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Reign of X Vol. 7
Marvel Comics

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‘Reign of X Vol. 7’ review

Another fine addition to the Reign of X paperback collections.

Reign of X Vol. 7 is an interesting assortment of X-books, with Vita Ayala and Benjamin Percy’s titles taking center stage. Chronologically, this trade is about halfway through the larger Reign of X era in the line, a time where some of the titles seemed to lose narrative thrust as behind-the-scenes changes were underway. Thankfully, X-Force and New Mutants are two of the current X-books that have continued to have a clear identity as the larger line slowed down in preparation for the departure of Hickman, making this a fine trade even for those not reading the entire X-line.  

I may sound like a broken record, but even when the individual issues may not contain world-changing revelations, the quality of work these creative teams have shaped is enough reason to buy this collection. Ayala, Percy, Duggan are possibly some of the best comic writers working today, and all have issues demonstrating their talents in this book. 

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Reign of X Vol. 7
Marvel

Percy clearly has a love for Quentin Quire, who seems to be the unofficial main character of this current run of X-Force (issues #18-19 in this collection), getting ample page time to address the dark creatures haunting mutants, being bred in a shadowy lab. Even though some of the X-Men mainstays play a role in this title, it’s the care given to the second and third tier characters (like Black Tom) that give this book a clear differentiating characteristic. The role Beast plays in this book pays off in later books, and it’s nice to see how much time was spent establishing his disreputable role in Krakoa throughout this book’s run. Add in the horrific (in a good way) art from Garry Brown, and you have a book that has found a way to move its main plot forward, even when the line felt stuck during the time the issues were released.

Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants issues (#16-17) continue to explore the teenage subculture on Krakoa, and how some of its youths have fallen under the guidance of the Shadow King. It is this type of examination of mutant civilization that I would like to see more of in the line at large, and one hopes that whatever book Ayala takes on after the end of Inferno gives the writer space to explore these cultural dynamics. Rod Reis continues to deliver lovely, watercolored images that border on surrealist experimentation at points. Each page is beautiful and provides the perfect tapestry to Ayala’s script. 

Reign of X Vol. 7
Marvel

The solitary Children of the Atom and Cable issues (#2 and #9) are fine additions to this trade but act as more table setting for future events. Phil Noto’s linework on Cable perfectly captures the tone of Duggan’s teenage Cable tale, and one hopes that he continues to contribute to the X-line when the elder version of the character returns in a future arc. 

For completists, we are treated to a handful of full-page variant covers, as well as some sketches from Rod Reis. While not the strongest Reign of X collection to date, the fact that it showcases some of the key creative minds guiding the line, and who will continue to play prominent roles in the post-Hickman era, makes this a fine addition to the Reign of X paperback collections. 

Reign of X Vol. 7
‘Reign of X Vol. 7’ review
Reign of X Vol. 7
While not the strongest Reign of X collection to date, the fact that it showcases some of the key creative minds guiding the line, and who will continue to play prominent roles in the post-Hickman era, makes this a fine addition to the Reign of X paperback collections.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Good writing from Percy, Ayala and Duggan, showing just how instrumental they have been to the Hickman-era.
Some creative art from Reis and Brown give their books distinct character.
Titles like Children of the Atom never developed and thus feel like a promise unfulfilled in this trade.
7
Good

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