THE SENTINELS GET AN UPGRADE!
Anti-mutant fantasist Feilong has taken control of Tony Stark’s businesses and devoted Iron Man’s technology toward the next generation of Sentinels! These Stark Sentinels are as hard to beat as old Shell-head himself and are fully devoted to crushing the X-Men!
AIPTAction-packed and filled to the brim with drama, X-Men #23 is excellent. In a time when the looming Fall of X has made many new fans anxious, well-made comics like this instill confidence that the X-Office has plenty of great stories to tell and is not slacking off anytime soon. There’s a lot of X-Men coming out this week, but this issue cannot be missed.
The Comicbook DispatchOverall, X-Men #23 does an outstanding job of making multiple titles and storylines feel important. From Ms. Marvel to Tony Stark and the other X-books, Duggan writes like a team player that’s paying attention. He dabbles in all of Marvel Comics and puts all the pieces together nicely. People want to know that what they read is important. And after reading X-Men #23, you find yourself seeing which titles are definitely the most important. And thus, you feel safe in knowing your money is well spent. Additionally, the action and story beats are on point. The Stark Sentinels are absolutely nuts and the agenda being pushed by Orchis and its associates is top-notch. Nevertheless, the only things bringing down X-Men #23 are the insanity that is Doctor Stasis and Mother Righteous AND the art. The illustrations are chunky and remind me of the late 90s in terms of style and authenticity. When allowed to zoom in tight on the character’s faces, the design was amazing. However, the more action that transpired, the more chaos ensued and thus the more disheveled the design and illustrations. Hopefully, it can get a bit more buttoned up before the next issue is released.
ComicBook.comX-Men #23 is an issue in three parts. The first is an encounter between Mother Righteous and Doctor Statis that furthers the game between "the Sinister Four," bringing revelations and clever repartee courtesy of Gerry Duggan's dialog. It ends with a coda where Cyclops learns of a significant event in the Marvel universe involving an old friend that may shift his perspective on some issues. The middle act, which takes up most of the issue, is a traditional X-Men vs. a Sentinel battle with a twist, as this Sentinal is a giant Iron Man armor designed by Tony Stark. The beats of the fight that ensues aren't particularly compelling compared to others of its kind, but Joshua Cassara's artwork elevates it. Marvel has struggled to find the right colorist to pair with Cassara outside Dean White, but the artist's collaboration with Dee Cunniffe here yields stellar results. Cuniffe's shadows add new depth to Cassara's linework, which works well on Cassara's characters, who are hulking masses of muscle built more like wrestlers than models, and the visual team comes together to create some palpable visual drama on the page of Magik taking apart the Sentinel as only she can. The series still feels like it's in a holding pattern as it waits for Fall of X to begin, but it's a stellar issue in its own right.