Age of X-Man has been a different sort of comics event for its entire run, focusing more on characters and philosophical conflicts than fisticuffs. However, it was clear that a lot of mutants wanted to punch Nate Grey after what they’ve been through, so exactly what sort of battle do the X-Men fight in Age of X-Man Omega?
Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Simone Buonfantino, Triona Farrell, and Clayton Cowles bring the Age of X-Man to a close.
The X-Men come together from Department X, the Danger Room, and Island X and bring their full anger on Nate Grey. Though a fight is inevitable, they have to realize what’s truly important. Is the world better for Nate’s changes, or does the removal of conflict mean they can’t grow, change, or progress? And once they answer that question they need to ask- which version of their lives do they want?
Yes, this story delivers the sort of fight that I think a lot of fans wanted- Beast, Bishop and Jubilee all get to punch X-Man in the face. However, it does take a step into the philosophical ideologies that Thompson and Nadler had been focusing on all along, and that shifts it into something absolutely fascinating. It’s unlike any event book I’ve read.
However, in the end is the book- and by extension the event- successful? I think so for the most part. It did drag in a few places, with the same sort of pacing issues some of the individual series had. Overall it told a very character focused story, and showed us how important the human connection is to each of these characters. The best example of that is seeing Laura Kinney change when she reconnects with Gabby, and we see all the progress she’s made as a character in the last fifteen years click back in place. It’s a story worth checking out, as is the event as a whole.
Buonfantino’s line work largely works, especially in the first half of the book. We see the characters waking up and regaining their memories, and then the confrontation with X-Man, and those pages shine thanks to his fluid and expressive style. His action is great, with a sense of impact on the page, and layouts that emphasize the characters in motion. The second half of the book is still good, but his more cartoony style does dampen the impact of the deeper discussions going on through the story.
Where the issue never falls short though is in the color art. Farrell bathes the pages in light, even a few scenes at night. That means much of the color pallette remains bright, and that emphasizes how hopeful and optimistic this world started, and emphasizes the arguments the characters have. Then as the world begins to fall apart, she oversaturates the light to emphasize the urgency of the story, and leave the X-Men on a hopeful note as they leave the Age of X-Man for the events of this issue’s sister story in this week’s Uncanny X-Men.
The Age of X-Man has ended, and I think it’s been largely successful. Now, the next era of mutants is ready to begin…
Age of X-Man Omega is available now from Marvel Comics.