Hank “Beast” McCoy feared there was a war brewing among the mutants. So, he brought the original X-Men (including a younger version of himself) forward through time. Now they’re trapped in the present. Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Beast, and Angel (Warren Worthington III) have been reunited, and are determined to prove themselves to any and every adversary.
In this issue, they take on Black Tom Cassidy, who has lost every fight to the X-Men… But he’s got something else up his sleeve this time: an accomplice. Juggernaut comes out of nowhere to take on the X-Men while Cassidy takes a nap (induced by Jean Grey). He puts up quite a fight, but the X-Men end up on top. When they report back to their “leader,” of sorts, we come to find that it’s not who we would think… Trust me; you’re going to be shocked!
While all of this is going on, freakin’ Wendigo is terrorizing locals and killing innocents. But an X-Man we all know and love is on the case, as well as the sheriff’s department. Will they be able to stop the beast? Will the Wendigo tie into the X-Men’s adventures? If so, how?
I might be a tad biased here because I love Cullen Bunn’s writing, but this issue is written perfectly. The script isn’t too text-heavy, but still touches on every bit of narration and dialogue we need to understand the storyline.
My favorite part of the script has to be Bobby’s dialogue. He is younger than the rest of the X-Men, so he has a sarcastic and cheeky wit about him. He jokes a lot and talks to the rest of the team in a really informal way—especially to Scott. It not only shows his personality, but the dynamic within the group of mutants. There is also an aspect of humor to this issue, like the constant issue of whether or not the X-Men should be using their real names or codenames.
Despite a laid back way of interacting with one another, the team shows a lot of professionalism in their work. As said best by Hank, “If you knew a thing about the X-Men, Tom, you’d know we fight as a team!” This kind of teamwork lets them not only defeat Juggernaut, but keep each other safe while doing so.
I’m most concerned with who the X-Men are working for. It caught me so off guard that my jaw literally dropped. I’m sure you can guess who it is, but just in case, I’m not giving anything away just yet. The only thing I will say is that I’m curious as to how the X-Men are going to deal with threats towards mutants everywhere. I’m hoping that young Hank and old[er] Hank will come face-to-face, too. Part of me doubts it’ll happen, but hey, I can dream!
Artists Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni do a fantastic job of illustrating this issue. The line work is smooth and clean, with a lot of detail and movement in the bulk of the issue, which is mostly fighting and action sequences. This issue reads like you’re watching a movie, and that cinematic quality isn’t easy to obtain.
Matt Milla’s colors help a lot when it comes to both movement and realism. For example, it’s easy to see how Bobby gets around with Milla’s depiction of the ice trail that Bobby leaves behind him as he moves forward. The unrealistic colors (Scott’s eyes, Angel’s wings) help reinforce the fact that these are in fact mutants, and the realistic colors help remind us that they are in a world of civilians, Homo sapiens.
The creative team on this series has done a superb job so far, and I am more than ready to read more. Are these X-Men going to try to get back to their time? Will their “leader” direct them to do good or bad? Will they listen? What threat is next, and how will they deal with it? This is an issue that any and every X-Men fan needs to read. So, what are you waiting for? Get to your local comic shop and pick up a copy!
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by: Jorge Molina & Matteo Buffagni