What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about X-Men #12! Even now I am still over the moon about what unfolded with the Empyre tie-in to X-Men. It was an epic issue which showed us why this version of Magneto is one to be feared. Though once more I find myself feeling hesitation about another issue, because again this is one which is tying into something else. Though this time around being the end of the Path to X of Swords, the prelude to the big X-Men event of the year.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean by feeling hesitation about an actual X-Men event, and the answer to that is pretty simple. You expect that the X-Men, mutants, and Krakoan Nation will go through a lot over the years, but what you don’t expect is them having to deal with a situation so out there like this. You didn’t expect Krakoa to be met with the island of Arakko. Nor did you expect Apocalypse to run into a grandson who wants him to open the door to their true home. Though credit where it is due that Hickman is not the kind of writer who will deny you of a proper explanation of these new elements. Ever since the introduction of both, this issue was a long time coming for us to get the mutant’s history of Arakko and the fall of their world, Amenth.
That brings us to what we got from the story of Amenth. It was all very enlightening. I’m not going to lie, before this issue? There wasn’t a lot that I was ever able to invest in Apocalypse. You knew he was big, powerful, usually an enemy, yet always wanted what was best for the mutants. However, that was only because of the understanding that he was the first mutant to walk this world. Though with the story we have now been told, there is much more to appreciate about the existence of Apocalypse. Sure, he is planing on throwing the mutants of Krakoa into a war which is probably counterproductive to their efforts to properly exist on Earth, but you have to admit that it does sound to cool to see what happens when the mutants of Krakoa have the opportunity to see where their origins really stem from. That is if this is an experience they are prepared to survive through. After how many issues of these Dawn of X stories, it seems that many of these mutants have chosen lives of peace and content.
Aside from this, I did like that they continued with the game which Summoner was playing with the other mutants. This part was interesting for the fact that there was no telling what was really happening there. Were those three really out there looking to play a game? And was this a game that they really wanted to risk playing? Something in the previous issue simply didn’t seem right with a game played by someone from Arakko. That said, I loved what actually came of the game. We learned something new about Summoner, and we learned something major about Rockslide in the process. There’s something to love about books like this, especially when written by Hickman, because he never fails to create insight into characters who should have always had more going for them than what you saw on the surface.
For this issue, it was hard to argue with the work which Leinil Francis Yu was able to produce for the interiors. This wasn’t really one of those issues where you really cared about the expressiveness of the characters or lack of personality seen in them. I was too busy being blown away by the massive amount of work and attention which went into creating the world of Amenth, and the many pages which put us right in the middle of a war involving many mutants and monsters. It was even cool to see some similarities between the Secret Council and that of Amenth. That is the kind of thing I always have to give Leinil Francis Yu credit for. When you overlook the usual critiques, there is no denying how much of a quality artist he is. You aren’t going to get that many on an X-Men book in particular who will render scenes like this with so much patience poured into the creativity in the characters, settings, and everything else between. Beyond this, it always helps to have a very capable colorist working on the book who has just as much patience to give every object within a given scene their attention to stand out on its own.
After the events of X-Men #12? I would say that there is much more confidence in what is about to unfold when X of Swords kicks off.