Following an unexpected confrontation with 90s X-Men villain Bastion, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Julian Lopez launch the Blue X-Men squad into their next adventure in snowy Colorado. It’s here readers get reacquainted with another Marvel character they haven’t seen in some time.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Julian Lopez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
When filmmakers need to cast actors to play real-life people, there are two routes they can take. The first, is to hire an actor like Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, and transform him into J. Edgar Hoover using prosthetics and makeup. The second is take a capable performer, like Michael Fassbender, and let him embody the individual he’s playing, even if he doesn’t really resemble Steve Jobs.
X-Men: Blue is the Michael Fassbender of Marvel’s ResurrXion relaunch. You’re reading all-new adventures of the original X-Men, who are nothing like their original selves, and yet it feels so classic. It feels like X-Men the same way Fassbender seemed like the late Steve Jobs in the film of the same name.
Long story short, this series continues to be a runaway success.
By now, it should come as no surprise that the clawed fist on this issue’s cover belongs to James Hudson Jr., the Wolverine of the now eradicated (I think?) Ultimate Universe. I’ll be honest, I stopped reading the Ultimate series around the time Jimmy first appeared. With that said, the fact that he hasn’t gone the way of Geldoff makes me want to read those latter-day Ultimate tales.
Despite being a fresh start for the X-Men, the fact that Blue keeps dipping into X-continuity is actually very refreshing. In the case of this issue, Bunn reminds readers that some of the X-Men met the Ultimate Wolverine during Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men run. Forgot about that!
Ultimately (Ha!), what I liked the most about X-Men: Blue #4 was that it featured a classic “X-Men-on-a-mission” tale. And then, the reintroduction of a character that seems both familiar and new, just like the book’s main cast. Normally, I’m very much opposed to having multiple alternate versions of the same character in the same universe, but I’m interested to see where Bunn is going with blond Wolverine.
Speaking of Bunn, this series’ strength continues to lie in its strong character work. Beast, who is increasingly withdrawn and morbid, hasn’t been this interesting in a long time. And it’s fun to see someone tell Angel to stand elsewhere because his cosmic fire wings are causing snow to melt off trees overhead. It’s the little moments that harken back to those early Claremont stories we hold in such high regard.
And then there’s the art, by this series’ latest penciller Julian Lopez. I liked it. Lopez’s clean lines gave the issue a youthful and quirky vibe that’s perfect for these colorful characters. And I’m happy to report, Jean’s haircut is the best it’s looked since the start of ResurrXion.
You’d think it’s impossible to put out a book twice a month that’s this good, and yet Bunn, his stable of artists and Marvel Comics are doing it. Simply put, this is the best the X-Men have been in a long time.