Brandon Peterson’s time on All-New X-Men draws to a close with All-New #21, the conclusion to the Purifiers arc. Although I’ve had mixed feelings (some bad, some terrible) about the past two issues I was so ready for this team to end it on a high. But is that even possible with such a terrible beginning to the arc? Is it good?
All-New X-Men #21 (Marvel Comics)
The All-New X-Men, Kitty Pryde and (not sure if she’s an official part of the team yet) X-23 are captured, helplessly trapped, ready to die, at the hands of the Purifiers. What to do? What to do?
The story isn’t very compelling or engaging. It seems like the Purifiers don’t really have a goal other than to kill the mutants; but for some reason they go through the trouble of chaining each one of them up and half-assedly torturing them. There is a lot of chit-chat and a lot of preaching in this issue, which made it read slowly. When the action comes and the punches start rolling it seems poorly timed — the X-Men were totally chained up one second then even when nothing changes about their situation they manage to escape. I’m not really sure what was keeping them trapped? Or was it just that when they all woke up they could bust free? Not really sure.
Apparently cruciform is the only way villains know how to restrain superheroes these days.
It’s like Marvel is taunting me. You’re so happy that Wolverine isn’t in this one particular X-Book? Too bad! We’re going to put Wolverine in, just disguise him as another character. Maybe Logan was sick the day they wrote this comic and they just had X-23 stand in for him. She reads almost exactly the same lines he would — complete with a “Oh, my past of violence coming back!” moment and a rage fit. Really disappointing that they couldn’t do more with her character.
Also, although I am not Christian myself, I think the Purifiers are a bit offensive to Catholics. They keep piling on about how this race of different people and the anti-christ and how much God is willing them to kill the mutants. I know Catholic people, I have Catholic friends, they aren’t sadistic monsters and BMB is framing them as so. Now, I do understand that the Purifiers are extremists and have already been established as characters; it just seems like the author is piling on a bit. (Or maybe he’s trying to channel the Westboro Baptist Church?)
Despite any other shortcomings of the characterization in this comic, there is a strong sense of team present as all X-Men new and old tackle this threat. They are dynamic, strategic, and serious about fighting, something that is too often missed in comics to leave room for humor. Jean and Laura don’t fight quite like they are pictured on the cover, but they are not kept out of the fray of the battle and both take active roles as team members.
I continue to feel like Brandon Peterson would have shone more if he were assigned to a different arc, but for what he’s given he does pretty well. All of the drawings are sharp and “3-D” not hindering the action at all. The flashback art is incredible and has a really fun retro vibe to it that makes the little mini story in the beginning all the more meaningful.
Is it Good?
Nope, this issue and arc are entirely skippable.