Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Joshua Cassara, Marte Garcia, Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, and Jay Bowen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 17th, 2023
Mutantkind may be stronger than ever, but that just makes their enemies more determined than ever to tear them down. Orchis’ plans are in motion, preparing for the fall… All these answers and more will be revealed in this week’s X-Men #22 by Gerry Duggan!
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 #22 Review.
Karima Shapandar re-enters the fold this week as X-Men #22 kicks open with a discussion from one of the Golden Girls of Hordeculture. Initially, fans discover some even more devious alignments that the mutants have which ultimately continues to make their agenda worse and worse. After everything that has happened so far since HOXPOX, how can any reader be on their side? And now as this issue opens, we find out that they’ve been lacing this medicine the entire time. Really? How can anyone be on the side of the mutants? Or do the mutants have any idea this is happening? Well, you’ll have to read the issue later to find that little nugget out for yourself!
Additionally, Duggan takes a deeper dive into Orchis and all the different branches involved. Readers see different aspects of their operations with a focus on one in particular that manages to get rid of the X-gene entirely until Cyclops steps in with his team to barely handle things. That said, we can see a remnant of mutants (mainly the X-Men) that have good intentions. But isn’t that the case in any culture? Speaking of cultural remnants, Duggan shines through with Forge throughout X-Men #22 and the series since he’s been involved. Forge has been the heart of this team with only the best intentions to save all of humanity and not just mutant kind. Readers will get a perfect glimpse of that as this issue begins to wrap up showcasing that not all mutants are bad after all.
As for the premise of X-Men #22, readers will get a pretty decent amount of action, some clever plot threads that will start to unravel, and Forge as a linchpin that holds this team together. As the X-Men begin to fracture, he’s the main man holding everything together, including more than just the X-Men. Hopefully, when we begin to shake up the roster once again, Forge stays on and commands the lead on this next phase. Almost every story involving Forge had been spot on and this issue was no different. Who better to thwart the Orchis’ plan than the smartest guy in the room?
Joshua Cassara and Marte Garcia provide some insane displays throughout most of X-Men #22. Their M.O.D.O.K. looks extra creepy and the violence is raised to 11! From smashing faces in glass to the intense blaze from Firestar, these pages are cluttered with nonstop action that will keep fans on their toes. Additionally, this team understands panel layouts and motion causing each page to come to life throughout each thrust and swing. However, for some reason, the last two pages of the issue look a bit different than the rest. I can’t quite put my finger on why but something appears different with how Forge and Cyclops are both drawn.
The one real problem with X-Men #22 is that it’s too busy for what else is going on. There are a ton of great ideas planted in this issue. Secret signals, laced medicine, mini Wolverine-infused sentinels, and even fractured relationships. However, with everything else that’s going on throughout these Trials of X, it’s just too much to follow and it feels like no writer is playing well together. Can’t the writers all get together and work this out?
X-Men #22 is pretty solid but now I feel like the X-writer’s hands are in too many cookie jars. Will we see all these ideas play out? And will they all fit together? I find it incredibly hard to believe that we can see an in-depth discovery of all of these key components even within this issue of X-Men. That said, my goal is to review THIS issue. And thus, I see the potential for some great stories as well as some extremely clever plot threads that I hope get ironed out. I especially love the laced medicine angle as well as what Forge is willing to offer to the world. However, where do we go from here? Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!