Now that Secret Empire has mercifully relinquished X-Men: Blue to be its own comic book again, #10 finds the team trying to find their own way in the world now that they're back home.
Beast is trying to come to grips with his magical abilities while conferring with his mystical teacher. Iceman is training with Danger, and the relationship isn't going particularly well. Magneto is trying to convince his daughter, Polaris, to stay with his team. Angel and Jimmy Hudson are trying to figure out how the latter came into this world. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean Grey have a permanent psychic connection, and they must come to terms with this.
However, Beast's project may come to consume them all.
It is nice seeing this X-Men: Blue trying to get back into its own rhythm after the chaos that was Secret Empire. Cullen Bunn has a nice set of characters here, and he is a talented writer. He just needs space to work things out with this book.
I'll go ahead and say that the will-they-won't-they drama and sort-of love triangle between yet another Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine is beyond tiresome. I'm sorry; I never thought the old Scott and Jean were that compelling of a couple either. I definitely don't need a repeat of it with the son of the other hairy, clawed interloper making it a big deal for everyone.
That being said, the rest of the book remains compelling. Iceman trying to become the hero he was meant to be, Magneto and Polaris trying to form a bond, Angel and Jimmy seeking out his origins in 616, and Beast's new talents mixed with his guilt are fun to read about.
Magneto, Polaris, and Beast are the main plot points that catch my attention here. Bunn has a history of writing Magneto, and he seemed to have an affinity for making Erik Lensherr confront his youngest daughter, Lorna Dane. They have quite the complex past, and seeing the two trying to work their way to an understanding makes for good reading.
Meanwhile, Beast is a hot mess of stubbornness, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy. He's going through something interesting here, and it may yet come to a head for everyone with the arrival of his teacher (spoiler) the Goblin Queen arriving on X-Men: Blue campus.
The pacing is pretty admirable here, even if I'm not a fan of introducing the plot conflict at the end of an issue. The comic balances out the narratives of all the characters well, and, when it's time for the fighting to start, the reader can feel like some of these character issues have gotten somewhere.
Giovanni Valletta does some good work in this comic. He's very good at depicting detail. You can see how ragged Beast is by this point, the age on Magneto, and how unstable Iceman's powers still are on just a glance.
The color work of Guru eFX has always been solid, and it's eye-catching as ever in X-Men: Blue. There are a lot of dazzling displays of color giving life to the environment in these pages.
X-Men: Blue solidly earns itself a recommendation with its tenth issue. The team feels a bit different from issue one, even if some interpersonal problems haven't been solved since the beginning. However, the characters and their struggles manage to carry the book, and Valletta, Hanna, and eFX put together a visually appealing book. Grab this one next time you're at the comic shop.