What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Men #10! I can’t say I wasn’t caught off guard that one of the dangers the mutants would have to deal with in this new world is Brood-related. Though nonetheless it was exciting to see how they could handle such a situation. Moving onto this new issue, I was definitely on the fence about it. Though only because Marvel of course could not do an event like Empyre without finding some way for the X-Men to tie into it. As a tie-in that I’m also not really invested in, I found myself worried that this would be a waste to pick up if it risks taking us away from things more important to explore.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to feel like I was missing something. I would have hoped they would have eased us into whatever was happening out there, but you flip to the first page and suddenly find yourself struck with something unfolding that was very vague. This was the kind of problem I hoped that a writer like Hickman could avoid, because these days I tend to have high expectations for tie-in stories. Mainly for the fact that creative teams should be able to tackle these without losing readers in the process. It doesn’t take much to go that extra distance to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Meaning putting in the effort to make sure that even if you have no idea what is going on in said event, you at least know how it is affecting the book. I couldn’t really say that was me. As much as I enjoy Hickman’s writing, I feel like his vision for whatever was happening here didn’t help me see any investment long-term until things go back to normal.
I even expected in this issue that there would would be a focus on the Summers family as a whole. You know, since even on the cover they showed the whole family. So here I was surprised that they were only trying to focus on Vulcan. The one member of the Summers family who doesn’t always make sense himself. You can see where I’m going with this right? At a point, they were pretty much just layering one development after the next which stirred more questions than actually immersed you in the story.
Even when it came to these new neighbors who have moved in on the moon, just a page explaining exactly who they were would have gone a long way. I didn’t know anything about them to really care who they were, what they wanted with the moon, or how their plans actually targeted Earth. They want to destroy Earth? Well get in line! Because there are plenty of enemies who want to do away with that planet for one reason or another. Heck, I couldn’t even find myself caring about this mysterious third-party who seem to be the ones trying to pull Vulcan’s strings. Now maybe that might go somewhere good, but that would just be one of many things which just did not stick.
The interior work was solid from Leinil Francis Yu and Sunny Gho. If there was a problem with the visuals, it was more of the same from previous issues. That being the lack of expressiveness which goes into these characters. Vulcan is a character who tends to be a tortured soul, but it was hard to really see that through that stiff expression he gives us. Now aside from that, the scenery as usual was phenomenal. Where Yu does seem to be lacking with characters, there is no denying that his work with environments, organic structures, and most things natural are brilliant. And the same can be said for Gho who has a stunning pallete which brings out all of those natural elements.
At the end of the day, I think I might have to pass on anything X-Men related that has to do with Empyre. I wanted to get to the end of this issue and say that this might be worth sticking with if you aren’t following the events of Empyre, but the sad truth is that it may not be.