A crossover event in the X-Men titles.
Collects X-Men: Second Coming #1-2, Uncanny X-Men #523-525, New Mutants 12-14, X-Men: Legacy 235-237, X-Force 26-28
Second Coming ends the trilogy which started with Messiah Complex and continued with Messiah War. It deals with the events after House of M where mutants were almost wiped out and no new mutants where born, with the exception of the little girl Hope. She’s called the Mutant Messiah and a lot of people want to get their hands on her. In the end Cable took her to the future and raised her there to a teenager. Now, Cable and Hope are back in the X-Men time line.
Cable and Hope return to the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, only to find it in ruins. Hope almost gives up then, saying that everything she touches, dies. But they are attacked by masked men and the duo swings into action. Then the X-Men find Hope and Cable through Cerebro, and of course they want to bring Hope to Utopia, to safety.
Bastion and his forces are determined to exterminate all mutants and they have a terrifying plan for it. The X-Men are in for a brutal fight where three X-Men are slain and some X-Men have to kill, too. In the end, the team tears itself in two.
Hope and Cable were a great team. They fight together in a way that says that they have been doing it for years. They argue and scream at each other, and apologize. In a word, they are a family. Hope says that she’s tired of fighting but when Cable’s in trouble, she doesn’t hesitate to defend him, even against Cyclops’ orders. Cable is clearly Hope’s teacher and the only father she’s ever known, even though they aren’t blood relatives. Hope has grown up in a war torn world where mutants are hunted and killed. A few times she looks a longingly at hair products in stores they break into and we’re reminded that she’s just a teen aged girl. Unfortunately, the art makes her look like an adult, especially when Greg Land is the artist.
This is not a good starting point for new readers. A lot of the pain and difficult choices the characters go through have more impact when you know the characters and their relationships. The characters aren’t introduced to the reader beyond names and powers.
At one point, things are so desperate that Cyclops sends a team to the future. A couple of X-Men had died and some others had been seriously wounded (I’m talking about lost limbs here!) at that point and I was sure that the time travel would just erase everything back to the way they were before the fight. So this move actually lessened my interest instead of having the feeling that the stakes were raised. Boy, was I wrong! Nope, none of it was erased! One of my favorite X-Men is still dead. None of the characters are let off lightly and the story sets up many, many possible continuations.
I read this storyline in the Finnish edition and the comic was under a cancellation threat. Happily, the fans answered and the comic isn’t going to be canceled, after all. Just one look at the, er, tangled situation of the various X-Men comics in US made me happy to continue with the Finnish edition.