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The Sacrifice

July 12, 2010

Second Coming is almost over, but the fight between the X-Men and Bastion and his forces comes to a close with X-Men: Legacy #237 and X-Force #28.  Magneto fights a group of Nimrods while X-Force tries to stall the giant Master Mold long enough for Cypher and Cable to take it down from the inside.  The Master Mold starts trying to assimilate Cypher when he tries to interface.  Back in the present, Hope and Rogue arrive as backup, and Magneto takes out a few Nimrods by using the metal in Utopia (formerly Asteroid M).  As the X-Men fight with all they have, Cypher manages to beat the Master Mold and shut it down.  The Nimrods deactivate in the present, but as X-23 finds out, nothing organic can go back through the portal.  Hope screams at Cyclops in anger just as Cable starts bursting through the portal, giving himself up to the techno-organic virus.  Thor pounds on the dome from the outside, and the rest of X-Force makes it through thanks to Cable.  However, the virus completely takes Cable over, and he explodes, leaving only the arm that was originally infected.  Bastion turns Graydon Creed and Stephen Lang into Sentinels and prepares for the final fight.  Hope remembers when Cable first told her about how she knew she’d be ready to go back in time just as Bastion arrives.  When Bastion attacks, Hope starts manifesting other mutants’ powers, just like before with Cyclops.  she uses Armor’s, Colossus’, Iceman’s, Magma’s, and Cyclops’ power, and then she starts emitting an aura much like that of the Phoenix Force.  Cyclops and Wolverine knock Bastion off balance, and Hope deals the final blow as her eyes burn with fire.  The dome comes down, and Hope rises into the air, glowing.

Well, the last installment of Second Coming will have no fighting with Bastion in it.  For all we know, it’ll feature Hope as the final villain, as some new version of the Dark Phoenix.  I don’t know.  In fact, I have no idea what her powers really are, what’s up with the power mimicry, and if she’s Jean Grey returned or what.  But believe me, I’m interested.  Sadly, I’m still only interested in her in terms of the mystery surrounding her rather than her as a character.  Never really cared about her much.  And for some reason, all her anger towards Cyclops seems much more… hollow than it should be.  And I expected more out of Bastion than that sad little ending.  Perhaps that was to show just how powerful Hope is.  But I felt a bit cheated out of a great big finale with him.  Or maybe, again, the point is that he’s not the final threat.  Who knows?  I do have to give props to everyone, though, for making me like Cable for one moment, as he died.  I’ve always hated Cable as a character, but that panel, when he’s smiling, just before he dies… that was sad.  The rest of the story came out rather well, and all the fighting showed how desperate this final battle is a lot better than with some of the previous issues.  Mike Carey’s little “a kiss on the cheek from Satan” thing with Domino was a tad silly, but the rest of his work was good.  Craig Kyle and Chris Yost naturally did good work, aside from the aforementioned hollowness of Hope’s rage.  Greg Land’s work is still rather ugly, and Mike Choi’s work is still absolutely stellar.  He did a great job with Hope and her aura, and again, I loved that panel with Cable smiling.  While I wouldn’t call this the best X-Men story, Second Coming has certainly been one of the better crossovers.  The middle wasn’t anywhere near as good as the beginning and end, but that happens a lot in big stories.  I’m excited to see how this ends, especially considering the teasers indicating new mutants on the way.  But believe me, I’m definitely “praying for a resurrection” for Nightcrawler ASAP.  I miss the elf already…

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 8.9      Overall: 8.6

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