X-MEN: BLUE #4
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Penciller: Julian Lopez
Colorist: Irma Kniivila
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 5/24/17
Back to the Future taught us that messing with the Time-Space Continuum is an unwise and often leads to disastrous results. That isn’t deterring the original five X-Men from avoiding a return trip home to hang out in the future. X-Men: Blue is a fun journey down the center of the Time-Space Continuum and the changes ro the cast of characters is not only fun, they’re useful.
X-Men: Blue operate under a very different premise than the Gold team. Because the team is out of time and place, it allows for other events to take place. This issue seems the return of Wolverine’s son, Jimmy Hudson, from the Ultimate universe. We also get a glimpse of Jean Grey using the upper limits of her power in battle and it’s eerily reminiscent of the Phoenix.
Plot: X-Men: Blue picks up in the not too distant future from the last book. The team is on the hunt for another mutant. They arrive on the scene to find a grotesquely mutilated body and an out-of-her-jurisdiction sheriff by the name of Kira Lee, who thinks she knows why the X-Men are there. Lee finds out very quickly that they are not there for a friend, they’re there to investigate strange readings from Cerebro.
Just as Jean and company are getting to the bottom of the story, some unexpected guests arrive to put a damper on the evening. The New Marauders return with an all-new lineup. Amr, The Guardian, Mach-II, and Quicksilver have formed to create the new group, but there are no indications as to their intentions. Just as they show up, the book ends and we have to wait until next month to find out whether they’re good or evil.
Story: Cullen Bunn has done a fabulous job of recreating the original X-Men in X-Men: Blue. Having Hank McCoy be an aspiring magician is a wonderful twist on an old character. It’s pretty clear that Bunn intends to explore the Time-Space Continuum and the ramifications of being out of time and place. These were concepts touched upon briefly in previous books.
There are several layers to this story, as we know Magneto has plans to send the X-Men: Blue team back to whence they came, but we do not understand why he’s doing so or why he’s leading them if he’s planning to undo all of their progress. Bunn does a great job of setting the reader up for multiple twists and turns, how they play out is a matter of time.
Art: Irma Kniivila and Julian Lopez have done a fabulous job of giving X-Men: Blue a very distinct look, almost anime in appearance at times. Even though they have a different look at other times, each of these characters is drawn with emotion and sincerity. Even the look on Agent Lee’s face when Warren tries to hit on her is priceless and hilarious. The claws on Jimmy looked outstanding, as did the look of pain and anguish on his face.
Iceman turning into a savage beast and going into “SMASH” mode was a glorious combination of rage, fear, and destruction. That comes after Jimmy is psi-blasted back by a very pissed of Jean Grey trying to protect Scott. The red pouring out of her eyes will be familiar to many comic book readers and could portend the coming of Phoenix.
Verdict: X-Men: Blue is an extremely fun ride. I thought I would end up enjoying the Gold series more than the Blue, but it’s turned out to be the exact opposite. X-Men: Blue has a little bit of everything for the discerning comic book reader. There are allusions to past events, comedic moments to break up the tension, and there’s just tons of story to be told with these characters. Even though they’re out of time and space, X-Men: Blue are full of potential and enjoyment. — JW
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars