What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Men #8! last issue of X-Men was a big one because that was a captivating exploration of a tradition spawned from the Resurrection Protocols. Some looked at the Crucible and quickly labelled this iteration of the mutants as a cult, and they couldn’t have been more wrong. It was a powerful embrace given to what it means to be a mutant. If you are a mutant, you own that! After an issue like that? I was ready for whatever came next.
That even meant whatever this issue was going to turn into given what the New Mutants were supposed to accidentally bring along with them. Truthfully, I had to do a double take when I read the synopsis for this issue. I wasn’t sure if I was reading an X-Men issue, or a New Mutants issue. Though technically what’s the different, right? There was no problem with this when these Dawn of X books should here and there strive to progress along the same timeline. As in what affects one book should have the possibility of affecting another one. I think we all had some idea that the New Mutants were going to bring some trouble back with them regardless, but who would have guessed what form that would actually take? You read the Brood, the Shi’ar, the Starjammers, and even the Imperial Guard. However, there was only one name there that you truly had to fear. I mean, when was the last time anyone had an encounter with the Brood?
That was the big question, and the answer was not at all what you were prepared for! This development was actually bold on the part of Hickman because every week and month he is proving to us that there is no bracing yourself for what the Krakoans are going to deal with. How can you when running into a new danger is as simple as taking an expedition into space and bringing back the wrong kind of souvenir? First off, I did find it a bit troubling that no one thought it was a bad idea to take something so random back with them, but this is a team that has never experienced life out there to know any better.
Nonetheless, it was exciting to see what could come of the Brood becoming a problem again. More than that was the way that the Summers family stepped up to the plate when crap hit the fan. Some might say that it is a bit strange how this book centers around them, but at the same time we have never seen their family so connected like this. For me, it was awesome to see Cyclops in action alongside Magik as Commander and Captain. They made the first confrontation with the Brood memorable.
What also made this a good issue was the fact that having the New Mutants involved created some entertainment. They thrive in a bit of chaos. So all this dirt they kicked up was surprisingly right up their alley.
From the flip of the first page, what this issue had going for it more than anything else was a change in art team. I think most readers will be excited for Mahmud Asrar taking over pencils. This is not to say the penciler we have before was bad, but not too many would say that was the right fit. This is a story where we need proper expression from these characters. Both through what is written on their faces, and through their actions. What we were getting before was too stiff despite the brilliant detail put forth into every scene. Asrar remedied that coming in with the same level of attention to detail, full renderings of the settings, and action scenes which were met with a better flow. As for Sunny Gho on colors, This was something that was already working because Gho offers a beautiful pallete of colors which bring out the natural wonders of both the island and the cosmic universe. There was one place which stood out more than most for the colors used, and that was the Brood spawning zone. Gho nailed the right tones which would make you uneasy about the way they live.
If it’s not hate groups trying to get a piece of the pie, apparently there’s always a chance of Brood raining from the sky! X-Men #8 marked the start of something exhilarating. When you create a problem which involved the Shi’ar, Imperial Guard, and Brood? You go big or go home. This creative team went big for what madness the New Mutants dropped on Krakoa’s doorstep.