Published on May 7th, 2024 | by Howard Smith

X-Men #34 Review

Broken Dreams

While the X-Men are fighting back, M.O.D.O.K. enters the scene only to wreak havoc on unsuspecting citizens by turning Orchis soldiers into grotesque monsters on a rampage. Ms. Marvel, Firestar, and Synch do their best at what they do. In X-Men #34, the story raises the stakes and leads to an ultimate decision that just may alter human and mutant history forever. The question lingers as to who will confront Charles in his traitorous ways.

Gerry Duggan (Analog, Hulk, Iron Man) advances the story while simultaneously considering the other X-Men books in tandem with X-Men #34. For those who have skipped a few issues, it would be better to go back and read those issues to understand what’s happening here fully. Speaking of here in this comic book, readers get to witness a fight with M.O.D.O.K. that clearly defines his mistake when tangling with the X-Men firsthand. For a smart foe of the Avengers, it’s evident that he isn’t smart enough to handle the might of mutant teamwork. While Duggan gives readers their due violence and action in the comic book itself, he weaves in the acknowledgment of Synch and older Laura’s relationship having meant a greater good sacrifice. Not wanting this interaction with the younger Laura to be strange, Duggan gives Synch a moment to accept his loss and find his way to honor her. Meanwhile, Shadowkat is out for blood, especially Charles Xaviers’ but her consciousness grows weary of the decisions she has had to make as that persona. As there is so much going on with the X-Men, Duggan writes a story worth reading.

X-Men #34 was beautifully illustrated by Joshua Cassara (Namor, Trails of X, Marvel Zero). His linework is filled with detail which is a joy to read. The amount of concentration he put in to make the story visually appealing is a praise well deserved. Imaginably, M.O.D.O.K. must not have been an easy task as his whole body is riddled with armor and mechanics. At the same time, his illustrative talent also dwells in his ability to capture the environment surrounding the characters in the comic book. Cassara excels at giving readers a space to understand the location in transition from cars, office buildings, and particularly a boat. Also, his panel works well enough that the story’s progression feels natural.

In terms of feeling natural, Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Artifacts, Conan, Falcon) colors with a ferocious control of pallet schemes. His work within the comic book is charmingly lively. The pages are so vibrant thanks to Fajardo Jr. and his contribution to the overall story. The coloring itself adds a certain depth of field that brings out the entertainment aspect of the comic book and holds that attention throughout the entire experience. Comparatively, Clayton Cowles’ (Batman/Catwoman, Batman, Cage!) lettering is a gem to behold. While the art and writing are superb, it’s only right to mention how Cowles’s work as the letterer adds value to the comic book. When it comes to lettering, Cowles makes sure to leave territory for the other creatives involved. His sound effects are always fun to read.

Joshua Cassara and Marte Gracia’s (Empress, Eternals, FF) cover for X-Men #34 is a culmination of all that is happening with the X-Men. It’s an image fans are familiar with, but it’s not what it seems. It serves as an alternate viewpoint for Charles when readers reach page 3 and understand why the cover is designed that way.

Overall, X-Men #34 is a wonderful read. It sets up probably the ending of an era for the X-Men and their path forward after this battle. Their true threat lies with Charles. As for how they will deal with that problem, it remains to be seen until the next issue. Be sure to pick up this issue at your local comic book store or purchase it online where copies are sold. You don’t want to miss anything here on out.

Comic Details

Writer: Gerry Duggan

Artist: Joshua Cassara

Color Artist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover Artists: Joshua Cassara, Marte Gracia

Editor: Jordan D. White

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Release Date: May 1, 2024

About the Author'

Howard is a passionate collector and avid reader of comics who resides in the city of Washington, D.C. His love for all things pop culture extends beyond the pages of comics, as he attends popular culture conventions both locally and out of state. Whether he’s searching for rare comic finds or engaging in video games, or reading manga he manifests an opportunity to celebrate his fandom. Follow along as he explores the worlds of superheroes, sci-fi, and beyond, always with a keen eye for adventure and a deep appreciation for the art of storytelling.

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