You clicked on this review to gain some critical insight into whether you should purchase X-Men Blue #30, but I’m going to talk about myself for a second. Because when I’m not writing about X-Men comics, I’m often editing other people’s writing. And when you edit for so long, you tend to look at writing a little differently… you see where you can cut and rearrange. After finishing the latest issue of X-Men Blue, all I could think about was how I’d take a red pen to writer Cullen Bunn’s latest offering and transform an average book into something fantastic.
If you read my review of X-Men Blue #29, you know I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first part of “The Search for Jimmy Hudson,” mostly because the son of Ultimate Wolverine is now known as Poison (because Venomized is the nightmare from which I cannot wake). Thankfully, we’ve reached this story’s conclusion, with Daken promising to end his sort-of brother’s life.
Hey, if it means ridding the Marvel Universe of the last trace of Venomized, I’m all for it, Daken!
So, we join Daken in the mood for murder, and then we spend the bulk of the issue watching him and Jimmy battle to the death… only neither of them ever dies! This is what I would edit down, because really, this issue just drags when you don’t really care which of Logan’s offspring wins this battle. (Also, we already saw Jean overcome her Poison phase, so we know it’s not impossible.) It’s only after the battle concludes that things get interesting for the X-Men. As I was reading this comic’s final pages, I suddenly found myself excited again–only we’d run out of room!And this, right here, is the problem with some of these twice-monthly comics. Sometimes, it can seem like the current issue is nothing more than setup for the next issue. Honestly, it’s something I think about a lot when I read Tom King’s Batman. Look, you can ship a title twice a month, three times a month or even weekly, but if I’m forking over $3.99 for an issue, I expect a full story that leaves me satisfied. Comics that are mostly action are fine padding in a trade paperback, but leave me feeling unfulfilled in single-issue form.
With so much action, artist Nathan Stockman’s illustrations have to do the heavy lifting. The images are colorful with a more cartoony style, which isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but suits this all-ages-style story well. I know… an issue about two killers trying to kill each other isn’t exactly all-ages fare. But Poison just looks like he stepped out of a Saturday morning cartoon.
As a Cyclops fan, maybe what really rubbed me the wrong way about this issue was the return to the never-ending Cyclops-Jean Grey-whoever love triangle of the month. I really felt that after months (was it months? It seemed like months) of Scott pining over the Poisonized Jean in Venomized, they’d finally resolve their will-they-or-won’t-they drama. But look out–teen Cyke’s jealous all over again.
Can we bring back adult Cyclops now?
With this Jimmy-focused two-parter, I feel like X-Men Blue has taken a step backward again, which is a shame following the stronger “Cry Havok” arc. But, like I said earlier, the final pages of this issue definitely has me excited for what comes next. With this series’ end imminent, let’s hope Bunn and his artistic collaborators deliver the strong finish X-Men Blue deserves.