Top critical review
Not nearly as good as the Messiah Complex TPB
on April 19, 2015
Not nearly as good as the Messiah Complex TPB. I used to avidly read X-Men comics in the early to mid 90's, starting about when Jim Lee started drawing them, and ending at about the time of the Onslaught storyline. I stopped reading for 2 reasons. Firstly, because I grew up and headed off to college, and no longer had time (or money!) for buying comics every month. And Secondly, because in my opinion, the X-Men comics were just slowly going downhill (although again - maybe I just grew up, and developed a little more sophisticated taste), especially the artwork, which was always my main draw when reading comics. Anyways, with all the popularity of all the new Marvel films coming out, a copy of the Messiah Complex TPB caught my eye one day at the bookstore, so I picked it up, and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was fun to see how my old friends had changed in the past decade and a half, some for the good and some for the bad. There were enough familiar faces in the story to make me feel comfortable, but also some new characters who were particularly intriguing. The story was good, reminded me of X-tinction Agenda (which was probably the first big crossover story I really remember enjoying) - all the various X teams on the ropes with a variety of villains, fast-paced story that was enjoyable, and you didn't need a lot of back story to just sit back and enjoy the adventure. Some really good art too, especially the work by Bachalo, Ramos (LOVE the battle scenes in the snowstorm), and Silvestri. It left me eager to see where the story was going, and excited to read the subsequent titles.
So, I picked up a copy of Second Coming with high hopes, but after finally slogging my way through almost 400 pages, hoping it would get better, I have to say - THUMBS DOWN! This book is nowhere NEAR as good as Messiah Complex was. Firstly, all of the artists whose work I enjoyed in the first book are nowhere to be seen in this book. The only art I actually enjoyed was the one-shot story at the beginning, drawn by David Finch, who I guess drew all of the covers for this storyline (and Complex), but only illustrated this one actual issue. Now, the art is usually my main draw to a comic book, but I can suffer through some mediocre (or even bad) art if the writing is particularly good. However, the writing in this book is pretty much bland, uninspired, inconsistent, and at times even confusing! The characters pretty much just run back and forth, accomplishing nothing, and having almost no believable or interesting personal interactions. They kill off two major characters for dramatic impact, but I have to say - killing off one of the X-Men really isn't that impactful anymore. I just say, "Ok. How are they going to bring him back 6 months from now?" The roster of X-Men is highly confusing in this comic, and I don't see many of the interesting characters that were major players in the Messiah Complex book. Also, they even seem to have Aquaman working with them now...? They call him Namor or something, but look at him. Dude, he's pretty much Aquaman. If you're gonna steal a DC character, at least steal a good one, like Batman, y'know? So, the characters all run around pointlessly for about a hundred pages, trying to escape killer robots (sent by reincarnated bad guys from previous storylines), pretty much rehashing the plot for the Terminator movies, they all end up on some island or something, where the bad guys surround them with...dum, da dum! An impenetrable energy dome!!! Really? I guess someone on the X-Men staff read a Stephen King novel. Oh, wait this dome is red-colored, so it's totally different. The X-Dome even has a smaller dome inside the larger dome that seems to control it.....it's like they aren't even trying. So, they fly around in jet packs for a while (totally unnecessary), and finally decide to do some never-able-to-return suicide mission time travel (which, they of course are able to return from), and kill off all the robots. All to save the Mutant Messiah, a young rebellious teenager who was raised in a post-apocalyptic future, named John Connor. Oh, I'm sorry, named Hope. She's pretty much as uninteresting as they come, as far as Saviors of the Mutant Race and all. And she kind of just kills the main bad guy without even really trying, and just kind of wraps up the story in a nice little package to end it. Well, that SHOULD have ended it, but they tacked on a few more Return of the King-style endings, which draws it out for a dozen or so more pages, when all you want the story to do is END!
Yeah, that's about it. So basically, in this story, nothing exciting happens. The characters pretty much just run around, get chased, fight, and have some battles and some unbelievable and uninspired (and poorly-written) arguments with each other. No interesting plot twists, no big reveals, nothing really to keep my attention, except the fact that when I start something I usually want to finish it. I only give it two stars because I did like the artwork and storytelling in the one-shot that starts out the book. Nothing after that is really worth your time, and a disappointing follow up to the Messiah Complex story. If you're looking for other single X-Men TPB's that are a good read, without having to follow all the monthly comics, check out House of M or the Uncanny X-Men: Revolution books. Much more worthwhile!