By Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia
Following up Jonathan Hickman’s run on X-Men can be a huge task. Gerry Duggan debuted as the new writer of the flagship X-Men series last month, now he has to build on the success of his premiere issue. This week sees the second book of Gerry Duggan’s team, and what stands out most is the team work itself. Duggan is not focusing on one character, he’s focusing on all of them. Issue 2 sees more of that Dynamic play out, and we get more giant monsters to fight. Sounds like a good start to me.
Gerry Duggan has written two issues of X-Men so far, and in both of them, each character has had their moment to shine. Duggan really shows off what Sunfire can do this issue. He’s always been a powerhouse, but it’s nice to see him use it once in a while. I like the idea of Duggan having this place where evil bets on who can destroy Earth. It sets up a bunch of monsters of the week that allow the team to fight unknown threats, since most of their major enemies are now allies. While Cyclops is technically the leader of this team, Duggan makes it a point to show him defer to other characters, like Synch, to make sure things are going as planned. One thing you can definitely say about this issue is that everyone has a role to play. Duggan makes sure everyone’s favorite character sees some panel time. It can be hard to juggle a team book, but Gerry Duggan has been doing it for so long it almost feels effortless.This is another fine issue from Gerry Duggan and the X-Men team.
The pencils this issue are handled by Pepe Larraz with colors by Marte Gracia. I feel like I say this every time I review a Pepe Larraz issue, but the guy is a stud. His pencils are some of the best in the business right now and he elevates every book he’s on. As the team attacks a huge creature, the team leaps out of the black bird with Rogue out in front. Larraz draws this perfectly as each character has a cool and different pose. Action pages where Cyclops is blasting and Wolverine is bloody and slashing look great. Larraz is helped out by Colorist guru Marte Gracia. Gracia colors this book just the right shade. Nothing is too dark, but it’s also not so vibrant you get taken out of the story. As JEan attempts to make mental contact with the creature, Gracia colors her mind link a nice pink, which has the perfect tone to it. Ultimately, the pencils and colors fit perfectly together, which is probably why Larraz and Gracia are always on the same books.
X-Men #2 is another great issue from Gerry Duggan and company. Duggan continues to build the ultimate team book by allowing characters to get exposure and good character moments. The pencils and colors are a total knock out. X-Men is a book that gives the reader exactly what they want.