Review: X-Men #22
As a group, the X-Men fare better when their stories are based on Earth, not in other settings, including outer space. Part of what makes the characters so interesting and compelling is that they are a reflection of humanity, the same but different, which can really be said of anybody in one sense or another. When they leave Earth, they lose a bit of this touch with humanity and they become somewhat more like super-powered anybodies. This five-part story arc called Exogenous has faced this problem throughout, telling a fun enough story, but losing bit of what makes the characters special in the process. As the final chapter in this story arc, this story includes an adequate wrap-up to the plot, focusing mostly on action sequences, but it is by getting its focus back that this issue succeed.
Throughout the story arc so far, a common theme has been Rachel and her acceptance of the events around her, mostly out of her control as Madeline Pryor is being used against the team, but so too are others interested in the outcome, including the X-Men. While the story in this final issue of the story arc focuses mostly on action, especially with the attack of the hybrid aliens, it is the moments with Rachel that give this a stronger center, and focuses the series back to where it is best, focusing on the personal aspects of the characters as opposed to the action and intrigue.
This story arc managed to pull back into what the strength is for the series in this last issue before starting something new. So far the story arc has been far more concept driven, with the hybrid aliens, the return of Madeline Pryor, the betrayal of S.W.O.R.D. from within, but by mixing the focus on characters back into the mix it redeems what has been a fun but lackluster story arc so far. The moments with Rachel are not dominant here, but they are touching enough to make up for their brevity. While this has never been a weak series, it did stumble a little bit with this story arc, but by the end finds itself back on the same solid ground where it has mostly been throughout.
Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy