And the award for book with the highest number of subtitles and taglines this week goes to...
Credits & Solicit Info:
COVER BY: Marko Djurdjevic
WRITER: Christopher Yost
PENCILS: Harvey Tolibao
INKS: Sandu Florea
COLORED BY: Jay David Ramos
LETTERED BY: VC - Joe Sabino
Fighting for the future of mutantkind, the X-Men are locked in battle with Bastion, staving off his forces even by sacrificing themselves. When Magik is gravely injured in battle, she instinctively flees to the sanctuary of Limbo...only to fall into the clutches of a longtime adversary hoping to wrest the powerful Soulsword-and control of Limbo-from her grasp. Now, a small team of X-Men venture in after her, but they are met only by unexpected peril: a horde of demons out for blood, Magik nowhere in sight, and a concealed evil walking amongst them. Rated T+ ...$3.99
IN STORES: May 5, 2010
The X-crossovers in the past few years have been getting better and better, reminding the reader of the classic age of X-crossovers (the eighties) and frequently outshining Marvel's mainstream events. A big part of this is that the X-crossovers take an old school approach, in running through a number of titles instead of being a self-contained mini with a zillion tie-ins that seem to stall the stories in the other books more often than not. The bigger part, though, is the quality, which has been improving since Brubaker's Deadly Genesis event, and culminates here in Second Coming, which has so far been absolutely fantastic. Yost does this epic storyline great justice with Revelations: Hellbound #1.
The quality of the X-books in general is in no doubt due to the amazing writers that have been on the titles lately, like Brubaker, Carey, Wells, and of course, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost. Yost is the writer on Hellbound, and he's the perfect man for the job. The book focuses on the repercussions of Illyana Rasputin (Magik) being banished to Limbo by Bastion's forces, and the X-Men putting together a team of mutants to go after her. The book also features a backup, a reprint of issue #4 of the Magik mini-series from the eighties by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema, which is a nice extra, but sort of useless without the first three issues.
Yost's writing on X-Force with his writing partner Craig Kyle has stood out as some of the best in the X-line for years now, and Yost on his own fares just as well here. Colossus is furious over the loss of Nightcrawler and his sister, Magik. Cyclops is a calculating leader, putting his personal feeling aside to do what he feels is the right thing for mutant-kind. Pixie is resentful of what Magik did to her back in New X-Men (stealing a piece of her soul), and of the older X-Men and New Mutant's seeming preference for Illyana despite her bad deeds. Cannonball is a dedicated leader and soldier. In other words, all the main characters act their archetypes perfectly, and the story just flows from there. Yost has reached a level in his writing where he makes characterization and storytelling look effortless.
The pencils here are by relative newcomer Harvey Tolibao, whose previous notable work for Marvel comes from Secret Invasion: The Initiative, the War of Kings Darkhawk mini, and the recent Psylocke series. Tolibao's work fits right in with the current X-line, though it may not necessarily stand out. He does a great job conveying emotion in faces, and his action is full of life. So far, his art shines more on Utopia, with detailed backgrounds and brighter colors from Jay David Ramos than it does in Limbo, where the color scheme is darker and the backgrounds are practically nonexistent. Overall, the art is impressive for an unknown team, and I look forward to more work from all parties involved.
This crossover sets the stage for a great battle in Limbo over the next two issues, and offers a chance for readers to get a little extra dose of Yost on the X-characters before he and Kyle leave X-Force later this year. Second Coming has been delivering thoroughly entertaining, classic X-action, and Hellbound continues to do so. Yost is both revisiting storylines from New X-men while advancing the current status quo of the X-books, and mutant fans will not want to miss a moment. If you haven't added "Second Coming and all tie-ins" to your pull list yet, time to call up the LCS, because the first act has been wonderful, and the next two promise to be even better.
Rating: BUY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.