Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
A good chunk of the X-Men roster is finally getting the casino issue that they deserve. Jean, Polaris, Rogue, and Wolverine are in position to take on Cordyceps Jones. Captain Krakoa and Synch are on their own smelly adventure in the sewers on Dr. Stasis’ trail. Sunfire dealing with the Avengers. All of this is ripe for a fast issue of X-Men.
Gerry Duggan’s script is a fun one in X-Men #11. Every character except Rogue and Sunfire get a nice moment to shine. Jean and Synch get to be cool, Wolverine and Cyclops get some action, and Polaris gets to shop. There is a solid balance of humor, action, and even mystery in this issue. Cordyceps Jones is a great villain through this issue, and is full of cheesy villain humor and horror at the same time. The Duggan run has suffered from some slow pacing, but everything feels like it is picking up here with the promise of things moving fast next month.
The script is fun and all, but that isn’t even the best part of this issue. Once again, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia shine. They will be missed when they hop off of the series, because for as good as the story is, the art carries every issue. Every character looks sensational, especially Polaris who even gets a costume change midway through the issue. The action scenes are all short, but they flow well and feel dynamic. Not a single panel sequence is hard to follow throughout the issue. The power signatures are full of flair thanks to Gracia’s colors, making even the non-kinetic scenes look astounding.
The backgrounds are full of life and color thanks to the casino setting and the artists’ attention to detail. Even the backgrounds that aren’t busy just pop due to Gracia’s bold colors. Clayton Cowles has fun with the lettering throughout the issue during the action sequences. Otherwise the lettering here is pretty standard. Still, the entire creative team comes together to make a bright, fun experience for the reader.
Finally, it would be a sin for me to not say how great everyone looks at the casino. Even Sunfire by his lonesome strikes a fantastic pose. Larraz really brought the looks to this issue.
X-Men #11 is a fun, visual feast that let's its cast and creators shine.