By Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho and Rain Beredo
The great thing about this Dawn of X launch is that there is a variety of books and everyone has their favorite. X-Men is penned by architect Jonathan Hickman, and has essentially been 1 and done issues that have a bit of a stinger at the end to set up what is coming next. Cyclops has been front and center for all of these issues so far, and in this week’s book, he takes a trip to the Savage Land with two former Hellfire Club members to investigate an invasion. Nothing could go wrong, right?
What Jonathan Hickman is doing with this series is setting up dominos. He’s building up multiple characters that have ties and interactions with Cyclops. This issue, Sebastian Shaw and Emma frost get the pleasure of tagging along with Scott. Hickman starts us off with an invasion in the Savage land from an unlikely foe. A bunch of elderly women take out all the free spirit X-Men fairly quickly. While this may seem absurd on the surface, Hickman actually has a pretty compelling back story for these characters, and their motivations are interesting. Once the X-Men arrive, Hickman allows us to see how each of the 3 members, Scott, Emma and Sebastian, handle the situation. These little differences in reaction mean a lot to the story moving forward. Scott, although blasting the elderly women, took the time out of battle to assist one that he injured. These are the character moments X-fans crave. There is no telling where these one and done stories will fit into the grand scheme of Hickman’s vision, but so far, X-Men has been a great ride.
The pencils this issue are handled by Leinil Francis Yu with inks by Gerry Alanguilan and colors by Sunny Gho and Rain Beredo. Yu’s pencils work well on this book. His style is perfect for the texture on the faces of the elderly women when they remove their masks. There is also a panel where the elderly women call Emma a dirty name, Yu draws Emma and Shaw’s faces perfectly. It’s a laugh out loud panel. The inks by Gerry Alanguilan help with what Yu lays down on the page. They make his pencil lines crisper and easier on the eyes. The colors by Sunny Gho and Rain Beredo stand out in this issue as well. The vibrant blue from Scotts costume as he arrives in the Savage Land is eye catching. There is a wonderfully colored panel where Cyclops is standing in the center of the council and he is silhouetted with the exception of the blue from his uniform. If it seems like I’m obsessing over the blue in Scott’s uniform, it’s because I am. The art in this issue only helps add to the enjoyment of the story. The pencils, colors and inks are all great.
X-Men is a book for readers who are willing to let the big picture fill in. If you’re looking for wall to wall action, you may want to check out X-Force. Jonathan Hickman is crafting a narrative that he is taking the time to set up, if you can wait, it will pay off.