Before Chris Yost and Craig Kyle take over as the new regular writers for “Amazing X-Men,” next issue, an already-scheduled one-off by Kathryn Immonen, Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco drops in “Amazing X-Men” #7. I suspect I’m not the only one who couldn’t help but knowingly groan when I saw the cover for this issue, either. After all, considering that Firestar was originally created for the “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” cartoon, it really was only a matter of time until Firestar and Iceman had Spider-Man guest-star in “Amazing X-Men,” right?
By virtue of being a fill-in, “Amazing X-Men” #7 doesn’t advance any plots or give us any big revelations. It doesn’t really need to, quite frankly. Immonen’s story — Iceman and Firestar run across Spider-Man and a mysterious baby — is light and fun, an extended chase with a lot of sharp, fast-paced dialogue. And at times, that’s all you really need.
A lot of the appeal here is the quirky and entertaining dialogue. Firestar and Iceman shopping for the X-Men is a riot, with the two bouncing off one another as they dissect the list. And from there, it just gets more amusing. Firestar gets the lion’s share of the great lines, with references from Ban Ki-Moon to strange food additives, the connections fly fast and furious. And really, that’s the strength of this story. It’s not the chase from point A to B, it’s the way in which they get there and the verbal sparring between Firestar, Iceman, and Spider-Man. And of course, there’s the baby. What’s nice is that even when Immonen goes for the slightly more predictable joke, like a baby having diaper issues, she still puts her own twist on it. Iceman’s discovering what really lies underneath is certainly amusing, especially given how Medina draws the end result.
Medina’s art is light and fun, a good match for the story. With the holes in Iceman’s slides, torso, and head, Medina is able to bring the collateral damage on their exploits to life in a fun but non-permanent way, and the swirls of the clouds whenever the alien baby blasts fire are inviting and interesting. It’s not something that’s going to sit up and make you take notice of the art, but then again, it doesn’t need to. It achieves the same purpose as the story, which is to entertain.
“Amazing X-Men” #7 makes me wonder more than anything else why Immonen doesn’t have her own regular series, at Marvel or anywhere else for that matter. This issue is an example of how a fill-in should work; entertaining, doesn’t upset the apple cart, and makes you want to see more from the creative team. I know I certainly wouldn’t complain.