ONCE AN X-MAN…
POGG UR-POGG FOR HIRE! Hired for the dirtiest of jobs, a deadly mercenary comes crashing into the X-Men right at their most vulnerable moment! But not just any mercenary—finally, the breakout fan-favorite from X OF SWORDS, Pogg Ur-Pogg, returns!
It’s the last issue for the second year’s official X-Men team before the next Hellfire Gala starts, and Duggan’s trying to tie up as many of the unresolved plot lines from the last year to give the third year’s team and the upcoming new status quo that comes with the Fall of X, that the issue here comes across as rushed to wipe the slate clean from the cast members who won’t be a part of the next lineup. Joining Duggan on art duties this issue is Joshua Cassara.
The issue begins with teen Cable, affectionately called Bable, body slides to days before the Hellfire Gala to stop whatever it is that ORCHIS is planning, but gets hijacked by Stasis, Omega Sentinel, and Nimrod, which leads one to wonder why they were aware of Bable’s plot to begin with? Is someone in ORCHIS’s inner circle from the future? Clues are pointing to Omega Sentinel, but if this is true, it feels like it should have been an ongoing plot from the beginning of the Krakoan era.
Maybe the clues were there and were just overlooked, but it feels like it should have been littered through not only this book but the rest of the X-line as well.
Another plot point that was brought back was the cryptic message from Destiny to Rogue and Gambit. The best part about Destiny being so pivotal in this current era of the mutants is also the worst part about Destiny being so pivotal to this era of the X-Men. Having a future-telling clairvoyant character to use is rife full of potential, leading to all kinds of dramatic effects, but Destiny hasn’t been used to her fullest potential since her return. Also, the sheer lack of development between her, Mystique, and Rogue has been absolutely criminal, which is another victim of the Krakoan era.
There are characters on these teams with decades worth of history together, but a lot of it’s either been swept aside, or given the most arbitrary of acknowledgment, like the exchange between Rogue and Destiny here. The plot line is used to force some added drama between Cyclops and Jean, but it’s so uninteresting and adds nothing here. Bringing in Pogg Ur Pogg also made little sense here. The character and most of the other Arakkii haven’t caught on as much as they’d like, so dropping them off here left little to those uninterested. No one knows what the Fall of X era holds for the merry mutants, but could it spell the end of this experiment? Or is it time to let a different voice lead them into the future?
Joshua Cassara is on art here, and as one of Marvel’s previous Stormbreakers, his art here left one wanting more. His style goes from serviceable to unreadable, just depending on the page. It’s unfortunate because his last couple of issues were really impressive and changed my mind on his work on the flagship book, but this was definitely a step in the wrong decision.
A flagship book like this deserves an A-list artist, but it feels like Marvel is just phoning it in after Pepe Larraz’s departure.
With this end to the flagship’s X-Men title coming to a close Duggan and Cassara’s last issue before the Hellfire Gala and the new official team closes with more of a whimper than a growl. This last year feels wasted, as the book was thrust from one crossover to another, which has been an awful disservice to the creators, fans, and the cast. Hopefully year 3 is better than this last.
X-Men #24: Days of something, something’s past…
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 6.5/106.5/10
- Art - 5/105/10
- Color - 5.5/105.5/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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