In only two issues, Way of X has established itself as the Nightcrawler series Marvel has always hoped for. Not only does the elf get a much deserved spotlight, but it’s full of incredible moments that establish this book as essential for the X-Line.
After last issue’s revelation of Legion’s whereabouts, this issue just had to follow-up on that in an interesting way. However, it doesn’t just succeed, but it adds an unbelievable wrinkle to the entire Krakoan fabric. It comes from Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, and Clayton Cowles.
Legion needs Nightcrawler’s help. His astral form is bouncing around the world, but his body is trapped. However, what Kurt learns on his rescue mission is much bigger than he expected. Not only is Orchis trying to find ways to destabilize Krakoa, but an even greater threat is on the horizon.
Spurrier quickly established the stakes here- something monstrous is poisoning Krakoa and it’s not Legion. He then packs in a lot of story as he builds up the tension, even subtly including a few hints at what the villain might be. He weaves in the layers of the existing Krakoan era world-building, especially some new twists on Orchis, and adds some layers of his own. Really the biggest problem lies in forgetting a few details of character history that makes Doctor Nemesis’s actions uncomfortable at best, and problematic at worst.
Quinn’s art continues to be a fantastic fit for the book. He packs a lot of detail into every panel and creates a great sense of motion across the page. Even the quiet moments, like Fabian Cortez’s moping, are visually arresting. His action has a great sense of flow and he choreographs it in some unique ways by utilizing the character’s abilities to their full extent.
The problem lies in one of the biggest recurring issues of the entire X-Men- the coloring of the non-white X-Men. We see the half-Hawaiian Loa early in the issue colored as a white girl, rather than her Pacific Islander heritage. This has been a problem in the X-Men for some time, and it indicates a need for some sort of coloring style guide internally, as seems to happen at least once a month, if not more often.
However, overall, this is a great story, it’s incredibly engaging, and the final page twist is a surprisingly welcome wrinkle to the entire tapestry.
Way of X #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.
A few minor problems drag the issue down a bit. However it’s still one of the most interesting entries in the X-Men line, with twists and turns that will readers engaged, and incredibly fun art.