X-Men #33 Review

X-Men #33 Review – “As The World Burns”

X-Men #33 continues the Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X crossover story. With Gerry Duggan writing this series the main X-Men title has expanded on the story we’ve been seeing in Fall of the House of X. The previous issue of X-Men placed an emphasis on showing what Shadowcat and Magik were doing to breakout Cyclops. Now that Cyclops is free we have the X-Men as back to full power as they’ve been since before the 2023 Hellfire Gala. Will the X-Men leader make a difference? Let’s find out with X-Men #33.


Writer: Gerry Duggan

Artist: Joshua Cassara

Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Letterer: Clayton Cowles


“X-MEN X-SSEMBLE! If there were ever a time to rally the troops and take the fight to the enemy, it’s NOW! Stand side by side with the X-Men as they head for their final stand! They can’t stop ALL of us!” – Marvel Comics


Now that we are in the second half of Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X we are seeing the crossover story pick up much more. The series that is doing the best job at playing a complimentary piece to this crossover is the main X-Men series. Gerry Duggan has utilized the crossover to enhance the narrative he’s built during his X-Men run. That culmination feeling is what X-Men #33 really hits on.

The tie-ins to Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X haven’t been perfect. There is a balance that needs to be stricken between standing on your on and playing a complimentary role. Everything that happens with the X-Men on Earth taking out Orchis numbers has a feeling that was not able to make the final cut of Fall of the House of X #3 due to page constraints. That’s where X-Men #33 is able to find the right balance in order to feel like a director’s cut version of Fall of the House of X #3.

The director’s cut feeling radiates during the Morlock Tunnels scene. Seeing Wolverine going into his full berserk mode on a bunch of Orchis soldiers is what we needed to see at this point. As Emma Frost sums up why this scene happens as Orchis pushed mutants to this point. In a fight for survival there is no one better to have fighting Orchis than Wolverine. He was made to shine in this moment to counter all of Orchis forces. Joshua Cassara nails how Wolverine shows he lives up to his “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice” gimmick.

Wolverine in X-Men #33
Wolverine tears up an army of Orchis soldier who where hunting him in X-Men #33. Credit: Marvel Comics

This fight for survival continues with how Shadowcat saves Calisto from the Reavers. Kate Pryde return as the deadly ninja Shadowcat has been one of the major character changes we have seen in this story. Shadowcat has stepped up to be the person, along with Wolverine, who has no limiter. She is going to do everything in her power to protect and save others. Which we see once again with how she saves Calisto from the Reavers in a brutally efficient manner.

The showcase of both Wolverine and Shadowcat highlights how the X-Men are making a coordinated assault. Even with their backs against the walls they are more united and not looking to others for answers. They are the ones acting. This makes the way Duggan uses Emma Frost as the coordinator of everything that happens in X-Men #33 work as well as it does. Emma is utilizing her powers to be the leader the team needs. She is making sure even with how split up everyone is that they are fighting on a united front.

It all makes how the X-Men end up taking down one of the final major figures in Orchis be rewarding. Duggan is making sure that things he has built during his X-Men run are all being utilized. Even if the way we got here wasn’t the cleanest there are long-term builds that are paying off. The way Ms. Marvel and Emma Frost convince Doctor Doom to send his X-Men to back them up is an example of this. They use Doctor Doom’s hate for Reed Richards above all else to not only survive but fully take out Dr. Killian Orchis.

Seeing the founder of Orchis defeated in X-Men #33 is a much better transition into Omega Sentinel, Nimrod, and Moira MacTaggert leading he AI revolution against the universe. We are now really in the endgame as the AI of the Sentinels has grown to a God-like level. With Orchis defeated now we shift to the endgame threat that has been developing since the Krakoa Era began.

At the same time, we do see that X-Men #33 is planting seeds for what could come after Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X. The developments around Sebastian Shaw in particular stand out as a future X-Men plotline. While through his son, Shinobi Shaw, ends up helping the X-Men it’s clear Sebastian’s eyes are to the power he is set to gain when all is said and done. The way Duggan handles Sebastian Shaw makes the case for why the character works so well as an antagonist rather than ally to the X-Men.


X-Men #33 does a great job acting as a director’s cut to the events seen in Fall of the House of X #3. Between Wolverine and Shadowcat being showcased as badasses to the X-Men taking down the founder of Orchis, this issue accomplishes a lot to further the current crossover. It all leads to making the next phase of Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X feel like we are at the endgame now.

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

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