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'X-Men By Gerry Duggan' Vol. 2 review

Comic Books

‘X-Men By Gerry Duggan’ Vol. 2 review

A beautiful book that builds on the key worldbuilding from its predecessor while celebrating the superhero family dynamics the X-Men are known for.

Appropriately, X-Men Vol. 2 (issues #7-12) picks up the narrative threads from the previous collection and brings some of those previous plot threads to relative fruition. As noted in my review for the first collection of issues of Gerry Duggan’s X-Men run, this is a book that puts fun, superhero camaraderie at its center. The political ruminations of the Krakoan Quiet Council still play a role in the narrative, but this is a book for those who want to see X-Men membership as a desirable prospect. While not earth-shattering in its scope, Duggan’s punchy, reverent script and incredible art from Pepe Larraz make this a gratifying read, even if you have not enjoyed other aspects of the larger Krakoan era. 

Orchis, the anti-mutant human organization at the center of Hickman’s run, continue to develop as a villainous organization, with even M.O.D.O.K. making a prominent appearance in their schemes. The Captain Krakoa storyline is deepened and we get a wonderful diversion with some of the X-Women confronting Mojo in Gameworld. These Duggan issues give a lot of thought to how the powersets of these heroes complement each other, as well as the interpersonal relationships between its members. Synch and Wolverine’s complex relationship is explored, and Cyclops’ growing frustration with the Krakoan Council cultivate nicely, making this feel like a team worthy of traveling with on future adventures. 

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X-Men By Gerry Duggan Vol. 2
Marvel Comics

Most of the art is tackled by the indispensable Pepe Larraz with a few fill-in issues from Javier Pina (#8, #10) and C.F. Villa (#9). Larraz’s dynamic, beautiful character designs and incredible panel configuring can turn even a commonplace escapade into one worthy of awe. Looking at his X-Men pages, I catch myself returning to previous panels not due to incoherence in the art, but simply to bask in its beauty. While Duggan’s script is completely enjoyable on its own, with a lesser artist it likely would not contain the same magnitude and energy. 

It often feels like this X-Men run is much smaller than the Hickman book that came before it. While I loved most of the preceding X-Men era before Duggan took over the title, I appreciate how this book has returned the group to its basics as a superhero team without completely divorcing it from the political machinations happening in other books like Immortal X-Men. If readers feel underwhelmed by the limited scope of this run, the major character revelation dropped in the last two issues of this trade will assuredly shake the existining power structure on Krakoa and promises future narrative developments in other X-titles. 

X-Men By Gerry Duggan Vol. 2
Marvel Comics

Marvel seems to have gotten the memo when it comes to the supplementals at the end of their trades. The many variant covers, and there are many, including the trading card variants that tap into the nostalgia ’90s kids have for the Jim Lee set from 1992, are included in the final pages. Many of these covers are unassumingly picturesque, and it’s great to have these included in the trade. Now, if they only republished all of them as full-page reproductions, it would be worth picking up the trade for a collection of the covers alone, even if one buys the individual issues at their comic shop each month. 

Regardless of where you stand on the Hickman run, the new incarnation from Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz is a beautiful book that builds on the key worldbuilding from its predecessor while celebrating the superhero family dynamics the X-Men are known for. It’s definitely worth your time, money and attention. 

'X-Men By Gerry Duggan' Vol. 2 review
‘X-Men By Gerry Duggan’ Vol. 2 review
X-Men By Gerry Duggan Vol. 2
A beautiful book that builds on the key worldbuilding from its predecessor while celebrating the superhero family dynamics the X-Men are known for.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.6
Duggan's script makes these team feel like a family of heroes, worthy or future adventures.
Pepe Larraz does some amazing art in his issues within this trade.
The variant covers reprinted at the end are a great addition, and should be included in any collection of this nature.
The scope of these issues may seem small when compared to what has come before it.
Not every variant cover is given a full page reprinting.
8
Good
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