As the previous issue looked to bring more people into the fold of Krakoa and expand the island, Hickman and Yu return to their roots by introducing a new team of villains, who may become allies later on; Hordeculture.
The villain group consists of an angry group of old women looking to protect the earth and plant life. In doing so, they figured out a way to teleport onto Krakoa and end up stealing the miracle plants for their own use, to eventually figure out if the mutants can be trusted or if they will return to kill them. This new dynamic adds onto the current threat of the returning enemies from the first issue whose plans have yet to be returned to by Hickman.
In this issue, we saw friendly banter between Emma and Jean as Emma rejoins on Krakoa after taking a break from politics with Shaw. We also see more developments from how the new antagonists view the mutants and vice-versa. Each of these flesh out the characters personalities more and gives us more character dynamics with how the various mutants treat each other.
Another dynamic we see in this issue is Emma Frost seeking help from known villains: Apocalypse, Magneto and Mystique. After the plant is stolen, and seeing as it is the bargaining chip meant to be under mutant control only, for the sake of political purposes; Frost looks to potentially send some of the X-Men villains to hunt down and either kill or take back the flowers from Hordeculture. In doing so this will showcase the lengths Emma will go to to maintain power. We’ll also see how her actions will sit with the rest of the mutants as it will create a divide amongst those seeking peace, while others still mourn the death of Charles.
Having showcased the various character dynamics, I’m hoping to see more from Mystique and other mutants in the next few issues, as their presence has ben nonexistent in these series. Mystique used to be one of the major X-Men characters in terms of both her appeal and powers alike, as she was even used heavily in film and the old X-Men cartoons.
I’m also hoping to see more dynamic sequences from Yu in the next few issues, if the action gets heavier. In this issue, we saw some nice stylized work with cyclops unleashing his beam and knocking the women down. Yu also delivered some cool sequences with the Women entering through the portal and attacking the mutants, and his detail in the portal and the meeting table at Krakoa were also nicely done. Yu wasn’t the only thing to make this issue pop though, because thanks to the colors Krakoa lends itself and the lighting from the sun, each panel had vibrant and gorgeous colors from Sunny Gho and Rain Beredo. The two colorists gave us a lot of vibrancy and beautiful contrasted colors that pair well in the rainbow sherbet that is the colors of this issue. While unsure if it was intentional due to Krakoa’s lighting, my only issue with the colors, was showcasing Frost in a pinkish-purple hue while in the fields. Her skin tone felt like it was wrong for the scene and I’m uncertain if that was the colorists decision based on light bouncing off the flowers, or if the sunlight through Krakoa gives off that hue, because in Marauders and other works, Emma has a normal skin tone and nothing that makes her look like that.
As Hickman’s run continues, he consistently creates a great world with his X-Men run and you can see a lot more passion put into this series as the issues progress. While not a fan of his writing in New Mutants, he still continues to showcase that he has great storytelling in his X-Men run and I look forward to seeing what his next issue brings.