As the Age of X-Man winds down, things are falling apart all over. However, one major piece of the final battle falls into place in Prisoner X #5, as Bishop and his team face Legion…
Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Matt Horak, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino bring this chapter of the Age of X-Man to its end.
While the riot rages within the Danger Room, Bishop, Beast, Honey Badger, Polaris and Moonstar dive into the bowels to prison to confront the power that is keeping them captive- Legion. What they find is much stranger than they expected. Can they defeat Legion, and if so will this confrontation prepare them for the war to come with Nate Grey?
Up to this point, Ayala had primarily been telling a psychological thriller story. Here they shift it in full action mode, with the brawl only serving as background noise. Instead the focus is on the small group we’ve primarily followed as they try to reclaim what they’ve lost while fighting their way through both the guards and Legion himself. They make it clear though without the character work of the previous issues this wouldn’t work, and that’s to its advantage.
The issue only has two downsides. First, it largely ignores Forge (whose presence was instrumental to the rest of the series). The sudden appearance of the NextGen cast happens without a significant mention of why they’re suddenly there. That said, I really want to see Ayala back in the X-Men universe soon, preferably writing this cast again. It’s been a great ride.
Peralta and Horak split line art work in this issue, and it continues to look great. Peralta ups the weird in this issue, depicting great surreal landscapes, as well as the confusion that would go with it. His action is fantastic too, especially with Polaris, who is majestic and powerful, while still depicting her internal struggles clearly through her body language.
Horak’s line is sharper and a bit more cartoony than Peralta, so the switch is a bit jarring, but he still has a great sense of character and flow on the page. Spicer’s color work is still stunning, and remains the highlight of this extremely strong series.
Prisoner X is the second to last Age of X-Man series before Age of X-Man Omega in two weeks, and just from this series, I can’t wait to see Nate Grey get his.
Prisoner X #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.