Now let's check in with the younger versions of Marvel's first family of mutants, X-Men: Blue.
I was and still am very glad to see the X-Men back in force. Gold, Blue, and even Weapon X have been very strong titles so far. They have been consistently strong, and, even though the twice-a-month for $4 model is very annoying, I've yet to be disappointed by an entry in any series.
I'm really interested in Magneto taking the pseudo-Xavier role in this book. This isn't exactly a new idea, but with what the X-Men have been through in recent years (as well as the current sociopolitical climate), it's kind of refreshing to see a revolutionary persona leading the team. I do wish it had more of the Master of Magnetism, though, especially given that one of writer Cullen Bunn's previous Marvel series, Magneto, is one of my favorite comic series of all time. I want to see this creator work with the character more given his masterful storytelling with the character in the past.
The plot to X-Men Blue #4 is pretty straightforward. The X-Men have caught wind of a mutant in northern Colorado. They investigate to find a grisly killing of what turns out to be a former Wendigo, as well as a sheriff who is also searching for their quarry. It turns out to be Jimmy Hudson, son of Wolverine from the Ultimates universe, whom all-but Cyclops recognize from one of their adventures in Jimmy Hudson's world. They get into a vicious fight, where Hudson keeps accusing them of being a hunting party intent on capturing him. Just as they manage to knock him down and reason with him, a team calling themselves the New Marauders appears (who are presumably also from the Ultimates universe), claiming Jimmy Hudson as one of their own. The comic ends on their appearance.
The straightforwardness of the plot leaves this issue feeling a little threadbare. The vast majority of the runtime is spent searching for and fighting Jimmy Hudson. We don't get any clues as to what he is doing here until the so-called New Marauders appear. In addition, just starting with this new direction for the team only to have it be hijacked by Jimmy Hudson feels a little disappointing. Admittedly, I was never into the Ultimates comics, so maybe Jimmy Hudson is an interesting character. I wouldn't know.
The banter is still pretty enjoyable, with Iceman being in his usual comedic form. I enjoy his character quite a bit. Also, the joke about there being multiple Wolverines was pretty funny, considering Jimmy would make the third one running around in 616 right now.
The fight between the X-Men and Jimmy Hudson was fairly cool, particularly when Iceman manages to manifest a giant-sized ice shell and starts lumbering around like an icy Hulk.
The art is very good in this comic. Marvel is showing to have a talented pool of artists to tap into (despite their apparent disregard for their importance in recent history). There's a lot of detail, and everyone's powers are depicted in an awesome way. The eyes in particular are very expressive in Julian Lopez's artwork, and it's really cool.
I can't say that X-Men Blue #4 was a disappointment overall, but it didn't really impress. Very little happens in this issue, and that seems to be a dilemma that plagues twice-a-month comics from both Marvel and DC. It feels like the writers, even the really talented ones, need to pad out stories more to cope with the extra content they're having to put out. It's not a bad issue to pick up on, even if you are just starting the series, as it is still a pretty fun read. However, it's not one that is likely to impress many people.