MOJO WORLDWIDE: PART 2: Giant gold spires have appeared around the city of New York. While visiting the Xavier Institute in Central Park, the X-Men Blue team joins Kitty Pryde’s Gold to investigate. An impenetrable force field traps them within the boundaries of the spires, which are recreating some of the X-Men’s greatest battles! Splintered into 3 teams, each facing a different threat. MOJO has RETURNED! And the X-Men need all the LUCK they can get to defeat him!
X-MEN BLUE #13
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jorge Molina
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Cover Artists: Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What you need to know: Having their baseball game interrupted by the appearance of mysterious spires over the city, the two teams of X-Men have been split up by none other than Mojo, who for the first time, has brought his maniacal evil to earth. Each group suddenly finds their environment and clothing changed to match their scenario, while Mojo broadcasts the battles live. (See MOJO WORLDWIDE Part 1 in X-Men Gold #13.)
What you’ll find out: Team One, consisting of new member Bloodstorm, young Cyclops, Prestige, and Kitty Pryde, find themselves in the “Days of Future Past” scenario, battling Sentinels. Rachel is in her full “hound” costume and Kitty is wearing her mutant detainment camp jumpsuit. Bloodstorm mentions not wanting to see Kitty die again. Rachel calls Scott “Dad” to his chagrin at first but settles for it OFF the field.
As the Sentinels regroup from the battle, their eyes project a face over their own. It is the face of Mojo, the interdimensional ruler and “producer” obsessed with “ratings” and the X-Men. Cyclops thinks its all special effects but quickly learns there are real weapons involved when a Sentinel shoots a finger spear through Bloodstorm, mimicking the fate of the Day’s of Future Past reality’s Storm. As the remaining three charge towards the Sentinels, We switch scenes to the next group.
Team Two, consisting of young Angel, Old Man Logan, Storm, and young Iceman, find themselves in a frozen landscape facing Ice Giants. This is the Asgardian Wars scenario, where Storm became the Goddess of Thunder. Just as the battle begins, Rachel is able to punch through the psychic static and warn them that it’s Mojo they are facing and that they have to fight with all they have, since they just lost Bloodstorm.
Team Three, consisting of Marvel Girl, young Beast, Nightcrawler, Jimmy Hudson, and Colossus, find themselves in Inferno, reignited, battling demons. Through the rapport Jean shares with Cyclops, Rachel is able to access her mind easier and warns her team as well. But as the fighting ensues, a transformed Beast is offered a place among the demons. The battles are being broadcast all over the city. Other heroes, like Spider-Man and the Champions, are investigating but can’t get through the force fields generated by each spire. Aliens from Mojo’s dimension begin handing out “prizes” to onlookers, as he proclaims, “the fun never stops! …Not until your DEAD!” Major Domo, Mojo’s ever-present assistant informs him that ratings aren’t as big as they had hoped and that they will not be able to proceed with “Phase 2” at this rate. Mojo demands to return to the broadcast because he “wants this world now-now-NOW!” He moves to a giant wheel, with scenarios of the X-Men’s greatest battles written on it. Deciding to switch up the stakes, he spins the wheel for a new scenario. Suddenly, as Team One is on the ropes, an unexpected ally appears: LONGSHOT HAS RETURNED! It appears that Longshot is challenging Mojo’s dictatorship by hacking into his channel and creating a live broadcast of his own. Floating cameras surround the hero as he pauses speaking with Kitty for a moment to address his viewers when suddenly, the environment begins to change into Asteroid M. Standing before the heroes… MAGNETO.
Final Thoughts: Issue #13 turns out to be a lucky number for this title, as the second part of this crossover takes over. Not hampered by a MULTITUDE of side-plots and head-spinning pacing, like the last few issues, have been, Mojo Worldwide Part 2 delivers. I enjoyed seeing the interaction between Rachel and her “father” young Scott. She misses “that” version of her father (or rather, an untainted version) and she shows it by calling him “Dad”. There is a lot of history to cover with the Summers/Grey “family”; a history that is not harped on, which I find is a good thing. There’s too much action going on to go deeper. I think it’s safe to assume Bloodstorm is not dead, but I liked the homage to her “death” I’ve always found Mojo to be a truly frightening and fun character for the X-Men to battle, but with some distance between appearances. It makes me appreciate this odd villain much more. Additional sub-plots are laid down (Angel being concerned over Bloodstorm, Beast offered a place amongst the demons, Longshot’s new “role”) and I hope Cullen Bunn doesn’t overwhelm the reader with them. The last few issues of this title have been hurt by this. Too much, too soon comes to mind. That being said, I really enjoy the wild directions he is taking some of the characters. I find it refreshing. Slow the sub-plot pace a bit, and the book will do fine.
Jorge Molina is a welcome artist for this adventure, as is Colorist Matt Milla. They really bring out the scope of the battles. I’m happy the art team has improved for this title, considering one of the masters, Arthur Adams (with Peter Steigerwald) created the stunning, inter-locking covers for each Part of the story.
This issue is a part of Marvel’s LEGACY branding and contains a 3-page backup feature, depicting the team’s origins. It is written by Robbie Thompson, with pencils by Mark Bagley, and inks by John Dell.
Final thought: A fun, nostalgic, yet current story that sets the book back on track after last issues’ underwhelming finale.