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Hope Returns

April 11, 2010

     Remember that little story a few years back called Messiah Complex?  Then, the sequel, Messiah War a bit later?  Well, the final part of that trilogy has come, and it starts with X-Men: Second Coming #1.  Second Coming refers directly to Cable and Hope Summers coming back to the present day, but there’s another potential meaning that’s leaving everyone guessing.  So, having defeated Bishop seemingly once and for all, Cable and Hope return to the Xavier Institute in the present day.  As they notice, it’s a wreck, but they don’t have much time to ponder before they get attacked by members of the Right.  Cyclops and the other major X-Men go over the three mutants killed during Necrosha (Onyxx, Meld, Diamond Lil), and Scott has a temper tantrum by himself.  The Three-in-One inform him that Cable has returned, and he deploys various groups of X-Men (Domino and Vanisher, Namor and Rogue, the New Mutants), as well as personally leading an Alpha Roster (consisting of Angel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Psylocke, and X-23, plus Magik and Pixie).  Cable and Hope take out the Right soldiers, then flee in a van as the Sapien League pops up.  Nightcrawler talks to Cyclops about faith, and they arrive at the Institute to find Cable and Hope long gone.  Wolverine tracks them by scent, and the Alpha Roster attacks the Sapien League goons chasing after them.  Wolverine and X-23 capture a couple bad guys, and when they don’t feel like talking, X-23 kills one of them to loosen the other’s tongue.  Nightcrawler is shocked and rather pissed off about this.  Elsewhere, in Washington D.C., Bastion confers with his cronies, a.k.a. Steven Lang, Bolivar Trask, William Stryker, Graydon Creed, and Cameron Hodge and tells them that they must kill Hope.

     Well now, this is how you start a crossover.  I am a bit surprised that Craig Kyle and Chris Yost were the ones who started things out, rather than Matt Fraction, but considering the fact that they handled Messiah War and have worked with Bastion and the Purifiers this whole time, it makes sense.  We’ve got action right from the beginning, and for those of us who haven’t been reading X-Force, we get a sense of exactly who the villains are too.  Plus, we get contextualization for where the X-Men are just after Necrosha.  It’s very good writing on Kyle and Yost’s part, and it’s much appreciated again, since I haven’t been reading X-Force.  Plus, it doesn’t seem so forced that people who know exactly what’s been happening in X-Force will feel like this is just a repeat of what they already know.  It’s highlighting a whole bunch of classic X-Men, and it makes me wonder a bit if Kyle and Yost wouldn’t be better writing these characters than Fraction.  Emma Frost’s few lines are very Emma-like, and characters as diverse as Cyclops, Wolverine, Dr. Nemesis, Magik, Pixie, and Nightcrawler all sound totally in-character.  I’ve missed these guys’ writing.  Plus, we have David Finch, one of the best artists in comic books today, on pencils.  Everything is impeccably drawn, and it’s all very exciting.  Finch is one of those few artists who I can almost never complain about because he’s just that good, and this issue is no different.  I’ve been a bit disappointed with the X-Men line since Fraction took over, but this story looks like it’ll be taking Marvel’s merry mutants in a good direction.  I just wonder who it is who won’t be making it out of this latest story alive…  I also hope they actually stay dead, at least for a little while.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.5      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.1

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