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X-Men #4

by Tori B. on August 24, 2013

A little tie over issue to bridge us between the last arc and Battle of the atom, gives readers a share of something sweet, something dramatic, and all around action packed, X-Men style.
Writer: Brian Wood | Artists: David Lopez, Cam Smith, Cris Peter
Cover: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson | Publisher: Marvel
 Arkea has been dealt with for the time being, and before the Battle of the Atom starts, Wood gives us a light issue, setting the tone of where the X-Men are at and how they plan to move forward. It starts off pretty sweetly on a sunny beach scene in Santa Monica with Jubilee, her baby boy Shogo—whose one sound vocabulary is still adorable and not yet tiresome, and Wolverine in oddly calm (and slightly nostalgic) mood. But it’s split nicely, before it gets too cheesy and overboard with the nice feelings between Jubilee and Wolverine, it cuts to the rest of the X-Men as they’re on a mission to save a failing aircraft. It seems like a simple enough task for a group of five superwomen but it apparently isn’t as easy as that.
This is where Wood’s talent comes into play. A lot of their problems are based not on outside obstacles but from within and much of it comes simply just what they’re saying to each other. I’m thankful that there’s two storylines playing because if either of them had tried to hold an entire issue on its own it would be boring and annoying respectively.
It’s cute to see Jubilee and Wolverine being rather domestic with each other as they reminisce on Jubilee and how she’s changed from the teen we saw at the mall being taken down by M Squad to the young woman we know now whose plans are to raise a baby boy all on her own, but it’s also a little off putting to see Wolverine smiling so much, of course he has a paternal instinct around Jubilee, but if there’s one thing Wolverine does best… (it’s not nostalgia but being a grump and having the occasional berserker rage). Cue to the other X-Ladies to add some drama to an otherwise tame story. Rachel is having problems with Storm apparently and nearly verges on eye-roll worthy catfight territory. But Wood saves face keeping it appropriately short enough and doses readers with scenes of Rogue, Kitty, and Psylocke being nothing short of awesome instead. Though what Wood does show in his interaction between Rachel and Ororo is prowess with words, and how his choice of words and conversation are extremely intentional and are certainly not something to be merely skimmed over, which truly adds dimension to the medium.
But back to Rogue, Kitty, and Psylocke, which are easily the best parts of the issue. Despite Storm’s tenure and default leadership role within the X-Men team she still doesn’t feel much like an X-Men, argument with Rachel pertaining, but the other three ladies, without a doubt feel like true X-Men, they way they just get out and do what needs to be done and look breathtaking while they do it. Seeing Rogue does make me miss Coipel’s perfect penciling to the series (no one has drawn Rogue with the same sass Jim Lee gave her, but Coipel has gotten the closest), but Lopez’s art certainly isn’t an eyesore although the way he draws close-ups on faces isn’t my favourite (for females their faces are almost a little to masculine looking for my tastes?), but overall the art is solid enough and definitely doesn’t detract from the story being told.
For a filler issue, it’s pretty solid, with a story that’s not too heavy but still interesting that no one should be dropping the series before we get into Battle of the Atom here.  

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