The X-Men are going to space, fighting Brood, and taking this to the stars in the latest issue of X-Men. The threat of the Brood was made clear last issue (with plenty of alien butt-kicking to boot), and it appears the main mutant team is taking the fight away from Earth. Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu wrap up a two-part story utilizing one of the most iconic X-Men villains ever.
The beauty of this issue lies in its history. Hickman calls upon very old history to inform us on what is going on with the Brood. By extension, the story reveals a rather high-concept sci-fi idea that connects with imperialism, alien races having a disregard to life outside their own, and a reminder that not all threats come directly at you. That’s only the first half of the book and it does make me wonder how much in this spacefaring issue is going to pop up in Empyre. We’ll see.
This issue also wraps up loose ends well. The New Mutants get some play and that big Brood slugfest in the last issue gets a payoff too. That conclusion comes with a deeply satisfying set of captions that prove Hickman is very good at making you think deeply about things. From the hard sci-fi to questioning your reality, Hickman adds layers to the comic you don’t see in the usual frenzied superhero action fare.
As with the last issue, I did find the plotting jarring. The book is trying to work within a 20 page comic and this isn’t the first time a Hickman-written script could have used extra pages to help transition the narrative.
Yu and Sunny Gho’s art is excellent on this issue. Aliens, technology, and serious faces are well within Yu’s wheelhouse and he doesn’t let us down. The final few pages are action heavy, and the chaos of battle isn’t lost one bit. More than once, I got Lord of the Rings vibes thanks to the massive number of alien drones piling onto our heroes.
A good ending to the Brood story with interesting sci-fi ideas and a compelling set of captions that make you ponder what it’d be like to be a Brood.