By Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu and Sunny Gho
“So..Crucible is today.” This is the story taking place in X-Men #7. The Crucible. You pretty much read most of this issue without knowing what the Crucible is, and yet you’re still interested. That is the beauty of this run from Jonathan Hickman. We don’t know exactly what everything means yet, but we’re still intrigued, and we know it’s going to be good. So what exactly is the Crucible? I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I can tell you that it makes sense with the things that happen on Krakoa. Having said all that, on to the review.
Jonathan Hickman has been laying the groundwork down in X-Men with stories that wrap up in one issue. These stories will sometimes focus on different characters, like Mystique or Magneto, but the majority of these stories center on Cyclops. Scott once again plays a role in this issue as we learn the Crucible is happening on Krakoa today. Hickman has Scott and Logan banter about a beach trip together, which leads to more speculation about them sharing Jean, but the talk of the Crucible leaves both of them uneasy. Hickman does a wonderful job of making this issue about the crucible without us knowing what it is until the end. Scott is so conflicted that he goes to the moral center of the mutants and discusses this with Nightcrawler. Hickman shows some depth to Nightcrawler and how his faith presents a problem with the Crucible. We also get a great between Scott and Kurt about the resurrection process. Hickman really packs a lot into this issue. Apocalypse is also a page stealer. Hickman does great with his dialogue, and his voice feels in character. This issue raises more questions, which is ironic, because Scott and Nightcrawler say something similar in this issue, but this is a series that cannot be missed.
The pencils this issue are handled by Leinil Francis Yu, with colors by Sunny Gho. Yu pencils a gorgeous issue here. Every page and panel has an epic feel to it, and it seems like Yu had more time to draw this. Panels with close ups of Apocalypse or Cyclops stand out because of Yu’s trademark hatching. The fight scene looks phenomenal as pages are clear and characters are easy to make out. Yu draws a page where a mutant finds out about the Crucible being today. The excitement on her face is evident in the panel and looks great. The colors by Sunny Gho are amazing as well. The light color palette goes with the pencils laid down by Yu. As Cyclops and Nightcrawler stand on a cliff looking over the island, Gho uses a light shade of blue and a darker green in the background. This allows Scott and Kurt to pop, but our eyes are drawn to the vibrant background colors. Between Yu and Gho, you may not find better art in a book this week.
X-Men #7 delivers everything you would want from a comic book. Hickman is just revolutionizing the X-Men and it’s fantastic. The pencils and colors are the best I’ve seen in a book this year. X-Men continues to set the bar for comics!