Marvelous X-Men #5 Pushes The Age Of X-Man To A Conclusion

by Tony Thornley

For months now the Age of X-Man has been playing a precarious balancing act, with Nate Grey just keeping ahead of knocking all the pieces down, and the X-Men were always at the core of that. In Marvelous X-Men #5 does it all come crashing down?

Cover by Phil Noto

Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna bring the core story of the event to a close, while setting up next month’s Age of X-Man Omega.

Nate Grey’s fragile hold on his world is slipping. When a member of Department X is murdered by En Sabbah Nur, that hold is shattered entirely as the X-Men assist Psylocke in investigating her death. Will the X-Men be able to stop X-Man before he completely destroys reality?

This issue has its ups and downs. On the positive, the character work hits a high note in this story. It’s been the major highlight of the series to see how the characters react to the dangers of this world while remaining the X-Men that we know and love. We finally see them fully together as a unit, and though some of the specifics are different, these are truly the characters we’ve loved for years.

However, the pacing of the issue is all off. It feels as if we’ve missed large chunks of story, especially Nate Grey’s. His sudden deterioration is out of the blue, and some of the revelations that come with it seem like we should have seen coming but didn’t. That leads to moments of trying to catch up or outright confusion. It might work better in a trade or binge read, but as a month-to-month story, this issue doesn’t quite land as well as previous.

Failla and Milla’s art continues its high quality. Even if some of the moments in the story are confusing the art helps bridge that gap. The characters’ anger, confusion and determination all comes across wonderfully. The closing few pages, with the team confronting Nate, are a great fight, but they also have an emotional weight that Failla depicts perfectly. Milla keeps his palette bright, which here makes those moments more emotional, and Nate’s actions more disturbing.

The Age of X-Man is about to come to a close. The question now is how will the X-Men come out of it?

Marvelous X-Men #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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