All of a sudden, The Black Vortex has taken off.
This event kind of stumbled out of the gate, with dialogue heavy issues featuring a whole lot of bickering and nothing, until now, to really grab my attention. Then Bendis and Sorrentino decided to fire up the craziest issues I’ve read in a month.
Brian Michael Bendis writes this cast of characters well, and considering they are the cast of his two primary titles, All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, that’s probably to be expected. The trio who have submitted to The Black Vortex are certainly the most interesting of the cast of this issue, and a surprising guest appearance definitely piqued my interest. This issue feels like the event is about to take off and blow up into something crazy, which gives it a lot of energy. Bendis works well with Andrea Sorrentino, whose work I will discuss in a second, and this book gains a different tone than previous All-New X-Men issues because of this creative pairing. This script is the strongest of The Black Vortex thus far and if this is any indication of what is coming in the event, I’m in. Bendis delivers some solid banter without bickering becoming the primary focus of the issue and the speeches delivered by Beast, Angel and Gamora are excellent. This is cosmic fun mixed with the insanity of any time this many X-Men are in a room all rolled up into one crazy package.
Now…let’s talk about some mind blowing artwork. Andrea Sorrentino + Marcelo Maiolo = madness….all the right kinds of madness. Sorrentino’s pencils are absolutely amazing in this issue, capturing the grand scope of a cosmic story with unique layouts and some absolutely epic splash panels. The power of those who have submitted to The Black Vortex ripples off of the page and this comic feels like Sorrentino was given the room to cut loose because boy, did he ever bring his best. The announcement of his exclusive contract and this issue dropping have me exceptionally excited for his future at Marvel because this issue is flat-out gorgeous. His unique style of visual storytelling is a huge part of what I feel had been missing from The Black Vortex thus far and the scope of what Sorrentino showcases in this issue is amazing. This really is a visual wonder to behold, and Marcelo Maiolo must be commended for some amazing colour work. One of the most important aspects of the artwork in this issue is the bold colouring and how amazing it makes Sorrentino’s pencils look. This is a dynamic art team that is not like any other pairing in comics and I can’t wait to see more of their work. If you thought Sorrentino was great on Green Arrow (who didn’t) then just wait until you see him working in the cosmos.
All-New X-Men #38 shakes the dust off of The Black Vortex and opens up a new avenue for the series with some great writing and out-of-this-world artwork. Sorrentino and Maiolo team with Bendis very well to craft an issue that is exactly what this event needed to get some spark in it. The Black Vortex has become very interesting and even if you haven’t read any of it up to this point, you need to check this book out for the visuals. They’ll blow your mind.
The Verdict: 9.5/10