Over the course of five issues, X-Men: Blue has proven itself to be Marvel’s best X-series in the House of Ideas’ current collection of mutant books. With X-Men: Blue #6, writer Cullen Bunn slows things down a bit and serves up something of a breather for our young heroes.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Ray-Anthony Height, Ramon Bachs
Publisher: Marvel Comics
But don’t worry, it doesn’t take the series’ super-powered teenagers long to make it awkward (I’m looking at you, Jean and blond Wolverine).
It’s a wild night in the X-Men’s new home of Madripoor – at least, Jean Grey wants it to be, because she’s X-tremely bored. Even though there’s a massive party raging through the city’s streets, Iceman is moping the night away, Angel’s MIA and Cyclops is focused on a Magneto-directed training session. And when Scott isn’t available, it’s only a matter of time before Jean turns to some version of Wolverine.
Way to go, Slim!
Fortunately for fans of the soap opera side of the X-Men franchise, Jimmy Hudson, Ultimate Wolverine’s universe-displaced son, is now a member of the Blue team! But calm down, Scott and Jean fans, it’s not a date – Beast tags along.
We all saw the new love triangle coming, and Bunn wastes no time stirring the drama pot. It’ll be interesting to see how it progresses in the issues ahead.
Of course, you don’t read X-Men comics to see your favorite mutants party, so it isn’t long before they encounter trouble in the form of a new (I believe, unless I’ve missed their first appearance) group of characters – The Raksha. They’re skilled and brutal, and like Jimmy, share a connection to the late Wolverine (it’s Madripoor, doesn’t everybody?).
I’m not going to get into what that connection is, because it would kind of spoil this story, which is already a bit light on plot to begin with. The last page also feels a bit rushed – as if Bunn suddenly ran out of pages and was forced to wrap up fast. With that said, it is Bunn we’re talking about here, so I know he’s laying seeds that’ll pay off down the road.
If you’ve read my previous reviews of this series, you know I’m going to complain a bit about the fact that this is yet another issue of this regular-sized comic that features two artists. Ray-Anthony Height and Ramon Bachs continue Blue‘s tradition of showcasing pencilers who can mix an energetic, youthful style with the types of rough line work you might see in an indie book. It’s fine, but with each passing issue I desire visual consistency more and more. Hopefully, in time, Marvel can plan far enough ahead to lock a single artist onto a single arc, without a last-minute assist.
Ultimately, X-Men: Blue #6 is a brief break before the X-Men are thrown into Marvel’s controversial Secret Empire event in July. It’s a chance to get to know Jimmy a little better (as he continues to figure out his own life) and lay the seeds for future drama. And, honestly, it’s the type of youthful, character-driven adventure that reminds me of something we would have seen in Dennis Hopeless’ All-New X-Men run.
And I was a fan of that series, so that’s by no means a bad thing.