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Toil and Trouble

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The X-Men are caught up in the epic Secret Empire event! But what does the new landscape of the Marvel Universe mean for mutantkind? How will Jean, Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman survive in a world dominated by Hydra? And what exactly does Magneto have up his sleeve? COLLECTING: X-MEN: BLUE 7-12


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The X-Men are caught up in the epic Secret Empire event! But what does the new landscape of the Marvel Universe mean for mutantkind? How will Jean, Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman survive in a world dominated by Hydra? And what exactly does Magneto have up his sleeve? COLLECTING: X-MEN: BLUE 7-12

30 review for Toil and Trouble

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    The first half of this book was the inevitable Secret Empire tie-in. The second half dealt with the terrible results of Hank's dabbling with sorcery. Neither was great to be honest; I've given this three stars but I'm rounding up from two and a half. I'm hoping for more from the next volume. The first half of this book was the inevitable Secret Empire tie-in. The second half dealt with the terrible results of Hank's dabbling with sorcery. Neither was great to be honest; I've given this three stars but I'm rounding up from two and a half. I'm hoping for more from the next volume.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    The first half of the book is a Secret Empire crossover. Mutants have their own fascist state now in California. It's never fully explained why so many X-Men are acting out of character. Secondary mutations are reintroduced. (Wolfbane's is really dumb. She now has razor claws and can turn into a entire pack of wolves which makes no sense.) My frustration with these crossovers is there's never enough explained to know what's going on unless you've read the main title (and sometimes additional min The first half of the book is a Secret Empire crossover. Mutants have their own fascist state now in California. It's never fully explained why so many X-Men are acting out of character. Secondary mutations are reintroduced. (Wolfbane's is really dumb. She now has razor claws and can turn into a entire pack of wolves which makes no sense.) My frustration with these crossovers is there's never enough explained to know what's going on unless you've read the main title (and sometimes additional miniseries). And then the next issue, it's like it never happened. In the second half of the book, Hank's flirtation with magic bites him in the ass. The no personality Goblin Queen returns with her supernatural minion versions of the X-Men. Meanwhile Jimmy and Angel investigate Jimmy's origins and we get some lead-in to the "mothervine" story line that I presume will be happening in the next trade. These stories are OK, but they tend towards just big slugfests. I'd like to see some character advancements or at least some B plots. The art here is also not that great. Cory Smith's art looks hurried in places and I've never even heard of the two guys on the Goblin Queen arc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    I'm a big fan of Cullen Bunn. He excels at telling horror stories set in rural southern settings. His X-Men? At best it's a meh. Now many things have changed since I last ran into the X-Men. Captain America is a Hydra agent *sighs* (How fucking stupid is that?) and Magneto is in a state of detente with the Hydra America. Meanwhile, the X-men (the original young versions) fight Emma Frost. For some reason Beast is now a mage, a few older X-men (Nightcrawler, Storm, etc) are some weird vampire thi I'm a big fan of Cullen Bunn. He excels at telling horror stories set in rural southern settings. His X-Men? At best it's a meh. Now many things have changed since I last ran into the X-Men. Captain America is a Hydra agent *sighs* (How fucking stupid is that?) and Magneto is in a state of detente with the Hydra America. Meanwhile, the X-men (the original young versions) fight Emma Frost. For some reason Beast is now a mage, a few older X-men (Nightcrawler, Storm, etc) are some weird vampire things in the service of the Goblin Queen (Maddie Pryor) who is summoning her sisters to do evil shit. Ummm...Storm changes sides (she's still a mutant vampire thing) and joins the X-men. Oh yeah there's a Wolverine knock off and it's not the chick knock-off (X-53? X-23? some stupid shit like that) and is apparently Logan's "son"? Ok then. Hey comic writers- taking old characters and replacing them with some "new" version is NOT creative, NOT clever, NOT terribly convincing in terms of the character (unless you're 12 and forget the 30 some years of established characters) that is created. So I'd rate this comic the same as my review- a 2 star meh of a comic. Not terrible but by no means that good. This "reality" desperately needs a reboot. It pretty much sucks.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Molly™☺

    40% | D+ | Meh "Are you certain no one trailed you right back to this secret lair full of very, very pricey equipment?" The Secret Empire tie in as well as a huge mistake by Beast which sees the team fighting off the Goblin Queen and her small, but powerful, army I didn't really keep up with the Secret Empire story line (whoops), so the first part of the volume, whilst still being understandable, held no weight for me in the long run. A lot of characters who I never assumed had the same goals and a 40% | D+ | Meh "Are you certain no one trailed you right back to this secret lair full of very, very pricey equipment?" The Secret Empire tie in as well as a huge mistake by Beast which sees the team fighting off the Goblin Queen and her small, but powerful, army I didn't really keep up with the Secret Empire story line (whoops), so the first part of the volume, whilst still being understandable, held no weight for me in the long run. A lot of characters who I never assumed had the same goals and ambitions team up and it's never explained why they are on the same side here. Maybe those who have read all of the crossover content will get more out of it, but I personally feel like I could have skipped the whole first section. The second part is about Hank's magic going wrong which is another meh storyline. I'm not a fan of the whole magic angle they went for and the Goblin Queen is not a good villain. A bit of a let down which will hopefully pick back up when it's not tied down by mandatory crossovers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    A collection of two stories. The first is set during Secret Empire and it focuses on the Original 5 resisting the fascist state of Tian. It bounces off of a big company crossover in the best way, by using it as the background to tell its own story. And, it's a successful one: Bunn offers a great look at where Emma Frost is now, continues on with character threads from his Magneto comic, and generally produces an exciting and interesting arc. [4/5] The second sadly reverts to the same pablum we've A collection of two stories. The first is set during Secret Empire and it focuses on the Original 5 resisting the fascist state of Tian. It bounces off of a big company crossover in the best way, by using it as the background to tell its own story. And, it's a successful one: Bunn offers a great look at where Emma Frost is now, continues on with character threads from his Magneto comic, and generally produces an exciting and interesting arc. [4/5] The second sadly reverts to the same pablum we've been getting from the X-office ever since Secret Wars . We get more on the Goblin Queen, an entirely two-dimensional villain, and the long fights just don't add up to much. The only saving grace of this arc is the completion of a very annoying young-Beast story that's been running for a while [3/5]. Meaning that in the end, volume 2 ends up with about 3.5 stars, which is good as the X-office does on its X-team titles nowadays. Still, it's better than Gold. (Coming up next: a crossover with Gold.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Review - https://youtu.be/OdlGGWX-MxY Review - https://youtu.be/OdlGGWX-MxY

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    [Read as single issues] Secret Empire rocks the X-Men (because no one is safe from Marvel's event tidal wave), and then Beast's magical exploits come back to bite him in the ass, bringing the Goblyn Queen into the action too. They aren't kidding about that 'we hope you survive the experience!' thing, are they? X-Men Blue remains the stronger of the two X-books in this second volume. The character dynamics are much more interesting and explored much better than in Gold, and not just because the tea [Read as single issues] Secret Empire rocks the X-Men (because no one is safe from Marvel's event tidal wave), and then Beast's magical exploits come back to bite him in the ass, bringing the Goblyn Queen into the action too. They aren't kidding about that 'we hope you survive the experience!' thing, are they? X-Men Blue remains the stronger of the two X-books in this second volume. The character dynamics are much more interesting and explored much better than in Gold, and not just because the team was already more closely knit to start with. Following up on Beast's magical experiments feeds directly from the last All-New X-Men series, and even Secret Empire manages not to be a total turd as it brings some fan favourite characters back into the fold to help the X-Men save themselves (plus Emma Frost, who should be in all the X-books all the time). The art is where Blue tends to fall down a little compared to the other title. Corey Smith takes the Secret Empire issues, and they're not as polished as his work has been previously; I feel like he was rushing to meet Blue's twice-monthly deadline, especially when you compare this to his Nova run, or his work on the Clone Conspiracy: Omega. The magical storyline gets Gionvanni Valletta and Douglas Franchin, both of whom I've never heard of but didn't make any lasting impressions, unfortunately. I think if you squashed X-Men Gold and X-Men Blue into one big book, it'd be something really special. Unfortunately for now Blue stays ahead of the pack, but still doesn't quite reach as high as it could.

  8. 4 out of 5

    47Time

    I've had enough. If I end up skimming through a comic, I just know it sucks ass. The US was claimed for Hydra by their leader, the doppleganger Captain America. Emma Frost and Xorn negotiated for San Francisco to be a mutant haven they named New Tian. The place turned to fascism when outspoken mutants and humans were targeted for mental conditioning. The X-Men decided to intervene. (view spoiler)[Most of the team is captured, with Jean and Jimmy presumed dead, but the two survived. While Emma trie I've had enough. If I end up skimming through a comic, I just know it sucks ass. The US was claimed for Hydra by their leader, the doppleganger Captain America. Emma Frost and Xorn negotiated for San Francisco to be a mutant haven they named New Tian. The place turned to fascism when outspoken mutants and humans were targeted for mental conditioning. The X-Men decided to intervene. (view spoiler)[Most of the team is captured, with Jean and Jimmy presumed dead, but the two survived. While Emma tries to brainwash Cyclops, the two remaining X-Men head to save their teammates. Danger and Polaris help them reunite with the captured X-Men, but then they face the brainwashed Cyclops. Emma is still working on turning him into an idealized version of her former lover. Jean frees him and they leave New Tian behind. (hide spoiler)] O, crap. Not more magic in an X-Men comic, please. The Goblin Queen has been teaching Beast magic. She manipulates him into opening a portal for her allies, the Hex-Men (snicker), who quickly defeat the X-Men. Only Jean and Cyclops are left to fight them, but they need help. They must stop the Goblin Queen before she summons her sisters. Ugh, what nonsense. (view spoiler)[Angel and Jimmy are away God knows where about sonething called Mothervine. Jean and Cyclops ask the Raksha for help, but they didn't have to. Beast regains his mind thanks to Bloodstorm - alternate reality vampire Storm - and uses his magic to betray Goblin Queen. Then he has to swear off magic to return to his human form. These rules only make sense in a magical setting. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    Secret empire... zzzzz . In the second half of this volume Beast magical dalliance comes back to bite him on his ass... in the form of a classic X-Men villain. . What keeps me interested in this series is Jimmy Hudson and the Ms Sinister / Bastion ongoing sub-plot... and how much better the woman (Jean) is handling being displaced compared to her male peers. . 7 out of 12

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert Kirwan

    Ok so I just read this and I already want to jump right back in!! So happy that this volume of X-Men blue found its voice and really hit its stride! This follows on from volume 1 but obviously in the time period of writing, there was a WHOLE lot more going on in the marvel universe so we do get a little backstory at the start!! Hydra has taken over and there are some mutant camps that the mutant leaders have negotiated for!! Yes it’s all well and good in Utopia where humans and mutants live well Ok so I just read this and I already want to jump right back in!! So happy that this volume of X-Men blue found its voice and really hit its stride! This follows on from volume 1 but obviously in the time period of writing, there was a WHOLE lot more going on in the marvel universe so we do get a little backstory at the start!! Hydra has taken over and there are some mutant camps that the mutant leaders have negotiated for!! Yes it’s all well and good in Utopia where humans and mutants live well together, but anyone who doesn’t agree with the regime is leashed and power-dampened!! This is where we pick up with the original x-men freeing a camp of these mutants and really, the pace NEVER lets up!!! The homage to old characters not seen in ages is SO GOOD!! Seeing Toad and Wolfsbane with secondary mutations is fantastic and a great way to bring back in other “forgotten” characters!! Heck even Polaris and Madeline Pryor make an appearance!! LOVE IT! It’s a really fun romp from start to finish with the artwork being consistent throughout!! It rivals X-Men Gold at points in visuals and certainly feel as the original feel of X-Men is definitely here!! Tip top performance in a fantastic volume!! Love it

  11. 5 out of 5

    Travis Duke

    I like this a lot, tons of action, cameos and story. Before I get into my review I wanna say I am gonna have some spoilers probably so stop now if you don't want any. I am sure glad Cullen Bunn is allowed to bring in so many characters, its like a mutant buffet in this series, I totally love it. In fact this series so far almost feels like a main event in term of story and action. Starts off with The young x-men getting capture by Emma Frost and her team which is a boat load of people, Toad, Wolf I like this a lot, tons of action, cameos and story. Before I get into my review I wanna say I am gonna have some spoilers probably so stop now if you don't want any. I am sure glad Cullen Bunn is allowed to bring in so many characters, its like a mutant buffet in this series, I totally love it. In fact this series so far almost feels like a main event in term of story and action. Starts off with The young x-men getting capture by Emma Frost and her team which is a boat load of people, Toad, Wolfsbane, Marrow, Firestar, Xorn, Old beast and more. The cool thing is some mutants are developing secondary powers which I also liked a lot for instance Toad now has a fiery tongue. So Jean and Jimmy go to rescue Cyclops, young beast, and Young Angel with the help of Danger and Polaris but are met with even more mutants! Havok and Polaris go toe to toe mean while Emma fights with Jean PHEW! Bobby, young Iceman is also training his omega power with Danger, I love seeing him in his giant iceman form its bad ass. OK so if thats not enough that was just the first half. We start round two with young Beast trying to manifest his magic power and ends up unelashing the goblin queen who traps pretty much everyone with her new absolutly crazy team the Hex men.... I loved it... nightcrawler, colossus, Storm, and pixie are all now demonized and its bad ass to me. In the end Storm snaps out of it and helps the new demonic young beast turn the tide.... ok im done.... that was a wild ride. obviously I am on board for volume 3 with all this action

  12. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    Mixed This tie-in with Hydra has much going for it including watching Emma Frost be a proper villain again. It does interesting things with the Steve Rogers Hydra plot and gives the young Hank McCoy so proper character development. That said, the book can feel manic in that shifts of narrative are fast and the number of former X-men on different sides of the fight can be overwhelming.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Devi

    The Secret Empire tie-in falters hardcore and just suffers from all around weak characterization. The second story here is much more interesting, with some “fun” dark alternate universe X-Men and further moving the overall plot of the book forward.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarospice

    An improvement on the first vol. Maybe it's because the kids don't have much history it's interesting to see them react to old X-Men threats like the goblin queen. A good read! An improvement on the first vol. Maybe it's because the kids don't have much history it's interesting to see them react to old X-Men threats like the goblin queen. A good read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frédéric

    As I expected this volume doesn't fare really much better than #1. The first part takes place in Tian during Secret Empire and that's about the level of connection it has with the event. It presents some interesting novelty with secondary mutations on reintroduced characters but is somewhat confusing when Emma Frost is presented as a total psycho bitch rather different than the cold behind-the-scene head of State she is in Secret Empire. Bunn is actually truer to form but it kinda collides with As I expected this volume doesn't fare really much better than #1. The first part takes place in Tian during Secret Empire and that's about the level of connection it has with the event. It presents some interesting novelty with secondary mutations on reintroduced characters but is somewhat confusing when Emma Frost is presented as a total psycho bitch rather different than the cold behind-the-scene head of State she is in Secret Empire. Bunn is actually truer to form but it kinda collides with Spencer's version. The second part is rather lousy and gives us back... the Goblyn Queen (zzz) who lures AD&D level one wizard Hank to... bring all versions of herself on Earth because the poor little whining thing feels alone. No shit. And now it seems a vampire Ororo is to join the team. What. The. Fuck? Meanwhile Angel and Jimmy investigate one of Ms Sinister's lair with maybe some links leading to the secondary mutations I spoke of above. Might lead to something later. Technically Cullen Bunn is still not very good: poor pacing, awkward transitions, lousy dialogues. I think that's his style now and I stopped hoping he'll improve. Artwise it's not much better: Cory Smith is ok but forgettable on the so-called tie-in while Giovanni Valletta and Douglas Franchin are already forgotten.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    I think I'm running short patience for this series. I feel like the characters are being forcefully dragged back towards status quo, and I'm not thrilled about that. And adding a second AU character isn't inspiring, either. I think I'm running short patience for this series. I feel like the characters are being forcefully dragged back towards status quo, and I'm not thrilled about that. And adding a second AU character isn't inspiring, either.

  17. 5 out of 5

    C

    Continuing the great (?) X-read of 2017/18... Ummmm…. Can I use extensive amounts of foul language to talk about this book (especially the first half)? Please? Okay, Okay. I will try not to drop f-bombs all over the place, but there's a lot to unravel here. First of all, we basically have two stories here (which sort of ignore each other but we will get to that...). The first is part of the typical Marvel giant crossover that seem less and less interesting all of the time. (And times like this are Continuing the great (?) X-read of 2017/18... Ummmm…. Can I use extensive amounts of foul language to talk about this book (especially the first half)? Please? Okay, Okay. I will try not to drop f-bombs all over the place, but there's a lot to unravel here. First of all, we basically have two stories here (which sort of ignore each other but we will get to that...). The first is part of the typical Marvel giant crossover that seem less and less interesting all of the time. (And times like this are why I really desperately feel like the X-books should occupy a separate reality from the rest of Marvel as they really have to struggle to make these worlds work together even though they are supposed to be the same place and time...) The second part is basically back to business as usual. Just so you know, the second half is the only thing keeping me from giving my first o star rating on Goodreads. (Is that even possible?) That will tell you in advance what I thought of the first half. But let's break it down and talk about both parts here, one at a time: First half: Oh F.... Yeah, I said I wouldn't do that. Where to even start with this mess? Okay, in between issues here is what has happened: -Captain America is a Nazi, has been for some time or something. Maybe it is a switched brain thing or something. But he somehow has trapped all of Earth's (far stronger) heroes outside of Earth's orbit so that they can't stop him. -Cap has also helped Hydra take over all of America and turned it into a Nazi empire almost overnight (okay, maybe looking at current events this one isn't all that farfetched...). - The mutants have all settled in California and made it into a sovereign nation named Tian (for some reason) because apparently the might of all of the world's most powerful mutants are too afraid of Captain freaking America to do anything? (Are you lost and throwing up in your mouth a little yet? Oh, there's more...) -Magneto has made a deal with Nazis to keep the mutants safe in their little harbor. Yeah, because Magneto would really make deals with Nazis. Absolutely one hundred percent in his wheelhouse, totally makes sense with his character motivations and history (sarcasm is difficult to get across sometimes. Basically this was one of the points where I started cursing profusely. What????) -A bunch of mutants are experiencing new secondary mutations and forming new groups. -A bunch of dead mutants are back with no explanation for this odd continuity glitch (I mean, it was sort of cool to see Mondo in the pages of an X-book but what the heck? He's been dead for freaking ages.) Oh, and somewhat major characters have been killed off-panel because why not? I'm sure that there is more that I am forgetting here (I think New York is taken over by demons too but I am not sure if that was this book or not), but all of this was supposed to happen in what? A week? A month? We are talking huge world-shaking events and they are all presented here as if everybody woke up one day and this was how it was. If this was a House of M type alternate reality, it would make a lot more sense. As it is, it doesn't stretch the limits of disbelief, it breaks them entirely. Oh, and to make matters worse, none of this is really explained well. It is just assumed that you will (want to) read this crossover that really shouldn't have anything to do with the X-books at all whatsoever. It's freaking annoying and all of this utter mess ruins a book just as it is trying to get its feet under itself. Marvel just seems to have no idea how to let a book grow organically these days. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I hated this first half so much. Characters don't act like themselves and the story just makes you not care. And then the second half pretends like it never happened, for better or for worse (see why it would have worked better as a House of M style story? Although that would have been a cop out as well...) So... With slightly less bile, let's talk about the... Second half: Now we get to deal with the Beast's use of magic in a much better than the first half but still disappointing story. Beast has been working with Madelyne Pryor apparently and surprisingly she has been just using him for her own nefarious purposes (who would have ever guessed that? Gasp!). This ends up with the X-Men fighting Beast and some "Hex men" that Maddie has brought over from another reality (because the x-books haven't had enough alternate reality characters lately at all...) who are just there. There's a lot of punching, a lot of personal angst for Bloodstorm (from Mutant X which I am actually reading now and she's a cool inclusion I suppose but did we really need two storms? I guess that it evens out the number of Wolverines perhaps...) and Beast. And in the end, the status quo is basically returned to normal other than Bloodstorm staying in our reality. Okay, some thoughts... We now have a book with the original 5 and one extra Caucasian male and one African female. Why did we get rid of Evan and Idee again? I feel like they were *way* more interesting than kid wolverine and Bloodstorm. It seems like Bunn is going out of his way to return everything back to normal for the original five. Beast is apparently going to give up magic, Jean and Scott like each other and have their psychic bond just like the older Scott and Jean did.... I feel like I might have a handle on why Bunn would want to do this but the characters were infinitely more interesting as they were forging their own paths and becoming less like the older versions of themselves. This is just starting to read like a twisted version of Classic X-Men - just like you remembered them! rather than anything that is exciting. Jean, in particular, feels like she has been given the short end of the stick. She was becoming her own woman and now she is being forced back in to the mold, it feels. Why was (SPOILER, I suppose) Quicksilver killed off panel? Seems like an odd choice, to say the least... I don't know. The second half wasn't the absolute mess that the first half was but it didn't leave me with a lot of interest in where the story goes next. Let me guess, Angel's feathered wings grow back? Basically, I really hope that this series gets better. I know a lot of this mess (the Secret Empire stuff) wasn't necessarily Bunn's fault per se, and I hope that means there is the possibility, no matter how slim, that this team can become relevant and interesting again.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Well, this volume was random? What storyline is that? First I won't go off too hard on the forced Marvel global events once again. I hate those so much but at this point, it seems like they won't ever go away, sigh. Will have to just deal with them I guess. The first volume really set us up for a very interesting set of events that had multiple storylines with a lot of potentials, then we are off to fight Emma Frost. Although it is a random set of events at least Bunn was able to keep some aspec Well, this volume was random? What storyline is that? First I won't go off too hard on the forced Marvel global events once again. I hate those so much but at this point, it seems like they won't ever go away, sigh. Will have to just deal with them I guess. The first volume really set us up for a very interesting set of events that had multiple storylines with a lot of potentials, then we are off to fight Emma Frost. Although it is a random set of events at least Bunn was able to keep some aspects of the main storyline going. He was able to utilize the annoying event as a means to bring two new characters to the roster. I have never seen (view spoiler)[ Danger (hide spoiler)] in a comic before so it is pretty interesting to have that character around, I wonder what the writer will do with it. It will also be interested to have Lorna around as a mentor and trainer. Her and Erik are a great duo, there is some great material that is hidden there, hope the writer exploits it. Random grip, what in the world is Warren's hair in this volume. Legit somebody cut his hair. Things could also get interesting between Cyclops and Jean now that they have that psychic link, it is a recipe for disaster. I always hate their romantic storyline but I always end up caring about it, self-torture. Hank continues to be one of my least favorite on the team. The fool. I always get annoyed with prideful characters. Not only is he prideful but he is weak and boring. I liked how once we got done with that random story arc we returned back to Singapore at least. Love the decision to bring back the demons and that whole storyline from the previous series. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it had a disappointing and unsatisfying finale. With Hanks poor decision making I thought the character would face consequences for his foolishness. The way his body morphed and made him a monster would have been, storywise, a great way to change up the character and show consequences for his actions. If there is a thing I hate in stories is poor decision making by characters who don't face consequences. I am very much frustrated by all that. The only thing that came out of that whole storyline is yet another dimension hopping character joining the team, really? Can't you create new characters? Or use other less known ones? Or add established ones that have nothing going on? So frustrating, maybe this character will end up being interesting but I am not a fan of that decision so far. Lastly, the whole storyline with Jimmy and Warren was actually really interesting. While all that mess was going on having them advance the actual plot was a nice way to resolve some story plots but still keep ones intrigue peaked for whatever Ms. Sisnister is cooking up. This storyline at least had some consequences and purpose, I never want to see magic in X-Men again, what a disappointment. Overall I love how Bunn has been able to set up multiple villains, storylines, and character dynamics. With so many different things going on at once it makes things more interesting and exciting for the future. Unfortunately, I did not like some of the story decision in this volume but everything was quite entertaining and kept me wanting to read more. There is a lot of set up for interesting avenues and stories that Bunn can play within the future. Beyond excited to keep reading. I am loving the series as a whole so far but scared with all the new characters who might overcrowd the nice dynamics we had going on.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam Fisher

    We start off with the Blue Team seemingly on the run. They are not cooperating with the current political agenda, which is Emma Frost leading the mutant sovereign nation of New Tian in the time of Captain America's 'Secret Empire'. Sent out to stop Blue Team is a group of Hellions as well as Firestar, Toad, Mondo (where has this guy been since 90's Generation X??), Marrow, Wolfsbane and Havok. The goals are simple, capture and suppress the powers of Blue Team and take Cyclops to Emma for "condit We start off with the Blue Team seemingly on the run. They are not cooperating with the current political agenda, which is Emma Frost leading the mutant sovereign nation of New Tian in the time of Captain America's 'Secret Empire'. Sent out to stop Blue Team is a group of Hellions as well as Firestar, Toad, Mondo (where has this guy been since 90's Generation X??), Marrow, Wolfsbane and Havok. The goals are simple, capture and suppress the powers of Blue Team and take Cyclops to Emma for "conditioning". When Jean escapes, she gathers Jimmy, and new teachers Danger and Polaris (at the "Magneto school" that Blue Team is attending) and mounts a rescue mission. (Several hilarious moments here regarding the rivalry between Emma and Jean...) The latter half deals with the mistakes of Beast's dabbling into magic, as well as Jimmy's quest to find out where he came from. It is revealed that Hank's skill has come from a pact made with the Goblin Queen (Madeline Pryor herself!). Taking his vulnerabilities into consideration, she gets him to activate a Beast Form, which throws him more under her control, allowing her 'Hex-Men' to attack the base. Pixie, Colossus, Bloodstorm and Nightcrawler (though they are all from parallel universes) attack them and are routed when Bloodstorm switches sides after seeing how Henry is being controlled. Jimmy (in a very similar manner to the whole Weapon X thing that Wolverine had to go through) enters a base that was controlled by Miss Sinister. The base is not empty and we see Blob, exhibiting a secondary mutation (like many of the other 'bad' mutants have been) and Jimmy vows to find out more about "Mothervine" and shut it down. By Volume's end, Bloodstorm has joined Blue Team and Scott and Jean have reconnected their psychic connection, which seems to be leading to a possible romance.... Both X-Men books are amazing right now. Very much have a feel similar to the great 90's X-books that I grew up on. I hope the streak continues. High recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Juan

    Maybe I am giving this volume one more additional star just by being generous. Between reading X-Men Blue and Gold, I am yet to really decide which team I prefer. I must say I enjoy that both teams are very different. I think Blue earns major points because it is the OG team still trying to find their way in the modern world but with the interesting take of being mentored by Magneto. I also really appreciate that they are a lot more mature compared to the All-New X-Men team that came before X-Me Maybe I am giving this volume one more additional star just by being generous. Between reading X-Men Blue and Gold, I am yet to really decide which team I prefer. I must say I enjoy that both teams are very different. I think Blue earns major points because it is the OG team still trying to find their way in the modern world but with the interesting take of being mentored by Magneto. I also really appreciate that they are a lot more mature compared to the All-New X-Men team that came before X-Men Blue. So the Volume is broken down into two small arcs. The first arc takes place during the Secret Empire saga. Compared to Gold, I enjoyed Blue's story more. While Gold took place within the barrier over New York created by Hydra, their story did not interact any further as the team was coincidentally being attacked by a villain unrelated to Hydra. Once the battle was over, it flashed forward to the end of Secret Empire... lame. Now as for Blue, the X-Men team actually have involvement and activity against the Hydra Empire, liberating mutants while Magneto masks their actions and has a meaningful interaction scene with Hydra Captain American. Overall, a really good arc. Arc 2 kind of acts as a follow-up to the All-New X-Men team I mentioned earlier as the story covers the obvious pitfalls that come from messing with magic. It just so happens that prior to finishing Volume 2, I had finished reading The Demonologist. To make it short, the jist is to never mess with the occult. It is information we do not need to know and it only serves to open up door ways. Door ways into actual demons. As we witnessed in All-New X-Men, Beast began to practice magic in an effort to find new purpose and unleash potential he felt he was lacking. Naturally, a demon came calling and strokes the flames of insecurity by promising him whatever he was seeking. Now this volume did pretty good with introducing more characters, or "teachers", for the young X-Men. We see the return of Polaris, Bloodstorm, and the Goblin Queen (not in that order). On to the next arc.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Church

    This was kind of a mixed bag. Overall, it was better than the ending of Vol 1, but it draws DEEP from the well of X-Men mythology. There are throwbacks to the Inferno miniseries from Secret Wars, X-Infernus, and X-Treme X-Men, probably among others. I spent almost as much time looking up background history on the internet as I did reading the book. It also tied into the Secret Empire crossover, but only provided a fraction of the story. I think it’s easy enough to catch up, but still works again This was kind of a mixed bag. Overall, it was better than the ending of Vol 1, but it draws DEEP from the well of X-Men mythology. There are throwbacks to the Inferno miniseries from Secret Wars, X-Infernus, and X-Treme X-Men, probably among others. I spent almost as much time looking up background history on the internet as I did reading the book. It also tied into the Secret Empire crossover, but only provided a fraction of the story. I think it’s easy enough to catch up, but still works against the reader. I enjoyed the writing a lot more than the last couple of issues. It felt like Cullen Bunn got back into the groove of who these characters are and what he wants to do with them. While the Secret Empire story was a bit disjointed, I still liked where it was going and the seeds that it planted. I was worried that some of it wouldn’t be picked up without reading some other book, but it seemed to come back in later issues with the Miss Sinister plot. I do think some of the stuff with Jean and Scott feels forced. It is almost as if they are trying to push these versions forward to fill the void of their adult selves both being dead. It’s not that I dislike that dynamic, but they had previously been so focused on not becoming their future selves. The art is also more consistent. There are some variations, and several artists working on the issues, but nothing nearly as bad as Issue 6 from the last volume. I’m still loving these design elements and costumes, too. In general, I’m still excited for where this book is going. I think Bunn has planted some good seeds for the future.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Johnvano

    I was so confused with this story. These X-men were somehow derivative of the original X-men? Or were their kids? But they had the same names and the same stories... kinda? Wolverine had a different name and a different colored head of hair (and this made the most sense of them all)... but what was Bloodstorm talking about? Having betrayed Beast in another timeline? And she was a Vampire? This was a mess. Granted, I just dropped into the series and don't know what was going on, but boy do I miss I was so confused with this story. These X-men were somehow derivative of the original X-men? Or were their kids? But they had the same names and the same stories... kinda? Wolverine had a different name and a different colored head of hair (and this made the most sense of them all)... but what was Bloodstorm talking about? Having betrayed Beast in another timeline? And she was a Vampire? This was a mess. Granted, I just dropped into the series and don't know what was going on, but boy do I miss when comics were a continuum. When every character title connected to the comics produced before it--now, there's just mulligan after mulligan of creating a new series or story without any reflection on the past. I hate that nothing's unchangeable, and you can start a new line for a character in a new series. That's what the "What If..." Marvel titles were for, or the "2099 series". I can't abide these. I liked that in the Spider-Man comics I read growing up that Gwen Stacy was always dead. Or that Jean Grey was dead, etc. This is just too much madness, too much breaking of the rules. I know this has a lot to do with selling comics, and I'm not buying (just checking out at the library), but the best writing is when you are limited by something - a character's backstory, powers, relationships, other limitations... but in this contemporary way, the sky's the limit and it's an easy pass for the lazy writer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    I picked up this volume after reading X-Men Blue Vol. 1: Strangest and realized pretty quickly that I was missing some vital information. The young time-displaced X-Men are awkwardly shoe-horned into the ill-conceived Secret Empire crossover where Hydra ends up governing all of the United Stated except California which is run by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club. If you liked the Secret Empire event (and my understanding is that most people simply didn't), then you will might like seeing the uneas I picked up this volume after reading X-Men Blue Vol. 1: Strangest and realized pretty quickly that I was missing some vital information. The young time-displaced X-Men are awkwardly shoe-horned into the ill-conceived Secret Empire crossover where Hydra ends up governing all of the United Stated except California which is run by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club. If you liked the Secret Empire event (and my understanding is that most people simply didn't), then you will might like seeing the uneasy negotiations between Hydra-Captain America and Magneto. I also liked the wickedly deranged struggle between Emma and young Scott. But overall, the episodes that take place in the Tian, the free mutant state formerly known as California, were strained at best. The book picks up in the second half when Hank's meddling with the mystic arts causes problems for the team. The young X-Men fight an old nemesis, Madelyne Pryor, in a battle the echoes the classic X-Men: Inferno. Madelyne has a series of warped Hex-Men to aid her. Overall the book was entertaining. I am glad that the team will be headed off-world in X-Men Blue Vol. 3: Cross-Time Capers . Hopefully by the time they get back, Marvel can sort out the Hydra mess.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott Lee

    This book seems headed in interesting directions. There's quite a jump between volume one and volume two as whatever's going on with Secret Empire jumps the book into a new status quo that apparently dovetails with either the "during Secret Empire" reality or the post-Secret Empire reality. I've not read Secret Empire (obviously) so I don't know which. Anyway, bit of a learning curve, and what you need to get the details isn't included in this book, so be forewarned. The character bits here are This book seems headed in interesting directions. There's quite a jump between volume one and volume two as whatever's going on with Secret Empire jumps the book into a new status quo that apparently dovetails with either the "during Secret Empire" reality or the post-Secret Empire reality. I've not read Secret Empire (obviously) so I don't know which. Anyway, bit of a learning curve, and what you need to get the details isn't included in this book, so be forewarned. The character bits here are interesting--Scott and Jean get a bunch of time together, and Bunn seems to be at least open to the idea of addressing Scott and Jean getting together again. The Beast's transformation from Science guy to magic and science guy continues, and brings us into a fascinating new place. Iceman and Warren get short shrift by comparison, but the events of a warren Jimmy Logan adventure into Canada seems to point toward a new plotline that will further Jimmy's story and bring his past into focus as a source of trouble for the book. So that's good.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lanter

    I was worried that after the first volume, I wouldn't make it very far with X-Men Blue and this volume confirmed it. Surprisingly, the event tie-in issues were actually better than the second half that wasn't bogged down by an event. I like Emma Frost and while I don't know when she got so evil, here story was more more interesting than the magic/satanic stuff in the second half of this volume. Beast dabbling in magic doesn't fit the character so the last thing I wanted was a story focusing on t I was worried that after the first volume, I wouldn't make it very far with X-Men Blue and this volume confirmed it. Surprisingly, the event tie-in issues were actually better than the second half that wasn't bogged down by an event. I like Emma Frost and while I don't know when she got so evil, here story was more more interesting than the magic/satanic stuff in the second half of this volume. Beast dabbling in magic doesn't fit the character so the last thing I wanted was a story focusing on the dangers of that. Both story arcs are too short to have any meaning or impact and there were seeds for a later story arc mixed into this too with Miss Sinister. This kept the characters from breathing and for anything more interesting to happen. The art was pretty average as well and I suspect that it would be this way most of the rest of the book sadly. There are surely better X-Men stories out there than this and I will certainly take my chances on another title instead of reading more of this fairly average one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adan

    This was a lot of fun! I got a peek into New Tian and learned that Emma Frost was leading it in much the same way Hydra Cap was leading the US. A bunch of characters I hadn’t seen in a while turned out to be working for Emma as enforcers, including Wolfsbane, Marrow, Firestar, and Mondo. Then Random and Lorelei (from M-Town) showed up as Alcatraz inmates, and I was like, “These are some deep cuts!” Second bit focused on Hank getting his comeuppance for messing about with dark magic (and introduci This was a lot of fun! I got a peek into New Tian and learned that Emma Frost was leading it in much the same way Hydra Cap was leading the US. A bunch of characters I hadn’t seen in a while turned out to be working for Emma as enforcers, including Wolfsbane, Marrow, Firestar, and Mondo. Then Random and Lorelei (from M-Town) showed up as Alcatraz inmates, and I was like, “These are some deep cuts!” Second bit focused on Hank getting his comeuppance for messing about with dark magic (and introducing a Bloodstorm to 616), while Jimmy Hudson (Wolverine Junior from the Ultimate universe) tried to figure out where he was from and what Miss Sinister was doing with him. It turns out she’s creating secondary mutations, and possible creating new mutants like humans did in the Ultiverse. This is what the X-Men is supposed to be about!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Duncan

    A barely comprehensible mess. All of a sudden there's this Xorn guy we're all s'posed to know about and he's the King of the Mutants in their own little country of Xian (I think) which is where California used to be. Didn't know any of that? What are you an idiot? I pulled out my copy of X-Men Blue Vol. 1 just to see wtf? & none of that is in the first volume. Apparently this all info that was other comix or not at all, I don't really know but anyway. That's where we're at and the Blue team is l A barely comprehensible mess. All of a sudden there's this Xorn guy we're all s'posed to know about and he's the King of the Mutants in their own little country of Xian (I think) which is where California used to be. Didn't know any of that? What are you an idiot? I pulled out my copy of X-Men Blue Vol. 1 just to see wtf? & none of that is in the first volume. Apparently this all info that was other comix or not at all, I don't really know but anyway. That's where we're at and the Blue team is leading a rebellion against the mutie powers that be (I think) and btw, Captain America is the head of Hydra which I had to do some quick internet research to discover this was the Secret Wars Marvel event for 2017. My research also tells me not many people were fans of this event. I'm with them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Berger M.P.

    -Cap and Hydra? Yeah right... + Xavier reminders ?? Don’t know how I feel about this version of Havoc... all changed and broody -telepathically mapping shouldn’t matter when Havoc literally just blasted you... +it talks ?? What’s in the box...odd +Emma/Scott/Jean +Magneto stylin and riling +Jean listing men she thinks are cute -another using spells wrong that leads to bad peeps, overdone, and not that interesting take over heroes type of baddies -Demons, vampires, experimented mutants, throwing a bunch o -Cap and Hydra? Yeah right... + Xavier reminders ?? Don’t know how I feel about this version of Havoc... all changed and broody -telepathically mapping shouldn’t matter when Havoc literally just blasted you... +it talks ?? What’s in the box...odd +Emma/Scott/Jean +Magneto stylin and riling +Jean listing men she thinks are cute -another using spells wrong that leads to bad peeps, overdone, and not that interesting take over heroes type of baddies -Demons, vampires, experimented mutants, throwing a bunch of ideas doesn’t make a good story of all of them have barely any space to stick -sometimes cast of characters are sidelined so other teams can tackle the threats and sometimes it so obvious that that’s why they are doing here +Yay hopefully no more wizard Hank

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Wow I’ve missed quite a lot, i.e. the entire Captain America regime. Reading this, however, doesn’t exactly have me wanting to go back and do a read through. And when exactly did Emma Frost become like this? Enjoyable enough but the back-to-basics aspect of Blue from the first volume disappeared with this tie-in, as well as the mystic aspect of the second half. Too bad Jean didn’t do more leading... Art was nice overall and the contrast of the young X-Men and the adult mutants was well done.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    A bit bittersweet since I've already read later books in which Young Jean Grey is apparently gone. This book is normally what I hate in a Marvel book - an out of continuity big even story in which nothing is going to matter later almost certainly. And yet Jean Grey, sigh. She's done so much better in this form - the art, the writing. Heck even the relationship with Scott makes more sense here. Clearly appreciating this book means looking at the hero x-men and looking away at the villain x-men. B A bit bittersweet since I've already read later books in which Young Jean Grey is apparently gone. This book is normally what I hate in a Marvel book - an out of continuity big even story in which nothing is going to matter later almost certainly. And yet Jean Grey, sigh. She's done so much better in this form - the art, the writing. Heck even the relationship with Scott makes more sense here. Clearly appreciating this book means looking at the hero x-men and looking away at the villain x-men. But even bringing in hell didn't wreck this book for me.

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