X-Men Blue #16
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Thony Silas
Letter: Joe Caramanga
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Frank Lanza
After the nostalgia-fest that was the Mojo Worldwide story arc, Marvel Legacy continues the trip down memory lane in X-Men Blue #16. This issue kicks off the Cross Time Capers arc, and while seeing that title on the cover gave me the best Excalibur flashbacks a boy could hope for, that’s not exactly what we’re getting with this first issue.
Picking up right on the heels of the Mojo Worldwide conclusion, this issue finds our time-displaced X-Men, along with Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm, back at the Madripoor X-Mansion. Mojo’s hidden network is already up and broadcasting in the open despite his defeat last issue. The opening page begins with Magneto reeling from some kind of psychic attack, which then begins affecting other members of the team–from his daughter Polaris to Danger. He eventually summons Jean Grey and explains that their continued presence in the current timeline is causing their reality to collapse, and the only solution is to send the team back to their original timeline.
Now, I know you’ve probably heard (or read) this one already. These All-New X-Men already tried to go back to their original time once before you say? Yes, they did, and discovered their original selves already existed in the past, suggesting they were not only brought to the future but to a completely different timeline or dimension altogether. Or, perhaps Hank’s original attempt went bad. Spells can be tricky, you know? Either way, they don’t belong here, and Magneto has been secretly building a new time platform with Danger’s help. After watching Danger wink out of existence before their eyes, the X-Men decide to send themselves through time to save the current reality from imploding. I won’t spoil the ending, but where they end up at the conclusion of the issue will either be anther nostalgic love-letter for long-time Marvel readers or a groan-worthy experience for those that don’t remember these books so fondly.
Visually, this book holds up very well in the hands of Thony Silas. I don’t remember him handling the art duties on any X-book in recent memory, but I really enjoyed his cartoony, energetic style. It reminded me very much of Matteo Scalera’s work on Black Science. The color work by Beredo is vibrant and keeps the flow moving from page to page very well. I won’t be disappointed at all if this artistic team continues through this Cross Time Capers arc and gives us some continuity.
When Marvel announced that the original Jean Grey was returning, I figured it was only a matter of time before the All-New X-Men kids were shuffled back to their own timeline. There’s too many alternate versions of these characters running around as it is. Bloodstorm is neat but unnecessary, and I’ll be curious to see if Jimmy Hudson is quietly written out as well with both Old Man Logan and Logan vying for page time soon. It’s apparent that Marvel is determined to give long-time X-Fans like myself the goods that were promised when Legacy was announced, and it seems this issue is laying the groundwork for a return of the “original” characters while giving these new versions a proper exit out of the current Marvel U. Claremont and Davis’ Cross Time Caper was one of the best arcs of the original Excalibur series; we’ll see if this story can live up to the name!
Verdict: Buy it!
There are many reasons to jump on with this arc, but if you love the All-New X-Men team or want to see what their future will be in the new Marvel Legacy then I recommend picking up X-Men Blue #16, the first issue in the story arc. The art is worth it alone, and Bunn tones down the banter to give us a solid story that moves quickly towards its destination.