Often human nature is boiled down to two hard-to-define traits–good or evil. X-Tremists #2 challenges that by pushing us into the nuances of those two things, and questioning whether they are good or evil…
Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles lead this expedition into the human psyche.
Department X starts a wildfire for the X-Men to put out, enabling the heroes to continue to appear to be heroes. Back at base, they have to face two horrifying realities. First, Psylocke and Blob confront their feelings for one another. Secondly, Jubilee discovers Moneta’s horrifying treatment of a prisoner and is faced the question of whether she’s complicit…
Williams’ work here is just stunning. The final three pages of the issue are simply a conversation between Freddie Dukes and Betsy Braddock and they are some of the most stunning, emotional writing I’ve ever read in a comic book. They win me over almost perfectly, establishing a relationship that was a hard sell.
And yet, the rest of the issue is equally good. Jubilee’s personal revelation is sad both from the perspective of what we know about the character normally and the revelations she has to face about herself. She’s completely broken by the realization that she might be complicit in something evil.
Jeanty and Poggi are able to take every bit of the script and sell it on the page. Blob’s shocked look as he first runs from Psylocke is not just relatable but sets up the conclusion of the issue really well. They also portray Moneta’s disgusting behavior and treatment of the prisoner in a way that isn’t glorifying it but also not pushing it too far. They sell it all through body language, facial expressions and horrifying little details around the characters.
It’s not an understatement to say this might be my favorite single issue so far this year. It’s a fantastic piece.
X-Tremists #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.