X-Men #13 Review

Writer: Gerry Duggan

Art: C.F. Villa, Matt Milla, Martin Coccolo, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller 

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price:$3.99

Release Date: August 17th, 2022

Mutants are the subsequent phase of evolutionary growth. Yet, this Evolution hinges on a transformation of genes fortified by their ancestors the Deviants. Well, with the recent worldwide reveal that these “Deviants” have the ability to raise the dead, the ETERNALS feel that this deviation has gone too far and needs to be stopped. Let’s dive into X-MEN #13 by Gerry Duggan as the A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event continues in this tie-in issue. Can the X-MEN, who have saved our people and planet countless times find a way to save themselves and their new home? Or will everything they’ve built be ripped away from them once again?

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the X-Men #13 Review.

THE DISPATCH

The X-MEN are tasked with stopping the Hex. And to those unaware of the A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event, Druig has basically declared Mutants as Deviants. Now, on the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Nonetheless, mutants can resurrect themselves meaning through simple mathematics, Deviants can also resurrect. Therefore, the ETERNALS can’t have Deviants with the ability of reanimation. So, Druig dispatched these Kaiju-sized ETERNALS known as the Hex to destroy Krakoa, the mutants, and their ability of resurrection. Meanwhile, Uranos (THANOS Grandfather) was unleashed on Mars to destroy all the mutant inhabitants there as to stop any and all extra help they might receive on Krakoa. So, where does that leave us in X-MEN #13?

Well, X-MEN #13 spends a majority of the issue strategically organizing and infiltrating the ETERNALS armory to stop the continued revival and onslaught from the Hex. In the interim, Duggan tries to balance the entire X-MEN team by providing an aspect of all of their abilities to be helpful, which is quite impressive. Like a Father not wanting to pick favorites, he finds something for all of them to do. However, after to HELLFIRE GALAS and a narrative introduced by Hickman before he left, it’s plain to see even in this issue that the X-writers (including Duggan) absolutely love Synch. He’s the star of X-MEN #13 who tends to wear “the coat of many colors”.

Now, I’ve loved Synch. And truthfully, until he was deployed on the team with his love affair with X-23, I didn’t know much about him. However, even with his abilities being as supercharged and overpowered as you’d think, I still fashioned myself more interested in the love affair than his mutant abilities. Nevertheless, Duggan has steered the character as more of a focal point for this X-MEN team. He’s been the catalyst, rule breaker, the behind-the-scenes intrepid leader, the hero, and the Omega-Level Mutant to fear in a … Synch! And frankly, my problem with X-MEN #13 is that it’s beginning to get s bit old. Even with Duggan juggling the character’s air time pretty well, Synch is still at the center of it all… always.

Moreover, Synch is now awkwardly giving play-by-play’s every time he “synchs” to someone new. Additionally, readers will also see Iceman become a huge part of X-MEN #13, which was great to see and a huge change of pace. Yet, my biggest complaint of the entire issue may be something inadvertently related to the A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event that seemed out of character for a tie-in. Ironically enough, this very premise happened at DC COMICS this week as well with their DARK CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS tie-in within the pages of THE FLASH #785. A rather significant reveal takes place in the pages of a tie-in. And in X-MEN #13, the Hex is ultimately thwarted and the Celestial is online.

I feel like that’s a big element to happen in a side tie-in that many won’t read who are only following along in the main title. Plus, those who aren’t following the A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event and are only reading the X-MEN receive a pretty big reveal that means nothing to them. It just seems counterintuitive and forces completionists to get this issue while frustrating fans of both X-MEN and the A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event simultaneously.

ART

C.F. Villa and Matt Milla do a fantastic job aligning panels and frames to usher readers through the action with ease. However, it’s the sharp, vibrant color choices that will really catch your eye. Milla provides a drastic difference in color choices from the surface versus the center of the Earth. Now, both backgrounds are bold but provide a solid environment for the action taking place in two different lights. Yet, the biggest knock of the entire X-MEN #13 issue would be the incredibly sharp edges that Villa tends to draw with, especially when fighting the Hex. Villa pans out to provide almost a full-page spread of the fight in order to encompass the scale of Hex versus individuals like Jean Grey.

Nevertheless, in doing so, the size of the X-MEN involved lacked detail and were hard to decipher. I get it. It’s hard to draw gargantuan sizes as the backdrop and still add detail with the small characters involved. But, since the X-MEN were supposed to be the focal point of the issue, I just wish the illustrative focus was more on them in those big fights with smaller panels to guide the reader through those intense fight scenes. A prime example of that proper balance was the team infiltrating the center of the Earth. Once inside, the art was lights out!

FINAL THOUGHTS

X-MEN #13 was certainly fun, exciting, fast-paced, and showcased once again that Duggan can juggle a large cast of characters. And readers, please don’t overlook that element of a team book. It’s extremely difficult to give everyone on a team their fair shake. Yet Duggan finds a way to solve problems with everyone involved like a master chess player. However, my biggest concern with his X-MEN run is that even though there is reasonably balanced air time, Synch continues to be awkwardly focused and a bit too overdone.

Additionally, specific to this issue of X-MEN, Duggan reveals some pretty big stuff that may have been better suited for the main A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY event and not so much in a tie-in issue. However, overall, X-MEN #13 continues to show how impressive Duggan is at the helm of the biggest X-title and why it continues to be the X-book everyone should have on their pull list. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

8.5/10

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