Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Sunny Gho, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, and Leinil Francis Yu
Release Date: March 11th, 2020
Are the X-Men the good guys of this story? Well, after the last issue of X-MEN by Jonathan Hickman, the Crucible saw mutants ceremoniously fighting to the death to regain their powers using the resurrection protocols. On the outside, this doesn’t sound too bad right? Again, Hickman did a masterful job of making the event simply appear unsettling to readers in a way that truly compels fans to question the intentions of the Professor and this new world order. However, not every mutant has been in attendance throughout these past arraignments of issues. The New Mutants have been on an intergalactic mission across the galaxy. But, now they’re back and they’ve brought some intergalactic trouble with them! As much as it seems like the mutants may be transforming into the villains of the story, it appears as though the continued onslaught of defense from all walks of life persists to bombard them relentlessly with antagonists from all walks of life. There target as grown exponentially! Let’s dive into X-MEN #8 by Jonathan Hickman to see who’s on their case now. Is it the Brood? How about the Shi’ar? Or maybe the Imperial Guard? Let’s jump in and take a look!
Readers, Jonathan Hickman lets the action fly almost immediately out of the gate. This issue is crammed with heavy-duty action, powerful battles, and everything a Summer Blockbuster movie is supposed to be! To X-Men fans that have been craving a Magik/Cyclops team up, you get it in full force. To fans wanting an issue that seems large, important, and all-encompassing, simply leave it to Hickman to deliver that fierce uppercut with impact. Plus, Hickman furnishes a narrative that seems huge that may take multiple issues and titles to unfold. Could this be something small and only impact the main title? Sure, but with all the moving pieces involved in this week’s issue, I feel like this is the first REAL story unrelated to HOXPOX, Krakoa, the future, or anything associated with the mutant/ human conflict in forever. And readers, it’s so $&@$ing refreshing. This is a well-needed and deserved break from the overarching theme and this reviewer hopes we can get a good smattering of issues surrounding it before we jump back to our regularly scheduled program.
The moving pieces are immense… maybe too substantial considering the magnitude of knowledge the average fan may need to know in order to not feel like they’re drowning in cameos and chaos. Long time readers will be swimming with excitement for certain. However, I can totally see many of the new x-fans who hopped on board during HOXPOX or those who have checked out but checked back in recently, maybe living in a “Land of Confusion” as this arc begins to take shape. But to the faithful, well adverse reader, we get some nods to THE FAULT, REALM OF KINGS, WAR OF KINGS, and so much more! This issue is beaming with potential and feels like it could be bigger than WAR OF THE REALMS and ABSOLUTE CARNAGE wrapped up together with a dash of Black Winter on the side. My point: Hickman continues to make his X-Men carry weight and feel like if you’re not reading it, you’re already LEFT BEHIND worse than Kirk Cameron.
If the storyline wasn’t good enough for you, or if you didn’t leave this issue licking your chops from the nuggets of plot threads waiting to be devoured, then how about looking at Mahmud Asrar’s amazing illustrations. Asrar’s shining moments were amplified by his mind-blowing splash pages showcasing the Brood in all of their disgusting glory. And if that doesn’t do it for you, let me know what you think of each scene watching Magik cut a swathe through a wave of Brood converging on Krakoa. There were moments where the ink and line work were extremely thick and heavy but Sunny Gho’s use of colors helped punctuate what would be an overall stellar performance by this creative team. Sign me up for some more of this Marvel Team-up: Hickman/ Asrar.
Some may be thinking, “there’s too many men, too many people, making too many problems, and there’s not much love to go around.” throughout this week’s installment. However, I simply say to those quoting Phil Collins, this may seem like a LAND OF CONFUSION now but Hickman always adds clarity as his series’ progress. Answers will come. Nonetheless, if it is answers you need now of who some of these characters are, head to the interwebs my friends and get all the answers you need because this issue was a tall refreshing drink of water than I hope is refillable for issues to come. The story was exhilarating, captivating, carried weight, and plays with so many toys in the toy box. The potential is ripe for the picking and I haven’t been this excited for an X-book since HOXPOX began. Pick this issue up, grab the trades below using any of my links to catch up, and let me know what you think! I have no doubt you’ll truly love it.