Game-changer! This issue reveals who is behind the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! That’s right, those attacks were paid for by someone—a human, no less—very important and at the frontlines of the threats towards mutants.
Once Logan tips off the rest of the team, they head to Long Island to take on the Brotherhood. Little did they know they were walking straight into a trap. On the plus side, they saved Logan and Amara (as traumatized as she is). Then they do some digging to find out the culprit behind all this madness and holy crap, is it a twist or what?!
This issue amplifies the threats towards mutantkind in a number of ways. Not only do we see people in places of power abusing their positions, but we see the X-Men in a bit of desperation. The X-Men don’t take students into the field, but Kitty Pryde makes the conscious decision to let Rockslide and Armor join the team as they head to Long Island. It’s a big deal, and it proves just how distressed Pryde and the team are about the state of human-mutant relations.
Guggenheim writes this issue with a swift and steady pace, keeping things moving along nicely, in large part due to the natural and realistic character interaction. Superhero teams are difficult to write with, because well, they’re teams. Things can go really well or really terribly, all in terms of how they communicate. Guggenheim does a fantastic job of making sure the conversation is professional and focused, but informal enough that we can relate to and sympathize with the characters (it’s mostly the younger members that keep things informal).
We also learn a bit about Pryde in this issue. We know she’s a powerful heroine, but her placement as head of the X-Men is solidified when she stays in a building rigged with explosives to save Amara—but sends the rest of the team away to safety. A leader must think of the group before themselves, and Pryde does just that. She’s selfless and intelligent, considering all outcomes before going into anything. We’ll see how things turn out, though, after the X-Men themselves are forced to threaten a human.
Syaf’s illustrations are on point in this issue. The character designs for the mutant students who offer their help show a lot of creativity. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants looks overbearing and powerful, appropriate for the “enemy.” The line work is precise for the most part, with extraneous lines to add detail and shadowing here and there. Mostly, though, the pencils show a lot of emotion. Kitty Pryde’s face as she states, “let’s get serious” is the best game face I’ve ever seen.
There is a lot of variation in panel layouts, too, which is a great way to keep the eye occupied and interested. Her glare on the last page is haunting enough to make you want to read the entire issue again. The colors, by Frank Martin, are realistic and believable. It definitely makes the issue seem more dramatic and adds to the sense of urgency.
Things are getting really intense in this series, and the X-Men have an entirely new enemy at the end of this issue. It’ll be interesting to see if they are able to prove themselves to the humans that essentially control mutants’ fate. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m already itching for more!
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Illustrated by: Ardian Syaf