Review: X-Men #18

Marc Guggenheim takes the helm of adjectiveless X-Men for a space-opera epic that seems well-timed to take advantage of Marvel’s cosmic push!

The plot is simple; S.W.O.R.D., the space equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D., have recovered a critically-injured Deathbird. As she has ties to the X-Men, they call in our team of, well, X-Women, and we soon wind up with Deathbird’s enemies pursuing her…

Deathbird's diatribe
The answers are hinted at the end – and may prove surprising for the X-Men…

All the way through, though, Guggenheim peppers the story with a tremendous amount of wit.  It’s reminiscent of the Avengers movie, with sharp one-liners that give nice insights into the characters; for all the humour, very rarely do the heroes lose their sense of voice.  For me, the stand-out was Jubilee, who shows as the least-experienced and yet still shines.

“I’m watching Game of Thrones in fifteen-minute increments here.  I haven’t even reached the end of Season One.”

Meanwhile, the sense of humour is used to deepen the sense that we’re dealing with real people here; and yet it’s all done in a wonderfully metatextual way, with references to Star Trek (in a starfaring plot) and Game of Thrones (when dealing with an alien would-be queen who spent years grappling with her sister for the throne).  That quality alone makes me smile.

This stunning image alone makes the mag worth it!

The art is good, with the inkers in particular standing out (Ed Tadeo and Craig Yeung).  Their use of colour is brilliant in creating a sense of contrast between the brightness of the world and the darkness of the Peak’s invasion.  The single stand-out moment is above image, a brilliant piece of breathtaking art that’s steeped in X-Men history.

“I mean, I haven’t exactly kept up.”

That being said, I’m afraid I do have two criticisms.  First is that this isn’t really ‘new-reader-friendly’ – although to be honest, I’m actually a bit tired of the assumption that every issue should be a first issue, and so I don’t particularly mind overmuch.  The second, though, was picked up by Craig Black from the X-Men forum – on two occasions the art clearly depicts Jubilee using her fireworks, which, of course, she doesn’t have.  What with the Cuckoos using telekinesis in this week’s All-New X-Men, this seems to have been a bad week for the editors.

See what I mean? And there’s one other image, too…

All in all, though, still one of the stronger X-issues in a while.  4.5/5.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. LL says:

    Well, I kind of like where the story is going, because I usually enjoy X-Men space adventures. I also like the social niceties on display (ie. please and ‘sir’). However I am sick of the snarky comments that so many Marvel writers seem to put in the mouths of many characters.Let’s have them all sound like Robert Downey Jr.? I suppose that is how Brand has been written, but then again I hate Agent Brand. Also, where’s Shogo and shouldn’t Jubes be with him instead of in orbit?


    1. I admit, I’ve not been following X-Men over the last few issues – not enough money for the sheer number of books! – so I’m not sure how the Shogo plotline ended, with the whole deal of his dad appearing.

      I don’t mind snarky comments where they’re in-character, and to me they seemed to be. Let’s be honest, Monet, Jubilee, and Agent Brand have always had snarky sides to them!


  2. loz says:

    I’m more concerned with the allusion to the fact that Emma should and has had Telekinesis. When did this happen?


    1. This week’s ANXM – one of the Cuckoos uses telekinesis for a prank on Bobby! I think the editors really slipped up this week imo lol.


      1. loz says:

        oh yeah I saw that, but like the Jubilee mini explosive gloves, I was wondering if this has been addressed elsewhere in other books. It was a revelation to me that M used TK in X-men, and now other TP users are borrowing from that pool.


      2. Monet, oddly enough, I don’t mind using TK – she’s always been so very random indeed, so I’ve never particularly felt her powerset’s definitely spelled out. Helps that she’d been trained by Gateway prior to Generation X, so she was already utterly comfortable with her powers; plus the fact she’s Emplate’s sister makes me suspect her powersets are uniquely fluid.

        That being said, though, the Cuckoos (which I gotta be honest I see as an editorial blunder!) do indeed seem to support the Psi Forest 🙂


      3. loz says:

        And Further more, if and when Emma’s powers return, will she also be able to use telekinesis?


      4. I think they’ve returned now, haven’t they? Iirc all of the mutants at the JGS were exposed to Beast’s anti-nanite strategy; apparently they’d have diarrhoea, but otherwise would be back to normal. Hmmm interestingly, though, if your psi-forest theory is correct, Emma won’t *necessarily* have TK – her ‘journey’ hasn’t been the same as the Cuckoos, meaning a clone may not get every power the original had, and may even get more…


  3. loz says:

    It’s still unclear as to whether the powers have returned. With the Axis stuff coming it might be a nice time for everyone to be at full power. I kind of miss Emma having her telepathy.


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