Living The Diamond Life: Reviewing ‘Immortal X-Men’ #4
by Scott Redmond
‘Immortal X-Men’ continues to be one of the top books coming out of the X-Line, even when the Emma Frost spotlight we get is overshadowed by the overall Sinister/Destiny/Moira plotline and the need to speed things up for a summertime event. Even with the weight of tie-in necessities, the issue is a fun and delightful yet dark look behind the scenes of the Quiet Council and Krakoa itself.
One of the great benefits of the new Krakoan status quo has been the ability for the various creative teams to really stretch their legs and take different X-Books in a variety of directions. Yes, that was possible before but often the smaller central location of Xavier’s School or such kept many of the books similar in tone (super-heroes/stopping hate & fear/etc.). Immortal X-Men has fit into that spot of doing something different as it focuses on the Quiet Council, giving us the readers a much more regular look at just how broken this unelected government is and what each member is trying to accomplish.
Having that done through singular narrators each issue has been fantastic and really lets us see inside the heads of these characters and how they feel about themselves and everything else. Emma finally got a chance, and the whole bit about her sleeping in diamond form and the whys of it was very intriguing.
That being said, this issue being one that is catching up on the fallout from other books (namely X-Men and the Hellfire Gala one-shot) doesn’t leave a lot of room for Emma to truly shine as the others got in the previous three issues. Kieron Gillen gives us some interesting moral quandaries to do with the reveal of resurrection and the Chinese ambassador hinting at giving it to certain heads of state could do wonders for mutant PR issues. Emma clapping back at first about they will get to humans once they bring back the millions of mutants that humans killed was great, but then his pushing about making deals brings her to the moment of saying it will be brought to the council.
This part really worked but then the rest of the issue, while good, feels somewhat disjointed because Emma reveals the stuff Cyclops told her during the Hellfire Gala about Doctor Statis/Mister Sinister and it becomes almost another Sinister issue. There was only so long that all the Sinister stuff could be kept quiet, but it almost feels rushed here a bit. There’s a whole chase scene, Destiny is vague and ends up warding Sinister off from using his Moira clones to reset things, some sort of personality reset that Sinister does to himself, he gets kidnapped apparently, then we return to Emma for a brief wrap up.
Michele Bendini and David Curiel do a stupendous job on this issue as it is a delight to behold. All the characters look great, and there is such a deft hand at capturing not only the action of the issue but the variety of emotional moments that go down in here. Emma’s fiery stare at the ambassador and the moment when his point just stops her dead in her tracks to a more conciliatory face is nailed perfectly. I love the paneling choices, including panels over panels and characters that just burst right out of the confines of a panel box, that’s the stuff that I love to see in comics.
Curiel’s colors just flow so well with whatever artist might be on the book, capturing the same energy while maintaining his own style and energy. Plenty of bright colors this time but there is also a hazy darkness sort of filter that is just there a bit to bring in how dire things are and match the more sinister (sorry had to) tone but also the more madcap parts of the issue.
Clayton Cowles always does fantastic work with the lettering and gets a chance to go even further with some really inspired choices in this issue. During that aforementioned personality reset of Sinister, we get three shots of Sinister speaking while the changes happen that showcase various states of Sinister, but Cowles makes sure that each one has its own distinct font/style/power and its pretty darn cool. It’s a scene that would not work as effectively were it not for that little bit with the lettering, as we might miss fully the idea that is being portrayed.
Immortal X-Men #4 is now available.