What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Men #6! X-Men #5 was worth the wait for the new danger set-up through that chapter. Though it seems that the dangers do not end there. Some things are never finished turning their wheels to fight back the progression of the new mutant sovereignty. Strange that they have decided to focus on a different storyline entirely from the issue before, though one that should open up to some new plot points down the road.
Off the bat I welcomed the fact that this issue took the time to address the matter that is Mystique. It goes without saying that she has been one of the boldest additions to the mutant ranks in Krakoa. Not because these days she is full on villain, but because she is also someone who has the tendency to go after her own desires. As we know from the HoX/PoX storyline, her cooperation apparently did not come without Xavier meeting some demands of hers beforehand. We know what her demand was, but the question is how that turned out for Mystique. Did she actually get what she wanted? Was what she wanted actually satisfactory for her?
Before we get into that, let’s talk about what we didn’t see in the first issue. We saw one thing, when there was a whole different outcome entirely which played out behind the scenes. I found this very clever because so much clarity was given towards the danger the mutants still face and why that future seems to be set in stone. This issue reaffirmed everything formidable about Mystique, and the lengths she is willing to go to get her slice of what Krakoa is supposed to offer everyone.
That said, time was also spent well addressing the other matter. That being the idea that these ORCHID scientists would ever stop trying to set their mutant doomsday plan in motion. I mean credit where it is due, this one right here has been their most ambitious project. One which goes so far as to harness the energy and resources of distant planets to create weapons, bases, defense systems. All the things they could never get away with on Earth. It was great that at the same time we could see where their heads are at after the destruction they faced at the hands of the X-Men in the first issue. It goes without saying that one does not experience a setback the way they did and there not be some things to explore about their states of mind currently.
Considering the critique of the previous issues of the X-Men’s interior artwork, it was refreshing to switch things up to the team of Matteo Buffagni and Sunny Gho. There is a small similarity to the visuals, probably because Matteo uses almost the same pencil strokes and gets into the same level of depth in his renders of scenes. However, what stands out immediately is that there is more life put into his characters. This right here is the difference maker when selling us on more of the emotional and key moments. It also helped that Matteo is the kind of artist who makes great use of perspective to add emphasis to certain reactions from characters. This goes a long way with characters like Xavier too. Sometimes you have to get a bit creative when he wears that big helmet which covers most of his expressions. Gho’s colors also did add that sense of familiarity, and I do always say that it benefits if at the very least you try to keep the same colorist for a book. Much of the colors were of a darker shade, but you could still see where he was able to squeeze out an impressive range of depth to them. Especially when it came to the intricate design of the ORCHID bases and internal structures.
If anyone had any doubts about the detour we took with this issue, rest assured that by the end of this issue you will find that X-Men #6 is a game changer. To Mystique goes to extraordinary lengths to get what she wants was one heck of an understatement. You would not have expected one like this so soon in the story, but here this creative team is dropping it right on our laps. Mystique has set a dangerous game in motion, and one which could have been prevented if there were not so much mystery behind a future for mutantkind so few have seen with their own eyes.