Year one wraps with a plot-filled extravaganza. The story is solid, and the art is exceptional. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
It’s the end of the first year of Krakoa’s elected X-Men team. That means plots wrapping up, villains defeated, and some major revelations for the entire X-Men line.
This special issue is written by Gerry Duggan, drawn by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia and lettered by Clayton Cowles, wrapping up phase one of their run.
On Earth, Doctor Stasis stands revealed as none other than Nathaniel Essex! In space, the X-Women face a Wolverine possessed by Cordyceps Jones! Will the team be able to survive long enough to make it to next month’s Hellfire Gala?
There’s a hell of a lot happening in this issue, and it’s a standard length monthly. That means that some parts of the issue pass by really quickly. It’s a brisk as hell pace, and it could have used some extra pages from editorial to let it breathe. Regardless, Duggan does a great job in advancing the plot, while wrapping some up and setting up others to be a part of year 2 or other parts of the X-line. Outside of Cyclops and Synch’s plotline, there’s not a lot of character moments, and the final scene is extra-cheesy and exposition, but both are needed given the space constraints.
It’s not totally clear if this is Larraz’s last issue on the series, or if he’s just taking a break during Judgment Day. If it is the end of his run though, he went out on a high. This continues to be one of the best looking comics being published, and Larraz goes all out. Each panel is full of detail, and the storytelling is fantastic. Gracia makes it come to life. His colors emphasize and amplify Larraz’s work. They’re one of the best art duos in comics, and I love their work together.
Cowles has been an unsung hero in this run. He’s a letterer that makes the comic better, while blending in but still making the script pop off the page.
Next month, everything is going to change for this series. I’m excited to see what’s next, hopefully as we see this series continue to grow, especially with its new cast.
X-Men #12 is available now from Marvel Comics.