With all the new X-Books now released after this week’s debut of Fallen Angels, it makes sense that we will slip back into what comes next in X-Men #2. We got to see some of the new team, the new personalities to some of our favorite X-Men, more of Krakoa that we didn’t see before from HoX/PoX, and the enemies we should brace ourselves for. As I said last month, this is the book you will probably want to follow more than most. That is only because this is the core book and will probably contain some of the more crucial elements to the progression of this mutant nation.
Now with that said, I found this next chapter a bit strange. Bold in fact when the following danger turns out to be an island full of unspeakable horrors appearing on the horizon. They get us so prepared for the human threat, that it was easy to overlook the idea that other things could pose a danger to this paradise too. And having said that, even then nothing was as it seemed until the end of the issue. I had my reservations about what was unfolding, though the feeling of suspense they created was tough not to experience. Something was going to be wrong, but there was no telling what form the trouble would take until that point of reveal came.
When we got to that point of revelation, I loved the way that everything began to make sense the closer that this team investigating got to the unknown. Even better was the clarity in direction this was all headed in. You would never think that an X-Men book would place the spotlight on a character who is normally seen as a major villain, but there we were. I couldn’t even argue with the development this issue gave us because a point was quickly made that there is so much to still learn about Krakoa. Much that hopefully we also didn’t forget that Hickman got into a couple of months back about Krakoa’s past and connection to said villain. It was clever how they went about this as well since Doug is far off into the cosmos with the New Mutants.
What did surprise me as well was the characters who this next issue would focus on. The first issue took us through a good many X-Men and where they found home in this new world, but this second chapter broke the cast down to three. That being Cyclops, Rachel, and Cable. Surely enough there will be some readers out there who might have a problem with focusing only on the Summers family, but I don’t think we get enough of this as we should. Certainly not when they are all at a point where they can act like an actual family. I mean, when was the last time you ever saw Cyclops address his kids as kids? Or even talked to them like someone who wanted to have a casual conversation? For a lot of X-Men it should never be overlooked that they can be normal without too much of the fate of their existence taking hold of their tongues.
All things considered, the artwork for this issue actually impressed me. With every X-Book you have the opportunity to marvel at the exotic beauty of Krakoa, but here we are with the refreshing visual of an island which had beauty of its own to admire. The color work took a step further with the chance of splashing on a variety of warm colors to highlight where this new island was a bit more chaotic in its structure. Now this is also not to say that there wasn’t actually anything horrific about some of its inhabitants. They were the stuff of nightmares, though at the same time met with creative designs for them. The fact that we could as well take that in with the image of a Summers trio battling giant monsters was wonderful. Not always will you get the chance to be reminded of how formidable they can be when working together. They give off a nice lightshow too.
By the end of X-Men #2, this was not at all what you would have expected from a core X-book. Not a problem either when Hickman continues doing what others aren’t daring enough to do with these mutants, or with this mutant nation. This new island mattered, but so did Krakoa. It was a welcomed surprise to see what connection could be drawn between these two islands which brings us back to the discoveries we made not too long ago about Krakoa’s past.