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Hope Yet Remains

August 3, 2010

X-Men: Second Coming #2 brings the crazy Second Coming crossover to an end.  The X-Men have lost another with Cable, and Hope collapses on the ground, holding his arm.  She wakes up later as Colossus gets the bone in his arm reset.  Beast has barely any time to deal with her before going to help Dr. Nemesis with Angel.  Iceman seems to be healing up fine, and Karma is less than pleased to see her new leg prosthesis.  Hope chats with Magneto, who was more than a tad pleased at her victory over Bastion.  Magneto then scares away Hellion, who’s just complaining about his arms.  Later, Hope has a flashback about talking to Cable while they were traveling across time and about how she was worried about losing him.  In the present day, Cyclops breaks down while trying to speak at Cable’s funeral, and Hope delivers her own speech about how Cable was a soldier.  She spends some time alone at the pier afterward, and Cyclops removes Rogue from the combat roster for endangering Hope before.  Later, Storm comes in to talk with Wolverine about X-Force.  She is less than pleased about it, and she says that it is likely that this will be the last drink they ever share together.  Wolverine kicks X-23 out of X-Force, saying that he never should have let her on the team.  Cyclops tells Wolverine to disband the team because it has no place  in their bright future.  However, Wolverine meets with Deadpool, Psylocke, Angel (as Archangel), and Fantomex, his new Uncanny X-Force, saying that no one can know.  Beast starts packing up to leave again, and Namor helps him gather his stuff.  However, Namor believes that Beast is abandoning his people, while Beast is just happy about having a clear conscience.  Namor tries to play basketball with Iceman and Angel while Cyclops ponders losing Beast again.  He meets with Emma Frost, who is watching Hope and the kids at a bonfire.  After Cyclops leaves, she sees Hope standing in front of the bonfire, and the bonfire turns into a phoenix shape.  She remembers the vision she had of Jean Grey from before, back when the Sisterhood of Mutants attacked, and she goes running to find Cyclops.  At that time, five new mutants pop up on Cerebra.  The mutant race has a chance again.

Well, this was, sadly, not what I was hoping the end of this story would be.  I was hoping for a more definitive ending, with us finding out what Hope really is, whether she’s Jean Grey reborn, some new manifestation of the Phoenix Force, or whatever.  I was also hoping for a bit more of an exciting final fight with Bastion.  Instead, this whole story was a fight that didn’t really answer any questions.  It was just getting rid of the biggest threat to mutantkind.  Unfortunately, that makes it less than satisfying.  Even though most of the story was good, it just didn’t have the appropriate ending.  Now, personally, I have always found Cable to be a character who is a manifestation of one of the biggest problems of the X-books: too much time travel and ridiculous continuity knots.  Plus, I never really got to know who he was.  So I wasn’t exactly sad that he died.  Sure, his actual death scene was touching.  But I didn’t quite feel like any of the writers quite nailed the emotions that would be associated with his death.  The best writers make you mourn for characters you don’t like, and that wasn’t the case.  I also can’t help but feel that the conscience argument relating to X-Force is wearing thin.  Let’s be honest.  Mutantkind was fighting for its life, and people like Storm, Nightcrawler, and Beast were still worried about morality.  I thought X-Men was better than something like that.  I’m disappointed that they haven’t gotten over this yet.  Nightcrawler really made sense being an objector, but it’s getting annoying now.  I mean, this overall was a very well-constructed epilogue issue.  Zeb Wells, Mike Carey, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and Matt Fraction did a good job, despite those couple of problems I mentioned.  The art was a tad disappointing.  Ibraim Robertson did a good job, but Esad Ribic’s faces are in too odd of angles, and they just look strange, if not ugly, Greg Land is still Greg Land, and Terry Dodson’s work just isn’t what it used to be.  His Beast now looks just ridiculous with all that fur on his face.  But the biggest problem, as I said, was that the story leading up to this wasn’t satisfying enough.  There should have been one more chapter with a bigger fight and more about Hope.  More questions answered rather than posed.  Because as exciting as it is to have new mutants, that really just does pose more questions.  I’m interested to see where this new status quo goes, but I’m definitely not buying the new Generation Hope series.  I mean, I still don’t even like Hope that much as a character.  This story never quite sold me on her, and I’m not about to jump onto a brand new series without at least checking out early reviews.  I still say the X-Men line needs some new talent and a totally different direction, despite the promise that parts of Second Coming offered.

Plot: 6.8      Art: 8.0      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 7.0

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