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X-Men: Second Coming

X-Force's Second Coming

Writer Chris Yost talks about one X-Man's impending death in X-FORCE #26 and the other bombshells to come

By Marc Strom

Second Coming, currently running through all of the X-titles, claims its first major victim on April 28 in X-FORCE #26, as writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost along with artists Mike Choi and Sonia Oback bring the grim reaper to the party.

Kyle and Yost planted many of the seeds that have come to fruition in Second Coming throughout their run on X-FORCE, placing both the book and the team at the epicenter of events that will change the Children of the Atom forever.

"X-FORCE was building to the confrontation with Bastion from day one, but it was a story that we knew was bigger than X-Force," admits Yost. "Having [that confrontation] play out in Second Coming has been the best of both worlds. It just made sense, given what was happening with Hope's return. And with the help of [writers] Matt [Fraction], Zeb [Wells], Mike [Carey]

X-FORCE #26 preview art by Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
and the editors, we think we've come up with something pretty engaging. There's mystery, action, tragedy, triumph, more tragedy, and some hard questions are asked. Who is Hope? What does she mean to the future of mutantkind? Why does Cyclops hate walls so much? Why is Bastion pink?"

And with the death of a major character in X-FORCE #26, Second Coming shifts into warp drive as it continues.

"We've killed our fair share of characters, usually laughing as we typed the words," jokes Yost. "This one was different. It's always up to the writers to make that impact felt as time goes on, but I think this is a game changer. Not just who dies, but why they die. A lot of the X-Men are going to be hugely torn by it. It changes how they see what they're doing, and why, and for who."

As the X-Men leader, Cyclops has put a lot of faith in Hope's return, confident that the young mutant-the first born since M-Day eradicated the mutant gene-represents the future of mutantkind. But does the rest of the team share in his belief?

 "The answer is 'no,' and you'll see that first hand," promises Yost. "Cyclops tries to lay out why he believes in Hope so much, and at a certain point realizes it's a matter of faith, something he's not accustomed to. Others aren't quite so ready to place their fates in Hope's hands. And Hope isn't necessarily ready for that, either."

X-FORCE #26 preview art by Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
In Second Coming's opening chapters, the rest of the X-Men learned of X-Force's existence as Cyclops' private wet-ops team, and not all of them approve of their leader's decisions.

"I think Cyclops and X-Force all knew the day would come," says Yost. "And they're all ready to own up to their actions, but it's going to be a rough road. In the pages of X-FORCE, various members questioned what they were doing-several even quit after 'Necrosha'-but this is it for them. Second Coming is what everyone's been waiting for. Every life they've taken has been to ensure their survival for this day.

"But now they're finding that just because Hope is back, things aren't necessarily going to get easier. Possibly quite the opposite."

Though X-Force has dealt with Bastion and his minions firsthand since their creation, the X-Men will have trouble looking to them and their experiences when it comes time to take the villain down.

"After the team's existence is revealed, trust is a big issue," relates Yost. "Leadership might have gone out the window. But sacrifice hasn't."

X-FORCE #26 preview art by Mike Choi & Sonia Oback
With a history of violence and fast-paced action, X-FORCE has provided fans with a side of the X-Men's universe they'd never seen before, and things only get bloodier from here on out according to Yost:

"The Second Coming chapters of X-FORCE are some of the most brutal issues we've ever turned in. We've been saying for a few years now that the X-Men are fighting for their survival. Well, this is it. This is that final fight. And things are about to escalate."


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      Awesome art, very intricate. Warlock looks wicked. Also, Prodigy gets some face-time in the command center, nice.Sad the new x-force will be (almost) all new characters, this bunch was pretty hardcore. Hope they keep Domino around at least... If she doesn't get killed in 2nd Coming...


      Xi'an is the one who "doesn't walk away", no doubt because of the injury to her leg in the last book.


      I actually wouldn't worry in the least that that's the death they're referring to, so don't worry. The situation spins out of New Mutants 12, and it does set up further for Cyke being able to sacrifice so much for something no one can be sure about (except possibly Cable and Bastion) - will anybody follow him after they start to feel their lives mean so little to him, and so forth. Either way, I am not seeing Shan being the sacrifice they've been hinting at all the while.


      that spoiler in the art makes me so sad.