What if Donald Trump was a mutant? No, Marvel Comics isn’t relaunching What If? with this premise–it’s just the first thought that came to mind after finishing Death of X #2. Following Trump’s kamikaze tactics in the second presidential debate, I couldn’t help but feel Cyclops was borrowing a few moves from the Orange One’s playbook in response to the events of Death of X #1.
I know, the comparison is an insult to the first X-Man, but read on to see my reasoning here.
Death of X #2 (Marvel Comics)
Before we dig in, I want to warn that we’ll get into SPOILER TERRITORY. After all, it’s a bit hard to talk about this series (and the next two issues) without wading into spoiler-filled waters.
Okay, we good? Thanks for staying!
Following last issue’s revelation that the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists are toxic to mutants, we open with Storm alerting Queen Medusa of the news at New Attilan. This is an important scene, because it not only shows how Beast came to become a fixture in the Inhumans’ books (you can check that post-Secret Wars mystery off your scorecard), but casts Medusa in a sympathetic light.
When pitting two franchises against each other, fans are inevitably going to take sides. As the X-Men no doubt have a larger fanbase, why wouldn’t most readers despise Medusa–who in Civil War II, is also making Tony Stark’s life miserable? But here, we see writers Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire making sure we understand there’s a human side to this Inhuman.
Then, Cyclops goes full-Trump with a psychic assist from Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos and reaches into every mind on the planet. Scott’s message: The Inhumans lied to the planet about the effects of their Terrigen Clouds, the mists will probably kill humans too and the X-Men will save everybody.
It’s bold, it’s pretty badass and, if you think about it, makes perfect sense for Cyclops to do. This is a man who’s been chasing redemption ever since he killed Professor X while possessed by the Phoenix Force at the end of Avengers vs. X-Men. He not only views the Terrigen Clouds as a threat to his race–which he’s had to take extreme measures to save time and time again–but as the ultimate chance to be the hero he strives to be.
It’s hard to be mad at the man who killed the founder of the X-Men if he ends up saving the planet from the Inhuman threat, right?
With that said, like those who supported Trump, many of the X-Men want answers from Cyclops following his latest attention-grabbing stunt. Colossus, for instance, feels uncomfortable following the psychic message while his sister Magik thinks Scott has gone and doomed Mutantkind. Could Cyclops’ message to the world be what so many characters have hinted at since Secret Wars ended? Is this “what Scott did?”
I’m not sure, to be honest, but the arrival of an always-unpredictable X-character at the end of the issue guarantees events are only going to become more dramatic by series’ end.
Death of X is proving to be quite the global tale, and this allows artist Aaron Kuder to flex his artistic muscles as he depicts such locales as New York City, Muir Island and Madrid. The psychic projection of Cyclops towering over a hyper-detailed Madrid street joins ever-expanding gallery of iconic X-moments thanks to Kuder’s dynamic pencils.
Overall, my only complaint about this comic was it flew by too quickly. But really, that’s not a bad thing. Just as Trump’s charisma brings out his supporters in droves, the mystery surrounding Cyclops’ doomed master plan ensures readers will return for the next issue.
I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a good kind of car wreck, but that’s what I’d compare Death of X to. You know it’s going to end in tragedy but you can’t help but watch.