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Extinction Agenda

June 14, 2010

The latest major mutant crossover, X-Men: Second Coming, continues with Uncanny X-Men #524, New Mutants #13, X-Men: Legacy #236, and X-Force #27.  First, everyone mourns the death of Nightcrawler, and Hope Summers begins to buckle under the weight of everyone’s expectations of her.  Donald Pierce plots to take out the X-Men from within, and Cannonball leads a team into Limbo to rescue Magik.  Beast returns to pay his respects to Nightcrawler and because the need for aid is so dire, and the team takes a brief moment to remember Kurt.  Elsewhere, Vanisher tries to flee when Domino gets word of what’s going on, but he ends up getting killed by Stephen Lang.  While investigating the oil rigs that Cypher was looking at, the X-Club realize that the rigs were a trap, and that they’re bombs.  Moonstar fights with Hope because she’s mad about what’s been lost in protecting Hope.  Then, Pierce destroys the Blackbirds, grounding the X-Men.  The X-Men kill Pierce, and Hope tells Cable that she wasn’t ready to come back in time.  Then, after the rigs explode, a large red globe forms around Utopia and part of the bay area.  It’s completely impenetrable.  However, they note that there’s a white sphere inside of it.  The Avengers show up, but Thor’s hammer isn’t enough to break through.  Hope ultimately decides to stay, and advanced Nimrods start pouring out of the white sphere.  The X-Men manage to defeat all of them, though Hellion loses both his hands, Iceman is badly burned, and other X-Men, including Rogue, Armor, and Surge are wounded.  Seems there are thousands more Nimrods on the other side of that white sphere, which is a time portal.  Cyclops decides to send X-Force to close it, and Cypher and Cable join in.  As more Nimrods burst through, Cyclops acknowledges that he sent X-Force on a suicide mission, and that he’s just killed his son.

So, Bastion is trying to bring Nimrod’s future to the present time, that future being Days of Future Past, in which mutants are almost completely extinct.  Although this seems like a rather logical plan, I can’t help but feel like Matt Fraction, Zeb Wells, Mike Carey, Craig Kyle, and Chris Yost are making everything seem significantly more complicated than it is.  When you think about the plan, it makes sense, but within the story, it seems so confusing.  Also, the cast of characters involved is so unwieldy, and most of them are doing nothing but providing pointless cameos.  I’m looking at you, Toad.  There’s also the issue of Bastion as a villain, since he’s so robotic that his motivations just aren’t that interesting.  The core story is still fun, but this feels like too long a story that’s already lost the excitement that made its earlier installments so entertaining.  Terry Dodson’s art still hasn’t quite recovered from having being forced onto a regular monthly schedule, as evidenced by funky noses and occasionally spotty anatomy (see Cable’s arm when he’s pointing at Cyclops).  Ibrahm Robertson and Mike Choi’s work is still great, and Greg Land’s is still butt ugly.  I can barely tell who he is drawing sometimes.  But the art isn’t enough to justify these weaknesses.  Nothing exemplifies the problem that this crossover is going through more than the part in X-Force #27 with the silent battle.  Maybe Kyle and Yost thought that it could be really cool and artsy, but instead, it comes off as disconnected.  The only part that really got me was Hellion and his arms.  At this point, I wonder if it wouldn’t be better if the X-Men just got a clean slate with a totally new status quo and a lot of this old bits of continuity just laid to rest once and for all.

Plot: 7.8      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 8.4      Overall: 7.9

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