Review: X-Men (2013-) #23 by G. Willow Wilson & Roland Boschi

X-Men (2013-) #23

Written by: G. Willow Wilson
Pencilled by: Roland Boschi
Inked by: Jay Leisten
Cover by: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: VC’s Travis Lanham

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): In Blackrock Desert, Utah, people have gathered together for the “Burning Tree Festival.” Gambit happens to be there hitting on women. Suddenly, the festival is disrupted by the sand getting swept up by some kind of massive storm. Gambit calls the X-Men for help.

At the mansion, Jubilee notices that Krakoa seems to be having some kind of meltdown.

Storm, M, Rachel, and Psylocke arrive at Utah. Storm says the storm is a supercell and works to resolve it with her powers. It turns out there is a lot of hydrogen in the air, so Storm gets up accidentally lighting it on fire. M believes it’s because Storm is distracted because of Logan’s death. The other X-Men try to help, but they are just as ineffective as Storm. Storm manages to subdue the storm, but in the process, she gets knocked deep underground.

While underground, Storm encounters a hallucination of Logan, who convinces her that she needs to keep fighting. She begins to try and climb her way out of the hole.

Back at the mansion, Krakoa is getting worse. Beast is investigating when Krakoa ends up vomiting violently. Beast takes this as a sign that the Earth is unhealthy.

Meanwhile, the X-ladies are trying to dig Storm out, but there seems to be some kind of monster down in the ground.

Review: I have a real unhealthy relationship with this book.  I have been a customer since day one, but I honestly can’t tell you why I stay around.   X-Men has always had a lot of terrific female characters and having a series to showcase them just seemed like a natural fit.  But, despite quite a few creative teams giving it a shot, this title has never really been all that good.  I keep buying it hoping that that it will get better, but month after month it disappoints me.

I was really hoping that bringing in G. Willow Wilson would kickstart this book.  She’s doing such a terrific job with Ms. Marvel.  I was thinking that kind of energy would be great here.  Give the book a sense of humor and maybe have Ms Marvel swing by to babysit Jubilee’s kid.   That would go a long way to making this back stand out.  Unfortunately, that just didn’t quite happen here.

Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing particularly wrong with the writing of this issue.  G. Willow Wilson got all the characters right, and there were some nice character moments (Jubilee teaching Shogo how to walk, and M believing Storm’s head wasn’t in the game because of Logan’s death).

On top of the characterization, the story was definitely intense, with the X-Men getting beat up badly by an out of control storm.  I always like seeing a group of heroes get their butts kicked.  And the cliffhanger ending with the creature below the Earth was kind of cool.

But, at the same time, it just didn’t feel like anything special here.  It was just another dark and dreary X-Men story. And I was stumped wondering why Gambit wouldn’t be calling his own team in. I get that Storm is the weather expert, but X-Factor has plenty of heavy hitters. What made it even odder is that after Gambit made the call, he vanished entirely from the rest of the issue.   That made it a real odd and awkward cameo.

The art on this issue definitely didn’t help the situation.  A lot of the issue was filled with the characters having to explain what was going on…which was a good thing, because a lot of the art didn’t tell much of anything.  When the storm broke out, I had no idea what I was even looking at until Gambit explained it to Jubilee on the phone late on.

This book also featured perhaps the worst drawings of Beast I had ever seen.  It’s not good with Krakoa vomiting was the least offensive looking thing on a page.

Like I said in my review of Spider-Man and the X-Men, there are a lot of X-Men books out there, and I already buy way too many comics.  A book really needs to stand out to keep me as a customer.  X-Men continues to fail to do that month after month.  I really need to get out of this unhealthy relationship.  Sorry, ladies.  Skitch has officially left the building.


Title: X-Men (2013-) #23
Written By: G. Willow Wilson
Art By: Roland Boschi
Company: Marvel
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • Some really good character moments
  • Real intense action sequence
Cons:
  • Some of the art made the action in the story real unclear
  • There was nothing that really made this issue stand out to me.  It was just kind of there.
Is it worth your $3.99? 7.5/10 – Honestly, this wasn’t a bad issue of this series…but if I want to read an X-Men book, there are far better choices out there.  I like the characters in this book, but they deserve far better than this series.

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