Comic Book Review: X-Men Blue #3


X-Men Blue I will admit is nothing like I expected it to be. After reading X-Men Gold there was this assumption that we would get a bit of the same though through the perspective of the original five. From the first issue this was not the case as we now come to understand that getting home isn’t as simple as it sounds, there are different direction they are being pulled in personally compared to their present selves, and they are running into some unique encounters between friend and foe.

This sure as heck is one sticky situation for the young X-Men to be stuck in. Off the bat these Sentinels look more intimidating than your average build. Second, they are well equipped for taking on X-Men who don’t have close to enough experience taking these things down. Then you have the twist that things are not as they seem even though this team feels threatened by the very idea of being this close to Sentinels without going on the attack. The tension created here is great because it does take some explaining for there to be clarity to whatever this is. I mean it’s not as if we haven’t seen Sentinels used to help mutants before, but this is still uncharted territory regardless. It was easy to see where the fear was coming from and I like that Cullen Bunn is consistent with addressing the way the past still influences this team’s present.

Now when the person behind these Sentinels was revealed, I do have to saw my jaw dropped a bit. Anyone who has seriously kept up with the X-Men stories up to this point should know what happened the last time the X-Men encountered this person and how serious their situation became facing another extinction level event. Anyone jumping straight into this story at the same time should appreciate that the creative team finds the time to explain just why you should be shocked by this enemy now turned ally. I love here that for every word spoken you almost thought you could understand what was going on, and a second later things are again not as they seem.

Jean in my opinion continues to be the leader they have needed. She is still learning as they go, but there is a sense of ease when you are following her orders rather than anyone else who could be compromised by their emotions. Not to mention having a telepath in charge still just seems right. It also goes without saying that she asks the right questions too. Having the future in mind, the best intentions for the team, while also knowing how to best utilize their abilities on the fly. Not to say Cyclops hasn’t done this, but even as big of a fan of Cyclops I can see where he can lose people in demands.

The artwork for X-Men Blue continues to impress, and there is a lot more to take notice of this issue too. Right now I admire the way both Jorge Molina and Ray-Anthony Height nail making this team look their age. Too often you can catch some artists slipping in consistency, though these two have a strong handle on it all from the form of their faces, to their bodies which are fairly average without too much definition. What was fun about this issue was the classic encounter with Sentinels. The detail that went into these models was astounding. They had distinctive lighting, they fought like they were programmed to take on the X-Men, and there was much more complexity to them that the originals. Just that first page of the fight blows you away because there’s so much going on in this splash page and no quality is lost to perspective or depth. Again I will also point out the importance of the settings which keep your eyes engaged from panel to panel. It matters when you know how high they are flying, the kind of city they are fighting in, or the layout of the structure they are in. This issue is a bit different in terms of there being two different art styles. Most of the artwork is handled by Molina, though I’m glad that when they transition from one to the other you can’t really see the difference. Beyond this the colors brought it all together. They were intensity during action sequences and breathed life into much of the story through textures, organic variations and attention to highlights/shadows.

X-Men Blue #3 makes this series feel more like a journey than anything else. These X-Men are looking for self-discovery and understanding in a world/future they have to get used to. They were brought up to believe a lot of things, but this new world challenges much of what they think they are fighting for.

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