By Jonathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho
Since the first issue of X-Men, Jonathan Hickman has essentially been giving us one and done stories featuring our favorite characters. This all may change with the release of issue 8. The New Mutants are back on earth and they brought back a souvenir, a brood king egg. This of course sets the events of the issue in motion. The brood attack en masse and the X-Men are left defending themselves. It seems like they just can’t catch a break on Krakoa.
One thing that Jonathan Hickman does better than almost anyone else is pick the right characters to use at the right time. He’s been writing both New Mutants and X-Men, so all of this has bled together nicely. Hickman builds on one of the best blossoming friendships in the X-univers over the last decade, Cyclops and Magik, in this issue. He kind of gives them their own combo move like the fastball special as Cyclops blasts through portals that Ilyana opens up. Broo was brought in to help with all of the brood stuff, which is great to see since he’s a sweet little character. On top of the brood invading, Hickman also plays with Vulcan this issue too. Sway and Petra have been partying with their old buddy and it seems to be becoming a problem. Vulcan is also having strange nightmares of a particularly bad time in his life. Hickman goes through the rolodex this issue to pull characters and stories that he wants to build on. This is set up to be another great X-Men space epic that focuses on the Summers family. There are few words more exciting than Summers family space adventure.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mahmud Asrar with colors by Sunny Gho. Asrar does a fine job on the art here. His style can be a little minimalist at times, but for the most part, the panels are easy to see and drawn well. Looking at Magik and Dani destroy the brood is a powerful panel from Asrar. Everything looks spot on in terms of scale, and the brood look menacing. This panel is almost immediately followed by Cyclops and Marvel Girl showing up and helping, which is another wonderful panel. Asrar excels in the action department when drawing. The colors by Sunny Gho are great as usual. Gho is really coming around as one of the premier colorists in comics. The different shades of green used as Marvel Girl and Cyclops burst through the portal is very well done. There is also a panel of Scott telepathically communicating with jean where half his face is shaded and the pink surrounding him is extremely vibrant. This is a masterful panel by Gho.
X-Men #8 is a powerhouse of an issue for the series. Jonathan Hickman flexed his writing chops and knocked it out of the park. The pencils and colors are amazing and compliment the wonderful writing. X-Men is one of Marvel’s premier books!