X-Men: Second Coming

Second Coming: Double Trouble

Chris Yost and Simon Spurrier dole out the goods on X-FORCE and X-MEN: BLIND SCIENCE

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By Jim Beard

Two more thrilling chapters of the monumental X-Men: Second Coming event hit the shelves on May 26: X-FORCE #27 and X-MEN: SECOND COMING - REVELATIONS: BLIND SCIENCE #1. The stakes remain high and the X-Men do what the X-Men do best!

Writer Chris Yost's tenure on X-FORCE nears its end, but he's happy about what he calls the "sense of urgency" he's brought to the title and also a "sense that these are the end times for mutants."

"As emotionally devastating as the death of Nightcrawler in X-FORCE #26 was, #27 starts off with an attack as brutal as the X-Men have ever seen," he explains. "Bastion's plan to wipe out mutantkind is in full effect at this point, all the pieces are on-or off, as the case is with the teleporters-the table. This is it. This is where they all die.

X-FORCE #27 cover by David Finch
"X-FORCE #27 is the start of the bad, bad things. And it's in reaction to that, that's why X-Force is sent on their mission. The team has lost half its members, their secret status is out, and honestly when the dust settles, none of them know what's next. They could all go to jail for all they know. But given the events of Chapter 8 in X-MEN LEGACY and the beginning of Chapter 9 here, that's all put on hold. The only thing that matters is survival."

As a warning to readers, Yost assesses the threat level in X-FORCE #27 as extreme to say the least.

"X-Force is on the front lines when the attack goes down, and they get a first hand glimpse of what they're up against," he says. "[Co-writer] Craig Kyle and I have written some brutal fights in our time, but this one-it's nasty. I'm going to go with Threat Level: Terminal."

Meanwhile, writer Simon Spurrier lines up the characters of the X-MEN: SECOND COMING - REVELATIONS: BLIND SCIENCE one-shot and sheds a bit of light on the X-Men's Science Team in this tale.

"[It] concerns the team investigating the weird rigs which have appeared near the X-Men's home," he notes. "The group seems to have inadvertently triggered a bomb, and the story opens with them staring helpless at a countdown. But when the timer hits '0' they find it's not a bomb they've activated but something far stranger, which dumps them into a situation and location they don't understand. They have to find out what the hell's going on, work out how-and why-this influences things in

X-MEN: SECOND COMING - REVELATIONS: BLIND SCIENCE #1 preview art
the wider Second Coming event, overcome some fabulously crazy stuff, and try to make it back in time to make a difference.

"For me, the Science Team's biggest draw is the mix of [characters]. It's a small enough unit that each different personality can play out without any overlaps or repetitions of the emotional beats, but not so small that there's no potential for internal conflicts. These are three opinionated, super-smart, super-capable people after all-the best at what they do-and that's a recipe for some tasty disagreements. 'What they do,' by the way, is approaching problems from unexpected angles. They're the lateral thinkers of the super hero world, with added gadgets, guns and gray-cells.

Spurrier also kindly gives a brief run-down on the Science Team members, and some insight into their motivations.

"Doctor Nemesis has this long and mottled history on both sides of some pretty despicable conflicts, and it's resulted in this ironclad self-confidence and self-reliance.  He's so used to doing things his way or not at all that he often seems garrulous around others. He doesn't suffer fools easily, and his big problem is that he instinctively assumes everyone he meets is one. Secretly, I think he's overjoyed about working in the X-Club, having some collaborative resources, being challenged; but he's so desperate to hide it that he overcompensates and acts kind of pissy."

X-MEN: SECOND COMING - REVELATIONS: BLIND SCIENCE #1 preview art
"Madison Jeffries couldn't be more different. He's been through a lot of nasty stuff too, but it's left him kind of fuzzy, kind of dissociated from reality a couple of notches.  Which isn't to say he doesn't engage with the events around him, just that you sort of get the impression he's just going with the flow, letting his mind wander at every opportunity.  He's so immersed in the world his particular mutant power creates-this universe of intuitive technology and manipulation-that he can often seem a bit shell-shocked or spaced-out to other people. But he's not. He's as sharp as a razor and as quick as a snake; he's just seeing and approaching everything from a slightly sideways angle."

"Kavita Rao is the real surprise in the roster. She's got a really fascinating history-one which is explored quite deeply in this story, in fact-and it's colored her personality a great deal.  Once upon a time she was this ambitious, high-flying, world-changing geneticist who made a really bad decision and came close to doing something truly abhorrent.  That 'near-miss' is one of the things that ultimately encouraged her to join the X-Club, so there's a real redemptive thing going on. It's shaken her self-confidence and made her doubt herself a lot of the time. Kavita is the moral and ethnical heart of the team."

Spurrier's sure that the book works on several levels and provides ample opportunity for excitement and characterization. And he's quite sure what constitutes his very most favorite part of it:

"Five words: Doctor Nemesis versus Nazi Dolphins."

 

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