of scientists is competently written and drawn. Second Coming’s art teams, while having different styles, complement the darker and faster-paced story; it doesn’t have the messy, cartoony look of Messiah Complex. The event could have been shorter and tighter, but the changes introduced to the mutant universe are intriguing.

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