X-Men: Blue #17 Review: The Return of X-Men 2099

X-Men: Blue #17
4 / 10 Reviewer
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Summary
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Artist: R.B. Silva, Inker: Adriano Di Benedetto, Color Artists: Rain Beredo, Letters: VC's Joe Caramagna, Cover Artists: Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald, Graphic Designers: Jay Bowen and Anthony Gambino, Editor: Mark Paniccia, Assistant Editor: Christina Harrington, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

The X-Men have been brought to the year 2099 by Magneto's time machine. There, they meet their future counterparts: X-Men 2099. They also find a dystopia brought about by the corporation Alchemax. The strangest thing is that our X-Men apparently took over the company some years back and made it the de facto government before disappearing.

X-Men: Blue #17 cover by Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald
X-Men: Blue #17 cover by Arthur Adams and Peter Steigerwald

It is cool to see the X-Men of 2099 making a return after all this time. The Alchemax connection to Peter David and Will Sliney's Spider-Man 2099 is noted and appreciated too.

While this waypoint does provide an interesting glance into a possible future of the X-Men, it is worth asking how the team could ever get to the point of taking over a company and ruling the world. A dramatic reveal like that only works with some context; our X-Men should be doing something right at this moment that somehow connects to this bizarre future. Otherwise, it just feels like a non-sequitur with little-to-no relevance to our story.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate an excuse to bring in the X-Men of 2099. They're delightfully bizarre characters with oddly charming 90's throwback qualities. However, this chronal pitstop doesn't really give the team anything new. They're not rich and aren't in a position to take over Alchemax. There is the argument that Magneto might have something going on, but there's been no evidence that he's thinking of buying Alchemax.

This could be justified as just an excuse for some sweet futuristic action in 2099, but that doesn't gel either, and I'll get to why.

X-Men: Blue #17 art by R. B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, and Rain Beredo
X-Men: Blue #17 art by R. B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, and Rain Beredo

R.B. Silva's art does not work. He is not big on detail, and it often feels like the colorist and inker are left in the dark. Consequently, everything feels like a mess of color and very vague forms. The characters themselves are left very unexpressive, and the overall comic is a bit of a visual mess. Kudos to Rain Beredo for trying to make this comic colorful and striking, but, without definitive forms to work with, the book is left aesthetically unappealing.

While it is cool to see the X-Men of 2099 again, this comic feels very empty. There aren't any relevant or interesting plot points. None of the character interactions stand out despite Iceman having some charming moments. The art is a mess. Unfortunately I can't recommend this trip to 2099. Give it a pass.

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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.