In the words of the philosopher Alvin Joiner, "so it all comes down to this …" This may as well be considered a review for X-Men #15 and Excalibur #15 as well because there is one long story woven through twenty-two twenty-page installments. That's not a compliment, especially given the meandering nature of this plot, the needless subplot in Hellions, and … well, this awkward finale that was, to quote another philosopher Clifford Smith Jr., "totally X-ed out and crisscrossed."
Many of the lead characters wanted something, and … well, that's a factor in how things played out here, but not exactly. There's a lot of fighting nameless, faceless armies of people who don't matter even to the characters herein. Nothing more life-changing happens than filling out a change of address form, and every possible outcome was lackluster. At least there were some entertaining quotes and moments, but it didn't all string together.
Let's be clear: given the instructions herein, the responsibility for this flat finale does not fall on the visual storytelling done by Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, or Clayton Cowles (although the mixed case text is a little more work to read, the point of it is clear, and the dour coloring is intended to be thematic of the challenged Otherworld environments). No, the script's ideas from Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard don't give a conclusion that satisfies. Saturnyne maintains her aloofness and inscrutability, which does a little to explain her level up in terms of power, but from a story, standpoint makes her endgame a touch overwrought.
As big crossovers go, perhaps some of the breakouts from Arrako might be worth revisiting — yes, people are looking at you, Pogg Ur-Pogg — but putting this back in its sheath will deliver no regrets. RATING: MEH.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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