It’s Just Good Business: Reviewing ‘Immortal X-Men’ #6
by Scott Redmond
‘Immortal X-Men’ dances through the lines when it comes to providing a solid Judgement Day tie-in and moving its own series and character plotlines, further along, setting up for what comes next. It is a gorgeous and colorful series with heavy darkness surrounding it befitting the morally diverse set of characters that populate the Quiet Council and whose minds we get a glimpse into each month.
Immortal X-Men continues to solidly walk the fine line of being the book that delves deeper into the Quiet Council of Krakoa (keeping up the singular character narration) while also standing as a solid companion piece to the big Judgement Day event series.
Kieron Gillen uses the book to sort of weave in pieces that we’ve seen from the event that he is also writing but also other moments that expand upon what we see in that book. In that main series, we saw that Sinister raised the alarm about attacking the new Celestial and the X-Men jumped at the chance which led to massive destruction except it was all an illusion. Here we get a deeper dive into the conversation between Sinister and Destiny and now the precog went about manipulating the vote by taking what she knows about each member of the council to gauge how they would vote. Not to mention leaving out some of the facts about the potential cost of the destruction.
It was interesting to see and hear about whom some of the council encountered during the judgment visions that came to them from the very judgmental Celestial known as the Progenitor. After a while, though we finally get into the mind of Shaw, who is taking the turn as the council member in the spotlight, and we get a lot of his thoughts about the council, his fellows on the council, and how he works his own manipulations within the realm of knowing what his fellows will allow because of his history.
One of the great things about how Gillen handles the shifting spotlight is that the characters are who they are, there is nothing being done to really sand rough edges or make the unlikeable more likable. Shaw is a loathsome character, and we still see that from him here, and even exploring his backstory more brings no sympathy but brings more clarification to why he is the way that he is in some cases.
After two issues away, during which Michele Bandini stepped in to do wonderful work, Lucas Werneck is back on the series alongside colorist David Curiel. Issues such as this really showcase why Werneck is one of Marvel’s latest class of artists that they call Stormbreakers. Just a truly tremendous artist who brings detailed gorgeous life to everything on the pages whether it’s small character moments or big action or horrific moments or just pure emotional ones. Emotions are clear and tangible on the pages, we feel them radiating off, because of well-done facial expressions and body language. All of the big action moments are smooth and move around the pages like they have a life of their own, with such weight and depth.
Curiel has such a lush color palate that brings a different life to various environments. I love how the council space is colorful but also has an almost clinical or sterile feeling to it, as this is a workspace wherein some folks (many of them shifty and out for themselves) are making dire decisions as the self-proclaimed authority of this new nation. Where the bright or lush colors come into play is the bright green nature behind them that stands in opposition to who and what the people in the room are/do, as well as the costuming that many of them choose to wear that speaks to brighter things of the past.
Beyond that there are also weight and a bit of heaviness to the coloring aspects, bringing to bear many of the darker colors and shadows to play, as well as some of the more dire pages filled with hellfire or foreboding energy.
Another place where the energy comes to play is in the lettering that comes once more from Clayton Cowles, as there are little quirks and changes made to the dialogue which conveys so much. From loud anger to pettiness to whispered secrets, Clayton does what needs to be done to make sure that tone or volume, or intent is clear on the page. One thing that helps is the great use of sentence case for the dialogue that makes it so that one can go all caps for yelling easily (as well as an increased font) or shrink it down even more for a whisper. While there is nothing inherently visually done to the lettering, Shaw’s captions just feel like they are dripping with passive-aggressive sarcasm and anger as one would expect, so this is what is heard when reading the dialogue.
Immortal X-Men #6 is now available from Marvel Comics.