26th Jun2017

‘X-Men Gold #5′ & ‘X-Men Blue #5′ Review

by Dan Clark

X-Men Gold #5

Written by Marc Guggenheim | Art by R. B. Silva | Published by Marvel Comics

x-men-gold-5

If you want an X-Men book to feel like an X-Men book having them fight Sentinels is a good place to start. This series has been checking those boxes of what X-Men fans like to see in their comics, like the team playing softball or dealing with unmitigated prejudice blowhards. Where it is lacking is finding a way to bridge all those pieces together. What you are left with is a very disjointed book that is getting by solely due to the strength of its characters.

Not helping matters is R. B. Silva’s art that lacks any energy and at times is downright lazy. There are many panels that are lacking any form of detail. A moment like the X-Men arriving at the scene to save the day should feel triumphant, but when you have a group of X-Men looking like unfinished create-a-character from a 16-bit video game that moment lands with a giant dud. As the book goes on the artwork gets better and when the action is moving Silva is at his best. Still, if Marvel wants to resurrect the X-Men they need to start putting better artists on these titles.

Most of this issue is one giant battle and chase scene as the X-Men track down and try to defeat this mysterious new Sentinel. Along the way, bits of story are revealed and it is discovered this sentinel is attacking any form of mutation from actual mutants to those who are just colorblind. Why this is happening and what the grand ramifications will be are still not known. Of course for the X-Men it is business as usual.

Where this book has succeeded from the beginning is with the portrayal of Kitty Pride. She makes a fascinating team leader and has grown a great deal in such a short time. Considering she is coming back from being away for some time it makes sense the focus will be on her. Hopefully, as this series continues other characters like Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus will have their moments as well.

**½  2.5/5

X-Men Blue #5

Written by Cullen Bunn | Art by Julian Lopez Velarde | Published by Marvel Comics

x-men-blue-5

As someone who was hoping the Ultimate universe was done for good I am concerned about where this story may lead in the future. Marvel tends to take one step forward and two steps back so it would not surprise me if everything that happened as a result of Secret Wars will be undone anytime now. Although this may be the weakest issue of this series so far this still remains the best book of the X-Men relaunch.

What this book has and something like X-Men Gold is lacking is a better treatment of the team dynamic. Cullen Bunn is much better at finding a way to support all his characters so everyone gets their moment. Also the dynamic between these characters is key element to why this is such a joy to read. This are kids that look like and act like teenagers. Bunn can even make bad characters work. Jimmy Hudson, Wolverines alternate universe son, is a character most thought would never heard from again. With good reason as he is someone many major comic fans did not eve know existed. Bunn gets you to care about the character without resorting to making him just another stand in for the real Wolverine.

Julian Lopez Velarde’s art is a welcome improvement for what is happening in some of the X-Men titles. Even some of the awful costume designs of the X-Men characters look stylish with the way that he draws them. His paneling keeps the action flowing, and most importantly teenagers actually look like teenagers.

The only major stumble with this issue is with the character of Ms. Sinister and her plot. She solely served the purpose of exposition and her entire grand plan does little to excite for future issues. Considering she was revealing her plan to her adversary maybe there is more to it than we know, and if anything by the end we should at least understand why all these Ultimate Universe characters are suddenly appearing.

As a lifelong X-Men fan it is great getting excited for an X-Men title. Even if this group of time displaced X-Men find their way back home I hope the book follows their stories as Bunn has tap into something special here that has been missing in an X-Men book for some time.

***½  3.5/5

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