Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Kyle, Yost, Choi & Oback
Second Coming rolls along as Chapter Nine presents the X-Men’s response to Bastion’s endgame. The issue moves quickly, which in part is helped by the opening sequences being entirely visual. The story picks up the pace but as is the case with the previous issues the characterization feels off and the answers to the plot questions seem odd, if not forced. I have found much of the crossover to be simply okay and this issue falls into that category.
The issue opens with ten silent pages. I’m not sure the strategy behind this idea. When this was done for an entire issue, for example in the 1980s GI Joe series, the comic had only two characters, one of which couldn’t talk anyway. However, these silent pages are filled with action with no less than twelve mutants fighting the Nimrods. I’m not sure I understand the choice for this approach and while it was nice for the art to show off it presented some fundamental problems.
I was unable to decipher all that was going on in these silent sequences. For example, I have no idea how Rogue ends up getting knocked out to the point she needs to be carried off of the battlefield. Did this happen off panel? Or did this happen in one her panels and I just couldn’t tell that she was struck and knocked out. Another example is Hellion losing his hands. I had no idea what was happening in that moment and I had no idea to which character it was happening to. I think in a series of pinups like these first ten pages you have to be perfectly clear about what is going on and not leave it up to narration at the back end of the issue as this one does. I was slightly disappointed with this sequence.
The back part of the comic book has the X-Men assessing their damage and coming up with a plan to beat Bastion. It is revealed that they understand the source of Bastion’s Nimrod army and approximately how many are on their way. Facing overwhelming odds, Cyclops decides to make a very bold and virtually irreversible decision to confront the situation head on. It’s a very good exchange at the end of this comic to push across the cliffhanger into the final act of the crossover.
The artwork has that polished and clean look throughout. This creative team has a unique style and look that is probably hit or miss. While many of the characters appear to be very young because of the shinny look I enjoy the crispness to the coloring and line details making this is a style I can’t get enough of. Whether it’s Emma, Wolverine or Rogue, each character has a presence to them that I feel is a big credit to the visuals. The art team did its part in this issue to the max.
X-Men Second Coming is setting up the ending, despite the fact that it is still four issues off. This comic book finds Cyclops launching his last ditch effort to end the invasion. Cyclops is going to have to live with some hard decisions if this all works out but it makes for some good drama in this issue. I’ve been waiting for this crossover to suck me in like Messiah Complex did three years ago. And this issue was close, but not close enough.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles