Gerry Duggan’s X-Men run is seven issues in, and so far we have seen several characters get spotlight issues. In this weeks X-Men #7, it’s Cyclops’ turn as we see how he transforms into the newest mutant on the block, Captain Krakoa. Duggan is joined by Pepe Larraz on pencils, Marte Gracia on colors and Clayton Cowles on letters.
Gerry Duggan has had the tough task of following Jonathan Hickman’s monumental X-Men run, but this issue feels like Duggan is coming into his own as the writer of the series. Duggan continues to build up his villain Dr. Stasis, and in this issue we get to see more of the character than in any other issue so far. We see that Stasis has his own genetic mutants and uses them to do his bidding. On top of that, Duggan effectively provides a number of sweet moments between characters. Whether it’s Emma consoling Scott after a resurrection, or Wolverine crying for a fellow teammate, Duggan packs this issue with emotion. X-Men #7 allows us to see what a true hero looks like, and Cyclops personifies that role. Cyclops commands the team with ease, utilizes the younger members in new ways (like he does with Synch by combining their powers), and makes many tough decisions as well risk his life to save civilians. Not all heroes wear capes; some wear ruby quartz visors.
Pepe Larraz is a phenomenal artist who has never let fans down with his line work. On certain pages in this issue, like a full page of Cyclops unleashing his full optic blast on Dr. Stasis’ creatures, we get to see just how good of an artist Larraz really is. Emotion plays a big part in this issue, as mentioned. Larraz has an ability to give us gut-wrenching panels that make us feel a certain way. As Wolverine lies over the body of a fallen comrade, Larraz shows one of the most emotionally sound X-Men breaking down, and this gets to you as you look at the panel.
The colors by Marte Gracia go hand in hand with Larraz’s pencils. This is a Cyclops issue, so expect a lot of red as he unleashes optic blasts on his enemies. Gracia’s colors flow into the issue so effortlessly and seem to pair perfectly with what Larraz lays down on the page. The creatures Dr. Stasis unleashes on the population are colored perfectly, at times covered in shadows with a slight amount of light hitting off of them. This is a perfectly shaded issue that is illuminated by the bright reds and oranges as mutants use their powers to save the city.
The letters by Clayton Cowles work well here for readers. The thing that stands out most for me is the disgusting sounds Dr. Stasis’ creatures make. In your head you can hear a distorted “Roar” or “Hisssss” as these gross mutations storm the city and wreak havoc on the residents. The highlight of the lettering is a nice big “Zark” as Cyclops blasts several mutant creatures with an amazing bank shot.
X-Men #7 is the best issue of the run so far. This creative team overloads us with action, emotion, and intrigue as we start moving toward a new dawn for Cyclops and his team. X- Men #7 is on sale now at your local comic shop.