LORD OF THE BROOD, PART TWO!
When the X-Men’s close friend Broo became the Brood King, he gained the ability to control the savage alien race he was both a part of and so different from. Now he is experiencing his own nightmare scenario—the Brood are killing his friends, and there is nothing he can do to stop it!
It’s part two of the Lord of the Brood crossover with Captain Marvel, and things are heating up. Actually that’s not an accurate description, the #%*^ has hit the fan, and the X-Men are hip deep in it. Our team is currently splintered into three different factions, and it looks like they’re close to being overwhelmed every step of the way. Forge and Monet are still stuck in the other dimension, trying to bring Knowhere back to its proper place, Jean and Magik are back on Krakoa with Broo to see just what the heck is going on, since his ascension to the Brood King, while the rest are trying to save Corsair, and everyone on the Starjammer! To say there’s a lot going on would be an understatement.
The majority of the issue focuses on Jean, Magik and Broo, who are trying to figure out how the Brood have broken free of his hive mind control over the species, by Jean taking Magik into Broo’s recent memories, to find out what’s wrong, and who’s responsible for this current Brood infestation. There is indeed someone pulling the strings, and it’s a very…pleasant surprise, with a throwback to an earlier adventure, and it’s the stuff of nightmares. That’s right folks, Nightmare is back, and he’s got plans to rule the entire universe. Using Broo’s subconscious mind to affect the hive mind, giving the Brood the dreams of conquest, breaking Broo’s control. I’m wondering if this will end Broo’s control, and we’ll go back to having the queens ruling the various factions of Brood, or if Broo will regain control.
One of the things that I’ve been noticing is certain characters using their powers indiscriminately, on not only their foes, but also civilians, and the rest of the X-Men aren’t even blinking an eye. Whether it be Synch’s wiping Ben Urich’s figuring out the secret to the mutants’ resurrection, to Jean’s changing Polaris’s decision to join the X-Men, to forcibly entering Broo’s mind, not only without his permission, but entering despite Broo’s request not to. There’s a real ethical situation brewing here, and it’s been one of the most interesting takes we’ve had on Jean since her return in the weekly event mini December/January of 2017 by Matthew Rosenberg and a bevy of the hottest artists, so I can’t lie when I say I’m into it. Bring me more. Give us a Jean full of pathos and fallible. Jean being the portrait of perfection unless she’s being manipulated by the Phoenix force has made the character stagnant. So kudos to Duggan. This is the Duggan I’ve been waiting for since the new team debuted after last year’s Hellfire Gala.
Stefano Caselli’s back on art duties, and his work here is pitch perfect. He captures both the tension during the more serious scenes, while also capturing the silliness, like when Broo made the Brood dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, just some real fun stuff. Caselli’s no stranger to the X-Men or space adventures, where he’s been giving us a bang up job on X-Men Red, with Al Ewing, so he’s a perfect fit for this. He captures the grotesque and savage nature of the Brood, while also giving us the levity from the scene with the dancing Brood. I hope to see him still affiliated with the X-line after Fall of X hits later this year.
Duggan and Caselli are out here holding back no punches, as they continue their adventure that could spell doom for the entire universe. Duggan’s giving us a Jean who feels like she’s full of gravitas, giving us a deeper look at the woman for who she truly is. No Phoenix force, no life incarnate, no she who burns away that doesn’t work, but a woman, with complexities and character. This is the Jean I’ve been aching to read. No pretenses, or perfection personified, but a woman who will do anything in order to do what she feels is right. Whether it is right or not is for you to decide.
X-Men #20: For No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the THRILLER!
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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