Well. A dead space whale's crash landed on the New Mutants' lawn. That...that can't be good.
After the atrocities of the last issue (in both the literary and the literal sense) this story was something of a relief. It was, as one friend put it, ‘fun space nonsense’ and sometimes that’s exactly what you need. It was fun to see so many characters who’ve been missing lately (Broo! Where’ve you been, boy?) and that was almost enough for me to forgive the fact that Hickman can only write, perhaps, three of them. The rest weren’t on-panel enough for his incompetence to really matter much. I will say, though, that this was the first time since Hickman’s been writing the X-Men that Jean’s had any agency whatsoever. I do not count her depiction in X-Force, for this. That’s a different (far better) writer.
In any case, there’s little to complain about, here — mainly because the plot is solid popcorn fare and it’s difficult to wreck a character, or the entire ethos of a franchise, when you’re producing that. And hey. It’s good popcorn. We get some absolutely wonderful images, thanks to Asrar (more on that, in a minute) and we get scenes like Magik and Cyclops playing Portal with a bunch of bloodthirsty aliens. That’s definitely fun.
But the thing which really elevates the issue above the level of a mediocre break in a series of trainwrecks is the art. Asrar was having some SERIOUS fun with this issue. We are treated to an absolutely glorious splash of a fleet of brood crawling out of the decaying eye socket of a cosmic wale. We get the aforementioned Portal scene. Asrar brought his usual detailed focus on faces and expression to each and every panel. I’d be a LOT happier with the series if he were handling every issue.
The colorist was on point, as well. Marauders has been having some problems, lately, whitewashing Storm, so I’ve been a little on edge when it comes to Marvel’s depictions of People of Color, but Berto had the proper skin tone. And did I mention that decaying cosmic whale? It would have been considerably less effective with an incompetent paint job.
All in all, this issue is worth it if you love popcorn sci-fi and fantastic art.
A popcorn plot combines with some absolutely amazing art in this surprisingly fun issue. Grab it, before The Brood grabs you!
X-Men #8: Mean Brown Mother (From Outer Space)
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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