“Second Coming” essentially ends here. Cable gives his life to bring his team back from the future. Bastion launches his final attack against Hope, who finally, finally, displays her mutant powers.
This is the dramatic, exciting, shocking, and truly epic ending we’ve been lead to expect. Hope turns out to be as powerful and as dangerous as everyone believed. But the real story here is the death of Cable. After Nightcrawler’s sacrifice, none of us were expecting another major character death. Cable has been a part of the X-Men and the Marvel universe for nearly 20 years. This soldier fighting for a better future gave his life for that future. In his final moments, he looked at the girl he raised like his daughter and smiled. It will be one of the most memorable moments in comics, for this year and years to come.
Of course, there’s more than just Cable’s death. The dialogue is great. Hope’s anger at Cyclops feels natural and may hint at an antagonistic relationship in the future. Bastion’s dialogue was another surprise. I could feel the conviction in his voice, his unwavering belief that Hope’s existence means the end of the human race. I’m left wondering if there’s a grain of truth in Bastion’s hatred. Could Hope be more dangerous than the X-Men know? Could she revive the mutant race at the expense of the human?
The only flaw in the book is the art. While it looks great and has the “high-art” tone appropriate to the story, it does come off as a little stiff in places. It looks like images inspired by real life events. There’s not much sense of motion from panel to panel. The word balloons also look out of place in these painted pictures. Like they come from a lower class of art.
Overall, it’s a solid climax to what’s turned out to be a good story. “Second Coming” may be remembered as one of the best X-Men stories of all time.
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