Well, after the week since the release of X-Men Gold #1 and the controversy that the book and big ResurrXion relaunch found itself mired in, it's easy to see how the other books part of this relaunch could find themselves lost in the kerfuffle.
It would be a massive shame, not just because this relaunch has had most of the X-Men fandom excited for some time, but also because X-Men Blue #1 by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matteo Buffagni and Matt Milla is, for me at least, the best book released so far.
X-Men Gold certainly presented an exciting new direction for the merry mutants whilst also presenting a kind of progressive nostalgia, but it's X-Men Blue that feels most like a classic X-Men story. Between the team bantering and arguing like a family, the big action, the intrigue – all of it feels like classic X-Men story-telling, and its much to Bunn's credit.
That is not to say the book is perfect. It's no secret that I have overall not been the biggest fan of the teen Original Five in current continuity (especially when there are so many other teen X-Men and mutant characters who get little to no 'screen time' these days), and there is a point in this issue, which we covered on Bleeding Cool already, which kind of illustrates why.
It's pretty well known that Marvel takes a sliding timeline approach to their in-continuity history. But part of the problem of bringing characters from the past to the present is it really highlights this in a way, and it doesn't always work. In this case, having characters discuss something that so clearly dates them in such a way that their adult counterparts should be MUCH older than represented – it just creates confusion, especially for long time fans and continuity buffs, and even for new readers who may get slightly taken out of the narrative to be a bit like 'Hey, when did these guys come from?'.
All New X-Men supposedly answered the question of why the O5 can't return home, and the team seem to have accepted it. But to be honest, that answer really only feels like half the answer, and that they don't question it (especially Beast) feels odd. I hope that as the series continues, this will be touched on again and given a more definitive and complete answer to how they can stick around.
Similarly, the final page reveal of the main story didn't really work, as it was advertised and solicited from the very beginning that this team are working with Magneto. That it was then built to a reveal in the issue fell a little flat, because Marvel spoiled this from the very beginning. What is intriguing is the team's remit, and it will certainly be interesting to see how Magneto and the team arrived at this decision for mission.
All this being said, the characters interact well, and are written like actual teens, and it feels amazing for that. Helped by Molina's art that also makes the teens look like actual teens, the series is fun, vibrant and exciting from the get-go.
Personally, I cannot wait to read more, and that this is including the teen O5 that is saying something. This series has the classic feel but still feels fresh and has enough exciting possibility for development that it could really become something, with a creative team who seem just made for making awesome comics.
And hey, no hidden hate speech in sight at all!