Credits: John Ostrander (writer), Bryan Hitch & Sal Velluto (pencilers), Paul Neary, Andy Lanning, & Harry Candelario (inkers), Joe Rosas & Malibu (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterer)
Summary: Hannah Connover, sensing that more Brood assassins are coming, flees from the X-Men. Her followers find Hannah in the desert, and against her wishes, transform into Brood and attack the newly arrived Brood assassins. Meanwhile, more Brood assassins kidnap Hannah’s husband, William. When Hannah senses he’s in danger, she transforms into her Brood form and confronts the assassins. Hannah is injured in the fight and reverts to her human form. The X-Men arrive, distracting the Brood while Iceman places Hannah in a cryogenic freeze. The Brood lose mental contact with her and commit suicide, thinking their task completed. The X-Men say goodbye to William, who maintains hope that Hannah can be cured one day.
Review: The first issue seemed to be a nice fit for the forty-eight page format, but this one doesn’t work as well. There’s a lot of running around, as the X-Men are constantly trying to find Hannah, and the issue opens with a gratuitous “we’re fighting but we don’t really want to hurt you” fight between the X-Men and Hannah’s Brood followers. The art also isn’t as strong as the first chapter, as two additional inkers and a fill-in artist are brought in to finish the book. Some of the pages look like Bryan Hitch-Lite, which might be a case of Sal Velluto trying to mimic Hitch’s style, or perhaps the inking job is just rushed in a few places. The basic story still works, in part because Ostrander handles the character drama well. And while it’s nice that he’s avoiding the stereotypical portrayal of religious characters as hypocrites or psychopaths, I don’t think we needed two overblown narrative sequences describing the X-Men as angels. I like the internal conflict within the team, as Wolverine advocates killing Hannah while the X-Men want to find that good ol’ fashioned “better way.” Sure, the ending is a bit of a copout (I wonder if Bastion found Hannah’s body when he later raided the mansion), but I prefer it to a pessimistic conclusion like Hannah killing herself, or Wolverine finally killing her, which is probably how this story would end today.