If you’re like me, then today is the greatest day of your life, as the conclusion of “Mojo Worldwide” has finally arrived in X-Men Blue #15. I am, of course, being eXtremely sarcastic, because the X-Men weren’t the only ones being put through the wringer by Mojo since this story arc began.
Why? Why was this story stretched across six issues? Six issues!
Why did X-Men Blue–without a doubt, my current favorite comic series, have to crossover with X-Men Gold–without a doubt, my current least-favorite comic series?
Why is Mojo a character creators continue to use? I’m pretty sure if you Google “The Worst,” Mojo’s ugly mug pops up.
So many questions, but you didn’t come here to watch me run through life’s big questions (and yes, those were life’s biggest questions) – you came to see how X-Men Blue’s first Marvel Legacy arc wraps up. Well, it’s funny. The issue would have been fine if this was the final chapter of a four-issue Mojo story, or even better, a three-parter. But it was six parts, with half of those comics written by a less capable writer than Blue‘s Cullen Bunn. I can’t get past what a slog it was to get through all of this, and that ultimately influences how I felt about X-Men Blue #15.
Which is a shame, because there’s a lot to like about this comic. First off, I keep saying it, but artist Jorge Molina is a star. His pencils, along with Matt Milla’s colors, have been gorgeous. In a perfect world, this creative team would work on every issue’s visuals. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where Mojo is featured in six-issue story arcs.
There’s a scene toward the end of this issue where the lights go out and the X-Men are bathed in shadows. Molina kills it here, highlighting the heroes’ most iconic traits. Jimmy Hudson’s slick claws, Nightcrawler’s glowing eyes and Cyclops shining ruby visor. Killer. And then there’s a two-page spread early on in which both X-teams tear into Mojo’s monsters. Even jaded readers have to stop and go, “OK, that’s pretty awesome.”
On the story front, Bunn does what he can to advance his ongoing subplots, such as Scott and Jean’s psychic rapport and Magneto and Polaris’ father-daughter bonding. Honestly, those are the best parts, because those are the plot elements that make X-Men Blue so attractive to longtime X-fans. Also, there’s a scene with Kitty and Colossus at the end of the issue in which Bunn handles the two better than Marc Guggenheim has throughout his Gold run.
Unfortunately, beyond some nice character moments in the final pages of #15, the comic just kind of ends, before delivering a cliffhanger no one asked for. It left a sour aftertaste.
But, the Mojo storm has passed and I’m optimistic this series can get back on track next issue with a time travel story.
Wait… did I just say a time travel story will get things back on track? I must really be desperate to get my favorite series back.
Don’t let me down, Cullen!