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X-Men #11

Review by Paul Bowler.

When it comes to intricate, multifaceted levels of storytelling, writer Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men #11 goes all out with crafting another facet to his grand ongoing Mutant opus. Deftly weaving the overarching narrative of the X-Men’s new mutant island nation of Krakoa with Marvel’s current line-wide Empyre comic book event, where the Kree and Skrull Empires have united with Emperor Hulkling to fight the combined might of the Celestial  Messiah, Quoi and his plant-like Cotati, Hickman manages to juggle a trio of distinctly different plot threads with consummate ease to ensure this issue of X-Men is far more than just your average tie-in to Empyre.

Last issues Empyre tie-in saw some interesting developments for Vulcan, AKA: Gabriel Summers, whose link to the celestial energies still clearly means he has the potential to be something of a ticking time bomb for the X-Men. Now as the X-Men begin to fight back against the Cotati on the Moon, the Cotati aggressors have set their sights on a far bigger target… Earth and the X-Men’s island home on Krakoa.

X-Men #11 pivots around a trio of fascinating narratives set before, during and after the events on Krakoa during this issue. The opening scenes with Rockslide, Loa and Anole  seeking out the mysterious Summoner and partaking in a game which balances defence and attack, initially seems frivolous, but quickly hints towards ominous consequences as the game begins. From here we jump to the following day where Exodus is sitting around a campfire with some of the islands mutant children and telling them the story of what happened during the attack on Krakoa. Finally, we get to actually witness what transpired during the Cotati invasion and how Magneto, Magik, Magma and Iceman led a coordinated counterattack against the Cotati onslaught. Jonathan Hickman’s taut scripting on this issue ensures the pace doesn’t t let up for a moment, and the level of characterisation across the board — especially Magneto – is absolutely sublime.

Leinil Francis Yu’s artwork is a joy to behold. Every scene is rich with detail and beautifully framed in simple, free-flowing page layouts that effortlessly relays the action with exquisite character beats. Yu’s impressive work, along with color artist Sunny Gho’s understated use of intricate tones and shade, makes the setting for the Summoner’s game with the unpronounceable name feel charmingly beautiful and haunting all at the same time, Exodus’ campfire story is equally striking, Magneto’s choice to suit-up in the crimson and purple attire more associated with his villainous past instead of his current all-white costume is another highlight as the mutants rally to defend Krakoa, and the X-Men’s action-packed battle against the Cotati is veritable showcase of their abilities and resourcefulness in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

Following the tremendous relaunch of the X-Men with Power of X and House of X, Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men continues to go from strength to strength. X-Men #11 illustrates just how compelling Hickman’s current run on X-Men is becoming, especially now its on the path to X of Swords, and if you’re enjoying everything that’s going on with Marvel’s Empyre event then X-Men #11 is going to be right up your street as well.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Jonathan Hickman / Artist Leinil Francis Yu

Color Artist: Sunny Gho / Letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover Leinil Francis Yu and Artist: Sunny Gho 

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook