Tuesday, August 4, 2015

X-Tinction Agenda #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

While this issue appears to be a pretty straight-forward action sequence, focusing on the Genoshans' attack on X-City, Guggenheim actually raises all sorts of larger questions in it.

First, Hank continues to be an enigmatic character and a number of this series' mysteries relate to him.  For example, it's still not clear if he was correct in asserting that Triage wasn't going to be able to cure the Extinction Virus.  If he wasn't, it raises the question if he was intentionally lying to Rachel and, if he was, why he was would do so.  Moreover, Guggenheim makes it clear that he's not all that reliable.  This Hank also brought back people from the dead to inspire the current crop of mutants; this time, it's Banshee, Thunderbird, and Wolverine, shortly after their victory over Krakoa.  This revelation sparked two addition questions for me.  First, why did Hank think morale on X-Topia was low?  After all, it's presented as a Utopia.  Second, does time travel still work on Battleworld?  It's one thing for Doom to have pulled in alternate realities that extend previous storylines.  But, Hank would've had to reach back into the history of the "X-Tinction Agenda" storyline to pluck James, Logan, and Sean from the past.  How does that work?

Second, we learn that the Genegineer had the Genoshans rescue Triage so that he could use his healing powers not on the mutates (possibly supporting Hank's position that they won't work) but on Cameron Hodge.  I get the dastardly nature of that plot, but it raises the obvious question of how the Genegineer gained Havoc and Wolfsbane's trust if he's still loyal to Hodge.  I mean, clearly he isn't saying that he's loyal to him, but aren't they suspicious of him from the start?

But, the mysteries aren't the only part of the series.  As I said, this issue also has an extended action sequence, and it's really amazing.  I expect to see more in the future from Di Giandomenico.  He really does a great job keeping a lot of different characters distinct on the battlefield.  Similarly, Guggenheim manages to get across the conflicting emotions of all the major players, particularly Rachel, as they go to war with old friends.

In other words, it's another strong "Secret Wars" story, and I have to admit to my amazement that Marvel really seems to be making it work as well as it is.

*** (three of five stars)

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