- February 16, 2022
X-Men #8 Review
Written by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: Javier Pina
Coloring by: Marte Gracia
Lettering by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
X-Men #8 doubles down on the series strengths, but also some clear weaknesses. It’s focusing on Synch, giving character development to a character who deserves it. He has been made the main character, with one of the few overarching arcs of this team. Between him and Cyclops, we have some understandable and human angst behind these mutant characters.
While we already knew this, it’s also nice to see this series continue its more episodic format. This issue also focuses on a new threat of the week, while building up more in the background. It works for this series. The X-Men serve as the superhero team with meaningless yet entertaining adventures as books like the Avengers and the Justice League fail to satisfy on those fronts.
X-Men #8 is also the confirmation that Jean Grey is using her Hellfire Gala outfit as her regular costume. Hopefully, this is a sign of more to come in terms of focus on her. These are all good things that this series will be remembered for.
At the same time, it truly continues to mishandle its female characters. Rogue and Polaris rarely get to be anything more than a funny punchline after 8 issues, and Laura still acts more like her father than herself. They even gave her an adamantium skeleton to make it even worse, and I don’t understand why. She can be Wolverine without being the same as Logan. She doesn’t need to be a berserker strongman, and she can dodge bullets instead of tanking them.
This creative team has not spent the time to give the female characters their due. It’s giving them storylines, or proper characterizations. Laura may be the worst one affected, but Polaris suffers from mischaracterization too. It sucks because save for a few male characters, well-realized female characters dominate the X-Men. The main title should reflect that. I hope to see this change, but I also hope the creative team can adjust without sacrificing what they already do right.