Wait, hold on, what’s this? An ongoing plot?
Issue: X-Men #8, March 2020
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
The Plot: The X-Men face their first real challenge as a nation from the Brood.
Commentary: Wait, wait, wait, the one thing I’ve been wondering about Hickman’s X-Men run is finally here…an ongoing plot?!? As I live and breathe…
I kid, mostly. But my one big comment about the issues of Hickman’s run has been that it does and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. There were issues that seemed to set up an ongoing plot, like when Laura “Wolverine” Kinney, Synch, and Darwin broke into the Mastermold, a place where the basic laws of time and space may not work, and then…well, the next issue didn’t do anything to even suggest something was happening. Same with the old ladies that harvested flowers for power. Same with Mystique’s suspicions about why Destiny wasn’t brought back yet despite Xavier’s explicit promise to do so in order to get her on board. There’s been a whole lot of stuff going on that seems to be more about establishing if not a mood than at least establishing what Krakoan culture is like.
And that’s not a terrible thing, precisely. If mutants are going to form their own nation, then they need to figure out a lot of things on their own about how things are going to work out for them. These are people coming in from all over the world, with all the different cultures and ideas that such a thing entails. So, how does Krakoa as a country function? That seems to be something of a theme running through a lot of the early House of X titles, with Hickman’s own X-Men being at least a little different since the other series I’ve read still have the X-Men doing superhero things. Even with the occasional fight here, it’s been mostly about how Krakoa does the things a new country needs to do, whether it’s figuring out how to deal with other countries or the sorts of rituals and customs that will evolve in a world where mutants can keep coming back to life with their sometimes still lost powers intact.
As such, when this issue ended with an unmistakable cliffhanger, I felt like it was finally starting to do the sorts of things more traditional superhero stories do. That in and of itself is a welcome development. Then again, I haven’t read the next issue yet, so for all I know, the storyline will be at least temporarily forgotten and something else will be happening in #9.
Oh, as for the plot: the New Mutants trip through space where they seemed to screw up everything along the way continued as they brought back a souvenir in the form what turned out to be a Brood egg for a rare Brood King. These eggs then tend to attract every Brood in the universe to go straight to the egg, so that means a lot of mutants (most notably Cyclops and Magick) fighting a lot of Broods until they can find a way to ditch that egg or something.
I better not get to the next issue to learn they just had Colossus dropkick that egg into the sun and call it a day between issues…