Brian Wood’s X-Men continue their chase for Arkea and Lady Deathstrike in X-Men #9. Is it good?
X-Men #9 (Marvel Comics)
Again, I feel like I am at a bit of a loss with this comic’s story. Too many characters and small bits of dialogue are squeezed into the book to make it fall right over the line into the land of convolution. The X-Men are questioning John Sublime to get more answers about Arkea while Lady Deathstrike and her Sisterhood have brought Arkea to yet another supervillain, Reika; but we don’t get any clue as to why they’re doing this or who this person even is. Reika either stumbles or purposefully allows Arkea to possess herself, turning her into an all powerful being and…allowing her to talk in the third-person. The Sisterhood decides to make an Arkea war for whatever reason. Meanwhile, the X-Men are all shuffling around measuring this and traveling there, not really doing anything but watching the situation. Suddenly, Monet comes crashing into Reika’s building. What?
All of this confusion made reading X-Men #9 an unpleasant experience. I just couldn’t place characters with their motives, even if we were told, it’s hard to keep track of them. There’s just too much going on here with not enough focus on the story at hand. I would have liked a little more expansion on a moment, as well. Had this issue all been about the coordination of Monet’s strike against Lady Deathstrike, it could have been a different story.
At the end of the issue we see Arkea raise a whole bunch of under-the-sea sentinels. It just makes me disappointed that these creators have nothing else to work with than mutant-killing machines. I understand that they are a key part of the X-Universe but it seems like they are too often the focus of a storyline, even when it’s not about them from the start. This issue really seems to mark the fall of this storyline.
Is It Good?
Not particularly. It’s just too confusing a narrative to get invested in any of the characters, especially when they are so alike. The first two issues of this storyline were so strong that I’ll stick around, but if I don’t like how they end it, X-Men may be next on the chopping block.