Review: ‘X-Men’ #22 Escalates The Orchis Threat

About a year ago, X-Men took an issue to set up the last few storylines of the year by focusing on its villains. X-Men #22 follows that trend, and delivers perhaps the best issue of the year.

Gerry Duggan, Joshua Cassara, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles heat up Orchis’s Cold War.

Orchis is making moves. Omega Sentinel is forming alliances, while MODOK, Dr. Stasis and Nimrod hatch schemes to discredit mutantkind. Cyclops isn’t going to tolerate it any more though. It’s time to take the fight to Orchis, and in doing so the X-Men discover a terrifying new weapon…

Duggan (continuing the example Hickman set before him) has had a lot of dangling plotlines. This issue draws a lot of those danglers together, unifying the threats while progressing the plot, which makes the issue worth it.

However, the second half of the issue- in which Cyclops, Forge, and Firestar tear apart an Orchis “clinic”- elevates it. It’s a great action scene, but Duggan also uses the characters for their powersets and their personalities. It’s what I wish this entire past year of stories had been, and I hope the year can finish strong.

Cassara and Gracia were an unexpected pairing here. As much as I like the result, I’m also not totally sure they’re the best fit together.  Cassara’s always dynamic storytelling shines through. He’s able to make single panels feel like splash pages, and draws the eye to the most dramatic moments. Gracia’s colors look great, as ever. The way he depicts Cyclops and Firestar’s powers makes them feel real. Gracia’s colors do take some of the rougher edges of Cassara’s work away, making it look a bit more like Marvel’s house style than Cassara’s distinct rougher line.

X-Men #22 is available now from Marvel Comics.

About a year ago, X-Men took an issue to set up the last few storylines of the year by focusingCOMICONRead More

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