With the recent buzz around Immortal X-Men, X-Men Red and recent changes in the line, it’s easy to forget some of the lesser-known runs from just a few months ago. In volume 11 of Reign of X, every issue of this collection is a pleasant, enjoyable read, yet only one issue has some resonance with the current crop of titles. Having said that, this trade has some heartfelt moments that even passive X-readers will find touching and worth the read.
Collected here, we have Way of X #2, Cable #11-12, and Children of the Atom #4-5. Si Spurrier’s Way of X is the only issue here that has a current monthly series dealing with these characters and plot. It’s early in the run and spends most of its page count focused on Nightcrawler and Legion attempting to discover what dark force is working in the shadows of Krakoa. Spurrier’s examination of Krakoa’s religious and ethical elements obviously touched a nerve, as he seems to be playing a larger role at the X-office with the current crop of titles. I love Bob Quinn’s art; it perfectly captures the ridiculous exuberance of Si’s script while giving its dramatic tension visual sincerity. It’s a book that reads and looks great.
The other issues collected here are the tail end of the Children of the Atom and Cable titles. Vita Ayala’s CotA never quite found its footing and purpose, although it promised an interesting premise within the Krakoan era. The team’s characters are likable and interesting, with the team finally working together with their heroes in the X-Men. The reader also learns of the team’s true origins, giving the book’s surprise pivot an interesting way to examine mutant culture and its fandom in society at large. Unfortunately, the series would end just a single issue later, with the conclusion to #5 providing a heartwarming moment between Carmen and Storm, as she receives her invitation to the Hellfire Gala. Paco Medina’s art is colorful and vibrant — appropriate for a book of this nature and feels at home with other teen-team related books of this type.
Cable, written by Garry Duggan, always felt like a holdover from the previous incarnations of X-books, as I never quit understood his place in the larger X-line. However, Duggan did a fine job with this series, giving readers an inexperienced version of the titular hero to follow as he navigated the more cerebral Hickman landscape. These issues quickly wrap up the young hero’s journey, bringing back the older Cable while leaving the door open for future young Cable adventures. Phil Noto’s art is distinct and expressive, giving each character a beautiful and warm veneer. It was a fun little run of 12 issues, and this trade thankfully gives us its two final issues concurrently.
As we turn our eyes to the new titles occupying the X-landscape, it’s nice to know that the creative talent responsible for these issues are still driving participants in the current storylines, even most of these characters are not. Reign of X Vol. 11 is a perfectly enjoyable collection of issues for an X-fan looking to examine some of the lesser-known books from last year.
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