X-Club #2 (of 5)A comic review article by: Sara McDonald
All the "X-Club" wanted to do was help build an elevator into space in order to improve human/mutant relations. It seemed easy enough until the Atlanteans reported dangerous levels of toxic pollution in the water that turned them into rampaging monsters, Danger seemingly lost her mind, and Dr. Nemesis got a telepathic starfish bonded to his head. Now it's up to the X-Club to use their science skills to figure out what's polluting the water and affecting the Atlanteans, stop Danger from killing the X-Men, and, if they can find the time, get that starfish off Dr. Nemesis's head. Oh, and get that space elevator officially up and running, of course.
As with the first issue in this limited series, X-Club continues to be a book that doesn't take itself too seriously. Comic book science is usually at least a little silly, and X-Club seems to be aware of that and embracing it. It's a genuinely entertaining comic that offers a few good chuckles, primarily from Dr. Nemesis's true thoughts being broadcast through an empathic, mind-reading starfish and Madison Jeffries' failed attempt to get some "company" during his ride back to Earth in the space elevator. Still, it manages to keep from veering into the territory of too silly, and mixes the mildly ridiculous with an intriguing plot as the three X-Scientists try to piece together what's really happening with the polluted water.
X-Club also shows its more serious side, maintaining a balance between humor and plot. Dr. Rao's interaction with Atlantean priestess and victim of the pollution, Lida, shows that there's more to this comic than just the light, fun stuff at the surface, but that there's depth there as well. The characters are portrayed as compelling and engaging, and there's enough there to make the concern for the Atlanteans and their plight seem important, even if space elevators and head starfish are a bit silly (albeit in a very enjoyable way).
With the second issue, X-Club continues to be a fun comic that offers a break from the heavy plots and tension of most of the current post-Schism X-Books, while at the same time remaining compelling enough to feel like more than just a series of one-liners. It's a smart, well-paced book that does exactly what a comic book should do: keep you entertained.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.