Civil War II: X-Men #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Andrea Broccardo
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Cover: Greg Land & Jay Leisten
As with any major event that takes place in Marvel if it doesn’t directly involve the X-Men you can be assured they will be showing up at some point. Well with Civil War II happening the few remaining mutants are now involved but this conflict is one that runs much deeper than what’s presented on the surface.
Magneto and his team have crashed a party where a few privileged mutants have protected themselves from an oncoming wave of Terrigen mists. These self righteous mutants don’t take kindly to the party crashers and much less the company of average mutants they bring in to save from the oncoming mists. However there is a surprise Sentinel attack that compromises the building which would allow the Terrigen inside but a timely arrival from Storm’s team helps to shift the odds. It’s this arrival that sparks some questions and Magneto doesn’t like the answers.
Ever since it was revealed that the Terrigen mist was killing and sterilizing mutants there have been plenty of questions asked. Cullen Bunn has Magneto ask these questions and his anger drives much of the stronger areas of the story. He feels the mists are a direct attack against mutantkind especially since it seems as if the Inhumans aren’t attempting to stop the mists even when they know what it’s doing to mutants as it rolls across the planet. Storm has another point of view about this and while Bunn explores her side briefly it’s a little weak after Magneto’s tirade. So now we have a civil war happening inside of another civil war. Superhero Inception anyone?
Now it was confusing to see that Cerebra shows up but does absolutely nothing during the fight. Having a 50ft tall Sentinal on your side would have been very helpful during the fight with the other Prime Sentinals. Why have the character there and be the only member of the team that was non essential to the story? Seeing Nightcrawler back to a semblance of the character he used to be was one of the finer moments in this issue. He’s been dealing with some trauma over in Extraordinary X-Men so this was a nice change of pace. Bunn reminds you why Nightcrawler is the heart of the team with the brief interactions between him and Psylocke and while attempting to talk sense to Old Man Logan. Even the twist at the end was great because you know it’s genuine which adds to the shock factor.
The issue has some strong visuals with Andrea Broccardo’s art moving the story along. The action sequences take up much of the issue and those are filled with X-Men ripping through Sentinels and saving people. So it’s what fans like to see when a large cast of their favorite mutants are showing up in a comic. However, there were some weird inconsistencies with Psylocke as she would go from a solid athletic build to a super skinny fighter with odd proportions. Other things that were unsettling visually had more to do with costume design and not the art itself. Storm’s entire new outfit still annoys me and Iceman is wearing strange goggles now. Though it was a creative visual touch to have certain parts of Magneto’s costume light up only when he’s using his powers and it helps to add something to the intensity of the action in the panel.
As usual some might not like the twist at the end and that’s a good thing. It does add another layer to the entire conflict and personalizes it for the mutants on a different level. Bunn has started something here that makes for an actual X-Men story that has potential impact. Something the fans haven’t had in a while so it will be great if he can stick the landing with this one.