I was a bit mixed on X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2. The issue was full of emotion and action but it played it’s hand a bit too much making it clear that the death of the Scarlet Witch wasn’t as clear cut as the “shocking” reveal. In a country where almost everyone has mutant powers, why would it be? The second issue continues to reveal its hand a bit too much with another issue full of conflict that makes it clear there’s some heavy manipulation going on.
Written by Leah Williams, X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2 has some really solid moments. It lays out and makes clear that Krakoa and the mutant nation aren’t “heroes”, they’re doing some downright evil. It’s been an interesting theme since this new direction for the X-Men began as they took their nationalist stance. Williams opens up the issue with a debate as to what to do about Magneto. In a nation where the truth could potentially be pulled out of someone’s mind against their will, what are the ethics surrounding that. Xavier and Hope debate the topic with the use of the word “torture” thrown about. Xavier, as he has since the relaunch, shows some ethical issues regarding the issue continuing the dark path the character began a long time ago. It’s the most interesting aspect of the comic which spends far too little time exploring the ethical dilemma.
Most of the time is spent with the Avengers who have traveled to Krakoa to retrieve the body of their murdered teammate. This again throws the X-Men in a weird spot as talk of state secrets are thrown about during the tour of the island. Again, unethical directions are debated as to what to do to protect those secrets and how far the X-Men should go to protect them. It’s an interesting contrast to that opening and again we see some glimpses of the political direction the X-Men have gone since their relaunch. But, all of that is put to the side as a battle breaks out, one that has a classic feel to it all. But, that battles tips the hat too much that there’s greater forces at work here.
A lot of the characters feel a bit… “off”. Magneto feels like a caricature of this classic self. Iron Man also feels like an extreme caricature of himself. Captain America is almost too stiff in his dealings with the X-Men. It’s all a bit choppy in some ways that makes the reader tilt their head in confusion.
The art by Lucas Werneck is good. There’s some really good action and some scenes look great. With color by Edgar Delagado and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic looks good. Where it hits bumps are some of the close-ups of the characters where they don’t quite look like heroes and then some visuals far away feel a bit more comedic than anything. For such a “serious” tour there’s an odd aspect to the visuals at times.
While I’m not completely sold on X-Men: Trial of Magneto #2, the issue has some intriguing moments. This feels like a miniseries where the whole will be stronger than the individual parts. There’s some odd characterizations that might be explained by the mystery going on but we’ll have to wait and see. Overall, it’s a story that needs to be told and some truths that need to be said and shown.
Story: Leah Williams Art: Lucas Werneck
Color: Edgar Delgado Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review