X-Men: Blue officially enters the Marvel Legacy era as our mutant heroes face off against a grotesque, ratings-obsessed monster.
No, not Donald Trump — Mojo!
In all seriousness, part 2 of “Mojo Worldwide” is a vast improvement over part 1, which took place in the last issue of the far-inferior X-Men series, X-Men: Gold. While I’ve enjoyed some of Gold writer Marc Guggenheim’s past comics work (specifically his Brand New Day-era Amazing Spider-Man issues), his writing on Gold has just been all over the place. Blue writer Cullen Bunn, in my opinion, just has a far greater handle on Marvel’s mutants.
That’s apparent in the current issue of Blue, from its beginning to its end. If you missed part 1, just know that Mojo has scooped up the X-Men, split them up and dropped them in iconic scenarios from the heroes’ history. So you’ve got Cyclops, Prestige, Kitty Pryde and Bloodstorm trying to stay alive in the dark Days of Future Past landscape.
Scott and his time-displaced daughter Rachel never had the best relationship (especially after he got together with her mom’s rival Emma Frost), so it was nice to see Rachel and a time-displaced, younger version of her father getting along so well. Bunn knows these characters inside out, so it’s nice to see him playing with this expanded cast.
Mojo has never been my favorite X-villain, or even my 10th-favorite. There were a few too many meta moments in X-Men: Gold #13 (we get it, Mojo’s making Marvel Legacy jokes). With that said, Bunn does a great job of not making me cringe while reading Mojo’s over-the-top dialogue. And, unfortunately, in the era of Trump, he suddenly seems a whole lot more believable. (SAD!)
Also, it’s nice to see Longshot (yeah, he appears too (in a Mojo story? Shocker!!!)) mentioning his “subscribers.” TV has changed so much since Mojo first appeared back in the 1980s–it’s nice to see these television-tethered characters receive a modern update.
When it comes to this story’s main theme, I’ll admit, I’m not too excited about revisiting the X-Men’s greatest battles like this. After all, we have a chance to revisit these adventures in films, TV series, etc. etc. I’d much rather enjoy bold, new adventures, but hopefully this arc will spark new character developments for our cast.
Without a doubt, this issue’s MVP is artist Jorge Molina. The talented penciler launched X-Men: Blue and I’ve really missed his artwork on this series. Cyclops wasn’t in the original Days of Future Past, but Molina’s take on future Scott (those ruby quartz goggles!) looks slick. And can we take a second to talk about Molina’s Spider-Man? Although it’s only a one-panel cameo, it’s enough to make me want to see Molina tackle some Peter Parker adventures in the near future.
So while the overall “Mojo Worldwide” story isn’t my preferred X-Men adventure, I know that so long as I’m reading the Blue chapters, I’m in good hands with Bunn and Molina at the wheel.