There’s a lot to like about Brian Wood’s new X-Men run. It’s an all-female team, yet it feels like a classic X-Men comic. It’s using some of the Academy X/New X-Men kids when pretty much everyone else ignores them. It’s introducing interesting new villains while bringing back older ones. But why did they paste a #1 onto the front cover when this is the middle of a storyline? Just a warning, this review will be more spoiler filled than usual, because it’s kind of necessary if I am to properly convey my thoughts.
Besides the oddly placed #1, this is a good comic. It continues to build up the story involving the very powerful Arkea. Arkea is some sort of technological being that can easily possess any computer on the planet, and is hell bent on global destruction. After her initial defeat via the all-female x-men team, the newly reformed Lady Deathstrike revived her, only to find herself little more than a servant. The last issue ended with a bunch of ruined sentinels activating at the bottom of the ocean, charging toward the beach. This issue starts with another plotline from the last issue, with Monet found knocked out after last issue’s rather impressive fight scene. There’s a nice little cameo from Gabrial Shepard, a Proto Mutant from Brian Wood’s previous adjectiveless X-Men run, and then this issue kicks off.
The rest of X-Men 10 is split between story development, a few character moments, and build-up for a major fight scene in the next issue. Unfortunately this issue feels kind of rushed. It feels as though there are two comics mashed into one. Everything is decent, but some of these scenes feel kind of pointless without further explanation. The desert scene with the villains is mostly pointless, although it does hint toward Arkea’s dominance over Deathstrike’s sisterhood of villains. How did they get to the desert? It’s clear they’re fleeing Gabrial’s EMP powers, but why didn’t they grab some sort of vehicle instead of running into the desert? It’s moments like this where you have to wonder what was cut out. Either show they had a car break down or cut the desert scene altogether.
Toward the end of the comic, it continues building up on the reactivated sentinels. A bunch of the Academy X kids are heading to the beach with Jubilee to stop them. It’s a great sequence of events that makes good use of their personalities and powers, but it could have easily been its own issue or at least the bulk of it. There isn’t much of a Segway either. One moment its Rachel Grey Summers talking with John Sublime, and the next moment we see vampire Jubilee holding pizza, which is awesome by the way. The comic ends with the fight beginning, with the promise that the next issue will be intense. That and, two more villain resurrections are teased, and they’re two of the more epic X-Men villains.
The art is very good for the most part. We finally see the destruction that Monet caused by crashing through a building at Mach 3, and it’s quite the sight. When the four villains are in the desert, they look appropriately tired and overheated. There’s a good variety of facial expressions, although there are a few too many slightly open mouths showing off characters’ teeth. The artist duties change around the time the X-kids show up, but it’s similar enough that it’s not a problem. There’s a lot of detail in the water, almost as though someone splashed ink onto the pages. It actually works very well.
While it feels rushed, this is still a good comic. The characterization is great, the story is interesting, and the action is entertaining. If you’ve been enjoying this series up till now, you’ll enjoy this one too. It’s certainly not a good jumping on point though, and new readers will be lost even with the recap page.