With the Inferno event about to rip through the X-Men line, being able to read this collection of issues from a few months back is an advantageous way to take in some of the minor narrative moments before Krakoa gets turned upside down.
In this collection, we have Marauders #17, New Mutants #15, Cable #7 and Wolverine #8-9. It’s a noteworthy compilation of issues without a clear narrative through-line to connect each story arc. That being said, these compiled issues do exhibit an ending of sorts to specific plots running in the current line of books, while also showcasing excellent teams of creators working in comics.
It’s clear why Gerry Duggan ended up taking over the core X-Men book when reading Marauders #17: this is a book that has a tenderness and veneration for its characters and their relationships. Other than setting up the Hellfire Gala crossover, the bulk of this issue focuses on Callisto entering the Crucible and her complicated relationship with Storm. While death in the current Krakoan age is not momentous, the drama between the two women makes this singular event feel consequential. Matteo Lolli’s pencil work fits well for a book high on character dynamics, giving the slight turns of phrases mustered by the likes of Emma Frost visual flair. Duggan is also responsible for the Cable issue here (complemented by Phil Noto’s art), and he gives this younger reiteration spirit and purpose, something I simply would not have expected from the book when it was announced. Knowing that Cable is about to end its run, reading issue #7 makes one blue to know this character will be vanishing into the either.
Vita Ayala’s New Mutants run, complemented admirably by Rod Reis’ art, continues to explore the youth subculture on Krakoa, while giving the classic Claremont cast a role as guides for the new mutant generation. It’s a slice-of-life book that gives voice to the less-than-accepted mutant youth, and something that needs greater exploration in this current X universe.
I haven’t been keeping up with the current Wolverine book’s monthly releases, but the two issues represented in this trade may change that. This solo series, written by Benjamin Percy, walks the faultless line between the larger Krakoan story arcs and the wandering warrior archetype Logan is known for. The art by Adam Kubert is splendid, feeling spiritually coupled to some of the Marvel Comics Presents runs from the ’90s. With Maverick playing a central role in these stories, it even feels like a best-of the Wolverine canon all in a modern book (I may be the only one who was a big fan of the character’s mid-’90s solo series). These two Wolverine issues are comic gold, and hopefully Percy and Kubert will continue to collaborate in the future.
The trade includes the variant covers from the Wolverine issues, and it would have been preferable to have all variants present. While this trade is not a comprehensive collection by any means, it does house an enjoyable set of issues from the line, amassing them in a manner that honors the entire line of current X-universe.
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