REVIEW: X-Men Blue #11 – “We’re The Hex-Men”

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X-MEN BLUE #11
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Penciler: Douglas Franchin
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: GURU-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Corey Petit
Cover: Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald
Rock And Roll Variant Cover Artist: Daniel Acuna
Release Date: 09/13/17
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $3.99

X-Men Blue #11 Cover

X-Men Blue started their journey into the 616 when Beast, after seeing his friend Cyclops possessed by the Phoenix force kill their mentor, Professor X go down a dark path decides to go back in time to recruit the younger versions of the original X-Men as an intervention for Cyclops. The hope was to turn Cyclops around or to prevent him from going down this road to begin with. The young X-Men faced with some shocking news as to who they each become didn’t know what to think when quickly faced with their future selves and are trapped in present day unable to return to their own time.

The original five X-Men explored their new lives in the present day and determined not to follow their older counterparts paths. Recently they discovered they are still trapped in the future, but it is more than that, since they are also stuck in a different reality. The past they are from is not the same as the past of the present day X-Men. After the war with the Inhumans the young X-Men left the school to be their own team and secretly working with Magneto to ensure Xavier’s dream did not die with him, while he secretly plots to return them to their proper time.

The team found themselves with some free time between missions. Jean and Scott decided to explore their new psychic rapport, while Jimmy & Warren headed back to Canada to explore Jimmy’s connection to Miss Sinister, Bobby pinned over Romeo and Hank delved further into the dark arts revealing his benefactor to be Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen. She used her influence on Hank to possess him turning him into the Demonic-looking future Beast they fought when they first arrived, and unleashed her twist team, the Hex-Men against the X-Men.
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Plot: Madelyne Pryor unleashes her Hex-Men on the X-Men Blue with only Jean and Scott left standing to take them on. Meanwhile Warren & Jimmy discover what Miss Sinister is up to!

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Story: Picking up right where X-Men Blue #10 left off, Scott & Jean are trying to hold off the Goblin Queen and her own interdimensionally placed team of Hex-Men. I loved the way Cullen Bunn handles this story. One thing that a lot of writers do in issues like this is spend the whole issue either taking it for granted that people know who these alternate “What If” versions of our X-Men are already, which a lot do not. The second way is spending a whole issue exploring this team giving us their histories, and their motivations for joining the Goblin Queen, which kind of hurts the flow of story to be honest.

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But Bunn takes the better third road here, the hybrid. He interweaves the fight against the Hex-Men using the fights to gives us a fast one page history of who these alternate version of our beloved team are. I never felt overwhelmed with backstory I already knew, nor did I feel out of the loop. He created a perfect balance for new and older readers alike allowing for a much stronger issue overall. By implementing this tactic he also gave us nice small windows that allowed us to feel for the Hex-Men, each one of these characters I now feel for and want to see be used again. Scott and Jean get away through the help of Pickles and recruit some assistance from the Raksha, Madripoor’s Mutant Protectors.

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But there was also a B-Story, one with Warren and Jimmy in the Great White North. They are searching for clues about Jimmy’s connection to Miss Sinister, who knows that Jimmy is from another reality, one where Mutants are man created using mothervine. She now knows how to uses this process and has left behind Blob, with some of her modifications/secondary mutations for them.

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Art:  The art here was very good. I loved how the pencils the inks and the colors all converged into a nice atmospheric setting for these twisted Hex-Men. My favorite would have to be when they did the introductions of these Hex-Men, they became worlds of their own showing how diverse this art team is. Because I was instantly taken to these worlds where they are from but never felt I was taken out of this story for a moment.

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Verdict: Overall this issue was a really tight read. I enjoyed it from page one and eagerly turned those pages for more right up until the ending promising the turn of Bloodstorm! I highly recommend picking up X-Men Blue #11 and if you haven’t already get caught up with the previous 10 issues.

X-Men Blue #11 Rating

Rating: 4 stars.

 

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