Way of X started off strong with an incredibly intriguing first issue — and issue #2 is just as good, further delving into the secrets of Krakoa and the book’s hero, Kurt Wagner.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Way of X #2!
Writer Si Spurrier really seems to understand Kurt, bringing back a character who has been severely underutilized the past two years. His work on X-Men Legacy already proved his prowess at writing David Haller, making him the Legion writer, but Way of X #2 secures that title for him.
David and Kurt’s conversation is thought-provoking material on a philosophical level, involving conversations of belief and taking back words used to dehumanize you. This idea that David hates being called “Legion” harkens back to Spurrier’s work on X-Men Legacy, a plot thread he’s picked up here and brought full circle as David reclaims the name.
Orchis was always a looming threat, as House of X proved they might just be the big bads of this era. Recent titles like S.W.O.R.D. have circled back to them and Way of X introduces a huge plot involving them: David was being experimented on by them and they’re using material from his brain to try and take down Krakoa. It’s incredibly fascinating material moving forward.
Loa and Pixie seem to be supporting characters in this series and the two have a really peculiar conversation — one that hints that Alani might be LGBT+.
This era of X-Men has done a lot of hinting and teasing, toying with the idea that characters might be LGBT+ but never truly committing to it. One would hope Alani here doesn’t turn out to be another Kate Pryde situation and this plot thread doesn’t get dropped or forgotten. The hints are nice, but they really only go so far without real action behind them — and Alani would be a great addition to Marvel’s LGBT+ character roster.
Again though, Alani is still too white for a character who has been colored brown in her first appearances. The progressive whitening of characters of color in this era is another thing that really needs to be fixed.
Kurt and David’s little understanding is one of the best things this comic offers, giving Way of X its hopeful sheen. In fact, Way of X might be the most optimistic, hopeful comic in the line right now. Sure, it deals with the idea that there is a darkness brewing in Krakoa, something that has needed to be addressed for a long time, but Kurt is an incredibly hopeful character and he approaches every situation with good will. He cares about people, and his interactions with David really prove that.
Spurrier pushes Kurt to his limits, making him commit a mortal sin by killing someone — something that Kurt really struggles with — but he does so for what he believes is David’s own good. It’s really interesting material for Kurt and the bond he shares with David increases for it. David even goes as far as to say that Kurt is the only person on that island he currently trusts.
David’s resurrection is quite intriguing material as well. Not only is Charles initially hesitant of resurrecting his own son because he believes him to be “unstable,” he doesn’t even want to restore the backup of David’s mind because of that — David restores his own mind. One thing about David Haller’s character, particularly in the way Spurrier has always written him, is that his character is a good examination of the mutant metaphor. David Haller is explicitly a mentally ill individual, and even his own kind often rejects him for that — his own father did. It’s easy to root for David, and you really do.
David’s mental illness is the primary reason he’s ostracized by society –not his mutation. It’s easy to understand the mutant metaphor through a character like that, who doesn’t shy away from a conversation about how society is ableist towards the mentally ill.
David’s resurrection does bring up some interesting questions, some that the book itself doesn’t even explore. In Spurrier’s X-Men Legacy it was established that one of David’s alters, Professor Y, is a precog.
House of X/Powers of X established a rule only Charles, Erik, and Moira know about: precogs are banned. Was Charles’ hesitation to resurrect his son in part because of his precognitive alter? It’s a really interesting question to explore.
David’s resurrection also gives a Planet Size X-Men tease as he is invited to the top-secret Omega mutants mission, though he ultimately refuses.
The book also teases the real identity of the Patchwork Man: Onslaught. And hey, if anyone can bring back Onslaught and make him cool, it’s Si Spurrier. Onslaught’s looming premise is about to make Krakoa an even more interesting place, considering how he’s made from Magneto and Charles, two founding members of the Nation.
Way of X #2 establishes the book’s place as an early contender for one of the best titles in the ever-expanding line thus far. Spurrier’s writing is funny, touching, and thought-provoking all at the same time, and Bob Quinn’s artwork is what this book needed to bring these ideas to life.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!