The Goblin Queen and her Hex-Men are attacking the X-Men in their Madripoor mansion. They’ve already caught Magneto, Polaris, and Iceman, and Beast is under the Goblin Queen’s thrall.
Jean Grey and Cyclops must survive long enough to find help to save their friends and allies.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Hudson and Angel are half a world away investigating how Jimmy came into this world. They’re on the verge of a breakthrough on that front…
Cullen Bunn manages to balance the two plots very well in this issue. Both are given some air time, but the more pressing story, the Goblin Queen invasion of Madripoor, takes precedence and thus is advanced more in this issue.
Balancing two plots like this isn’t easy and not always advisable. There is an argument to be made that, especially given that this is a twice-a-month title, that the two stories could have been untangled and given their own issue to play out within. I can’t really say which method would have been objectively better myself honestly.
That being said, it still works here. It’s a fun read with a lot of interpersonal conflict and an engaging overall struggle.
The Hex-Men are given brief backstories that explain their origins and motivations. Essentially, we are shown where things went wrong for these iterations of Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Pixie. You can fill in the rest for yourself if you know these characters. Pixie and Nightcrawler’s stories are the vaguest though, so you’re not really sure what happened.
Scott manages to be a bit of a twit in this issue when Jean summons Pickles the Bamf to save them. He was upset that he didn’t know that Jean was working with Pickles since they share psychic space now, and he “wonders what else he doesn’t know.” If this sounds like the possessive “nice guy” that posts on MRA message boards and hates feminism to you, then you’re not alone. I don’t think that Cyclops is that far gone, but it is disconcerting hearing this echoed from Scott Summers. Thankfully, the comic seems to be on Jean’s side but only with some superhero logic-ing about untangling their minds instead of, you know, it’s her life and Scott doesn’t own her.
It’s pretty funny seeing upbeat and bubbly Warren Worthington teamed up with son-of-Wolverine Jimmy Hudson, especially when his talking interferes with Jimmy’s brooding. Angel also hits on Sheriff Kira, which is pretty entertaining.
Artist Douglas Franchin does some really solid work on this title, perfectly articulating the facial expressions and body language of each character. The designs of the Hex-Men and demon-Beast look really cool too.
A part of me wonders if this is how this version of Hank McCoy will get furry. I’m actually okay with this design being Beast’s new look, even if it is a bit depressing that every attempt of Hank McCoy to make things better only results in him physically mutating in ways he did not intend.
Color artist Guru-eFX does some good work on this book too, giving a lot of atmosphere to the locales and vibrancy to the characters.
This was another really good issue of X-Men Blue. With creative stories and compelling characters, Bunn, Franchin, Hanna, and Guru put together an engaging X-Men story here. Give this one a read.
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