Wilson Fisk now sits as the mayor in New York City, and is planning to use his newfound authority to rid the city of superhero “vigilantes.” It’s a great premise for a crossover like Devil’s Reign, and like with other recent events, Marvel is publishing a series of spin-off minis connecting various corners of the universe to the central conflict. Devil’s Reign: X-Men #1 displays how to make a mini like this matter to core readers and provides an interesting story that builds on current conflicts in the X-books.
In this issue, Fisk is working to close the Krakoan gate operating in New York and has sent the Thunderbolts to confront the mutants keeping it safe. Krakoa, now established as an independent nation, can acquire diplomatic immunity for the tree. Understandably, Fisk is not going to accept being outmaneuvered, and sets the table for a conflict between himself and Emma Frost. It’s an interesting narrative framework, and while the issue does a lot in the way of table setting, it’s a good read.
Written by current X-head Gerry Duggan with art from mainstay Phil Noto, this book could easily have been published in the monthly series. This is not an attempt to shoehorn the X-Men into the crossover, but allows its core creative forces to craft an interesting tale between Kingpin and Emma Frost. With recent X-books dealing with the terraforming of Mars and the revelation of Moria, it’s nice to see the X-Men readdress some of the statecraft elements established in the early days of Dawn of X.
Duggan and Noto are capable creators who use the comic medium well to communicate lots of plot without overzealous exposition. Each page is minimalist with its text, and Noto’s clear linework and blocking make the book a brisk and satisfying read. The pages with the Kingpin are terrifying, and visually establish just how much an imposing figure he is.
The X-Men have dealt with huge, cosmic foes as of late, so it’s refreshing to put them up against an imposing human foe. Devil’s Reign: X-Men #1 is a good start to this miniseries that should be seen as required reading by fans of the X-books.
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