LORD OF THE BROOD: THE CONCLUSION!
Why have the Brood gone mad? Which of the X-Men's past deeds is coming back to haunt them? And are bloodthirsty alien monsters even the biggest threat the team is currently facing? All these answers and more will be revealed! Featuring a connecting cover to CAPTAIN MARVEL #48!
X-Men #21 is the final installment in the Lord of the Brood arc, leading into the conclusion of the Revenge/Lord of the Brood in Captain Marvel #48 and #49 next month. There are some fascinating revelations with this issue, and what does the ending spell out for Brood and those still under his control via the Hive Mind? Not sure, but it could be a new status quo for everyone’s favorite xenomorph knockoffs.
Readers get a fight between Nightmare and Jean again, which feels just as unsatisfying as the first one was. Jean’s an omega-level mutant, but with someone as powerful as Nightmare, he is dispatched far too quickly. This is Doctor Strange’s very first adversary, the character is due his respect, but he’s treated like a sideshow character here. He was able to free an entire cadre of Brood from Broo’s mental hold over his fellow Brood, so he should be able to go toe to toe against Jean, at least for a while. It’s a battle I’d expect to take up most of the issue, at least, but it’s almost like a footnote here.
There seems to be something big coming, so expect big things.
The other big part of this story deals with M and Forge’s retrieval of Knowhere, which seemed to go without a hitch despite seeing dead versions of themselves on the once-lost severed Celestial head. No one else in our current universe knows of its return, so having this asset in the mutant’s favor could prove to be quite the game changer down the road. (They currently have the island nations of Krakoa, Genosha, the planet Arakko, and now Knowhere—that’s quite the war chest).
But that’s not all, kids, because we’ve got another subplot brewing! Yes, the Synch keeps aging every time he uses his powers by syncing up with someone light-years away. It’s not directly addressed here, but this scene, this one panel, brings it all home.
The sheer power of Caselli’s art delivers the pain, heartache, and lightweight thrust upon this young man throughout this book. Forced to be dead for 20 years in real time, he finally returned to the land of the living, where his first mission was him, Darwin, and Wolver23 being sent to the Vault, being trapped there for millennia. Falling in love with the Wolver23 he left with, only to return to a Laura who had no feelings for him, leaving him heartbroken. Then he’s reunited with his love, only to face the fact that he rapidly ages himself every time he overexerts himself. It’d be sad, but in this current era, there’s little to fear because he’ll just be resurrected shortly after his death, which cheapens the storyline, and I guess that’s where I’m having a problem with the entire Krakoan experiment.
Without the threat of death, a lot of the drama and stakes fall away, making the threat seem inconsequential. So while the threat of the Brood should appear to be of the highest importance, it feels a little so-so, despite having the threat of billions of potential nameless and faceless alien races as potential Broodmares smuggling the Brood into their alien worlds.
Is my apathy towards those affected by the Brood a symptom of my overall dissatisfaction caused by the resurrection protocols, or is it something deeper? Who’s to know? But it’s definitely something I should focus on moving forward.
It’s the finale to the Brood Saga, and what started off stellar ended with a bit of a whimper. We’ll have to see how Kelly Thompson ends things over in Captain Marvel to full my gauge this crossover. There was one point, when Synch did what was necessary to save those who hadn’t been infected by the Brood that just resonated with me. It was one of the strongest moments in this volume. No text to read, but the gravitas of this scene spoke volumes.
X-Men #21: Don’t you want me, baby?
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
User Review( votes)