Take all of the concepts of Jonathan Hickman’s run on the X-Men and use X-Men characters from the 1992 animated series, and you have X-Men ’92: House of XCII. The first issue felt like a rehash of something I’ve already read and unfortunately, X-Men ’92: House of XCII #2 doesn’t add much more.
Written by Steve Foxe, X-Men ’92: House of XCII #2 continues the familiar story. The X-Men have created a nation of their own. A band of humans called Orchis are using Sentinels to try to destroy the mutants. There’s a mutant who is reincarnated back as a baby when they die, and can do it a finite amount of times. This is all things we’ve seen before in the X-Men’s relaunch a few years ago.
Unfortunately, that’s all the comic feels like, a rehash of what we’ve already read. A slight knock-off of the name brand. In this version, the characters are replaced with those that appeared in the animated series. Instead of Kate leading the Marauders it’s Rogue. Jubilee at one point teams with Stryfe. It’s small changes but not enough add up to really make the comic feel fresh and different. In fact, it feels like an off-brand version of the original and also of the animated series. Neither quite fits.
The closest the comic gets to working is with Salva Espin‘s art. With Israel Silva on color and Joe Sabino on lettering, the comic often has a look of the cartoon and at times captures the feel. But, it also at times feels like bad 90s X-Men and its “swimsuit special” gaze. That might be part of the joke but it also doesn’t click with what’s going on elsewhere. Is the comic supposed to be a spoof? Serious? There is some solid design like a new Sentinel that fits the animated style but overall, the comic feels close, but not exact, like the original. Compare that to G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – Saturday Morning Adventures which nails the feel of the animated series in every way. There is some inspired pages that highlight characters and the credits but even that feels more Saved By the Bell than X-Men: The Animated Series.
X-Men ’92: House of XCII #2 feels like an odd take on the classic Marvel What If…? and might have done better if that was the premise. Instead it dips its toes with winks and nods attempting to capture the nostalgic feel of the classic cartoon while shoehorning it into a concept that doesn’t fit with the cartoon. It’s an interesting idea but has yet to click in its two issues.
Story: Steve Foxe Art: Salva Espin
Color: Israel Silva Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.75 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Pass
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review