X-Men #8In the previous issue, we met the new Lady Deathstrike, who is actually the old Lady Deathstrike Yuriko Oyama downloaded into the body of Columbian mob daughter Ana Cortez.  This results in something of a split-personality as both minds attempt to adjust to sharing one body.  (This seems to be a recurring condition in the X-Universe.)  Miss Cortez seems obsessed with acquiring cybernetic upgrades and sets her sights on Omega Sentinel, Karima Shapandar, not aware that Shapandar has recently been revived and that her implants are now inert.  After a botched attack on the Mansion, Deathstrike hired Typhoid Mary to attempt to steal an even greater upgrade, Arkea!

Psylocke is the only one quick or close enough to attempt to stop her but she fails.  She does manage to track her down however and the team contacts John Sublime to alert him to the danger.  The villains later go on a quest and encounter a Marvel villain that’s been out of action lately and it sounds as if Deathstrike decides to form a new team.

On a lighter note, Monet has returned from the dead and to the school where she and Jubilee resume their rivalry.  And Jubilee finds herself in a new romantic… predicament, shall we say?

The new Deathstrike is interesting and has a great visual look, based on Cortez’s Columbian culture, with Day of the Dead skull paint and Latin-inspired costume.   But she’s also got one of those personalities and plans where you can’t help but say “This is a baaaaaaaad idea.”

The addition of two non-mutant villains, Typhoid Mary and their new ally is an interesting idea.  Now that I think about it, Deathstrike isn’t a mutant either.  But generally speaking, it’s more common for the team to face off against their fellow mutants.  This new group, not to mention the name Deathstrike proposes makes for a surprising twist.

As far as the X-Men themselves, Storm takes a back seat in this book and I don’t think Rogue says one word.  It seems writer Brian Wood is more interested in developing new characters or beefing up characters like Rachel and Jubilee that have been woefully underutilized (if utilized at all) in recent years.

The art is split up between Barry Kitson and Terry Dodson.  Dodson drew all of the last issue, but everyone knows he can’t maintain a monthly schedule so it’s not a surprise that someone else was brought in and Kitson does consistently excellent work and while their styles are very different, the transitions weren’t as jarring as I’ve seen in other books.  The only problem is that he’s working with Terry Dodson, one of the best artists in comics, so as good as Kitson is, he gets upstaged here.

In all, I like that the story is exploring new territory and going in a fresh direction and that some lesser known characters get to shine.  And the art while great, is just a tiny bit inconsistent.

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X-MEN #8
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Terry Dodson and Barry Kitson
Cover by Terry Dodson