Knights of X is back with its second issue, an issue that may be even busier than the title's debut last month. Picking up the pieces from Marvel's latest Excalibur run, Knights of X follows a group of 10 mutants led by Captain Britain as they search for the Siege Perilous, a MacGuffin that'll help the team leave Otherworld and its monstrous ruler Merlyn.
Not only was the mutant lore largely reimagined thanks to Marvel's wide-ranging "Dawn of X" line. Then a comic like Knights of X comes along and establishes its own lore within a lore and, well... things start to get messy. Instead of working in tandem, this story pits the X-Men mythos against the Arthurian legend and as a result, this title—this issue, in particular—is probably worse for it.
A large part of it is a massive ensemble that's over-the-top and unnecessary. You have an exceptional leader in Betsy Braddock, but the spotlight often gets taken away for a side plot or reference from one of the lesser characters. That's only compounded by the fact Howard is doing an exceptional job at making this corner of the X-Men universe her own. Her own lore is being placed so well, in fact, it's coming at the expense of a plot a little too messy with little development on the character front.
The line art from Bob Quinn and Erick Arciniega does help provide some consistency to the issue, even though it's all still a tonal mishmash. We're dealing with mutants, superheroes, and otherworldly dimensions so the futuristic technology makes sense—only it is paired with swords, robes, and other medieval outfits. Again, there's some consistency, a feat in and of itself given the aforementioned tonal problems.
Knights of X #2 shows a lot of promise and Howard's mini-world is something I hope gets explored further and soon. It's just unfortunate that exploration hasn't yet come in this very series. Too much emphasis is placed on the world-building while both the plot and characters need more attention and development. The thing is, this team has already proved they can tell a killer story in Knights of X #1, so there's no doubt they can return to that high after this misstep.
Published by Marvel Comics
On June 1, 2022
Written by Tini Howard
Art by Bob Quinn
Colors by Erick Arciniega
Letters by Ariana Maher
Cover by Yanick Paquette and Alejandro Sánchez