It feels like this event is a long-time coming. Not because the terrigen mist story arc has been going on for years mind you, but because it’s basically a rehash of Decimation and the Legacy Virus, two long-form story arcs that saw the mutants of the Marvel Universe facing extinction. As much as I’ve avoided most of the build-up to this lately, the 0 issue was actually really good, and so was the first issue of this event. Let’s see if issue 2 continues that trend.
Co-written by Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire, most of this issue is a big battle between the X-Men and the Inhumans. There are a number of small fights within the battle, like Young Beast moving his way through New Attilan, several powerful X-Men fighting a rock monster Inhuman (don’t know his name), and a series of people trying to stop Iso and Inferno from trying to escape. It’s a fun comic, and it’s always entertaining seeing the X-Men’s plan play out while the Inhumans struggle to stop them. There’s a really amusing moment where those two characters manage to escape Wolverine by teleport, “Honestly I don’t care where we are, just as long as we’re far away from Wolverine,” just for Old Man Logan to pop his claws nearby. It’s also fun to see Magik beginning “phase 2”, which I won’t spoil. Despite all the action, there’s still room for touches of characterization. The brief conversation between Medusa and the Human Torch touches on their relationship and the torch’s sense of loyalty, while also showing Medusa’s dedication to her people. It’s a very well written moment.
All that being said, this comic isn’t without its problems. For one, there’s a fight between the Human Torch and Sabretooth. I know Sabretooth is tough, but how could he stand up against the Human Torch for any real amount of time? Also considering how fast the Human Torch can fly, how could Sabretooth even touch him? There’s also a moment where Iso and Inferno escape on some sort of flying vehicle. Storm immediately calls Wolverine to chase them. Why not blast the vehicle with a heavy gust of wind, or strike it with lighting? Boom, they won’t be going anywhere. And as they proved later, they can survive a long fall thanks to Iso’s powers. But for me personally, my biggest complaint is Laura’s characterization. Not only does she show no qualms over hurting Iso and Inferno after destroying their vehicle from above, but she attacks as if she’s going in for the kill. This is way out of character. She tends to use that kind of violence as a last resort these days, and she’s usually extra careful not to hurt other heroes. Here, she’s written almost exactly like the original Wolverine, and there’s no indication whatsoever that she’s pretending in any way. Considering Soule mostly wrote her very well in the Wolverines series, I’m wouldn’t be surprised if we can blame Lemire for this.
The art by Leinil Francis Yu is great. There’s a lot of detail in almost every panel, whether in the vast number of distinct looking characters, the environments complete with the ever increasing damage, or all the powers being thrown around. When Medusa gets to work, she looks downright terrifying, and her angry glare really completes the look. David Curiel’s colouring is bright, colourful and a joy to look at.
For the most part this event is shaping up quite well. The action is fun, and the story behind it gives the X-Men a sense of urgency and desperation. The problems in this issue are distracting though, stopping this issue from being great. As a whole it’s still a good issue. That said, if you’re sick of the terrigen mist story arc, this event won’t change your mind. If you’re interested in this event, by all means check it out, but if not, you might just want to wait for the ResurrXion story arc that’s coming up soon.