Someone kidnaps Illyana Rasputin, Peter's little sister, in the last scene from the previous issue. There's a history about this girl in the comics continuity that I am just unfamiliar with so I have no preconceived understanding or opinion about how this storyline is going based on my lack of knowledge. I'm just walking into the dark here and I didn't mind because I honestly do not care much about what was going to happen to her for now because I'm focusing on the characters whose struggles do matter to me like those of Jean, Rogue and Kitty's.
There are many key scenes that happen for this second installment of Black Magik. Some of them are character interplays between Jean and Hank, Kitty and Peter, and Moira MacTaggert and Professor X. We also get a nice monologue from Rogue, and some possible subplot developments concerning Sabretooth being stalked by a S.H.I.E.L.D agent (Diana Dugan) alongside this arc's main attraction with this character villain called the Cossack who abducted little Illyana, and whatever perverse thing he plans to do with her.
Apparently, Illyana is a powerful person with mutant genes and dark magic mingling in her blood so that deadly combo is obviously a coveted prestige that Cossack wants, whoever the fuck this creep is supposed to be. He has an adult conversation with the little girl concerning predators and preys and which one she wants to be. Yeah, I don't like this already.
We move on to Professor X and Moira. Charles consults his long-time friend and fellow geneticist regarding his research on the cure for the mutation burnout but Moira's second opinion wasn't optimistic and the professor looks like he's losing hope. HOLY SHIT GUYS. CHARLES, CAPTAIN OF TEAM HOPE, IS LOSING HOPE. Holy shit, guys. I've been worrying about him lately. Two of his most trusted friends just died (Mags and Logan) and they're probably the only people who can share this burden with him and they're gone so of course Charles feels alone. Nick Fury better not invite him for a drink again. He is his mother's son and Sharon Xavier is an unapologetic drunk. So I'm glad that Charles is strong and has enough fortitude to bury himself with work as oppose to alcoholism--but its not getting better and I'm afraid of what he might resort to next. Meanwhile, we have Sabretooth listening in the conversation before he decides to disappear once he realizes a S.H.I.E.L.D agent has been following him around. A subplot about this seems to be emerging...
On something more personal: we have yet another Jean/Hank interaction. Since issue #6, these two have been spending a lot of their free time together when not called upon missions. They are old friends after all, being two of the original five, so it's no wonder that they're having conversations about Jean's relationship problems and that Hank is very willing to be her sounding board. It's a nice little ongoing interaction that comforts me because it's nice to see two X-Men are being chummy and are helping each other out in any way possible. But the same thing can't be said for others. Rogue has to come to terms that she may have to adapt a new role after the devastation that took place (death, betrayal and the discovery that mutation has a short shelf-life). I think her pages are the best parts of this issue, personally, and that may have something to do with the basic fact that she will always be my favorite X-Men of all time and I was happy to see that she got some retrospective monologues here and they made me love her even more (if that is even possible):
Going back to Russia, Kitty finally talks to Peter about his new relationship with Natasha Romanov. I know that Kitty is an honorable person so I don't doubt the sincerity in her words when she said she's happy for Peter. It's going to take a while for her to adjust though because there are other issues she's preoccupied with. I believe that if she wasn't currently carrying a heavy baggage, she would have been warmer and more receptive of the news that her former lover is with another. I know Kitty will always love Peter and would want to maintain a friendship with him. It's an interesting parallel with Scott and Jean at that and I think I feel like pointing that out because I think that their stories are an uplifting and mature way of handling post-romantic relationships. Rogue's own identity struggle also parallels Kitty and I love it because I think Kitty is such a sweetheart and I've really warmed up to her since I began reading Claremont's characterization of her here in XMF.
So the issue ends with Kitty, 'Ro, Gambit, Colossus and Black Widow about to rescue Illyana who wasn't a little girl anymore but a malicious vixen in very tight clothes and wielding dangerous magic. I think Peter is simultaneously shocked and repulsed that his sister is wearing that flimsy, shitty outfit that barely covers her breasts for god's sake, and has become evil now (in that exact order).
From now on, I'll be keeping an eye out for both their developments in the series. Jean and Scott's relationship and the teenage Ororo will be second. I'm strictly speaking character-wise. Plot-wise, it's the Consortium (in spite of the Sentinels bullshit they're pulling off), Storm's whereabouts (WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE?) and Professor X's ongoing search for the mutation burnout cure (unless Hank beats him to it). But, of course, all of these things will take the sidelines if ever there is an off-chance that MAGNETO COMES BACK (and Logan, which I'm betting is also going to happen later) and MAGS GETS REUNITED WITH PROF X BECAUSE CHERIK MAKES EVERYTHING ESSENTIALLY MEANINGLESS NEXT TO ITS BLAZING, GLORIOUS LIGHT. But a girl can dream, a girl can dream...
I will never stop trying to find a way to mention Cherik, sorry.