Published on September 28th, 2023 | by Howard Smith
Dark X-Men #2 REVIEW
The Search For X-Men Begins
Shortly after their outing, the Dark X-Men rescued a handful of some important mutants from capture but left one behind in a hurry. The search for more mutants begins. In Dark X-Men #2, this band of unusual and strange arrangement of misfits come together to find the other mutants somewhere lost, hiding, or otherwise on the run from opposing forces. Led by the Goblin Queen herself, Madelyn seeks to acquire mutants in search of a place where they can find refuge. On the brink of death, Havok is patched up by Madelyn’s dark arts and can rejoin the team as an acting founding member of the X-Men. Meanwhile, a Goblin Queen from another universe who has shredded all resemblance of her mortal persona conspires with a cybernetic maniac named Krol and an arcane researcher called Vallen who works for Orchis. What they have planned in store cannot be a good thing for mutants everywhere.
The story so far in Dark X-Men #2 adds to the overall complication of where mutants can find themselves in the world now. The only good thing about these X-Men is that they aren’t being hunted like the others because their Embassy has immunity. Due to this immunity from world leaders, it serves as the perfect place to house wanted mutants safely until the crisis of being on the run comes to an end. Steve Foxe (Blue Book) has written about a group of mutants who can’t stand idly by and do nothing. Despite being in a group of unhinged individuals who revel in debauchery and dastardly deeds, Foxe centers Havok as the moral compass the team needs. As Havok has had more training with putting together a random group of mutants he’s not familiar with, he’s the perfect addition to the team. Unexpectedly, readers will find that the story in its continuation thickens with more turns and surprises as it continues to move forward.
The artwork on the other hand by Jonas Scharf (The Expanse) is beautifully crafted from page to page. Each character clearly had their own style or personality showcased without interference in a visual observation. Notably, when a character or a group of characters are given a close-up in the same shot, Scharf’s art style for Dark X-Men #2 gives readers a well-defined level of attention to detail. It’s a little odd to point that bit out, but his artwork is one to admire in terms of visual storytelling. Without a doubt, Scharf as the artist does wonders for the artwork for this comic book. Scharf’s work makes this story enjoyable to read.
Of course, Dark X-Men #2 would be just black and white inks without the fantastic coloring by Frank Martin (East of West, Gamora, Jungle Girl). The expertise in coloring a comic book such as this gives readers of this series the environment these characters dwell in. Also, Martin’s coloring provides the story with a dark sensation as intended. Almost every page felt like the characters were placed in a crypt somewhere with Martin’s coloring. The excellent aspect of Martin’s coloring is the fact that he allows the artwork to breathe with excitement. The coloring sets the tone of the comic book in a good way that readers will appreciate.
Regarding appreciation, Clayton Cowles (Bitter Root) as the letterer for the second issue does a tremendous task at positioning the lettering so readers can enjoy the book. Without having to overly complicate the flow of the dialogue and panels, Cowles’s juxtaposition for sounds and words is greatly commended.
The cover art by Stephen Segovia (The Flash, Detective Comics) and Martin shimmer with a glimpse of what readers can expect in the next issue. As much as readers might think the cover art reflects what might happen in the comic book itself, in fact, it’s a prelude to the next part of the story. Martin and Segovia have illustrated a cover that asks more questions and entices interest simultaneously.
Dark X-Men #2 leaves readers on a cliffhanger of sorts. It possesses more questions than answers and does a good job of keeping readers intrigued for more. Gambit has trouble trusting her and Havok with a new member of the X-Men, but he’s not wrong to do so. However, this series is still underway, and it feels like the Dark X-Men might bite off more than they can chew. For more, pick up this issue from your local comic book store or online wherever copies are sold. There’s no telling how this story will unfold, so don’t miss out.
Writer: Steve Foxe
Artist: Jonas Scharf
Color Artist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Stephen Segovia, Frank Martin
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment