The first X-Men comics that I have read, began in this 2010 series, of which this is issue #17. For the most part, I was pleased with the first 15 issues. Many people did not like the first storyarc (Curse of the Mutants), but I like Gischler’s writing and I think it was a satisfactory and interesting story. None of issues have been standout amazing – you know, the kind you frame and re-read a dozen times in a week. However, the issues have remained solid entries into the X-Men canon.
This storyarc Betrayal in the Bermuda Triangle started in issue #16. Basically, the Future Foundation (which is what the current Fantastic Four are called) happened upon a mysterious buoy that was encoded with a mayday message from a different dimension. The message was actually from one of Cyclops’ old ex-girlfriends. The FF headed to Utopia (X-Men island homebase) to enlist the X-Men on a mission to go to the different dimension and rescue said ex-girlfriend.
So, we have a “team-up” scenario with the FF and the X-Men. Not all of the X-Men, though just: Cyclops, Wolverine, Emma Frost, Pixie, Dr. Nemesis, and Magneto. Also, for some reason (I do not read the FF title), Doctor Doom is a member of the FF and is going along for this rescue mission. (In issue #16 there is a cute “aside” wherein Thing and Wolverine banter about how Doom and Magneto are “teammates.”) The first thing that happens when the team lands in the new dimension – they open their ship canopy and discover a jungle filled with dinosaurs.
Needless to say, I was somewhat disinterested in the story in issue #16. I am not too fond of the FF and going with them to a dimension in which there are dinosaurs made me dubious and unenthused. The only good part to issue #16 were the frames in which Emma Frost (Cyclops’ current girlfriend) was sarcastically commenting on having to rescue Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend. I’m really starting to like Frost – both in the X-Men title and in the Wolverine titles. Therefore, I was not expecting much out of this storyarc, much less out of issue #17. Even the cover of issue #17, while a nice piece of art, just does not engender any feelings of excitement or thrill.
I judged a bit harshly, because issue #17 surprised me and actually got me interested in the storyarc. The first two pages consist of bantering between Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Sue Richards. This was okay stuff; like I said, I’m becoming enamored of Frost. But page three has a really great piece of artwork: full page scene of the heroes looking over a small cliff at a really neat-looking, science-fiction futuristic, alien city that has developed, apparently, around a crashed space ship. Very cool. Anytime that happens in a movie or a comic – yeah, I’m excited. “I-want-to-go-to-there.”
The other heroes discover information about the found buoy and learn about George Stanislaus. Magneto, Dr. Nemesis, and Reed are fixing their ship and Nemesis presents the problematic of needing a gigantic power source to fix the ship. Wolverine, Thing, and Pixie get into a number of scrapes and finally run into Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend – who is sexy, confidant, and gets a full page piece of art to introduce herself. We also meet the sentient life on the planet (so, other living things besides dinosaurs). However, the real win for the issue is the last page – Doctor Doom!!!!
Overall, this issue fixed all of the worries and complaints that I had with the previous issue. And there were several pages of art which were quite good. (Art in this issue was done by Jorge Molina.) I really like the dynamics of some of the team-ups here and I am actually somewhat interested in the overarching large scenario that the different factions in the book seem to be coiling around. Definitely money well-spent.