Review: It’s All On The Table In ‘X-Men’ #11

by Tony Thornley

Gamesworld has been a thorn in the side of the X-Men since the first issue of this series. Now in the penultimate issue of X-Men’s first year the team confronts the alien attackers, in a big way.

Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles hit the town as all the dominoes they’ve set up topple down.

The women of the X-Men have finally headed for Gamesworld. There they discover that Cordyceps Jones is a much more frightening opponent than they may have ever dreamed. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Synch dive into New York’s underbelly to track down Doctor Stasis.

This long awaited story immediately proved to be worth it. Duggan brings together several plots to ensure that the series comes to some sort of resolution before the soft relaunch coming out of the Hellfire Gala. The story doesn’t just have plot stakes though, as the Cyclops storyline- with Scott hunting the man who killed him- gives the heart of the X-Men an opportunity for catharsis. Jean’s team feels like they’re in real danger as well, as it’s clear that Cordyceps Jones is much more than any of them could have imagined.

Larraz’s work continues to be absolutely stunning. He has a great eye from the dramatic in every sense of the word. The reveal of the team on Gamesworld is gorgeous, and he makes it feel just as important as the later fight between Synch and Stasis’s cloned soldiers or the final page reveal. It’s a splash of four women walking down a set of stairs, but it just looks incredible. Jones shifts from a weird and slightly silly villain to something really scary just on the visuals. When Jones attacks Wolverine, the reader feels for Laura, especially when we see her later in the issue.

Gracia continues to do some truly great color work. He’s maintained a visual cohesiveness throughout the series, and he goes nuts on Gamesworld, creating a dizzying and mesmerizing new locale just through his grasp on color, lighting and shadow. Cowles’s letters blend into the page, and flow with the art. His work is subtle but clearly crucial to the series’ success.

I can’t wait to see what’s next, as the series leads towards year two.

X-Men #11 is available now from Marvel Comics.

Overview

The X-Men’s cold war with Cordyceps Jones gets hot, in this well-written and fantastically illustrated issue.

Overall
8/10
8/10
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