REVIEW: ‘X-Men,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Men #6

X-Men #6 is written by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. “Whatever Happened to Captain Krakoa?” focuses on the newest member of the X-Men, Captain Krakoa — and how his membership on the team rankles Cyclops. Meanwhile, Sunfire comes face to face with one of Orchis’ agents Feilong, who claims the moon of Phobos for humanity in retaliation for Krakoa terraforming Mars.

This issue marks the return of Larraz to interior art duties after the last two issues, and he comes up with an eye-grabbing design for Captain Krakoa. The Captain’s face is obscured by a silvery helmet, with branches and leaves representing the X-Men’s mutant home growing out of the back. He also wears a blue and white bodysuit complete with green armored sections, continuing the Krakoa theme. This helps the Captain to make an impressive entrance in the opening pages, with Gracia presenting a radiant sun shining behind him as he descends from the sky.

And Duggan’s script also shows how handy the Captain is; he saves a cat from a tree (yes, that happens, and yes, it’s oddly heartwarming), saves people from a burning building, and even has time to say hi to Spider-Man. You’d think this would be great news for the X-Men, given that mutants have been trying to integrate into human society for years, but it’s revealed that he was placed onto the team courtesy of Krakoa’s Quiet Council — which Cyclops takes objection to. Cyclops intended to reform the X-Men on his own terms, and this friction between him and Professor X makes for an interesting angle; doubly so when you remember that Scott Summers was the first X-Man.

The Phobos plotline is also the start of an interesting story, as it shows how far Orchis is willing to go to take down “the mutant menace.” Leaning into the science fiction elements of the new X-Men era, Larraz designs a massive space station surrounding Phobos comprised of several massive rings that orbit around the moon. Gracia shrouds the station in shadows, which represents the threat literally hovering over the mutants who’ve made Mars their home and provides a nice contrast to the raging reddish-orange fires of Sunfire as he fights Feilong and a surprise opponent. Cowles tops it off by placing a series of carefully arranged word captions that slowly reveal more about the space station, with Duggan’s words spelling out just how much trouble Krakoa is facing.

The one flaw with the issue is that it feels a bit disjointed at times; the narrative leaps forward and backward in time at whiplash speed, which can feel disorienting to readers. Some X-Men fans will probably guess who Captain Krakoa really is, which dents the mystery a bit. I’m willing to see where Duggan is going with this story, but between this and The Trial of Magneto, I feel like the mystery genre is the one place the X-Men may not be cut out for.

X-Men #6 introduces a new member to the team in the form of Captain Krakoa and a new threat from Orchis. I’m intrigued to see how the X-Men handle these new changes, as well as the “secret origin” of Captain Krakoa.

X-Men #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.


X-Men #6
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TL;DR

X-Men #6 introduces a new member to the team in the form of Captain Krakoa and a new threat from Orchis. I’m intrigued to see how the X-Men handle these new changes, as well as the “secret origin” of Captain Krakoa.