X-Men: Blue #14 Review: That Mojo Magic

X-Men: Blue #14
6 / 10 Reviewer
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Summary
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Artist: Jorge Molina, Color Artists: Matt Milla, Guru-eFX, Letters: VC's Joe Caramagna, Cover by: Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald, Graphic Designers: Jay Bowen, Anthony Gambino, Editor: Mark Paniccia, Assistant Editor: Christina Harrington, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Mojo’s magical mystery tour continues as news stations struggle to cut through his global broadcast. Inside his arenas, more and more X-Men are being picked off as one team fights the recreations of the Avengers and the other battles amalgams of their worst threats.

Magneto, Polaris, and Danger finally enter the fray, but Mojo already has a simulation lined up for these three.

Luckily, Longshot may have finally found a way to get the X-Men out of this predicament, but will things just get worse from there?

X-Men: Blue #14 cover by Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald
X-Men: Blue #14 cover by Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald

While I’m still a little iffy on the premise, I’m a little more onboard now that the story has entered some kind of groove. Plus, Magneto is in this book, and Cullen Bunn has worked absolute magic with that character before. .

One of the main things that does keep the entertainment value high is Mojo. I’m digging the hell out of that yellow blob in this story. He’s funny, oddly charismatic, and absolutely disgusting. He’s like the child of Roadhog from Overwatch and the ghost of Roger Ailes. He’s kind of magical.

Of course, I suppose Roadhog could be the child of Ghost Rider and Mojo too, but, well, you get the point I’m illustrating.

Magneto finally taking the stage helps too, and the absolute glee he experiences while tearing through the Marauders which slaughtered the Morlocks so long ago is infectious. I so adore Magneto.

The overall plot is still a bit messy, with this less being a gauntlet of X-Men baddies and kind of snapshots of the X-Men fighting some of their old threats. And that does illustrate another issue I’ve had with this story. There’s very little tension in the individual battles being waged here. No weight has been placed on the X-Men winning any of these encounters. You’re just waiting for someone, and Longshot was likely the one to do it, to crack the code and get the teams out of there.

If this were some kind of actual gauntlet, the battles may be more interesting. However, as is, the fight scenes aren’t that absorbing.

This is especially true when (spoilers I guess?) you discover that Mojo has just been storing away the “dead” X-Men to use again later. Don’t get me wrong, that makes sense as a plot point, and it’s kind of a nice jab at how mainstream comic books handle death. However, establishing it sooner would have been a better plan so you don’t look like you’re just faking deaths for dramatic effect, which is another overused mainstream comic book trope ironically.

X-Men: Blue art by Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, and Guru-eFX
X-Men: Blue art by Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, and Guru-eFX

Jorge Molina’s artwork here is pretty good. He makes Mojo look absolutely grotesque, and I love it. The X-Men themselves look heroic and stalwart. The recreations of some old costumes look nice, and I dig that he gave Longshot is awful, awful mullet again. The color work by Matt Milla and Guru-eFX is solid too, with each scene having a nice range of colors to keep things lively.

While I didn’t hate this issue, I can’t quite recommend it. “Mojo Worldwide” is still riddled with problems, and a good number of them are baked-in to the premise itself. While Bunn, Molina, and company do their best to provide a good read here, it’s still just mediocre. I can’t say you should give it a pass, but I can’t recommend it either. Make of that what you will.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.