X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #2 Writer: Max Bemis Pencils: Michael Walsh Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Clayton Cowles Publisher: Marvel
Note: This issue was originally released digitally on January 16, 2016 and has just been released in physical print.
In a captivating first issue in which we met our Worst X-Man Ever, Bailey Hoskins. Who is very much trying to capture the wide eyed innocence of an ordinary American teenager with really no special or intriguing characteristics. Fortunately for him he finds out that his parents are mutants. After a trip to the X mansion and check up with Dr. Hank McCoy(Beast), Baily discovers that he as well is a mutant. However his mutant power is so incredibly disappointing that the title of Worst X-Man Ever is so ever fitting.
This issues follows up the cliff hanger of the previous issue, where Bailey’s parents were killed in a attack by Sentinels and Purifiers and after being told to stay put by X-Man Forge, he takes an armored suit to become the hero he desperately want to be. Seeing Bailey search for an invader to squash is humorous in itself but when he does come across one to lash out his frustration on, it goes from being humorous to hilarious. The consequences of this encounter leads to a greatly welcomed cameo by Jennifer Walters(She-Hulk). Following that we see scenes of Bailey looking for direction, someone to guide him, a mentor.
Through a mistake of identity Bailey comes across who will be his antagonist, Mystique. Which the cover unfortunately spoils and we get some charming and disturbing scenes where he interacts with other X-Men alumni. Including a conversation with some Oedipus Complex undertones.
One of the highlights of this issue are the montage scenes. One that shows Bailey trying his hand within multiple X-Men teams, another were he seeks guidance, and a final one showing his shock in the aftermath of his conversation with Mystique. Al of these montages are brilliantly humorous, and captures the tone of this series perfectly. Writer Max Bemis does a solid job in mixing the fun humor of this character and his powers with drama and character sympathetic moments.
Another solid inclusion in this issue is Mystique her self. Her plan to manipulate and subdue Bailey is quintessential Mystique and it shows Bemis’ strong understanding of the characters identity. The plan is a perfect tool to capture our investment for Bailey and entice us to return for the following issue.
There is one major flaw in the writing here though, that is the failure to really address the death of Bailey’s parents. The death of ones parents, especially for a teenager is not something to gloss over. Bemis does address it but it seems as more of a throwaway to get out some humor of the situation. I hope the following issue goes more in depth as to how Bailey is dealing for this loss that was very abrupt in the first issue.
The art team here, penciler Michael Walsh and colorist Ruth Redmond, again follow up the previous issue in satisfying fashion. They are able to capture the light hearted tone and vibe that this 5 issue mini-series is going for. Bailey, as well as many of the other characters look wide eyed and innocent and it couldn’t be more fitting.
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #2 is a solid follow up to a solid first issue. Every scene makes me become even more invested and intrigued as to what lies ahead for Bailey’s future. Not to mention it’s a fun, funny, and enjoyable read. The art team works together nicely and are able to convey the direction writer Max Bemis is going for. However the side note treatment of the death of Bailey’s parents is rather jarring and is a nagging flaw in this issue that I thought would be heavily touched on after last issue’s cliffhanger.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach