By Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Sunny Gho
We are entering our second issue of the newly retooled X-Men series by Jonathan Hickman. Hickman is known for his world building and character development as seen in his Avengers and New Avengers run. He has a gift that allows him to take lesser known characters, like Cannonball or Sunspot, and make them integral and amazing. This week his focus is on the first family of the X-Men, the Summers. Cyclops takes his kids out on an adventure of discovery, family bonding and love.
As stated above, Jonathan Hickman uses this issue to shine some light on the father, son and daughter dynamic of Cyclops’ family. Hickman writes the characters well, and shows that they all seem to have a fine and functional relationship. As the family investigates why Krakoa is drifting toward another island, Hickman gives us some good old fashioned family banter. Something as simple as the kids ripping on Cyclops for landing the jet poorly goes a long way in showing how friendly and comfortable the characters are with each other. A new character is introduced in this issue as well, the Summoner. The interaction between the Summer family and the Summoner is interesting. Hickman shows us that we are dealing with two very different styles of being. What works best for this issue is the dynamic between Scott and his kids, and the addition of the Summoner. There is a little twist at the end of the issue that alludes to something to come later. Hickman has written a strong second issue that plants, no pun intended, more seeds and develops strong relationships with the characters in this issue. This is another excellent entry into the new X-Men series.
The pencils this issue are handled by Leinil Francis Yu with inks by Gerry Alanguilian and colors by Sunny Gho. Yu on any book will bring an interesting and distinct style to the series. Yu’s work on this issue is very good, and it’s helped by the inks of Gerry Alanguilian’s inks. There is a creepy panel in this issue that has been on my mind for a couple of days now. As Cyclops and his family are exploring the new island, the see the Summoner off in the distance. Yu draws the panel brilliantly. Scott and his family are a decent distance away, but the Summoner is pale and thin, and just weird looking overall. The eerie thing about the panel is that we know something is going to happen. We don’t know if it will go well or if it will result in a fight, but something is going to happen. The colors by Sunny Gho work really well here too. Gho has a few panels where a primary color, like red as Cyclops blasts through the jungle, take over the page. Gho is integral to making that creepy scene with the Summoner work. The different greens on the grass and the trees are met by the pale color of the summoner. The art, in every aspect, propels the enjoyment of this issue.
X-Men #2 is definitely a different book than the first issue. This is pure Hickman though, taking large casts and only focusing on a few characters at a time. The writing is great and the art compliments that spectacularly. X-Men #2 is the Summers family book we’ve always wanted.