X-Men: Blue #1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Jorge Molina, Matteo Buffagni and Matt Milla
Lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
X-Men: Blue #1 is a lukewarm start to Jean Grey’s X-Men leadership. The issue is saved by nostalgia, but the connection between the original X-Men seems to be missing in this premiere story.
The X-Men team faces an old foe in Black Tom Cassidy, but this part of the fight isn’t very interesting because the team is lacking rapport. There aren’t any strong character moments that come out of their conversations with each other. This is especially prevalent because the story doesn’t strongly showcase Jean Grey’s leadership skills. She should be the key for creating the dynamic between the X-Men: Blue team. Jean’s leadership has a chance to bring a freshness to a book that revels in nostalgia.
Once Juggernaut joins the fight the story becomes more intriguing because the character has a better motive to fight against the X-Men. Juggernaut hasn’t seen Cyclops since Professor Xavier’s death, and one of the biggest highlights of the issue is seeing Juggernaut react to Cyclops.
Magneto’s inclusion comes as no surprise considering Bunn’s familiarity with the character. His new role adds a captivating twist for Charles Xavier’s original X-Men team, potentially signaling a darker story arc for the original X-Men. It will be interesting to compare their new dynamic with Magneto with their familiar one with Professor Xavier.
The secondary story is a nice tease to introduce the next member of the team. The story doesn’t officially announce who the Wolverine-type character is but discerning readers should be able to suss it out easily. This scene may feel a bit tacked on compared to the main plot for readers not following the Marvel solicits because there’s a definitely a significant tonal shift.
X-Men: Blue #1 is heavy on action; Jorge Molina’s pencils provide solid action sequences between the X-Men, Juggernaut, and Black Tom Cassidy. The main fight takes place on a cruise boat, and Molina uses these surroundings in an entertaining fashion. His pencils add a claustrophobic feeling in the dining room as the civilians watch the mutant battle play out, and then Molina allows the X-Men to spread their wings (literally) when the fight moves to the top deck. Although I think these fight scenes would have been stronger if there weren’t so many close-up shots. It made some of the fighting scenes feel cluttered.
Molina’s rendering of most of the cast’s facial features is consistent, but for Jean her facial expressions felt disproportionate in certain scenes. This was especially noticeable when the artist was showing Jean’s side profile.
Matt Milla’s coloring gives X-Men Blue a bright look, but it doesn’t mesh as well during the book’s fighting sequences. This is especially prevalent in the dining room scene where the brown background didn’t work well with the bright power set of the X-Men.
X-Men Blue #1 gives us a promising ending, but the relationship between the team is lacking. The series needs to work on the balance of fun nostalgia and team building.