Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Uncanny X-Men #523Uncanny X-Men #523
Marvel Comics
Fraction & Dodson

The second chapter of the crossover called Second Coming has more action and builds subplots and mini conflicts. This issue at least breaks the story out a little more instead of just having more running and chasing. The issue moves quickly and keeps me interested enough that I plan to pick up the next chapter in the crossover. That’s probably all you can ask for at this point. I remain doubtful that this crossover will actually resolve the mutant extinction situation or solve the mysteries surrounding the mutant messiah, Hope.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsThe issue opens with perhaps the weakest portion of the comic. Cable and Hope are holding up a grocery store and in the midst of the holdup Hope becomes enamored with beauty products she spots on the shelf. While this part of the comic is meant to showcase their relationship and further illustrate how careful Cable is and how careless Hope is, it also does something else that I’m not sure flies.

Hope may be a teenager but there is no reason to assume she would act as a normal teenager in the present day would act. She grew up in the wastelands of the future. Why would she care what her hair looked like? Would she even have the capacity to understand beauty beyond those that she has met in the future, which were usually people on the run and down on their luck. It’s not like she’s been keeping up with Gossip Girls all this time. I’m just not sure how believable the characteristics are for Hope in this issue.

The subplots begin to unwind as Nightcrawler confronts Cyclops about the existence of X-Force. This could develop into a good subplot as it also alludes to the fact that this very conflict is what led to Beast quitting the X-Men. The division now exists within the X-Men and that could lead to some tense moments down the road in this crossover.

The bulk of the issue involves more fighting as Wolverine and company show up to help Cable and Hope escape from the Purifiers. The question I wonder about is why Cable appears to be running from the X-Men as well as these anti-mutant factions. This is an interesting development that I hope gets some more attention in the next issue.

The artwork is terrific on all fronts. Even the ugliest of the X-Men, Cable, appears to have a softer side at times where it’s appropriate. The art excels at facial expressions and reactions and it all works to sell the story and the emotions behind the character’s decisions. Sure the action helps to take the artwork to level above normal, but the real hard work is bringing the characters to life and I felt this art team did that very well.

The second chapter might not be as good as the opening one but its close. We have some Cable and Hope growth, some more master manipulations from the bad guys, Cyclops is being called on to the carpet because of X-Force and we get a big shootout at the end. The comic has everything you could ask for in story. It’s definitely worth checking out and it may just hook you in for the fourteen chapter crossover.

4 out of 5 Geek Goggles