The X-Men have been busy with one event after another. They ended 2022 with A.X.E.: Judgment Day and dealing with lingering plotlines from the Children of the Vault. Now they are starting out their 2023 with having a crossover with Captain Marvel. From the looks of things what will be tying X-Men and Captain Marvel together is the growing Brood threat as the X-Men head to space to save Corsair. Will the X-Men and Captain Marvel meet right away or is the Brood threat far bigger than the two titles stick to their own stories? Let’s find out with X-Men #19.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
As soon as the X-Men land on the planet Corsair’s signal is coming from they discover the planet overrun by the Brood.
Cyclops assigns Iceman and Firestar to help the people of the planet against the Brood and Jean and Magik to look for where Broo is while he, Synch, and Talon (Old Woman Laura Kinney) search for Corsair.
Jean, with Emma Frost, Psylocke, and Stepford Cuckoos help from their locations, discovers Broo is on Arakko and has Magik teleport them there.
Cyclops, Synch, and Talon find Corsair with a baby Brood growing inside him. Talon and Synch work together to successfully operate on Corsair while Cyclops holds back the Brood.
Cyclops, Synch, Talon, Firestar, and Iceman regroup only for Corsair to reveal he was made to be bait for the X-Men.
Meanwhile, Forge and Penance use the still active gate to travel to Knowhere, which previously disappeared through a black hole. Because of block hole’s effects Forge and Penance travel through time and when they arrive on Knowhere they discover other versions of themselves knocked out on the ground. They then discover something else not from their universe where they are. End of issue.
Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli waste no time in getting the story going with the X-Men quickly getting to dealing with the Brood threat. That works to the strength of X-Men #19 as the Brood are put over as a threat to the greater Marvel Universe. This allows the story started in X-Men #19 to not need to be directly tied to what is going on over in Captain Marvel except for the Brood.
Right away the sense of urgency is felt as Cyclops wasted no time in making sure the X-Men tackled the Brood threat from multiple angles. It shows how as an experienced leader Cyclops isn’t blinded by his desire to save his dad. He understood what a major threat the Brood are and was able to split the X-Men up into the three most effective groups. Jean Grey, Magik, Synch, Talon, Firestar, and Iceman all going into action with their respective assignments puts over how the team chemistry is already there.
This gave way for the greater Brood threat to be put over. Even without knowing what exactly the Brood have planned, it’s clear they attracted the X-Men into their plan for a reason. Corsair confirms this with how he uses his remaining strength to warn the X-Men. This warning likely will bring together the Brood’s plot we are seeing develop in Captain Marvel which has the Brood using various powerful characters for their plans.
Further connecting things to the greater Brood plot is how Broo will end up factoring into things. Duggan shows a lot of great long-term planning going back to the work Jonathan Hickman did with Broo’s character during his run. We saw in Captain Marvel #45 that the Brood Empress is the one orchestrating the plan that saw both Rogue and Binary kidnapped. With Broo being the Brood King there could be a bigger cosmic story being built.
With that in mind, Duggan did drop the ball when it came to connecting the X-Men and Captain Marvel together. Specifically, we see that Jean recruits Psylocke to help boost her psychic powers. Psylocke is currently helping out Captain Marvel and this was a big missed opportunity to have her warn Jean about what she has found on her side. All that was needed was a brief line of Psylocke mentioning she is also dealing with the Brood threat which would help connect this story with what is going over in Captain Marvel.
Back on a more positive note, X-Men #19 was also a great showcase of everyone’s powers and skills. Along with Cyclops’s leadership and Jean’s psychic powers, we saw the others get their own time to shine. Iceman and Firestar are positioned as long-distance powerhouses. They hold back the Brood army while saving the people of the planet. The friendship they have worked well into how they team up to have their fire and ice powers complement each other.
With Synch and Talon, a great superhero name for Laura Kinney, we see how they take the lead to save Corsair. It shows how much trust Cyclops has that he immediately trusts that Synch and Talon know what they are doing and covers them against the Brood. Synch and Talon make great use of their powers to be able to operate on Corsair while limiting the pain. It shows their versatility they were able to save Corsair as time ticked down. This all added to the sense of urgency in the X-Men’s latest mission.
The one part of X-Men #19’s story that did not work was Forge and Penance’s side mission to find Knowhere. This sub-plot came across as coming out of nowhere. Rather than a cool mission, this just seemed like a way for Duggan to take Forge out of a story that he would be a great help to the rest of his X-Men teammates. Moving forward this sub-plot would honestly be best told in backup format rather than in the main story where we switch between the two storylines.
Stefano Caselli deliver great artwork that got over this being a crossover event. The Brood were shown to be the chaotic threat that they need to be. Caselli was able to show good action choreography with how Iceman and Firestar worked together against the Brood army. Then there was the surgery Talon and Synch conducted on Corsair showed another form of teamwork as the pair efficiently saved Cyclops’s father’s life.
X-Men #19 quickly brings the team into the story with the Brood’s attempt to take over the Marvel Universe. The sense of urgency with the team’s search for Corsair and Broo worked to keep the X-Men and Captain Marvel stories separate for now while still having a clear connection to the greater Brood story.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10