Immortal X-Men gives the readers such a deep and great (also horrifying) look into the Quiet Council and how far this group is willing to go in the name of Krakoa or in the name of achieving their own hidden goals. A gorgeous book that makes a host of mostly deplorable characters still somewhat likeable while never letting us forget how awful they can be.
Once upon a time, Hope Summers was born at a time when thanks to the magic of the Scarlet Witch (and manipulation by one Doctor Doom) mutants had been vastly depowered and was bestowed the moniker with Messiah as it was her destiny to help reignite the spark of mutation. Following a bunch of horrible future living raised by Cable, various Marvel events, a whole thing with the Phoenix, and the X-Men and Avengers fighting each other she was able to fulfill that destiny. What’s a messiah to do after fulfilling their prophesized destiny?
Why help their people conquer the prospect of death and then secure themselves a position on the (perhaps illegitimate) government of the mutant paradise nation, that’s what.
Immortal X-Men’s second issue picks up where the first left off, the spurned Selene having turned the Arakko gate on the island into a destructive monster but moves the narration spotlight from Mister Sinister to Hope and gives us great insight into where she currently stands. Outside of all the messiah stuff, which Hope was never comfortable with, thanks to her time with Cable as they were on the run from Bishop she is a soldier at heart. It’s this aspect that is fully needed for the council to be able to deal with the monstrosity and for the time being stop the threat that is Selene.
Kieron Gillen does a fantastic job juggling all these characters and their personalities and giving much of the council their moments to shine. Almost all of them are either deplorable individuals or individuals readily willing to do deplorable things, but Gillen makes them a delight to read even as we feel the need to despise them.
We get more glimpses of Sinister’s chimera work, which is revealed to Xavier at least in this issue, and the ominous potential for disaster that it might bring as well as more from Destiny who is playing a dangerous game of her own as she tries to thread the paths she’s seen ahead. What Hope and Exodus do to Selene in order to save Krakoa is really awful in many respects but what needed to be done in others. It showcases how there aren’t really any innocents in this government body, and there are many many lines that they are willing to cross or allowed to be crossed in the name of Krakoa and also in the name of their own power.
Lucas Werneck and David Curiel are just fantastic again in this issue. All of the pages are just so lush, detailed, emotional, and just gorgeous on all levels. Following the choice to engage a specific narrator in each issue, the way that Werneck sets up many of the panels featuring Hope makes sure that she is the focus of all things even to the point of making backgrounds less detailed or less focused so that we keep our attention on Hope and what she is doing. Much like this was done for Sinister in various scenes in the last issue.
When Hope isn’t in a scene the focus changes and expands a bit more, but then in others where she is a witness (such as how she narrates about Storm/Magneto) there are elements of zooming out so that we see the scenes almost like she would from a distance.
It pairs well with the lush colors that Curiel brings to the page, making sure that the council scenes have an almost sterile appeal to them while other areas of the island (even when under attack) are vibrant and full of a variety of colors. In this case, the bright colors are a lot more reds and yellows, and oranges in many cases as the island is burning and under attack and both magic and mutant powers are heavily at play.
Clayton Cowles does another masterful job at making all the dialogue and captions flow and never once feel overwhelming. We get a wide range of types of dialogue that all work so well from the regular conversation tones to big booming almost bursting out of their bubbles yelling to a whole ton of telepathic conversation going down. Last issue had a lot of over-the-top sort of nature to the dialogues because it was from Sinister’s point of view while here most of the dialogue (outside of the Sinister scenes) is more ‘normal’ and controlled which fits the personality that Hope has as the soldier.
Immortal X-Men #2 is now available.