Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Sunny Gho, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, and Leinil Francis Yu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 31st, 2021
Have you ever read a story and left wanting more? Now, you’re not upset because it’s bad. However, you notice the narrative had so much untapped potential that was just glossed over without detail. You discover that there was just so much more that could have been shared… but wasn’t. After reading X-MEN #19 by Jonathan Hickman, I have a feeling you’ll leave with just that thought.
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ESCAPING THE VAULT
Hickman merely scratches the surface as Synch monologues over most of the issue. Readers, it just felt like it was missing… information. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll easily see the creativity and cleverness of Hickman bounding off each page. Plus, as one would expect being trapped for years within a “temporal prison”, relationships and bonds are formed and developed. Thus, there is certainly character growth that becomes more of the focus within this issue. Nonetheless, is that what readers wanted? Is that what X-MEN fan thought we’d garner from this mini-arc?
Now, many would make the argument that I’m being harsh based solely on expectation. Nevertheless, let’s note that this X-MEN team went into the Vault specifically for answers in which we will not find in this issue. All we find out is that we “know what they’re becoming” and we have “some ideas of how to stop them.” And, by “we” I mean the characters within the comic, not the readers. Plus, X-MEN #20 isn’t scheduled until MAY 26TH! So, even if we are to get answers in the next issue, we’ll have to wait almost two months knocking the wind right out of the sails of this story arc.
SAVING GRACE/ SPOILERS
If there was an aspect of the issue that clawed its way to the surface as the glowing bright spot within this week’s X-MEN, it would have to be the relationship developed between Synch and Laura. As many of you could probably see the writing on the wall, it was still heartfelt and passionate. Through their sheer actions and sacrifices towards one another, readers will be able to feel the love these two had for one another. Furthermore, the gut-punch Hickman lands as the issue conclude leaving Synch with the memories of their 100+ year relationship and Laura without will hit fans hard.
In such a short amount of pages, I found myself enamored with this dynamic romance. Sadly, it appears as though nothing will transpire from this, which ultimately makes the issue lose its power. Will Laura ever remember? Are Darwin and Laura actually dead? I thought resurrection protocols called for “proof of death”. Or are they merely stuck inside the Vault untraceable by Charles? Again, the potential within these pages is ready to spill over. However, will we ever see any of it transpire? I hope so.
As a single issue, the emotion between the characters is potent and meaningful. Hickman cultivates this issue as more of a love story than a productive message about the Vault and its children. With little to no answers, as well as so much untapped potential left on the cutting floor, I can’t help but wonder if this story would have been better suited in a separate mini running conjunction with the main X-MEN series.
As excitement arose for this story months ago, I merely wish to forewarn readers fascinated by the narrative to temper their expectations before diving in. The story is still inventive and had so many powerful moments. However, other than the evolution and de-evolution of a relationship, that’s about all readers will take away from this issue… and for another TWO MONTHS (May 26th people)! Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless.