Due to both issues releasing on comic heavy weeks, I haven’t yet reviewed an issue of G. Willow Wilson’s X-men arc. To sum up my thoughts on X-Men 23 and 24, the story is good so far. Focusing on one character for each issue adds depth to it and the dialogue is well-written. It’s a darker book than her Ms. Marvel series, but there’s still a sense of fun.
A super storm started in the desert. When Storm tried to destabilize the storm to shut it down, the ground below swallowed her. Last issue, Psylocke, Monet and Rachel Summers climbed down to find her, while Jubilee began investigating the phenomenon in her own side-story. Last issue ended with Psylocke injured real bad and the underground team further separated.
Today’s issue focuses on Monet while she fights the weird underground monsters, pushes her way through falling rocks and tries to figure out what’s happening. The character focus is where this issue works best, delving into Monet’s childhood memories when the cave-ins screw around with her head. Her determination is on full display, showing how she’s too proud to give up despite the increasingly difficult situation. She also comes to realizations about the team as a whole, referencing the conflicts on display during Brain Wood’s run, and these moments are where this issue shines.
Where the comic stumbles is Jubilee’s portion. On the surface it’s alright, and Juibilee meeting up with the Inhumans is fun. But in the grand scheme of things, her scenes add almost nothing to the plot. It’s a nice touch when Wilson touches on Jubilee and Monet’s history together, but otherwise they only offer Monet a reason to get angry when Jubilee’s investigation turns up nothing. And that’s the main problem with this arc as a whole; so far, Jubilee contributes almost nothing to the actual story. Maybe this will change in X-Men 26, and if so I’ll retract this point.
The art is split between three artists: Roland Boschi, Mark Pennington and Julien Hugonnaro-bert. I don’t know enough about any of these artists to recognize who does which pages. The art is pretty basic, but it works.
If you’re hoping for something optimistic and charming like Wilson’s Ms. Marvel series, you’ll be disappointed. As an X-men book however, it feels like a classic story and focusing on one character at a time adds a lot of dramatic weight. This isn’t a great comic, but Wilson shows potential as both an X-Men writer and a team book writer. If you’re an X-Men fan, you should at least give Wilson’s 4-part run a chance.