By Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, Alti Firmansyah, Matt Milla, and Travis Lanham.
There is something so comforting about knowing that every month, there’s a little slice of 90’s X-Men waiting in a new story. X-Men ’92 #2 provides nostalgia and fun throughout the issue, but with new characters and scenarios the cartoon never introduced. This issue takes a fun turn with some fourth-wall breaking and campy cartoonish events. Comic purists and people who haven’t read a comic, but loved the 1992 cartoon can pick up this series and enjoy it. In the second issue of the series we find the X-Men reacting to Jubilee being attacked by Alpha Red which causes a wave of panic as McCoy tries to save Jubilee, Storm finds a plan to find Alpha Red, and the rest of the X-Men focus on keeping Wolverine in line as he tries to take on Alpha Red all by his lonesome. There is some mistrust building amidst the X-Men between newer members Psylocke and Bishop and then others. All the while, the students are trying to figure out what the hell is going on after they are told Jubilee was attacked by a sentinel.
Sims and Bowers find something for everyone in the story for this issue. There are plenty of fun nods to come current X-Men comic runs and also some winks at fun moments from the show throughout. X-Men ’92 #2 really finds the voice and tone of the comic, pairing equal parts action with lighthearted banter and intrigue. Sims and Bowers also raised some eyebrows with hinting at the whereabouts of a certain power couple that are missing from the team. Little tidbits like this are sprinkled throughout the issue that make the devout comic reader feel intrigued for the next issue. The ending also grabs your attention and makes you go “WTF” so, congratulations to Sims and Bowers for creating a storyline for this second issue that had the capacity to surprise an X-Men fangirl.
You might think after last issue we would grow bored seeing Rogue toss a bear around, but it’s still great. Possibly the best panel includes Rogue sucker punching a bear (Ursa Major from the People’s Protectorate) in the face and the art shows the impact of the punch like with Ursa Major’s tongue hanging out. There could be an X-Man beating up a bear every issue and it would be cool. This issue featured Firmansyah on pencils, Milla on color, and lettering from Lanham. The art style is really freaking cool, some pages Bishop looks like he walked out of a TV set from the nineties and right into the comic. The whole art team really comes together to create the cartoon vibe with all the characters. The layout and paneling is stellar, there are some great action panels that are so cool, besides the bear punching, and we are exposed to some more cool X-Men doing their thing. Gambit gets some love with a really cool panel showing him throwing his cards at all of the remaining People’s Protectorate. Then, there is a seemingly gory encounter between Omega Red and Alpha Red, and the art team brilliantly showcase it silhouetted in black and white. This was particularly smart for two reasons: First is allows the book to remain rated T and secondly, it shows the brutality of the situation. If there is a complaint to be made with the creative team’s decisions, it is that some may remember Rogue having curly hair or at least it could be considered wavy from the cartoon. This depiction has her hair straightened, and for some reason it takes away a little bit from her sassy southern charm.
If you put X-Men ’92 on your pull list, there will be a smile on your face once a month when you pick up your comics when you see that title in your hand. It is guaranteed because seeing this comic will make you remember how much you loved this show, assuming the reason you are buying the comic is that you loved the 1992 cartoon. X-Men ’92 #2 really takes this series to a fun, weird place and if you go along for the ride it will be worth it. The art alone really is fun to look at it with the bright colors and attention to detail. However, it is the writing that will keep you coming back with the nods to recent titles and hints at what is to come; you will not want to miss out on what’s coming.