X-Men #9 is the third part of Gischler's "To Serve and Protect" arc, and, in this issue, our favorite heroes continue the search to uncover the truth behind the curious reptilian creatures in the NYC sewers and the mysterious disappearance of nerds all over town. This issue reveals, rather startlingly, the real face behind the experiments, and let's just say it is not the Lizard. This issue is very effective for a variety of reasons, and felt nostalgic and very entertaining at the same time. More specifically:
What was good?
As I have stated numerous times regarding this arc, and this series in general, I really enjoy the classic X-Men feel it has to it. Our favorite team of heroes is out actually helping and saving people, which is what they were designed to do in the first place. The team itself is also reflective to 90's X-Men adventures; with Storm in command, Wolverine bickering with Spiderman, and the inclusion of Gambit, it is like I am a kid all over again! Discussing more specific plot details, however, I absolutely loved the big reveal of the villain--I was totally caught off guard for that, which is great. I also enjoyed the bits of grittiness in this issue (which is complimented by Bachalo's penciling).
What was bad?
Okay, the covers are really well done, but come on, Cyclops is not even in this issue at all, much less does he get transformed into a lizard. Put Gambit on the cover, seriously! That is my only big complaint, and it's not even the fault of anyone involved in the story of this issue. It still annoys the heck out of me nonetheless. You either make a cover that details the events of the issue, or you don't, but at least make a choice and be faithful to it.
What was ugly?
I think that Bachalo's lizard textures could have been more consistent. For example, when the group of kid lizards, for the most part, look like awesome dinosaurs, but the Max fellow comes out looking like a weird Hulk with oddly-retained blonde hair. My Wolverine mask complaint still stands as well.
What's the verdict?
4.5/5. I was going to give it a 4/5 based on the reptile Cyclops and no Gambit on the cover, but it is really not the fault of Gischler or Bachalo, so I figured it would not be fair. Other than the cover, this is an excellent issue which definitely appeals to fans of classic X-Men stories, fans of Spiderman, and fans of awesome lizard-smacking action.