The tone of this issue certainly lives up the setting. You feel as overwhelmed as the mutant task force must feel as they're assailed by demons on all sides and time is slipping away from them in nightmarish loop. Yost's handling of these larger-than-life personalities is consistently compelling - - whether it's Northstar's low opinion of Cannonball's leadership, Cyclops' terse assurances to the quality of that leadership, Anole's second thoughts about signing up for this craziness or Pixie's conflicted feelings about helping Magik.S peaking about that last bit, N'astrih's appearance and devilish offer to Pixie made for a great cliffhanger. You know all too well how green she is and how easy it'll be for her to make the wrong decision without any friends to advise her. I have to say, too, that Tolibao and Raney, along with the rest of the production team, have done some powerhouse work. From the detailed pencils to the gold-level coloring, this feels like a blockbuster.
I didn't read that rebirth of Apocalypse storyline where Gambit became one of the Horsemen, so maybe this was explained somewhere there, but... while I think his Death persona looks pretty cool, I have to say his voice felt really inconsistent. His monologue's about survival of the fittest run a little too eloquent for the Ragin' Cajun, even if he's been turned evil. The points where he does slip back into French slang seem like they're there just to make up for those parts. Also, while I was impressed with the large collection of characters and voices in the first issue, here it just made the whole thing seem really crowded. I feel like we already went through the necessary exposition last issue, and now there's even more discussions trying to set things up.
The Verdict - 4/5
This didn't wow me as much as the first issue. Like I said, the positives of having such a great collection of voices is now seeming to become a negative by cramming too many characters into this, and sometimes, those characterizations suffer, like Gambit's. However, this is is still well done, with an appropriately epic, nightmarish, high-stakes scope, and I do recommend it.