Amazing X-Men #8

Bringing in a pair of new writers, returning teammates, recurring series artist Ed McGuiness and a new storyline, "Amazing X-Men" #8 packs a punch for the opening chapter of "World War Wendigo!" Writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost return to the X-Men side of the Marvel U, bringing Colossus back to the mansion while sending Wolverine off to Canada.

Despite the humor Kyle and Yost reveal among the X-Men team as they avoid revealing Logan's whereabouts, coupled with Storm's quip and a comedic interchange between Colossus and Nightcrawler, it is very clear this isn't going to be a happy-go-lucky stint -- after all, there's a murder in the opening scene. Kyle and Yost hit all the right notes that made the X-Men a must-read in the 1980s and 1990s: team interactions, personal relationships, history beyond the team and more. I'm not super keen on Heather Hudson calling Wolverine at a moment's notice (surely there have been longer absences), but it works as a plot device, so I'll roll with it.

"Amazing X-Men" #8 is typical animated brilliance from Ed McGuinness. He has a new inker in Mark Farmer, which results in a thinner line and slightly alters the finer details McGuinness' style, giving figures less of a punch panel to panel, but the style is still unmistakably McGuinness'. His storytelling is cinematically sound, pacing out the panels like storyboards. The story is bloody without crossing over into gruesome -- McGuinness doesn't go over the top with gore. Rachelle Rosenberg works in concert with McGuinness and Farmer to add a mist of time to Wolverine's recounting of events as he sniffs out the mystery of Guardian's disappearance. Caramagna brings his bedrock lettering to the tale, amplifying the story as necessary and giving the issue a fine finish. That said, the most impactful page of "Amazing X-Men" #8 is one image, no words, and a very limited color palette. With that single visual, McGuinness powerfully remind the reader to strap in, as no character is sacred to Kyle and Yost.

Kyle, Yost, McGuinness, Farmer, Rosenberg, Caramagna and company deepened my concern as they deliver a complete installment in the adventures of the X-Men, including a nail-biting cliffhanger. While the arc is mostly build-up at the moment, the Wendigos are on the board and the X-Men are rushing to face them. I'm not sure everyone made it out of this issue alive, but Kyle and Yost have succeeded in making me curious to see if the Alpha Flight cameos pay off. After two meandering issues following Jason Aaron's departure, I was concerned about this series losing its way, but it has more energy and enthusiasm than I recall any X-title supplying in a long time. "Amazing X-Men" #8 has hooked me back into the series with potential and power.

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