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X-men Blue follows Marvel Girl and her team of time displaced X-Men as they try to prove themselves as heroes in a world ravaged by the war between Mutant and Man. For those who didn’t catch the look at X-Blue #7 you can find it here. We left off with our heroes battered, beaten and incarcerated within Emma Frost’s stronghold in New Tian.

We rejoin the story with Jimmy and Jean digging themselves out of the wreckage of the battle from issue #7. Jean managed to telepathically mask both herself and Jimmy from the other mutants, begging the question why only her and Jimmy? Why wasn’t she able to mask the others? Also, and more importantly, how comes the other mutants left them behind? They knew they were present in the fight and must know that they’re without doubt the hardest of the X-Men to kill. The pair are swiftly rescued by the Blackbird that has been tracking the others since they were taken, leaving the two a little dumb-struck. You’d think after everything a talking plane wouldn’t be all that surprising…

Catching up with Scott and the ice queen herself, we are greeted to what can only be described as a frosty reception (see what I did there?), resulting an a futile attempt to laser blast her pretty little arse. It appears Emma’s powers have also been enhanced and coupled with the power dampener around Scott’s neck she appears to have no trouble bending people to her will.

While this is going on, Bobby, Angel and Hank are in a separate cell talking about how they’re going to get out of there. Hank gets a little dark when he says that he’s making a mental list of the “meanest spells” he knows to release them on whoever put them in there. If he doesn’t end up turning evil at some point and trying to kill his friends I’m going to be very surprised.

Briar, who got briefly introduced to us last issue, is treated to some kind of penthouse apartment while her friends sit in solitude. Apparently she’s packing enough hardware installed in her head to go one on one with Frost’s mental manipulation skills and come out on top. Just what Frost wants with her remains to be seen, except that she may be a useful bargaining chip against Magneto and the X-Men. She does get a little flirty with Havoc as well which could lead to some interesting developments later on!

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Speaking of Magneto though, we get our first look at the guy in a couple of issues and… well he has the Red Skull’s skull in a box. He appears to have made some kind of promise to the Red Skull to stay out of Hydra’s way and not interfere with New Tian and it’s government, at least not personally. His true goals and motives are ever steeped in mystery and I get the feeling they will remain that way for quite some time!

Jimmy and Jean arrive in New Tian thanks to the Blackbird and promptly stage a two-mutant assault on the keep. Unsurprisingly they’re met with heavy resistance by Wolfsbane, Firestar and Marrow and are then very quickly overwhelmed and almost defeated until the X-Men burst out of nowhere to save them. Turns out the Blackbird has a few tricks up its sleeve and is actually Danger, a physical robot form of the danger room computer.

Wading into the battle surrounded by an army of holographic X-Men it quickly turns the tide of the battle and allows Jimmy and Jean to haul arse inside to meet Havoc. He gets to spend a full thirty seconds gloating before being knocked for 6 by Polaris, Magneto’s daughter, who makes a pretty dramatic entrance (emphasis on the “pretty”).

We’re given a “To be continued” so hopefully issue #9 will yield some answers to some of the burning questions, but as is Marvel’s nature, don’t expect too much too soon. What is great to see is the artists seem to have settled into their stride now and really made the character designs their own. Polaris being portrayed as the polar opposite to Jean, at least in design. However it’s Danger’s design that steals the show with some immaculate detailing to her design, even in the brief look we get at her, although Jean is still missing her freckles.

The topic of secondary mutations arises again but Hank being focused on bringing pain to his captors doesn’t seem too bothered by the idea at the moment. It’s undoubtedly going to mature into quite an interesting plot thread, especially seeing Wolfsbane utilising his full-pack ability again. Hopefully Miss Sinister plays into it somewhere down the line but again only time will tell!

Until next time, True Believers!

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X-Men Blue #8
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A run in with a Nintendo 64 one fateful evening gave me an inexplicable power to untangle any wire and clear any game cartridge of dust. Powers that are little use in this day of wireless technology and digital media downloads....