The Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X has had an interesting start. While the two main series for the event got off to a mixed start the tie-ins have made the crossover better. One of those tie-ins that have helped lift up Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X is the core X-Men series. Synch and Talon’s character arcs are getting the spotlight to follow-up their Fall of X direction. With Talon now gone how will Synch deal with that? Let’s find out with X-Men #31.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
“THE ULTIMATE MUTANT HUNTER! The X-Men lived in fear of Nimrod’s creation, and now it’s clear why! The ultimate weapon of mutant extinction is ever-adapting, ever-evolving, with only one goal—DEATH TO MUTANTKIND!” – Marvel Comics
Where Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X are doing all the big event things X-Men #31 is a much more character focused story. There isn’t huge developments that will impact what we’ve seen in the event thus far. But where X-Men #31 succeeds is giving Synch the character payoff for all the build up he has gotten during the Krakoa Era.
Outside the iconic X-Men the one character that has benefitted most from the Krakoa Era has been Synch. Especially after Krakoa’s first Hellfire Gala, Synch has bee built up as the future leader of the X-Men. That build finally happened when Synch became the X-Men leader, though that came during Krakoa’s darkest era with the Fall of X.
To say Synch has been carrying a lot would be an understatement. With all that in mind it is not surprising that Talon’s death would have a massive impact on Synch. On top of the emotional toil this has, X-Men #31 that Talon’s death was the last straw that broke Synch. He could no longer hide the negative physical impact of his powers from the others. That fact makes the internal struggle to let go of Talon be felt made the investment in Synch greater.
Synch’s internal struggle made the battle with Nimrod have greater tension. Spider-Man joining Ms. Marvel, Shadowcat, and Nightcrawler in the fight was a nice touch. This furthered how other heroes are helping out the X-Men in Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X. This makes this crossover event have a much bigger feeling as it is involving the entire Marvel Universe. Picking Spider-Man also adds to the connection his character has had with Ms. Marvel and Nightcrawler during Fall of X.
With how tough Nimrod came across as being it made Synch’s return to the battlefield a bigger moment. Synch finally letting go and mentally move on from Talon’s death made him go all out against Nimrod a payoff to his arc. It further establishes his importance to the current event that we will hopefully see play out further in the two main series.
That said, X-Men #31 does give a filler feeling when all was said and done. The ending with Synch telling the others for Polaris to do her thing had little meaning. We already saw Polaris go full Magneto at the end of Fall of the House of X. Reminding the reader this was nothing more than a tie-in did ultimately make this be inconsequential. Nothing really progressed with this two-part arc other than taking Talon off the board.
Because of that the addition of Kingpin and Typhoid Mary’s reunion was out of place. Rather than an emotional reunion Kingpin and Mary’s scene came across as complete filler content. Its valuable page count used for a non-X-Men story. These pages could’ve easily been given to develop other X-Men like Firestar’s current story within Orchis.
Phil Noto’s artwork was solid throughout X-Men #31. With a emotional story being told between Synch and Talon, Noto’s artwork grounded this story more than what we normally see from the X-Men. The emotional story beats all hit. When it was time to showcase everyone fighting Nimrod, Noto put over everyone’s powers, especially when Synch went all out.
X-Men #31 did what tie-in comic needs to do in expanding particular character arcs from the main event. The placement of this story happening before Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X both helped and hurt the overall ending of this two-part story. It’ll be interesting to see what stories this X-Men will amplify from the crossover and if it can be more than filler content.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10