Published on October 15th, 2023 | by Howard Smith
Realm of X #2 REVIEW
Summary: More details are unfolding as the story continues, but there is yet more to discover.
Far From A Fairy Tale
Trapped in Vanaheim, this group of mutants find themselves taking refuge in the House of Mult six weeks after their initial arrival. As they become familiar with their allies and live as they do, their mission is to find a way back home but not before dealing with the magic of the realm being siphoned off by some other force. While still searching for Curse, Realm of X #2 sees the White Witch is up to no good deed. Her motives are far from pure-hearted and only seeks to beget war for dominion over the realm. As she plans to use Curse to alter her fate and gain absolute power, she is unaware that Magik herself becomes one step closer to unlocking the mystery of her misplaced powers and the prophecy is fast approaching. The rest of the stranded team devise a plan to infiltrate the citadel where they believe Curse is located, but what they discover may just be their downfall in the coming future. Magik leaves behind letters to her fellow mutants and makes her departure, but to where is unknown.
Torunn Grønbekk (The Mighty Valkyries) dives more into this fantasy-like adventure. The plot thickens in Realm of X #2 as readers will come to understand where Curse is and what the White Witch is truly up to. While Grønbekk plays out our favorite band of mutants, she introduces new characters and they are far from coming off as bland or boring. The interesting aspect of Grønbekk’s story is the characters themselves and the continuous observation of character development. When this collection of mutants first arrived in the first issue they were exhausted, lost, and thrown into the heat of battle without prior knowledge of who’s good or evil. Their likeness is etched in marble destined for something great, but not sure what it all means. Now, they understand why they are here, but are unsure what Curse has a role to play in the prophecy foretold. Grønbekk includes every turn of the story divided in shifts between the White Witch and Curse, Magik, and the rest of the group to help readers grasp a clear flow of the story structure.
Regarding that clear flow, Diógenes Neves (Sinister War) brings Grønbekk’s story compellingly to life with incredible art. The dedication to churning out amazing levels of art is remarkable, especially with how dynamic each page feels reading through them. Neves boosts the intricate storytelling with art that matches its tone and spirit. The panel layout continues to be a joy to observe as it is unlike previous X-Men interior work. The panels within the comic book appear to flow alongside the story rather than serve as a border for readers to understand where they should be reading. Neves’s positioning of the panels and the juxtaposition of the characters provide a more personal point of view that strikes immersion and a plethora of emotions. In Realm of X #2, Neves knows that a reader’s experience with the art is just as important as the written story itself. In that same ideal, Rain Beredo’s (Blackout) colorful execution of this comic book adds an undeniable value of excitement and serenity. Impeccable shades of coloring are heavily enhanced and favored to bring out the best quality the comic book can give. Tasked with an assortment of colors to apply, Beredo contributes and continues to accomplish excellent work.
Comparably, Clayton Cowles’s (Batman: Killing Time) lettering is nothing short of skillful typography. Word bubbles are positioned where they don’t distract or obstruct the artwork. Cowles performs an exquisite engagement with the panels that signify knowledge of how to make a story excel with substance.
The cover art by Stephanie Hans (Briar) for Realm of X #2 is smashingly good. For collectors who might like Magik covers, this one should be in their collection to admire the work.
A lot is happening in Realm of X #2, but there is certain to be a lot more bound to explode in the next issue. Magik is onto something the others are not privy to and through this newfound discovery might be a revelation worth exploring. Be sure to pick this issue up from your local comic book store or online where copies are sold. An adventure worth reading.
Writer: Torunn Grønbekk
Artist: Diógenes Neves
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Stephanie Hans
Editor: Lauren Amaro
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment