The X-Men are out of there time, stuck far into the future in X-Men Blue #21. Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Jean Grey are displaced in the cosmos. Cyclops has found his father Corsair, but like all good comics, Corsair, a space pirate, has been kidnapped, and now the X-Men are searching for the lost father.
The X-Men are not alone. Their arch enemy, Magneto, has been training them in this new time, and the X-Men even have backup, Venom.
Walking into the Kariteth Spaceport, the X-Men get into a bar fight with ruffians who also use a symbiote like Venom, and they know where Cyclops’ dad is.
Ending the comic in a warehouse battling the symbiote arms dealer Haze Mancer, X-Men change the game, and strengthen their arsenal in the looming fight to come to save Corsair.
X-Men Blue #21 is another comic with daddy issues. Poor Cyclops just wants one more day with his dad before he gets transported back to his time. Now his dad is gone, and the kid is doing everything to save him. It sounds like the plot to a Mitch Albom book, but nope it’s the arc to this story. It’s been done many times before and will continue to be done, because no matter your age, we all connect to stories that relate to parental issues. It’s in our DNA, and we should expect the Daddy story line to be a constant in the comic universe.
As much as I disliked the undertones of parental longings, I did enjoy the comic for the entire old west vibe from the opening moment to the last scene. Opening the comic in a saloon and having a classic western shootout caught my attention and made me smile.
Not only did I think that these opening pages would go well with any John Wayne or Davy Crockett movie, I felt like that maybe writer Cullen Bunn had a great affinity for westerns, perhaps he could revitalize the genre. This iteration of the X-Men seemed more like the Magnificent Seven, as they ride around Kariteth Spaceport, looking for answers.
Every group needs to have a wild card, and Venom is certainly wild. From his first panel to the last, he steals the show and makes his time memorable. What makes me like Venom is that everything he says, and does, makes sense. His ability to get information for the X-Men results in some terrible acts, but Venom is the grounded realism that the X-Men are lacking in this far off world. Venom is the physical representation of what needs to be done, but we don’t do these things because they are wrong. Venom doesn’t see wrong, just what is necessary.
Artists Jacopo Camagni and Matt Milla have done an exceptional job in differentiating the timeline of the story with their choice of visuals and colors. Cyclops’ narrative is outlined in red, which on page one you don’t understand why but soon comprehend how it blends into the narrative. Plus, their representation of Venom is spectacular. The symbiote brute seems to stand out from everyone else. He is gargantuan in size and attitude and Camagni and Milla captured these qualities with the dark shade of Venom’s suit and his positioning next to every character. Venom always stands out, in physicality and personality.
X-Men Blue #21 is a fine comic, predictable with a storyline used countless times over, but the subtle homage to most western movies made me enjoy the book, and I look forward to seeing what writer Cullen Bunn has to offer in future issues.