Everyone loves a good mystery, and in an ongoing comic, it’s great for driving the story. In X-Men #6 though, the mystery is not what you might expect.
It’s a big issue for the beginning of the relaunched series’ second arc. After this issue it’ll be fascinating to see where it goes. It comes from Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles.
Captain Krakoa is New York’s newest hero, and the newest member of the X-Men. Not everyone is happy about that though, especially not Cyclops, and not for the reason you may think. Meanwhile, Sunfire stands ready to defend Arakko as Orchis’ space explorer Feilong arrives in the orbit of the red planet once known as Mars!
This issue does nothing but subvert expectations, and in doing so, Duggan, Larraz and Gracia give us the best issue of the series to date. It’s exactly the shot in the arm the series needed.
First of all, by giving us just a brief introduction to Captain Krakoa, then focusing most of the plot on Sunfire and Feilong, the mystery gets to linger in our minds while this action scene goes on. But that’s also accompanied by a strong focus on Sunfire that the character has frankly needed, and a huge amount of plot progression. Those parts of the issue are also strongly tied to the rest of the X-Line, creating a great sense of continuity.
But then, we reach the twist. Captain Krakoa is actually Cyclops, More specifically, he’s Scott Summers disguised in a way that the team can bury Orchis’s plot to unmask Krakoan resurrection, while turning things on their head a bit. From the last few pages, especially in Larraz’ depiction of Cyclops, this is clearly shattering Scott’s spirits as he puts on the charade.
And speaking of Larraz, he does absolutely beautiful work in this issue, alongside Gracia. There is more than one panel that’s a framable work of art on its own, and that’s while Larraz continues with his fantastic sense of storytelling. The fight between Sunfire and Feilong starts as a subdued argument that was fascinating to read, and then it shifted as Arakko’s Vornak entered the picture. That’s not even looking at Scott Summers’ journey through this issue, with him earning adulation as a Superman-like figure, while Larraz depicts how broken and despondent he is when he drops the image-inducer.
I was starting to fall on the fence before this story. Now, with all these plot elements in play, I’m back in again, just to see it all come together, if for nothing else.
X-Men #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.
Through some non-linear storytelling and subverting expectations, the creative team puts in their best issue yet. It’s gorgeous, with smart writing, and some interesting twists and turns for this series and the X-Men line as a whole.