What's life without an intergalactic chase scene?
The second half of this two-part arc was considerably less satisfying than the first — and not just because of Hickman’s trademark low-key misogyny. Seriously, Jean comparing the Brood to the humans and the mutants to the King Egg, and stating that a matriarchal system will inevitably be overthrown by a patriarchal kingship was a little hard to take. But the primary problems were down to an abrupt, forced conclusion and a definite drop-off in the quality of the art.
It was amazing how much pure, unadulterated joy Asrar brought to the table in the last issue. Yu’s sketchy, stiff, frankly dour line work rendered the tone of the story flat and stale as a week-open can of off-brand ginger ale. Even the giant zombie space whales lost a lot of their wallop.
There were some nice moments. Sunspot’s pranking of the Accuser was pretty hilarious. It was good to see a mention of Sam’s wife (so the characters aren’t being totally regressed) and although Broo only had two lines (and was shoehorned into the above-mentioned misogyny) seeing him at all was a delight.
We were also treated to some interesting insights into Kree culture (boy, were they ever playing the long game) and one of the few things that Hickman does really well (outside of the actual bare-bones of world-building) is capturing some of the nicer aspects of healthy father-son relationships. Gladiator and Kid Gladiator had some nice moments, as Scott and Alex did with their father.
Hickman might have a deaf ear when it comes to writing women but he is a dab hand at handling the men. Perhaps this is what happens when someone with a scrimped modicum of talent refuses to examine anything that isn’t a direct mirror, but occasionally, it works.
As I said, all in all this installment was less than totally satisfying, but there’s enough of a hook to drag the fans in, and I guess that’s all the author was aiming for.
A firecracker start fizzles to a damp squib conclusion in this story — but any completist will still want to pick this issue up.
X-Men #9: King Me
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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