Though X-MEN BLUE #5 focuses on an overall story arc for the series, the sixth issue features a return to form by focusing on a self-contained story. I have enjoyed the presence of these self-contained stories throughout the series, but the previous issue’s introduction of potential super-villain Miss Sinister made me wish X-MEN BLUE #6 focused more on that aspect.

Despite this, I enjoyed the depiction of the team’s youth once again, particularly all the sequences of them having genuine fun together. So, though this is not my favorite issue of the series thus far, writer Cullen Bunn succeeds again in capturing the humor and light-heartedness this young X-Men team exudes.

x-men blue #6
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

We’ll Always Have Madripoor

X-MEN BLUE #6 commences with Jean Grey being annoyed with Cyclops for spending so much time training with Magneto. Most members of the team are still suspicious about Magneto for obvious reasons. He does have a history of being the X-Men’s most notorious archenemy.

With this, we get a nice, albeit brief, moment of bonding between Jean and the new Wolverine, Jimmy, over their suspicions of Cyclops’ continuous, private training sessions with Magneto. They decide to go outside and explore the culture of Madripoor, a fictional island near Singapore, with Beast. Though Jimmy seems to be the most uptight, the trio actually enjoy their brief moments of freedom.

It is moments such as this one that establishes the tone of X-MEN BLUE. Sure, it is a series that focuses on the X-Men fighting crime and such, but the factor that makes the series distinct is the emphasis on these young characters and their burgeoning personalities. I must say, I missed Iceman’s presence in this issue. He contributes a great light-heartedness to the team that is lacking in his absence.

READ: Missed the last issue? Check out our review!

Unsurprisingly, it is not long before our uncanny X-Men encounter trouble. Jimmy grows suspicious of a group of people discussing a mutant growth hormone drug. Out of nowhere, a group of ninjas called the Raksha emerge to kill off these individuals involved with the drug’s distribution since they are allegedly using mutants to test the product. So, it seems like the Raksha are on our side, right?

x-men blue #6
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Revenge of the Raksha

The conclusion of X-MEN BLUE #6 is certainly humorous, though I found the subtle moments leading up to it to be amongst this issue’s highlights. Though the Raksha operate differently from the X-Men, they warn the X-Men of impending doom. Their enemies are about to strike mercilessly. So, they must be willing to work with others if they want a chance in being two steps ahead of the opposition. In this moment of narration, we get a glimpse into the current state of Miss Sinister and others the X-Men have faced off with thus far. These enemies seem calm and collected, calculating their next move. So, though X-MEN BLUE #6 takes a step back from the arc’s overall development, it throws in a few subtleties that imply something big is coming.

x-men blue #6
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

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It is also interesting to see the way this conflict between two teams fighting on the same side is handled. The resolution showcases the maturity of the X-Men as well as their devotion to defending mutant and human life.

The Many Hues of X-MEN BLUE #6

This issue features a transition in artists from Jorge Molina to Ray-Anthony Height, and the change is definitely noticeable. Though Height’s vivid and jaunty style fits the tone of the series, it appears less cohesive than Molina’s. I felt a little inconsistency in the character portrayals that is not so present in previous issues. Overall, I prefer Molina’s art, and not just because we share the same last name. I also would like to point out Arthur Adams’ consistently impressive cover artwork through this series.

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In Retrospect…

No, this is certainly not my favorite issue in the series, but it is not a disappointing one by far. It is fun, engaging, and includes enough references to the overall arc to maintain some mystery. I fervently hope that Iceman and Angel return soon because the team dynamic is what has made this series thrive. Despite this, it is nice to see Jean Grey embody her leadership role once again and grow into it. I hope to see her relationship with Jimmy grow, and see what comes out of her tension with Magneto. Ultimately, Cullen Bunn maintains consistency in the quality of each individual entry of X-MEN BLUE, and I look forward to seeing what he has in store for our young mutants.

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X-MEN BLUE #6 BY CULLEN BUNN AND RAY-ANTHONY HEIGHT
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though not the best entry of the series, X-MEN BLUE #6 is certainly an entertaining one.
82 %
Fun though slightly lackluster

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