“WE’RE NOT LOSING AN X-MAN… WE’RE GAINING AN AVENGER!” The moment we swore would never happen—heck, the moment EMMA FROST swore would never happen—is here at last! As the Frost/Stark knot is tied in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10, Emma’s mutant family reacts to this surprise news!
It’s part deux to the Fall of X for the X-Men, and things seem to be heating up. Shadowkat comes face to face with Firestar! Tony finally pops the question to Hazel aka Emma Frost! Kamala saves a kid from being attacked by some anti-mutant bigots! The Kingpin is back on top, and has rebuilt the Hellfire Club to its former glory! Kinda. Kinda, maybe. Sorta. So let’s get on with the show!
Gerry Duggan continues leading the readers through this newest phase of the Mutants lore, as we see the fall of the Krakoan era. Or at least that’s how it seems, but the story is still in the infant stages, and there’s so much that’s happened so far. Duggan has Kitty bring the fight to ORCHIS’s orbital satellite the Bloom, to come face to face with Firestar. Firestar’s been a double agent since the Hellfire Gala, when Jean, in her dying moments changed Stasis’s memories to have him believe it to be so. It seems that Tony’s somehow aware of Angel’s ruse, but I’m not exactly sure when, or even how he found out. This would be a great place for Marvel to place an editor’s note reminding the fans how this exactly happened.
What bothered me by all of this was the conversation held between the two women. You’re on the ORCHIS satellite explaining the plan to Kitty, without a worry that there was a surveillance system catching every word and action? Like the agents that were murdered, but Firestar somehow survived? You have two women whose powers could be used to explain away the technological mishaps, Kitty could phase through the equipment, or Angel’s microwaves could have disrupted their systems, but how’d she escape the fight relatively unscathed, while the rest of the guards all died some pretty horrible deaths? Huge plot hole that really detracted from the overall quality of the story.
One of the moments that, while only two whole pages, was incredibly memorable. It was where Kamala was leaving her school, and ran into a couple anti-mutant thugs beating on a kid who they thought was a mutant. Breaking the fight up without exposing her secret identity, we find out the victim wasn’t a mutant at all. No, the victim has alopecia, and what appears to be vitiligo, giving us one of those classic moments we’d used to see in X-books from years past. It was a nice moment, but it just rang a tad too meh. Kamala’s faced discrimination like this for years, so having her being the character Duggan uses as his cypher felt cheap here.
Javier Pina returns to art duties after not having been a part of the artist team since issue ten, and he’s brought along Jim Towe. I’ve made no secret of my love for Pina’s take on the merry mutants, so the fact that he was back tickled me to no end. His work here was phenomenal, especially his rendition of Emma, it just elevated the story presented here. As far as Jim Towe, I honestly haven’t read a lot of his work before, but what we have here is quite nice. The fight scenes were tight, and the way he handled Firestar’s energy signature was phenomenal. If there was one drawback of Towe’s work here would have to be his rendition of everyone just tended to skew toward a younger aesthetic than how the characters are meant to be portrayed. Fortunately if this is the worst criticism I could find, he must not have made that big of a mistake.
After coming off of that high last issue, Duggan stubs his toe this issue, and it was pretty noticeable. The story tried to do too much in too small of a space, and left me wanting just a tad bit more.
X-Men #26: Going to the chapel, and we’re gonna get married…
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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