The Marvel Universe is divided in X-MEN BLUE #9. In another Secret Empire crossover, the issue features our titular heroes in a serious predicament. Emma Frost and her allies have made a deal with Hydra. As a result, they keep Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, and Angel captive since these members of the X-Men tried to compromise that deal. In the effort to rescue their teammates from confinement in New Tian, Jean Grey and Jimmy Hudson encounter more unexpected enemies. With a new ally in Polaris, Magneto’s daughter, and a new enemy in a mind-controlled Cyclops, the X-Men find themselves tested in a brand new capacity.

X-Men Blue #9
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Happy to See You Too

The issue commences with a confrontation between Polaris and Havok, characters who have proven to be fantastic additions to the series. An intense fight ensues between the two in which Polaris attempts to appeal to Havok’s empathy. Due to the history between them, Polaris maintains faith that Havok will revert sides. She is unsuccessful and ultimately defeats Havok in battle. Interestingly though, her hopes for Havok do not falter.

As this battle takes place, Jean and Jimmy manage to release their fellow X-Men teammates from their prisons, except for Cyclops. Unfortunately, Cyclops is under the mind control of Emma Frost. This challenge forces Jean Grey to push her powers further than she has before. She reaches into Cyclops’ mind, depicting various facets of his character in X-Men history, including the Cyclops of the Phoenix Five. With this, I enjoyed the execution of Jean Grey’s development by Cullen Bunn. She has truly grown as a leader in that she has become fearless. She stands up to the veteran Emma Frost with confidence and fortitude, and she succeeds.

READ: Missed the last issue? Check out our review for X-MEN BLUE #8 here!

Along with this, I enjoyed the reunion of the X-Men in this issue. Their team dynamic is filled with humor and chemistry, aspects that are present as they fight their way out of confinement. I also appreciate the focus on Angel, Beast, and Iceman that has been missing from previous issues. However, I would have liked to see Beast finally show off some of his magical abilities. I do believe though that future issues beyond X-MEN BLUE #9 will explore those skills.

x-men blue #9
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Art of X-MEN BLUE #9

Once again, the artistic team behind the series executes terrific work. Colorists Matt Milla and Irma Kniivila do an amazing job in paralleling a panel’s palette with the characters involved. Because of this, every character gets their moment to shine in their respective battle sequence. This ultimately depicts the prowess of characters who have not had the chance to truly engage in the action before X-MEN BLUE #9. Characters such as Angel, Cyclops, and Polaris respectively are depicted as intimidating forces who are in control of their unique abilities.

READ: Check out ComicsVerse’s exclusive list on five X-Men who deserve a solo comic book series!

The depiction of Cyclops in X-MEN BLUE #9 may be the standout of this issue’s artwork. Cory Smith and Thony Silas make his powers appear vast and intimidating. With this, I love their portrayal of the various versions of Cyclops, calling back to classic eras of his character. Though he is one of the most recognizable X-Men, Cyclops is often pushed to the side in a narrative. So, it is nice to see his character showcase his formidable nature through the narrative as well as the artwork.

The X-Men Will Return…

The crossover with the Secret Empire storyline has been an exciting addition to the X-MEN BLUE narrative. Because of the depths of Secret Empire and its effects on the X-Men, I am sure that storyline has yet to conclude. So, I look forward to seeing how the consequences of Secret Empire will continue to affect the world of the young X-Men. Also, the reveal of various revelations at the conclusion of this issue is sure to present unforeseen challenges.

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X-MEN BLUE #9 by Cullen Bunn, Cory Smith, Thony Silas, Matt Milla, and Irma Kniivila
Art
Characterization
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Summary
X-MEN BLUE #9 is an action-packed entry that manages to showcase the best of the series' characters.
90 %
An epic, thrilling work
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