X-Men Blue #27 // Review
Havok’s plan moves to phase two, but can Magneto’s new X-Men hold their ground?
The epic story “Cry Havok” moves to part 5 with X-Men Blue #27. Writer Cullen Bunn and his art team of Marcus To and Rain Beredo continue to unfold the plot by Havok’s cabal to take over the world and mutantkind with the creation known as Mothervine.
The comic picks up where #26 left off, in San Francisco with Magneto’s new team fighting against the united Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Mutant Liberation Front goons. Since they’re working for Havok’s side, all of them have also been enhanced by the mysterious Mothervine. The best change belongs to Toad, whose tongue now has a flame tip, making him look like a demented Castlevania villain.
A cut to deep space lets the audience catch up with the original X-Men and Venom once again, in a B-Plot that seems to be advertising and hinting at events that will unfold in Venomized… which actually ended with issue 5 last week. It’s nice seeing Scott receiving some advice from Eddie Brock’s Venom, but the entire sequence seems hollow and continues to confuse where this comic fits into general continuity.
Magneto’s makeshift hospital in Madripoor is, as shown last issue, under attack by Miss Sinister’s new Marauders…who also include mainstay background X-Person Armor, somehow. There is actually no explanation as to why Armor has joined the Marauders, and seems like someone wanted a known name on the team just to have a shock reveal on the Marauders themselves.
Chapter 5 of “Cry Havok” feels like the first part of the third act of a big-budget action movie, but also is having third act problems of the plot beginning to go strange. A few scenes of character development to amp up the tension, a big action sequence with nice and flashy explosions with a lot of talking. Like last issue, it can work really well--with the additional caveat that you don’t think about what’s actually happening. Bunn’s scripting really keeps the characters feeling accurate while the plot surges around and threatens to drown out individual character moments, but he isn’t able to provide those moments this issue, making it feel like the event comic it was trying to imitate.
It’s incredibly satisfying to see someone bothering to remember that Havok is supposed to be “evil” since the Axis event in 2014 left his morality inverted alongside a small handful of other characters. Admittedly, it feels like Havok should have a giant handlebar mustache to twirl at times, and other times it feels like he’s become an emo stereotype… but it’s still actually refreshing for Alex Summers.
However, in spite of the good characterization (when it appears), nothing really… happens in this issue. It seems to mostly buy time to pad out the inevitable graphic novel. If the padding had been spread out across the previous four issues, it could have snuck by the reader much easier. The revelation of where Mothervine came from also comes from nowhere and lands like a wet dog flopping at your feet. It would have been nice to have more of a link than a vague mention that could be interpreted as what he intent was.
The combination of To’s pencils and inks with Beredo’s colors are just as excellent as last issue’s crew. While featuring more sequences of character development and talking, the few action sequences delivered are energetic and enjoyable. The full page (and a half) splash of the X-Men fighting against the evil Mothervine Mutants is a particular joy, and something that would be awesome on a poster.
While delivering much less action than before, Bunn seems to be revving up for a conclusion on the “Cry Havok” storyline. It’s hard to tell where it’s going to end, but hopefully Bunn and his crew bring the story out of this stall before it ends.