Editor's Note: X-Men Legacy #235 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 21.
"Second Coming: Chapter 4"
Plot: The "Second Coming" crossover continues as the X-Men search for Cable & Hope.
Comments: Writer Mike Carey's X-Men tenure started off with much promise as he showcased his chops for unique storytelling that managed to incorporate the ensemble cast, instead of merely choosing to focus on certain characters as many writers before and since have been pigeonholed into doing. However, since X-Men Legacy has transitioned from a team book into a Rogue book, the majority of what made Carey's squad so enticing was left by the wayside. Needless to say, the book has taken an upwards turn in quality over the past few months and the big question is whether or not "Second Coming" would be a hindrance to the book.
"Second Coming" visits Legacy with this issue and it is more or less the same level of book as previous issues, which if you've been keeping score, has been a success. Some of the more entertaining aspects of this particular issue were the scenes that featured the New Mutants. Now I griped that New Mutants #12 didn't quite feature the team, but that isn't the case here. Mike Carey distributes the love equally and the characters from all of the intertwined crossover participants get an equal and quality laden moment or two to shine. The development of Cannonball continues here, highlighting Sam as someone who really grabs hold of the reigns and takes command of his teammates. Cypher and Warlock finally get involved in the fracas also after being bystanders in the overarching story so far. More so, we are treated to the brilliant inner monologue of Cypher that Zeb Wells introduced with the characters return in New Mutants #6 and Warlock just became a badass.
While Rogue did play a major part in this issue, the book wasn't solely confined to her. There is definitely something afoot between Rogue and Hope as it appears that the two share somewhat of a psychic rappaport. We have seen Hope awaken Rogue from a coma with a mere touch and as of late Rogue has been experiencing shared moments with the possible messiah. Yet that wasn't enough to save the mutants from suffering a casualty. The death felt partly cheap as I couldn't comprehend why this particular person couldn't use their powers to avoid their demise. Ultimately though, this character became expendable due to sheer circumstance and admittedly, the sight of seeing a scorched Wolverine and X-23 was well worth the sacrifice made.
Mike Carey delivered a nicely orchestrated story accompanied by Greg Land's artwork. The artist polarizes followers of his work with battle lines clearly drawn. Luckily, there are the minimal swipes and cheesecake to be found here, which is what the artist is unfortunately most known for. This toned down approach is a revelation and proves that Land can provide a visual story without resorting to tactics that draw the ire of fan boys.
Final Thoughts: Another week brings another worthy portion of "Second Coming." After a lackluster period, it is evident that Mike Carey has rediscovered what made his X-Men title so thoroughly compelling to begin with and has reapplied those elements as of late.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!