Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

New X-Men #40

By Zak Edwards
July 31, 2007 - 13:31

New X-Men #40

Wow, a lot happened in this issue.  The last remaining students of the Xavier Institute continue their adventure in hell with this third installment of a four-part series.  The last remaining students of the Xavier Institute, after most were de-powered and a lot more killed off, have been thrown into hell by Belasco himself, who’s looking for a dead Illyana Rasputin.  The kids have been split up into three groups; one who’s getting tortured by Belasco, another who have been found by Illyana only for her to be evil (complete with horns and goat legs), and the third is still on earth with a comatose former ruler of limbo, Amanda Sefton.  Now many of the characters introduced are not well known or have not been in the spotlight for a while, a lot of people aren’t familiar with them.  My recommendation:  Go to and look them up, it’ll help.  But as for this issue and the story so far, let’s take a look.

Craig Kyle and Chris Yost have been writing about teenage mutants for years, they were writing X-Men Evolution for a while, X-23 mini-series, and this series for twenty issues now.  So they have a great grasp on how these characters act and deal with the incredibly stressful situations these writers put them through.  They feel like teenagers and not just another team of X-Men.  These characters have been through a lot of death and violence, so seeing how some of them have changed in reaction to this is very cool.  Where Surge used to be a bit of a rebel and fun-loving, she has now become completely hardened and to the world around her.  Seeing the characters evolve is important and displays the writers ability.  As for the story itself, things are getting out of hand, in both a good way and a bad way.

The death of X-23 last issue was easy to forget considering everyone knows that she will live, but how they brought her back makes me a little mad.  Now Belasco can kill and resurrect on a whim, making everything that happens to those kids redundant.  As for the group of kids stuck with evil Illyana, they seem to be doing okay.  Rockslide’s powers have evolved again, making him molten Rockslide, and Anole has now got a new arm, which makes him look like a lizard Hell-Boy.  Illyana seems to randomly have an epiphany to keep the plot moving, which is annoying, but overall this group is the most interesting.  Team three is back on earth, yelling at adults and convincing a O.N.E member to escort them to hell, and it’s becoming difficult to see why they’re in the story at all.  For all the craziness happening, the kids are keeping this book together for right now.  They characterization is top-notch.  So even as the plot begins to go downhill, these kids keep the whole thing good.

Skottie Young continues to be bold and separate himself from other artists out right now.  His crazy style fits the story and it’s setting perfectly.  I’m not sure how a whole issue of the kids on earth would look, but for right now it’s awesome.  Still, almost all the kids and adults look to be about the same age, except for in one panel where an extreme height difference is used to show the difference in age.  That is avoided mostly by Young keeping the adult characters in the background.  All the kids and their unique appearances are emphasized and the art is stronger for it.  No complaints on the art, except for that first one.

7.5/10    The plot is weakening, but the characters and art are at their strongest.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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