So X-Men Blue tried its hand at being philosophical with its older villains and it was both good and bad. This issue was the start of something new and moved away from the current plot line of… just constantly being paranoid of Magnetos motives, and gave the young X-Men something real to fear. What I really liked most about this book was that it finally decided to address certain events that really heavily influence the world of mutants rather than just focusing on the deaths that previously occurred in the series Death of X and Inhumans vs X-men. Instead, they focused on the overall picture, such as the damage the Terrigen mists really did to the mutant population and how desperate it’s made some of them. While the previous two issues also focused a lot on the personal relationships of our time displaced mutant heroes, this issue took a step back from it, but not completely. It was a nice change of pace.
The last time we saw the X-Men they were working at the decision of whether they should trust their new mentor Magneto, or not. While most of the team are pretty confident with Jean being their new leader and thereby adhering to her decisions, many still don’t know why she chooses to trust their age old enemy. Granted, she shares their paranoia and goes as far as hosting secret trainings just in case, but a certain new member have been keeping to himself and his new mystic powers. The comic does jump back from a few months to show us why Jean trusts Magneto and she empathizes due to his horrifying past. By the end they are sent to Spain to tackle another classic X-Men enemy, the Sentinels.
One of my main issues with this comic is that it’s incredibly short (21 pages with ads) and this leads to a very straight-to-the-point story line with not too many plots going on. Picking up exactly from where we left off, the fight begins, but there’s something weird about these Sentinels. For a start they are calling them ‘fellow mutants’. Apparently these Sentinels were dispatched by an unknown force to help a new mutant named Belen, who could not control her powers and wreaked havoc in her home town. Yet, not only are these Sentinels civil but they’re specially made to adapt to each of the X-Men’s powers, reminiscent of the Sentinels of the icon variations from the X-Men classic Days of Future Past. When the Sentinels decided Jean and her crew won’t stop fighting they prepare them for transport to an unknown location. What actually awaits them is pretty weird.
Turns out their master is none other than two also classic X-Men villains; a fused Nimrod with the ultimate Sentinel, Mastermold. He had given the Sentinels the power to shut off mutant abilities and uses this to ‘save’ them. He now goes by the name of Bastion– for being a bastion of hope for now endangered mutants of the world. But before you throw your hands up for joy it’s time for when the comic goes full philosophical, which actually turned out to be kind of weird but also pretty smart at the same time. The teams finds out he actually wants to save mutant kind from extinction, to allow them to flourish so that there are more in the world again. Yet, it’s not as selfless as it sounds. See, when Nimrod fused with Mastermold he still had the Sentinel main objective still installed, just in a ‘smarter’ brain. If the mutants go extinct, he and his Sentinels will serve no purpose, however, if he allows them to populate then that’ll mean even more mutants to kill. It’s pretty insane, but still kind of mind breaking nonetheless.
Our Fearless Leader
As I’ve mentioned before, the first two issues have capitalized on the team mistrusting Magneto and they’ve been pretty vocal about it. Yet, because Jean decided to slightly put her trust in him the others sort of just went along with it. It’s not until now that they really voice their opposition to certain of Jeans choices by actually saying it. Not to be mean, but Scott has been a whiney little kid this whole run already and now he’s trying to be all sarcastic by asking if Jean is going to befriend more villains. Like, don’ t take it out on her just because your future self died and people still like him better. Out of this Jean really starts to doubt her ability to judge character and Scott the idiot tries to make her feel better with a Dark Phoenix joke…smooth, jackass.
The art was as good as the previous issue. I really love the pencil shading and use of much more dark and pale colors. The new issue brought in a new artist into the team alongside Jorge Molina. Ray-Anthony Height seems to follow in a similar penciling style while working great with Matt Milla’s coloring. I know it’s only been three issues but I really appreciate their shortcomings in the debut issue. They’ve done marvels with the art and along with the new artist we have great things to expect. My favorite part of the art however, is the expression. The faces and emotions are so well done that it borders on writing a detailed scene.
A great comic, if on the little short side, which isn’t so big of a problem because the story is solid. But it doesn’t leave a lot of room for subplot, and that’s kind of annoying when you pay the full price for a Marvel comic. The story has been following suit with bringing back classic X-men villains who are some unknown to the new X-men, bringing a classic approach to this modern take– which is fun but in the long run they shouldn’t just keep rehashing. Over all, it was a great issue that’s setting up for something good, if the writers take us to places the X-men have yet to go.
Final Score: 8/10
Writer: Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Jorge Molina and Ray-Anthony Height
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Joe Caramagna