REVIEW: X-Men: Blue #7 – “Emma and Scott Again”

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X-Men

X-MEN BLUE #7
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Penciller: Corey Smith
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Rating: T
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/12/17

X-Men

The X-Men continue to be one of Marvel’s best series, even if they break them up into different groups and give them different purposes. One group may be a little green under the belt, but that just means they find themselves in need of a bit more tutoring. It’s endearing to watch a team of kids try to grow up together, live together, and work together, all while going through the trials and tribulations of an inexperienced cadre. X-Men: Blue is wonderfully written by Cullen Bunn and it is truly one of Marvel’s great enjoyments.

Plot: X-Men: Blue book seven introduces the rule of Hydra, which changed things across the nation and in the mutant province of New Tian.Within New Tian, there are warring factions and one such faction are Magneto’s X-Men: Blue. Our intrepid heroes are now in a world of trouble after the White Queen, Emma Frost, herself, put out a bounty on the team and now has them held captive in an unknown location.  

The scene moves to Utopia, capital city of New Tian, where Xorn, Emma Frost, Older Beast, and Sebastian Shaw debate on how to handle the continued disruptions from Magneto’s little team of heroes. Since Xorn is just a figure head to throw people off the scent of Emma Frost, the true leader of New Tian, he and Emma convince the others that it’s time to take them out. Beast voices his concern, but ultimately is behind the sanctioned mission to capture the X-Men: Blue.

X-Men

As the team arrive back to their hideout, they are assaulted by Frost’s detachment.  X-Men: Blue put up a fight against the hunters, led by Scott Summers’ younger (older in the current timeline), Havok, AKA Alex Summers. Toad, Marrow, Wolfsbane, Firestar, and Mondo all softened up the young bucks with secondary and tertiary mutations, which caught the heroes unprepared. In the end, Scott wakes up in a cell, with a power dampener, looking up at Emma Frost who is telling Scott that is, was, and always will be her and him against the world.

Story: The story for this issue if X-Men: Blue was predictable, but also intriguing on many levels. Predictable is thrown in there, not as a pejorative term, but more as a way to say that you can see the conflict coming from a mile away, but how things play out is still very much a treat for the readers and pulled off beautifully by Cullen Bunn. The stage was set when the Blue team used Cerebro to stop a mutant detention center from reconditioning telepaths. The vibe of the prison is meant to evoke memories of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Mutants and humans, imprisoned, being reconditioned, all for dissenting against the current rule. It falls very much in line with the feel of a Hydra-run nation.

X-Men

 

X-Men: Blue feels like it is on a collision course with the Gold team, but that’s unimportant for now. It’s obvious that the White Queen wants a society similar to that of Captain America. How much longer she can keep up pretenses with Xorn is anyone’s guess. The battle scene was incredibly well done, best talked about in the art section, but worth mentioning that the X-Men were able to get theirs in before going down. Frost’s shadowy unit got the job done, but it was far from perfect. How will that perfection be seen by the White Queen or will she only care about results? There is no sign of retribution right now, but Emma Frost will find herself a whipping post.

It should be expected that the X-Men will be wearing power dampeners next week, but is there a chance the X-Men are able to spring free because everyone always assumes that the claws on folks like Jimmy Hudson and Wolverine are a mutation? The idea came to my mind when Havok told his team to put on the power dampeners. It’s how Wolverine escaped in Civil War. Finally, Emma Frost is either being very wry or very much still in love with Scott Summers. She called him darling and mentioned the two of them being an “us” on two occasions, then ended it with saying it was her and Scott against the world. It’s hard to imagine the writing team wanting anyone to be able to figure out where this one is headings, but hopefully they have fun with it and don’t make it predictable in the pejorative sense. It has serious potential either way, but the relationship angle would be curious, to say the least.

Art: Corey Smith and Matt Milla executed their charge flawlessly for X-Men: Blue #7. Not only did they have to contend with the vibrant and visually charged Blue team, but then they had to mesh that with Toad, Marrow, Wolfsbane, Firestar, and Mondo, and Havok’s more earthy tones. The blending of the two styles was done without overwhelming the eyes. The individual battles also looked incredible. The contrasting styles begot aesthetically charged fight scenes. Their ability to do this was, quite honestly, one of the more enjoyable aspects of this book.

X-Men 

X-Men: Blue has always been about bright visuals and very animated facial expressions. In this issue, the reader still got those from the Blue squad, but Frost’s frightful flock brought an authenticity to the book that is very much needed on occasion. These types of interactions showcase pure hatred and a desire to kill their enemy. It’s very much like a throwback to some of the darker X-Men comics from the 80’s and 90’s. Kudos to Smith and Milla for bringing it home.   

Verdict: X-Men: Blue brings me back to childhood in ways that are too numerous to list. It’s such an enjoyable experience to pick up a book and feel like the writers understand and know what you want. This series gets more enjoyable by the issue and the individual issues take on a life of their own, bringing out the visuals that impress in so many ways. This book is outstanding and the perfect place-setter for Scott and Emma’s dinner for two in next month’s issue.   — JW

Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

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