Marvel Comics releases X-Men #11 on August 26. Tying into Marvel’s Empyre event, writer Jonathan Hickman, artist Leinil Francis Yu, color artist Sunny Who, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles show readers the fallout of Vulcan’s encounter with the Cotati on the moon in issue #10–an attack on Krakoa!
X-Men #11 sees Magneto take center stage in the defense against Krakoa. Hickman’s run so far has been about seeding future plot developments, establishing the new status quo, and providing a lot of exposition for that purpose. One of the things this Empyre tie-in provides is an opportunity for some beautifully illustrated action, and Yu and Gho’s work is nothing if not beautiful.
Donning his old purple and red armor, readers see Magneto take on the role of the savior of mutant-kind that he always imagined himself to be. This is reinforced by the narration provided by Exodus and lettered by Cowles.
One particularly effective sequence, drawn by Yu and Gho, is the definitive moment of Magneto’s triumph when he defeats the Cotati commander. Writer, artists, and letterer are all in sync for this sequence, as Magneto exchanges some clever dialogue with the arrogant Cotati commander, who is then crushed by a satellite or two.
Krakoa has been no stranger to outside attacks since the Dawn of X, but this issue shows that the new mutant nation, with former friends and allies working together and trusting each other for mutual survival, is a force to be reckoned with. One incredibly subtle moment in this issue comes when Magneto removes his helmet to facilitate telepathic communication with fellow mutants on the island. The helmet Magneto wore to keep out telepaths like Jean Grey, and Xavier is now freely removed without fear and in full trust, further reinforced by Iceman referring to Magneto as “boss.” It’s a moment that’s easy to hurry past, but long-time X-Men fans, if they stop and think about it, should appreciate it.
X-Men #11 brings the X-Men Empyre tie-ins to an end, with Krakoa effectively repelling an alien invasion force. It is also one of the last X-titles before the X of Swords event, the first X-centric even post-Dawn of X. With the next issue serving as a prelude, it will be interesting to see if Hickman can recapture the magic of Infinity during his Avengers run with his first X-event.
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