Well, X-fans, we’re approaching the end of our X-Men Blue journey. And as a parting gift, our gracious Captain Cullen Bunn is reminding us why we hopped aboard in the first place. And look! He’s even brought along the series’ original artist, the talented Jorge Molina!
Real talk: Bunn isn’t an actual captain and there isn’t even a single boat in X-Men Blue #31, so I don’t know why I’m talking like this comic’s a seafaring vessel. What this book is… is good! And as I mentioned before, it’s because Bunn and Molina managed to bring back many of those positive feelings I had while reading early issues of X-Men Blue.
For starters, Bunn and Molina literally kick things off by bringing us back to a scene from X-Men Blue #2 involving Magneto and Jean Grey. This flashback allows for an excellent exploration of Magneto and what drives him. X-Men Blue has always been just as much Magneto’s book as the time-displaced original five’s, and Bunn definitely makes you sympathize with the master of magnetism and his proactive approach to keeping his fellow mutants safe.Now, just put yourself in Magneto’s boots for a second. You’ve dedicated the bulk of your life to fighting for mutantkind–fighting against those who wish to do harm to carriers of the X-Gene. And then, a wicked cabal comes along with something called Mothervine that controls mutants and tells them to kill Magneto, which, in turn, forces Magneto to fight for his survival… killing those brainwashed mutants in the process. You’d be more than a little upset.
And imagine if one of the people in the cabal happened to be notorious troublemaker Emma Frost?
There, my friends, you have the core plot of this comic book: Magneto on a mission to end the White Queen once and for all. (I’m sure many Jean Grey fans are fine with this.)
Of course, there’s not much that can top watching Magneto hunt Nazis, but it’s also fun to see him going after the Hellfire Club. While Chris Claremont’s mature, repentant Magneto is nice, deep down, we all want to see Magneto unleashed and Bunn delivers on all those freaky Hellfire members.
Really, Bunn gets high marks across the board with this comic, as each of the characters has a unique–and entertaining–voice. Bunn’s biting Emma Frost is always wonderful to follow, while his Briar Raleigh (speaking of freaky) is always surprising.
Molina’s art rocks across the board. Whether he’s drawing variations of pain (in both young and adult Magneto’s faces) or assuredness in Emma and Briar, the artist proves he’s a master of visualizing emotions. Plus, I’m a sucker for a killer Magneto action scene, and we get one here with those iconic Hellfire soldiers. Move over, Wolverine!
If there’s a downside here, it’s that I know we’re speeding toward this series’ conclusion, which probably won’t leave much room for quieter character moments. I still have no idea what’s going on between Cyclops and Jean Grey. They have a quick telepathic conversation this week, but it has nothing to do with their “relationship” or Scott’s attraction to Bloodstorm. Guys, if you’re going to think to each other, at least give us something juicy!
But I have faith in Bunn. If anything, the writer has proven that he plans ahead, so if he had enough notice the series would be ending with issue 36, you know the big finish should be something special. I will say, we still have a few issues of X-Men Blue left and I’m already very excited to see what state Magneto will be in by series’ end.