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October 16, 2009

Prepare for the X-Men’s “Second Coming”

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Written by: Jeff
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The fate of the world was being changed forever. Evil had shaped reality into its own image.

And then a child was born.

A child destined to have tremendous power who would bring light back into the darkness. A child who would bring hope to a people with little to none. A child who would make all the wrongs right again. A child who was strapped to the chest of a gun-toting mutant and flung into the farthest depths of time and space until she grew into a young woman. What?

No, I’m not talking about some biblical savior. I’m talking about the X-Men’s own prodigal daughter, Hope, who was the first mutant born after Wanda Maximoff uttered the words “No more mutants.” In the events of 2007’s Messiah CompleX crossover, this child was born and chased after by heroic mutants, evil mutants, mutant haters, mutants-who-were-once-heroic-and-are-now-evil, and even hungry mutant predators. She and her adoptive father Cable spirited into the future where they’ve been chased by the one man willing to betray everything and everyone, Bishop. Cable and Hope have fought futuristic roach-men, mutated animals, a cadre of X-villians, and are now busting Brood heads in the pages of Cable. And after years (or millennia in comic book time), they are returning to the present time in 2010’s X-Men: Second Coming.

Second Coming is the third chapter in the “Messiah Trilogy,” after Messiah CompleX, which ran through the pages of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, X-Men, and New X-Men, and Messiah War, which jumped between X-Force and Cable earlier this year.

According to comicbookresources.com, the current X-writers are gearing up for a doozy of a crossover in the pages of Uncanny X-Men (written by Matt Fraction), X-Force (written by Craig Kyle & Chris Yost), X-Men: Legacy (written by Mike Carey), and New Mutants (written by Zeb Wells) starting March 2010. The crossover will be bookended by Second Coming one-shots.

The premise seems pretty simple. This is the culmination of years of hints and plots that were planted back in Messiah CompleX. After all their running into the future, Cable and Hope return to the present, but what that means to the world of mutants remains to be seen. However, we do know that mutant-hunting bio-Sentinel Bastion, who has been wrecking all kinds of havoc in X-Force, is especially curious as to what Hope’s return will mean for the world, and he will be forced to take action. While details of the crossover are hush-hush, this story promises to change everything for our favorite mutants, much like the House of M, Decimation, Messiah CompleX, and Utopia events before them.

Not only will Second Coming change the status quo of the X-Men, but reports are coming in that, like Messiah CompleX, the line of X-books will also change. After CompleX, X-Men became X-Men: Legacy and focused on Professor X’s journey to rebuild his mind after being shot by Bishop, only to then end and focus on Rogue’s return to the X-Men. Kyle and Yost’s fan-favorite New X-Men was cancelled and replaced by the questionable Young X-Men written by Marc Guggenheim. Kyle and Yost have confirmed that their successful run on X-Force will end post-Second Coming. Also, since the Cable on-going is not in the line-up, many are wondering if it is also getting the axe. The X-writers confirm that new books will be coming out of the crossover as well as some ending. Let’s hope that they have learned from previous mistakes in such changes and do something really innovative with the line of books.

There are many questions still to be asked as we approach this event:

How will Cable and Hope get back? Cable’s time-travel device was busted early in their bodyslides forward. As they have eluded Bishop for so long, one wonders how they will actually return, especially since they are currently trapped in space with the Brood.

What is Hope’s ultimate purpose? Early hints made readers think that Hope might be a reincarnated Jean Grey, due to her red hair and a glimmer of the Phoenix in her green eyes. The writers confirmed that Hope’s powers and purpose will all be revealed as a part of the event.

Was Bishop right about Hope bringing forth the destruction of mutants or was Cable right about her being the savior of mutantkind? Both men are from different futures, and everyone is still wondering who actually knows the truth about Hope.

What will this do to the remaining mutants? As of Utopia, all the remaining mutants are taking refuge on the former Asteroid M, Magneto’s old base of operations, including Magneto himself. They are all gathered under the leadership of Cyclops, who has steered the X-Men in new directions that potentially may be harmful or helpful to their future. Cyclops is the one who sent Cable and Hope off to begin with, so how will their return affect him and his leadership?

Will X-Force disband? Cyclops formed the black ops group to protect all mutants by any and all means necessary. With Kyle and Yost’s departure on the book, and the recent reveal of this secretive cadre of X-Men to the other X-Men, one wonders if X-Force will remain a group after Second Coming.

With all the recent X-Men events and crossovers, will Second Coming be an end to crossovers for a while? In the last year, events have been back-to-back, with Messiah War, Utopia, and Necrosha, which is soon to start and will lead into Second Coming. Crossovers are a curse and a blessing to X-fans, so one wonders if this pace might calm down soon.

Overall, it’s exciting to think about all the loose ends getting tied up in this event as well as this being a new beginning for the X-books. As an avid X-Men fanboy, I’m looking forward to this. I have faithfully been following Cable and Hope’s story, but have been critical of the repetition of the premise. Their return is a welcome change of pace. However, I am concerned about the end of X-Force. Like New X-Men before it, the Kyle/Yost-written book is my favorite of the current books, and I can only hope that the writers will either move to another existing book like Uncanny, or will create a new book altogether.

Everyone has an opinion about the X-Men, so be sure to share yours!

Jeff Jackson



  1. DecapitatedDan

    How boring. It’s just how I feel, but after Messiah Complex I was mad. The teams books went bye bye and that’s what I grew up on. I don’t care to see Cyclops in every issue, sure I want my Iceman fix, but you know what before MC I got every x-book. Afterwards none of them. I loved New X-men. Loved where Mike Carey was going on X-men, loved X-Factor (which I dropped only because I couldn’t stand the way all the mutant books were handled anymore) It was a real downer. All the solicits I see make me kinda glad I stopped too. It just doesn’t sound interesting to me anymore.

  2. I really liked X-Men pre-Messiah CompleX too. But I figure they’ll keep doing this “unified” X-Men thing going until they discover a way to undo M-Day and then they’ll go back to the different squads.

    On a side note, Dan, in the last Uncanny, Iceman was finally sitting at the table with all the X-Men leaders. Maybe they’ll finally let Bobby step up.

  3. Cancellation of X Force? Thats the worst news out of all this! I am hoping the cross overs slow down for a bit and we get more self contained stories for the titles. Cable can actually go away for a bit when this thing wraps up.

  4. Yeah, I’m bummed about X-Force too. But as long as Kyle & Yost stay on some kind of X-book, I’ll be happy.

  5. Oh, and I don’t know if X-Force is cancelled, but Kyle and Yost are definitely off the book after Second Coming.

  6. Okay well if its not cancelled i feel sorry for whomever comes next they’ve got some big shoes to fill!

  7. DecapitatedDan

    They will never let Bobby step up. It aint happened in almost 50 years now. Everytime he gets built up he gets shot down. Its the way of the world

  8. X-cellent article Jeff!

    Ok, first things first. I have a theory on who Hope is… I think she is the 616 Universe’s Rachel Summers. It makes sense; the telepathic hints, the shorting of Cerebra at her birth, the red hair and green eyes, the Phoenix Force currently lacking in the X-world, and most importantly- there is no 616 version of Rachel Summers!! So you heard it here first; Hope is 616 Rachel.

    That being said, I’m really looking forward to the ‘Second Coming’ and seeing where it leads. I thought Utopia was fantastic, and looking back on it, so was Messiah Complex. These are different times and it’s nice to see the X-Men evolve with them!

    I’m not too upset about the cancellation of X-Force and Cable. They’re really great titles, sure, but they have a one track plot and that’s to reinforce the fallout of Messiah Complex. Once that’s no longer necessary, the titles probably aren’t either. I wouldn’t worry about it; something new will come along that will be just as good!

    @ Dan- You’re missing some awesome X-stuff right now my friend. I don’t think they’ve ever been more interesting than they are today! And you should be reading X-Men/Agents of Atlas; writer Jeff Parker personally claimed to me that Iceman gets his due!

  9. DecapitatedDan

    There is no such thing as awesome writing by Fraction and the artists, make me want to hurl! Sorry Carey did it right, I can’t focus on the characters I don’t like. It’s boring

  10. Jeff Jackson

    So Andy, if Hope was Rachel, are you saying that she is the daughter of 616’s Scott and Jean?

  11. Excellent question. I’d say no considering the Rachel in current continuity is from an alternate U where she was the daughter of Scott and Jean, this Rachel in 616 could technically have different parents. Yes she’s the same person, but as in many alternate U’s, the history is always different.

    Catch my drift?

  12. Jeff Jackson

    Then it ain’t Rachel. Time will tell, my friend.

  13. Billy

    I think Andy may be on to something here. There is a striking resemblence to Jean/Rachel when you look at Hope. Of course the “look” could just be a red herring to make you think it’s Jean/Rachel.

  14. Billy

    Oh, and if they ever cancel X-Force I’ll drive to Marvel HQ and kick some $@#!

  15. InfiniteSpeech

    I kinda see Andy’s point on the cancellation of X Force and Cable. It’s actually why I wouldn’t mind Cable being cancelled when it’s all done. He’ll have no direct purpose anymore in the big picture he’ll end up playing the back like he did before this all started

  16. billy

    @Speech-I agree, this Cable series isn’t anywhere near as cool as Vol.1. He could easily be on X-Force or Legacy and it wouldn’t matter to me.

  17. Jeff Jackson

    I really think Cable is going to get the axe, especially considering that his book isn’t in the line-up for Second Coming. And I think Duane Sweirzincski (or however you spell his name) got the shaft that he’s been doing all the hard work on Cable and Hope and isn’t one of the writers here.

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