When last we left X-Club, it was hilarious, snarky and high-minded with an aspiration to emulate Warren Ellis' writing style. With X-Club #2, Simon Spurrier starts to set himself apart without sacrificing any of the snarky comedy elements.
It's still the Dr. Nemesis show, natch, as he's the pompous blowhard who provides the entertainment in the particular style of "hilariously arrogant and mouthy bastard," the kind of character who so often brings to mind Ellis' more bombastic work like Transmetropolitan. However, Spurrier goes full-on slapstick in this issue by attaching a starfish to his head which reveals his "inner monologue to the unworthy world," which undercuts all his bluster and perhaps lightly satirizes this archetype in the process. He also wets his pants later. Yet, somehow, despite being deflated at every turn, he still manages to show off his own unique brand of sci-fu and come out of it all retaining his awesomeness.
The plot has almost become secondary at this point to the Doc N Show, but it involves a corrupt corporation called Stratocorp with some dark and ugly mysteries they are willing to kill in order to hide, and a Dr. Claw-esque unrevealed villain at the head of it all, known only by his/her hand, chair and black word balloons. Danger is going nuts and having weird flashbacks to other androids' memories – last issue, Jim Hammond was involved, and this issue, she gets glimpses of Jocasta in the midst of an old Avengers story as well as the inimitable Awesome Andy. It's kind of fun how casually they're treating this. All the standard superheroic fighty-time stuff is relegated to the background while the X-Club goes about the business of thinking about things. Dr. Kavita Rao, who is introduced as a mutant (news to me, or maybe I'm blanking on some crucial details of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run), serves as exposition and gravitas, dealing with the quiet dignity of an Atlantean woman accepting the fact that she's going to die in a matter of days. Then there's Madison Jeffries, the ex-Box and current space-case, who apparently has some connection to Danger no one else understands, and is also absent-minded and goes by Jeff.
Once again, Paul Davidson's art is gloriously expressive, especially when it comes to Doc N's complete mortification at the revelation of his more embarrassing personal thoughts. He's also called upon for some twisted-looking creepy-crawly bio-critters from the deep, not to mention rendering the laws of physics around Doc N going haywire for a couple of pages, and he goes into eye-grabbing detail with all of it.
So get X-Club #2, then go back and get X-Club #1, and then continue to buy the rest of this miniseries until they make it an ongoing. This, I command.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 9.3/10