The first issue of X-Men Blue introduced us to the new direction for the teenaged original 5 X-Men trapped in the modern world. It gave us a great action scene to show off not only why the original team is awesome, but how they’ve changed in the modern world compared to their origin. This issue takes a step back to explore where each member is mentally and emotionally.
Written by Cullen Bunn, X-Men Blue 2 is great. This issue touches on the story development from the previous issue, but it spends most of its time exploring the characters. The previous issue revealed at the very end that they’re working with Magneto. While this issue doesn’t entirely reveal why, it does show how they’ve come to trust Magneto in a very well-written conversation between him and Jean Grey. Yet another very well written conversation between Cyclops and Beast highlights their strong friendship and Beast’s workaholic personality, which caused him to miss a Danger Room practice session. Iceman’s emotional state is probably written the best however. I won’t spoil that one, but it perfectly explores his state on one page with very little exposition and only through his own dialogue and body language.
The action scene in the Danger Room helps keep the pacing up, while also enhancing the drama in its own way. The comic ends with two very interesting cliff-hangers, one with Magneto explaining part of his plan to his robotic butler (without context), and another involving sentinels that aren’t behaving like usual sentinels. That part’s also best left unspoiled.
Jorge Molina’s art is great. It’s a smooth yet detailed look with a slight cartoony feel that fits the mood perfectly. The opening page in a car junkyard makes for a slightly creepy setting – the perfect place for Jean and Magneto to meet up. There’s a variety of cars in the background, some just on the ground and others piled up on top of each other. The danger room action scene is complete with flying objects, multiple types of energy being thrown around and vague backgrounds. Facial expressions perfectly convey emotions, whether showing Iceman’s pained expression during his moment, Jean’s surprised look when Magneto meets her after the danger room training session or Angel’s excited look when they’re heading toward the sentinels at the end of the issue. Matt Milla’s colouring is also great. Everything’s bright and colourful during the daytime scenes, with great use of light glares and shadows during the night scenes and darkened rooms.
X-Men Blue is shaping up to be a great series. There’s a strong balance between story, action and drama, and a lot of mystery. Is Magneto being fully honest with the O5? Will the team be able to handle serious situations with their personal issues getting in the way of their practices? And what is up with those sentinels at the end of this issue? It’s clear that this X-Men team wants to go out in the world and be superheroes, and that’s a great direction for the series, but the story can go in a number of ways from here. That makes this series exciting, and it’s well-worth checking out for X-Men fans.