By Jonathan Hickman, Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho
This week marks the conclusion of the children of the vault arc, at least for now. X-23 or Wolverine, Synch and Darwin were sent to the vault to find out what these super powered beings were up to. While there, the three characters lived a lifetime while the outside world didn’t. Things changed, relationships were formed and some didn’t return. One thing is for sure though, this is actually a heartbreaking issue.
Jonathan Hickman is probably my favorite comic writer right now. The fact that he’s writing some of my favorite characters in X-Men is essentially a dream. This issue is told from Synch’s point of view. It’s great to see Hickman utilize a character who has been M.I.A for a long period of time. As stated above, we see the three main characters age and transform several times throughout the course of the issue. Hickman shows us the struggles they’ve endured and the relationships that have formed when you are with someone for 100 years. The relationship between Synch and Laura is sweet, and Hickman doesn’t make it seem forced. Synch’s words come off very genuine and as a reader, we’re rooting for it. Hickman re-establishes how dangerous the children of the vault are as they attack, kill and disarm our heroes. As this issue ends, you really feel emotion and sorry for our heroes. Anyone who said comics are for kids and you can’t get any emotion out of an issue should probably read this book.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mahmud Asrar with colors by Sunny Gho. Asrar is a stud in the comics industry, but he really thrives on X-Men titles. This issue he has several pages and panels that look amazing. The panel that sticks with me the most as I thumb through this issue is when we first see an aged up Laura, Synch and Darwin. LAura looks great with the white streak in her hair, and her pose is awesome too. It looks like she’s saying “try me.” Asrar also does a really cool evolution page of the children of the vault. He shows us the kids as they’ve progressed throughout time. Asrar has drawn many characters in many different costumes this issue too. That’s something that should also be recognized. The colors by Sunny Gho are amazing, as usual. Gho is a true professional at his craft, and this issue is just another example of that. The tone and colors for the book are darker than some of his previous work, but this is a story about a dark period in the lives of these 3 characters. Gho allows bright vibrant colors to pop when possible. This can be seen with the yellow on Darwin’s costume early in the issue, or the pink on X-23’s head. The pencils and colors fit this story perfectly.
X-Men #19 is a must read book. Jonathan Hickman gives us a tragic tale about 3 characters that will actually stay with you long after you put the issue down. The pencils and colors are flawless and work well with the dark story. X-Men #19 is one of the best issue of the series.