A new story arc for the X-Men begins with the introduction of teenager Ana Cortes, a heiress coming into control of her deceased father’s powerful company.
Ana’s return to her company’s headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, launches a new story arc that brings back two familiar characters to the X-Universe — the first of whom is Yuriko Oyama — aka Lady Deathstrike — whose consciousness is downloaded directly into a data port in Ana’s neck.
To complete the transformation, injections filled with nanites provide Ana’s body a new look with those trademark finger claws, and the new Lady Deathstrikes leads a team to infiltrate the X-Men’s mansion in order to take Omega Sentinel by force.
Bad intel — Karima Shapandar is awake and effectively organic — and Monet’s return to the mansion botch Deathstrike’s assault, leaving Shapandar wounded and the rest of the X-Men aware of Deathstrike’s return. Monet joins the makeshift team that’s still figuring out its identity, which leaves Jubilee unhappy having one of her rivals in the Mansion.
While Ana heals, she orders a deeper dig into the X-Files that turns up information on a stronger host body — Arkea Prime’s. A phone call gets her hired help as Typhoid Mary joins Team Deathstrike, and plans are made to go back to the Mansion.
Brian Wood’s decision to bring back the uber powerful Monet gives the X-Men a Swiss Army knife that rounds out the team, covering some of its weaknesses. Hopefully, Wood brings in some plotlines and threats that match up with Monet’s strengths and the team’s buildup, and Deathstrike’s pairing with Typhoid Mary is evidence that Wood already has plans in the works.
Wood also brings back the curious conflict between Bling and Mercury that showed up in issue #1 and has yet to be named. After Roxy finds Jubilee storming through a hallway, she finally explains what really happened — Mercury’s sudden burst of anger after being asked out on a date by Bling. Roxy ends the conversation by saying her feelings have moved on towards someone else, and that along with Jubilee’s rivalry with Monet adds a few more layers to the X-Men title.
Terry Dodson takes over for pencils, and there’s a tremendous amount of artwork acrobatics on his plate. Each panel is filled with expression and movement, and there’s a Disney-esque polish as if the panels were screenshots from an animated special.
Rachel Dodson’s inks are clean and defined, and Jason Keith’s colors are brilliant with emphasis on lighting. There’s a stunning set of panels when Karima fires her gun before Monet turns on her powers that looks like it’s been given some extra work, and it’s a great example of the kind of potential this creative team has.
It’s good to see X-Men back on track after Battle of the Atom seemed to put things on hiatus. We get more of the X-Men’s female teammates showing they can handle their own, and Wood adds some dramatic elements to the story that wouldn’t be possible with a testosterone-laden cast. It’s also apparent that Wood has chosen from the X-Men’s femme fatales for the title’s first set of villains. While some may pine for a Magento-level counterpart, it’s a bit early to bring in the big guns when Woods has something up his sleeve with the possible reemergence of Arkea Prime.
X-Men #7 (2013)
Words: Brian Wood
Pencils: Terry Dodson
Inks: Rachel Dodson
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: Joe Caramagna
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