Title: X-MEN ’92 #2 – Young Blood
Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers
Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Despite being the beginning of danger for the X-Men, Sims, and Bowers still manage to make this second issue of their comic series as lighthearted and fun as the first. X-Men ’92 #2 – Young Blood is just the start in unraveling the much larger tale of why the X-Men are targeted for death. Whether it is a potential new villain just introduced or one of the members of our favorite mutant team, each character seems to have an opportunity to show their not-so-serious side. We get to see more of the group behind the attacks on the X-Men. And several points in this plot line promise more entertaining antics for the comic down the road.
While this issue certainly continues the cheesy cartoon vibe of the 90’s, it also has a few more somber and serious moments to move the plot along. Firmansyah seems to lighten up on the humorous portrayal of characters, although there are still a few comically wide eyes and very animated reactions. The atmosphere is a touch more somber, as the issue begins with Jubilee being attacked and continues with conflict throughout. Even with the increased amount of fighting in X-Men ’92 #2, Firmansyah manages to make his art style work consistently in each scene, as he did in the first issue. With the art to tie everything together, the two issues actually connect to each other quite well.
In fact, one of the things that continuously strikes me about this series is the style of Firmansyah’s art. The way that the cartoon-ish drawings play into the storyline is done well. In this issue especially, several simply beautiful panels caught my eye. One of these is toward the beginning of the comic when Beast is holding Jubilee after she has been attacked. Another is the very last panel of Alpha Red’s fight against Omega Red. Both of these panels are able to capture more real moments for the audience, yet they are juxtaposed by other, much lighter moments. And again, Firmansyah is able to make all of these scenes work well with each other.
In addition, Matt Milla’s colors also stood out to me in this second issue. The colors are very vibrant for the X-Men and their costumes, especially at the start of the comic. However, as the situation gets more dire, the lightness of these colors begins to lessen a bit as well. While the costumes will remain the same throughout, everything else about the panels seems to be heavier in general, which is a brilliant stylistic choice.
This issue is less silly overall. Even as the comic retains a lighthearted feel of a 90’s cartoon, the characters behave in much less silly ways in this issue. When Jubilee is attacked and taken back to the mansion, the X-Men must respond in a more serious fashion. However, the writers still keep moments of humor in between, and the overall plot line is still cheesy enough to maintain the feel from the first issue. Especially with the addition of vampires.
Concerning this specific turn of the story, I was less enthused. I had never really considered being a vampire in the same league as being a superhero. Sure, the X-Men are mutants, which could make them more closely related to vampires than a character like Superman or Spiderman. But the X-Men seem much more exciting in many ways, particularly given that vampires are entirely over-saturated in the current state of pop culture. Despite this, I am still ok with the “vampires vs. X-Men” plot. It’s an idea that had been done before, with the Curse of the Mutants comic series. But the writers do it with their own spin, putting in just the right amount of interesting twists and good old nostalgia to keep readers engaged. In fact, the cliffhanger end of this second issue left me curious about where Sims and Bowers will be taking this story next. While I may not be an ecstatic vampire fan, the storyline still grabbed me enough to enjoy X-Men ’92 #2 – Young Blood.
Overall, this second issue was well done. It wasn’t quite as outrageous as the first in some ways, but the reveal of the main plot line certainly made up for that. The comic continues to have just enough humor, nostalgia, and some darker themes to keep me interested in its future.
What did you think about X-Men ’92? Let us know in the comments below!
- Story is increasingly entertaining
- Art and colors reflect the mood well
- Poignant moments between characters
- Vampire enemies are almost too cheesy
- More somber than first issue