X-MEN BLUE #5 Review: Sinister Days Ahead

X-MEN BLUE #5 is another colorful, satisfying addition to the series that once again showcases the team’s chemistry.  Perhaps it is nostalgia or Cullen Bunn’s well-executed portrayal of the group dynamic that attracts me to these youthful representations of the original X-Men.  Either way, these characters are relatable, and their youth does not provoke arrogance.  Many young, comic book heroes exhibit extreme confidence when it comes to their abilities, deriving from a sense of invincibility.  Instead, they continuously express a genuine desire to be heroes, which contributes to the light and refreshing tone of the series.   

Though the X-MEN BLUE series has made an effort to allow each issue to encompass a self-contained story, X-MEN BLUE #5 slightly adjusts this formula to spend more time developing the overall conflict that will inevitably challenge the X-Men further.  Despite this development, the writers and artists continue to bring in new characters without rushing their introductions.  As a result, X-MEN BLUE #5 brings a well-balanced issue to the table that moves the story into new directions.

Beware, potential spoilers for the X-MEN BLUE series below!

x-men blue #5
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Attack of the Marauders

After the cliffhanger from X-MEN BLUE #4, this issue begins with the reveal of the New Marauders. This moment immediately transitions into a battle where each member of the X-Men gets the opportunity to showcase his or her abilities.

Despite her previous reservations to read the minds of others without their knowledge, Jean Grey does so to discover the motivations of these new, but familiar, enemies.  In doing so, she confronts the puppet master: Miss Sinister.  Without delving too deeply into spoilers, let’s just say Miss Sinister has some history with Jimmy, the new Wolverine, and other mutants from varying realities.  All she wants is Jimmy back in her possession, but Jean refuses to give in to that request.

Eventually, the X-Men manage to get the New Marauders to flee.  Jimmy is safe from harm though he is anxious about his inability to remember his past.  Sound familiar?  As a result, our loyal X-Men team welcomes Jimmy into their headquarters. Magneto makes a brief appearance in this issue when the team relays what they know to him.  Their newfound knowledge, though, comprises of more questions than answers.

READ: Missed the last issue? Check out our review for X-MEN BLUE #4!

The Dark Phoenix Strikes Back?

Throughout the series, I have appreciated the focus on Jean Grey in her role as a leader.  This issue definitely fixates on that role.  Though it is a brief moment of conflict, she experiences an indecision in whether or not she should access the minds of the New Marauders.  With only a brief hesitation, she moves forward with the act to take the initiative in being one step ahead of the enemy.  It is moments such as this one that truly displays Jean’s maturity in being a leader. 

Her decision proves successful as she meets Miss Sinister, who seemingly alludes to a dark future for Jean.  This potential, notorious event has been subtly referenced throughout the X-MEN BLUE series.  I look forward to discovering whether the writers will build upon this in upcoming issues, particularly since her relationship with Magneto has been emphasized.

Outside of this confrontation, I particularly enjoyed the banter between Iceman and Beast during the fight sequence.  A moment such as this makes the team’s chemistry a focal point.  Since Jean Grey and Iceman have solo series, I do wish characters such as Beast, Angel, and Cyclops had more moments of focus.  It would be exciting for readers to get more exposure to a new interpretation of these classic characters.  Despite this, I appreciate the continuous spotlight on the team dynamic.  I also hope this issue isn’t the last we see of the sheriff, Kira Lee, who maintains a genuine sympathy towards mutants. 

READ: Want to know why Beast is one of the most beloved X-Men? Find out here!

In the previous issue, I found the reveal of the “new Wolverine” to be underwhelming. However, the mystery of his mutation and how it parallels Miss Sinister’s motivations was an interesting new plot element.  Though X-MEN BLUE #5 features perhaps more questions than answers, it was an entertaining one.  It will certainly keep me reading to see what challenge our young X-Men face next. 

x-men blue #5
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Many Hues of X-MEN BLUE #5

While I adore the modern interpretation of Jean Grey’s classic green and yellow ensemble, I also found the juxtaposition of color in the bar fight sequence to be mesmerizing.  Throughout this series, artists Jorge Molina, Arthur Adams, and Matteo Buffagni have avoided drab and neutral tones in favor of vibrant colors.  Though it appears this method accentuates the nostalgia of this series, it also highlights the youthful nature these characters embody.  Their youth inspires optimism and perhaps even a little naivety.  As a result, the art emphasizes these elements further. 

In Retrospect…

X-MEN BLUE #5 is another successful entry in the ResurrXion relaunch.  It succeeds in altering the formula of the series to develop a continuing arc without rushing it.  With a compelling fight sequence against the New Marauders as well as a mysterious introduction of a villain who seems to live up to her name, Cullen Bunn succeeds once again in establishing X-MEN BLUE as a worthy entry in the X-Men mythos.  

X-MEN BLUE #5 is certainly another worthy addition to the refreshing new series that will bring you back to the golden age of the X-Men without being derivative.
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