Author Archives: Alfie Erin

Uncanny Avengers #1 Delivers Fascist Killing Violence

Uncanny Avengers #1

When faced with fascism what’s the appropriate response? How far should we go in self-defense against those who would see us dead? Uncanny Avengers has an answer for that vital question, in response to fascists you use any means necessary. Uncanny Avengers delivers buckets of fascist blood and a compelling mystery to boot.  

After the devastating events of this year’s Hellfire Gala, the anti-Mutant organization Orchis has won. Mutants are scattered across the globe and beyond. Krakoa has fallen and the remaining Mutants are being deported to the Mutant world of Arakko, itself in the midst of a Civil War in part orchestrated by Orchis. In response to all this Captain America once again assembles a new Avengers Unity Squad to fight back against Orchis. The team is heavily stacked with Mutants like Rogue, Psylocke, and Monet while also comprising the X adjacent characters of Quicksilver and Deadpool, and of course Captain America himself. It’s a fitting ensemble full of heroes who don’t pull their punches in the fight against fascism. Opposing the Unity Squad is the New Mutant Liberation Front, a false flag operation by Orchis to turn public sentiment against Mutants. The new MLF is led by a mysterious figure who has dawned the Captain Krakoa armor once worn by Cyclops earlier during Duggan’s run of X-Men. He’s joined by the bloodthirsty Wildside, A duped Blob, and the Nazi incest siblings themselves, the Fenris twins. The mystery of the identity of the new Captain Krakoa has been much talked about in the leadup to this book, while this issue doesn’t answer that alluring question it does very much play into the reader’s curiosity of who’s behind the mask.

The highlight of Uncanny Avengers #1 for me is certainly when our heroes unleash bloody violence on Orchis soldiers, it’s gory and glorious. Now one might worry that the moral paragon of Captain America might have a liberal tendency to be opposed to killing fascists. You’d be wrong, Captain America is arguably comics’ most famous anti-fascist, from the cover of his first appearance he’s been punching nazis. So it’s refreshing and true to the character to see him hold no grudges against his teammates for slicing and dicing. 

Gerry Duggan’s writing is slick and compulsively readable. Duggan is putting in a lot of work for the Fall Of X event doing Uncanny AvengersInvincible Iron ManX-Men, and of course, he kicked the event off with this year’s Hellfire Gala. One of the subjects Duggan has been tackling through his various works is fascism through the lens of Orchis. I was dubious at first if Orchis meant the criteria for an academic definition of Fascism but as Professor Steven Attewell recently pointed out on his blog Orchis fits within the framework and rhetoric of recent neo nazi talking points like for example the great replacement conspiracy theory. Duggan demonstrates this very fact in the rhetoric of the villains with phrases like “America has gone downhill” and the fake Captain Krakoa’s praise for nazis of old. Orchis’s fascist tendencies have never been more explicit than in Uncanny Avengers.

The art by Javier Garron, colored by Morry Hollowell is action-packed and fabulous. There’s some action here that took my breath away. The colors are bright and heavy and the page layouts smart and dynamic. If I had one complaint it would be the fact that Garron tends to draw everyone very young. It’s a little bit jarring when older characters like the Blob or reporter Ben Urich look like fresh-faced twenty-somethings. Overall though the art more than delivers great action and stunning visuals.

Uncanny Avengers #1 is a great first issue to the limited series. It has action, mystery, and oh so many dead fascists, what more could you want? 

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Javier Garron
Color: Morry Hollowell Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus ComicsKindle

Shadowkat rises in X-Men #25

Shadowcat X-Men #25

After the mutant massacre at the Hellfire Gala, what becomes of the X-Men? X-Men #25 by Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli sets out to answer that question and establish the new status quo for the X-Men line. The issue serves as a launch pad for the Fall Of X, showing us the dire straits the X-Men and their allies find themselves in. It’s not an easy task to set this all up but X-Men #25 succeeds at what it sets out to do and then some. 

The focus of the issue is Kate Pryde and her journey to becoming Shadowkat. The change is more than just a new codename and costume, it comes with a much darker shade of Kate Pryde than we’ve seen in this entire era. She’s more tense and distant, a far cry from the heart of the X-Men that was once Kitty Pryde. Luckily the change is a well-motivated one. In the most stunning scene of the issue, we perfectly see what causes such a drastic personality change. Special mention has to go to Peach Momoko’s fabulous design for Shadowkat, it calls back to earlier iterations of Kitty’s costume while giving her a fresh new look.

Outside of Shadowkat, the issue has excellent world-building. Duggan deftly shows the reader how bad it’s gotten for the Mutants. It all feels wonderfully believable. There is a scene towards the end of the issue which calls back to a contentious moment from earlier in the run, while I initially had issues with that aforementioned moment it’s absolutely paid off here in this issue when it comes back around in a dramatic fashion. 

Caselli’s art has never looked better than under the coloring of Marte Gracia. While I loved his art on X-Men Red and the dragon ball sensibility he brought to that book, I was never quite a fan of how his art looked here in the flagship title. However, this issue has won me back over. The other artist for X-Men Joshua Cassara is a hard act to follow up but here Caselli surpasses my wildest expectations. 

X-Men #25 had a difficult task ahead of it, being the first issue for the Fall Of X and thus a burden of setting much of the stage for the new era. However, Duggan and Caselli craft an issue worthy of the flagship title, steering the ship into dangerous new waters. If you have any interest in the X-Men’s next chapter then this is one to pick up

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

Riot at Xavier’s, a Character Study in juvenile political rebellion

New X-Men #137

The following article is a revised version of a post originally from my Tumblr blog Alfie talks about comics

Created by Grant Morrison and Keron Grant, Quentin Quire first appears in New X-Men #134, which then leads into the “Riot at Xavier’s” arc that spans from New X-Men #135 to #137 with an epilogue in issue #138. Quentin, the primary character and antagonist of the arc, is a vehicle for Morrison and co to tell a story about the surface-level politics alienated teenagers sometimes adopt. The kind of person who doesn’t care to meaningfully understand a political ideology but instead dresses in the aesthetics and symbolism of an ideology as a means to performatively rebel against their elders and the world around them.

Many readers have drawn connections to Quentin Quire and the alt-right that would arise about a decade after the publication of Riot at Xavier’s. The alt-right, a primarily online Neo-fascist political movement, came to prominence in the 2010s. It prayed upon young, disenfranchised men as its primary recruiting demographic. In this way it mimics the social critique Morrison makes with Quentin Quire. This has led many readers to draw a direct line between the two. There is a belief that Quentin Quire is an uncanny proto-alt-right character. However I would argue for a different read of the text and the critique it makes.

Quentin is alienated and feels rejected after learning from his parents that he was adopted. This revalation fundamentally shakes his sense of self and throws him into questioning every aspect of his life. He lashes out because he feels disenfranchised. By rejecting Xavier’s dream he is venting his frustrations at the world, it’s an outlet, not a sincere position. Quentin adopts outrage at the death of Jumbo Carnation not out of genuine anger at the grizzly murder, instead he takes the position when it becomes another outlet for him to point out the supposed hypocrisy of his elders and fuel his anger.

Throughout the arc we see Quentin’s acts of rebellion escalate more and more into violent and destructive outbursts. It starts with cruelty to his peers, his actions escalate further when he and his Omega Gang start assaulting random groups of bigoted humans.

Quentin at the climax of the riot exclaims “So much for the dream! All my life I’ve waited for this “dream” to come true! We were promised peace and security! All my life! Where is it!” Here we see his true motivations laid bare, he feels disowned and abandoned after learning about his adoption. And now he thinks his teachers also have failed him. Quentin Quire has devastating abandonment issues that fuel his actions in Riot at Xavier’s.

As much as the riot itself escalates the Omega Gang lack clear goals or demands for their actions. They are just wildly lashing out because of the drug Kick and juvenile angst. It’s very much like a baby crying out for the attention of the adults.

In their sadism, the Omega Gang are blind and uninterested to the real harm done to their fellow Mutants as shown when they attack a U-Men base. Instead of seeing that the U-Men are planning on attacking Xavier’s students, they obsess over sadistically murdering a U-Man. Their riot leads to the death of Dummy of the special class. It’s a display that they are uninterested in actually fighting against anti-Mutant bigotry but more use the concept of humans as a target for Quentin’s violence, their ideology is style over substance. They aren’t interested in politics or understanding the reason for practicing them, they are only interested in the act itself.

Earlier in the arc, we see Quentin wearing a shirt that reads “Magneto was right” which is a parallel to the real-life use of Che Guevara on graphic T-shirts that were popular in the early 00s among students, the comparison Morrison is making is from an inexperienced juvenile ideology dressed up in leftist aesthetics. Much like in the real-life co-option of leftist imagery the adoption of the motto  “Magneto was right” doesn’t represent an actual political position but the rebelling against the positions of the professor, the politics are purely stripped out and made into an aesthetic. 

With the use of Kick, what was a normal rebellion for a teenager going through turmoil becomes the source of tangible harm, the Omega Gang’s actions don’t do anything to avenge Jumbo’s death. They lash out without caring to understand the violent consequences of their actions. It’s action for the sake of action, a cult of action which is most commonly known as a characteristic of fascism as identified by Umberto Eco in Ur-Fascism. However I  think that kind of methodology (or lack thereof) isn’t inherently right-wing in nature, it can be found in unguided, vague, often experienced political organizing from many groups across the political spectrum.

In “Riot at Xavier’s” Grant Morrison tells a story about adolescent angst and political posturing. In most children, this is a healthy if somewhat cringeworthy point in development. In the case of Quentin Quire, this development is derailed by a combination of Kick and his rapidly out-of-control Mutant gift. Quentin’s politics are neither left nor right-wing, they are vapid and void of political substance, if anything it’s dressed up in imagery of the left wing. While Quentin’s path does mimic that of many young men who fell into the alt-right, disenfranchised and angry looking for an outlet I don’t think that means that he needs to represent that subculture. I think that given time the character of Quentin Quire could grow and evolve out of this phase which luckily we are now seeing done masterfully in X-Force by Benjamin Percy, I’m excited to see how this character continues to grow up with his second chance, and hope that readers open themselves up to seeing how he can grow behind his original actions in Riot at Xavier’s

Let’s talk about the Fall Of X and the “End of Krakoa”  

 Fall Of X

I’ve seen a lot of chatter online about the Fall Of X and what it means for the Krakoa era of the X-Men line. A lot of those discussions have been pretty doomsaying. A lot of fear that this means the end of the Krakoa era ushered in by Jonathan Hickman in House Of X/Powers Of X that has been ongoing since 2019, which united the Mutants on the living island nation of Krakoa. It revolutionized the franchise and breathed fresh new life into the long stagnating X-Men line.

I’m excited for the Fall Of X. One of my favorite things in comics is being able to put brackets around a run. A run is a consecutively told story usually headed by the same creative team the entire way through. One example of a run is Tini Howard’s Captain Britain comprising Excalibur, X Of Swords, Knights Of X, and Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain. Together these books tell a complete overarching story by a single writer.

The thing about the X-Men line since Hickman soft rebooted it, is the collaborative nature of the office. Storylines ebb and flow from one title to the next. It’s harder to put brackets around individual runs because they all contribute to an overarching narrative. If this is the end of the Krakoan era then I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Stories have endings, and this has been an exceptionally well told story. If the ending is satisfying, I’m happy to see the whole era tied together with a nice little bow. 

Even then, I don’t necessarily think Krakoa is going away forever. We know the X-Men are off the island and scattered across the globe for the Fall Of X. But for all we know we might be back on Krakoa by the start of next year! However, even if Krakoa is going back into the box for good, the writers who crafted this brilliant era aren’t. I’m sure we’ll continue to see the collaborative storytelling continue long into the X-Men’s future. Even if Krakoa ends, the spirit of this era will live on.

The Burden of the X-Men’s Cyclops


One of the most striking aspects of Chris Claremont‘s early run on X-Men is the characterization of Cyclops. I want to focus on the first three issues after Giant-Size X-Men and the insight it gives us into the mind of Cyclops. The defining character trait of Cyclops in those early issues is his sense of duty and his commitment to the life of a hero above all else. 

In X-Men #94, the members of the pre-Giant Sized team leave. Angel, Iceman, Havok, Polaris, and Jean Grey decide they have outgrown their role as X-Men and that it’s time to finally graduate from Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters. Cyclops decides to stay with the team, he feels an obligation to the life of a hero, a sense that if he doesn’t lead the X-Men what would happen? What is the cost of failure? 


Cyclops drives the new team hard and himself harder. He puts them through rigorous training to shape them into a well-oiled machine. However, he butts heads with fellow X-Man Thunderbird. Thunderbird is hot-headed and has a desire to prove himself. While the two are arguing they are called away on a mission to stop Count Nefaria from unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the world. During the ensuing events in X-Men #95 Thunderbird dies taking down Nefaria. The X-Men are devastated but no one more than Cyclops.

X-Men #95

Cyclops personally blames himself for Thunderbird’s death. As the X-Men’s leader, he holds himself accountable for the loss. He tortures himself and goes over the events again and again in his head. He holds himself to an unrealistic moral ideal and when he fails he takes it personally. For as hard as he is on the X-Men ultimately he does it because he cares deeply for them. 

It’s become somewhat of a joke in the current Krakoa era of X-Men that Cyclops has a plan for every contingency. Here a similar obsessiveness is present but played much more seriously. He prepares because if the X-Men fail it means death, and the consequences of failure are dire. Cyclops has something almost akin to Catholic guilt. He holds himself up to an unrealistic moral ideal and beats himself up when he inevitably fails to maintain it. But even when he fails Scott Summers doesn’t stop, he needs to still be Cyclops, and he needs to still be a X-Man. Because if not him, who else? Because Cyclops is the X-Men.


Meet Cyclops’s New Nemesis, Doctor Stasis!

The following article is a revised version of a post originally from my tumblr blog Alfie talks about comics

Doctor Stasis

Doctor Stasis is the overarching antagonist for the first year of Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz‘s X-Men. Stasis is a member of the anti-Mutant organization Orchis with a penchant for macabre genetic experiments. He is also Nathaniel Essex, but he is not Mister Sinister. He’s a different Nathaniel Essex. Doctor Stasis is the first of three additional Essex clones to be revealed. All of whom are represented by their own French suit, the kind you find in a deck of playing cards.

The backstory behind the various Essexs is as follows. In the late 19th century, Doctor Nathaniel Essex envisioned four routes to triumph over machine dominance. Those routes were as follows: The Cosmic Powers, Post-Humanity, Magic, and Mutants. For these four routes, he created four clones, each marked by a French suit on their foreheads. In Essex’s eyes, the clones were in competition, survival of the fittest. The winner he hoped would allow him to ascend to godhood. 

Playing cards

Doctor Stasis is the clone with the suit of clubs on his forehead. He is the route of Post-Humanity. Stasis believes in artificially improving human bodies through genetic experiments. Stasis views the rise of Krakoa and mutants as a threat to humanity and his long-term goal of immortality. In his mind, Mutants are a cancer that must be excised from the earth if humanity is ever to ascend. 

In the first year of Duggan’s X-Men, Doctor Stasis schemes to expose the secret of mutant resurrection. He wants the X-Men to attempt to suppress the story so Orchis can reveal that mutants took action against the freedom of the press, turning public sentiment against Mutantdom. 

Part of Doctor Stasis’s plan was to kill and collect a sample from Cyclops and run tests to see if it was a clone or if the mutants had truly conquered death. Once Cyclops was resurrected, he and fellow X-Men Synch hunted down Stasis where they learned he was actually a version of Nathanial Essex. Even though Stasis escaped, his plans were foiled when Cyclops revealed the truth of mutant resurrection to reporter Ben Urich instead of suppressing the story as Stasis had hoped. 

Doctor Stasis has the potential to be a nemesis for Cyclops. Mister Sinister has long haunted the Summers bloodline but recently expanded beyond that to greater machinations. Doctor Stasis is representative of a specter that has haunted Scott Summers his entire life. 

Stasis’s angle of Post-Humanity is a novel take on Sinister. Mister Sinister views Mutants as tools to be used in his grand design. However, Doctor Stasis is repulsed by Mutants and is disgusted at the idea of them existing on the same planet as him. Sinister wants to use Mutants, Doctor Stasis wants to eradicate Mutants.

Another thing Doctor Stasis has going for him is his design. Pepe Larraz is one of the most talented artists working in comics today. Larraz has created so many instantly iconic designs, Doctor Stasis among them. I’d also like to note that Stasis has a cane sword. You can never go wrong with a cane sword. 

Doctor Stasis is a fantastic new addition to the X-Men’s rogues gallery. He has a killer design and a great narrative hook. He is an antagonist for Cyclops that harkens back to the character’s past. Doctor Stasis is ripe with potential and represents an exciting development for the franchise. Who knows what hell he may bring come the Fall Of X!

The Quiet Council Collapses Into Chaos In Immortal X-Men #12 

Immortal X-Men #12

Professor X, Emma Frost, Hope Summers, and Exodus are all barred from voting after the events of Sins Of Sinister. Nightcrawler has disappeared and left his vote for Storm. Storm has left both her votes to Colossus. Worst of all Colossus is under the mind control of his evil brother Mikhail Rasputin. What will become of the Quiet Council of Krakoa in Immortal X-Men #12!?

This issue is finally Colossus’s POV issue. It’s picking up the thread from X-Force centering on his mind controlled state. Under the pen of the reality warping Mutant The Chronicler Colossus is stripped of his free will, almost completely the subject of his master’s whims. I say almost completely because we do see that Colossus has limited control. He’s a slave to The Chronicler’s script but he can still try and bend that script in his favor, which mostly manifests in futile cries for help. Writer Kieron Gillen doesn’t conclude Colossus’s plot which surely will continue in X-Force. However, Gillen shines a light on how Colossus fights for control. 

The drama of this issue is akin to the series finale of Succession, it’s the same kind of dramatic tension and manic pacing that made that such an intoxicating finale. In many ways Immortal X-Men #12 is the climax to the building tension in the series, the Quiet Council collapses in what essentially amounts to a coup d’é at an exhilarating pace. 

Lucas Werneck’s art is as much of a delight as ever. Throughout this run, Werneck has done a spectacular job spicing up what’s essentially a political drama. The emotions are striking, each character perfectly posing in every panel. 

Immortal X-Men #12 is a reminder of what a strong series this is. It has startling implications for Krakoa that surely will lead into the Fall Of X come August. Gillen and co craft a fascinating look into the character of Colossus while telling a story of political intrigue and power grabs.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Lucas Werneck
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller & Jay Bowen
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

The X-Men Do Mutual Aid In X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1

X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1

The small town of Milford, New Hampshire, is rocked by a deadly supposed Mutant attack! How will the Mutants of Krakoa respond to such a devastating strike? With mutual aid of course! 

In preparation for the upcoming Fall Of X event, Marvel has been doing a series of Before the Fall one-shots. But what is the purpose of these one-shots? What are they setting up, and how will that affect the Fall Of X? X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 by Steve Orlando and Valentina Pinti is about showing the Mutants using their immense power for good, all the while the threats loom on the horizon. 

Through his work on various X-books, Steve Orlando has demonstrated an affinity for bringing back long-forgotten and underserved characters like Wicked, Nemesis, Brimstone Love, and even 90s Spider-Man villain Judas Traveler. Here is no different. This issue gives lots of forgotten characters moments of heroism during the humanitarian crisis. A lot of thought is given to the creative use of various powers. It’s interesting to see how the X-Men use their powers for aid instead of fighting some foe.

The art by Valentina Pinti and the colors by Frank William is serviceable. The expression work is good and the visualization of powers is creative. It doesn’t exactly blow me away, but everyone on the art side is doing a good job. I’m probably underselling it a little bit, but the fact of the matter is that the issue doesn’t have a lot of action. However, in those brief moments of action, I do think Pinti’s work shines. Overall it’s lively and expressive art and does everything it needs to do.

X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 isn’t an essential issue. That being said, it’s still a solid one. The issue doesn’t reveal much but it does give the Mutants one big heroic hurrah before the Fall Of X.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Valentina Pinti
Color: Frank William Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller w/ Jay Bowen
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Purchase: Zeus ComicsKindle

The Avengers Assemble In Avengers #1

Avengers #1

There is a question at the heart of Avengers #1 by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa, the core of the question is this, why be an Avenger? It’s a good question that varies from character to character. In asking that fundamental question we get some interesting answers. Avengers #1 sets out to be a mission statement for the team and this new run more largely.

Avengers #1 is about as good of a jumping-on-point as you can find. It’s an entirely new story with a fresh status quo for the team. The issue focuses on a battle between the Avengers and a giant foe intercut with flashbacks to days before when Captain Marvel — the new leader of the Avengers — assembles her team. That team being Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Captain America (Sam Wilson), The Vision, The Scarlet Witch, and Captain Marvel herself. It’s a good lineup of solid players, all extremely well-written. There is an underlying feeling of hope to the whole issue, the Avengers are Earth’s best heroes and Mackay is intent on showing you that fact. 

The art’s no slouch either. Villa with colorist Federico Blee and letterer Cory Petit brings lively and energetic art. The Panel layouts are dynamic and the action fierce. There are times when the art comes together to create breathtaking pages. I mentioned an underlying feeling of hope within the writing of the issue earlier, that same feeling can be found in the art. Something about Villa’s bright, expressive faces strikes me with this feeling of fun and joy. 

It’s a fantastic first issue that establishes a good team and sets out a mission statement for what the Avengers mean as a whole and as individuals. This run is partly spinning out of the events of Timeless (2022) #1, how that one shot will affect this story isn’t entirely clear yet but part of me does worry it’ll become necessary reading to understand the following issues. With that being said It’s still a great first issue which I can highly recommend.

Story: Jed MacKay Art: C.F. Villa
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review

Purchase – Zeus ComicsKindle

Prepare For The Fall Of X In X-Men #22

X-Men #22

When the X-Men’s greatest foes assemble, will they be able to withstand the onslaught? For the last few issues, the X-Men were up in space fighting the Brood, a conflict that has driven a wedge between Jean Grey and Cyclops. In X-Men #22 by Gerry Duggan and Joshua Cassara, we change focus to a more terrestrial but no less deadly threat, the anti-Mutant organization Orchis. Orchis has it out for the X-Men and mutantkind as a whole. With the upcoming Fall Of X event, things aren’t looking good for the merry Mutants. 

Much of the issue concerns the rising threats to X-Men. Orchis is making moves that we will surely come to term in full during this year’s Hellfire Gala. Like in a game of Dominos Duggan is carefully lining each threat up while we are left to watch in horror and anticipation. It’s good tension-building and it’s interesting to see in which ways the various threats are manifesting. The meat of the issue is an engaging standoff between the X-Men and Orchis agents who are kidnapping Mutants. It’s a fun fight with a lot of good little character moments.

Duggan’s writing is great but what made me want to do this review was the art. Cassara’s work is gorgeous as always. The action is extremely well choreographed and sequenced. The lettering by Clayton Cowles gives a meaty impact to each hit or move. When Free Comic Book Day 2023: Avengers/X-Men (2023) #1 came out. I wrote on my personal Tumblr how I was struck by the creative team of Cassara and colorist Marte Gracia. Gracia is perhaps one of the best colorists working today and he brings his A-game here. The colors are vibrant and bring a unique kind of life to Cassara’s pencils. I think what I wrote in my Tumblr post still rings true so I’ll quote from it here. 

“It’s interesting to see Marte Gracia color Joshua Cassara. When I first learned Cassara would be taking on X-Men I wondered if his style would fit. I was mostly familiar with Cassara’s work in books like X-Force or X Lives of Wolverine by color artists like Guru-eFX or Frank Martin. Who both have dark, moody styles. However, Gracia brings his characteristic flair. There is an almost Saturday-morning sensibility to the art. Cassara’s thick bulky men are perfect for this bright action. It’s tapping into the same vein of design as John Romita Jr’s art. It’s also notable how VC’s Clayton Cowles’s lettering works concurrently with the art. Each punch alongside sound effects feels weighty and impactful. It’s a combination of creatives I’d like to see more of on X-Men”

X-Men #22 is an interesting issue in the lead-up to the Fall Of X. It sets up plot threads while also delivering a satisfying single-issue story within that larger picture. With great art, it’s certainly an issue you’ll want to pick up if you have any interest in the ongoing X-Men narrative.

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Joshua Cassara
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller w/ Jay Bowen
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

« Older Entries