Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Comic Purchase: X-Men: Second Coming

So yesterday, I was in the mood for a new trade paperback. Something continuity heavy, and with good art. It was a toss up between some Geoff Johns DC Stuff and X-Men, and I went with the old standby. Damn was this a fine comic. Spoilers follow.

First, this is a great wrap up to the last 5 years or so of X-Men storylines, a very, very satisfying and surprisingly comprehensible read. I'd not been following X-Men regularly for the last few years, and I was able to follow the Second Coming storyline easily, and that's a big plus in my book. The story was amazing, especially for a long time X-reader.

Obviously, the art was amazing. I especially have to give Terry Dodson props- Choi might have got to illustrate the arcs two big deaths: Nightcrawler and Cable, but Dodson got to illustrate Kurt's funeral and his facial expressions sold it. Seeing Wolverine trying to hold back his tears was an amazing experience, and his eulogy at the funeral was one of the best parts of the arc. I also like the quieter admission that Nightcrawler's private chapel was the 'only church I ever set foot in' by White Queen- it reveals alot of her character and emphasizes that Kurt was the rarest of all mythological beasts, one encountered only in fiction, the non-judgmental, genuinely welcoming Christian.

Another two quiet character moments I really enjoyed: that moment of doubt I had upon reading Cyclop's disbanding of X-Force. Did he send X-Force into the future on a suicide mission because they were best suited for the mission, or did he do it to atone for his sins, to get rid of a squad that had become an embarrassment? Does Cyclops even know himself?

Another quiet bit of characterization that involved Cyclops occurred during the final battle between Hope and Bastian. There's a moment when Hope manifests the Phoenix raptor, Cyclops looks on in awe, and Emma Frost looks like she's going to cry- she knows Phoenix will be back sooner or later, and she knows Cyclops will leave her once that happens. Hell, she met Cyclops when he was cheating on his wife, and he's got a real history of infidelity, so she knows what's coming, what's in this guy's history.

The action was equally amazing. My favorite moments: Warlock finally has his revenge on Cameron Hodge- a grudge match going back to X-tinction Agenda back before Image Comics formed. Other favorite moments included the scene where Archangel murdered an F-22 Raptor. Fuck it's good he's back.

I also was blown away at the scene where the Nimrods managed to break Colossus' arm. For me, Colossus is the definition of invulnerability even more so than Superman- we see Superman bloodied by Doomsday or Darkseid or some punk with some Green K, but how often have we actually seen Colossus injured. I can think of twice before now- an early Claremont issue where Deathbird hits a younger and weaker Colossus with some acid, and in Mutant Massacre where it pretty much takes an entire team of Marauders to put Colossus down. You just can't hurt Colossus with anything short of a nuke, so I was staring in open mouthed awe at the fact a squad of Nimrods was able to break him open. One of the best action scenes in the comic, along with that amazing and completely silent 10 page battle against the first wave of Nimrods in Choi's X-Force.

Finally, I loved that while preparing for the second wave of Nimrods, Cyclops sent Colossus- for just the same reasons I mentioned above, Rockslide because he's nearly as tough, Namor (because that dude reguarally trades punches with Hulk) and Dust. Dust, this skinny, shy Muslim girl who still wears a burka is a frontline fighter: because when you stop to think about it, how the hell do you kill a girl who can turn into sand? It reminded me I love 'elemental' characters like her that are made out of something that can't sustain life, but who can still live and percieve: Sandman, Dust, Hydroman, Aquamaria (Blood Syndicate), Brick and The Thing, Prysm (Teen Titans).... they're some of my favorite characters just because I can't figure out how they work, how they even exist- there's something miraclous about that power set that fascinates me.

Anyway, Fursona is up and I'm going to set it up for Print on Demand. I just need to get a back cover together, and I'll do that tonight.

Blessed Be,

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