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X-Men Blue #28 review

“Cry Havok” comes to a close, but Cullen Bunn has plenty more twists up his sleeve.

Just when you think writer Cullen Bunn is bringing his X-Men Blue run to a close, he tosses enough new ideas in the air to sustain 28 more issues! Did I mention he leaves us with a new “Things to Come” preview page? Yep! X-Men Blue #28 by Bunn and artist Marcus To may be the conclusion of the six issue “Cry Havok” arc, but it very much serves as the beginning of a great many things.

Despite the absence of the original X-Men (you know, the stars of this book), this has been a pretty strong arc that’s allowed Bunn to give a few of his background players more time in the spotlight. Polaris, Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm, specifically, have been at the center of the action. But let’s not forget the mutant who’s been pulling the strings since X-Men Blue #1: Magneto.

It’s been hard not to notice Bunn slowly pushing the master of magnetism toward his wicked roots. The X-Men Blue squad’s leader is always angry, but this arc has really given Magneto new reasons to lash out at the world–and frenemies like Emma Frost. There’s a wonderful scene this issue in which Magneto interacts with everyday individuals who were enhanced by Mothervine. Bunn shows us that, at his core, Magneto will always hold mutants in higher regard than homo sapiens.

Magneto also brings in a few power players from Bunn’s short Uncanny X-Men run, which reminds readers Bunn books are always connected… at least at Marvel.And, of course, Bunn wraps up Havok’s villainous arc, to a degree. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here that hasn’t been spoiled by solicitations for upcoming Astonishing X-Men issues, but Alex Summers’ inversion problems that began way back in AXIS are finally resolved… sort of. See, not spoiled–you have no idea what I’m talking about until you read the issue! Either way, the ideas Bunn introduces here should give Matthew Rosenberg much to play with once he takes ownership of the character.

As I was reading this comic, I was a bit surprised at how conveniently the various subplots in “Cry Havok” were coming to a close–especially the threat posed by the team of villains. It certainly makes me think everything could have been wrapped up in fewer than six issues, but Marvel’s got trade paperbacks to fill out, right? Still, as I mentioned before, Bunn manages to introduce several new subplots, so I really need to think of this less as the end of an arc and more as a chapter in a longer story the writer is telling.

Helping to tell that story once again is artist Marcus To, who brings a bit of an anime feel to the proceedings. In fact, at times, To’s artwork reminded me a bit of that of Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. But, that may also be because green-haired Polaris reminded me of the green-haired star of O’Malley’s Snotgirl. Either way, there are some very nice visuals on display here, such as Xorn, fully unleashing his power on an enemy–with deadly results.

Next issue, the original five are finally back. I feel like it’s been forever since these teenage X-Men have been free to do their thing, free of the burden of symbiotes. I’m very excited to see how their time in space has changed them, and if there’ll be any friction with the mutants who took their place as X-Men.

Who am I kidding, of course there’ll be drama! Bring it on, Bunn.

X-Men Blue #28
Is it good?
While some subplots wrap up a little too easily, enough new ideas are introduced to keep this series exciting.
I'm not sure what writer Cullen Bunn has planned for Magneto, but I'm enjoying the journey.
It's nice to see the long-running inverted Havok subplot finally come to a close... sort of.
Artist Marcus To produces some striking visuals amid all this issue's action.
I feel like this arc wraps up a little too conveniently after so much buildup...
...which makes me think this arc didn't need to be six parts.
8.5
Great
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