Published on August 3rd, 2023 | by Howard Smith
X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA #1 REVIEW (2023)
Summary: An event that changes everything.
A must read!
The Mighty Have Fallen
This year’s event in X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 was designed to commemorate mutant advances and strengthen mutant-human relations on a global scale. A chance to show humans they are not monsters and villains they are depicted as around the world through the media. Hoping to shatter all the lies and deceit enemies of the X-Men have dealt over the years, the resident mutants have gathered diplomats of all kinds to participate in the third annual Hellfire Gala. A new X-Men team is planned to be announced to show the world what good they can bring to light to change human perspectives of mutant kind. Unfortunately, this Hellfire Gala is utterly dashed when Nimrod, Dr. Stasis, and Karima Shapandar crash the party with deadly intentions. All hell breaks loose when sentinels and Orchis soldiers attack, but the night for the X-Men does not end well. Hope relies upon Firestar and her mission given to her by Jean Grey. Xavier is forced to do what he thought was right to save humanity, but what he discovered was far more sinister than he imagined. The clock is ticking for the X-Men, and they are on the run. Everyone knows they won’t give up that easily and they won’t stand for this. Not by a long shot.
Written by Gerry Duggan (Batman, Deadpool, The Invincible Iron Man), X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 is an event that changes everything for mutantkind. It is a change that may just span over several, if not all, of the other Marvel titles that are upcoming. Duggan constructs a story so riveting that it crumbles the foundation of what readers have come to adore about the X-Men series. He knows what will cause readers to feel such anguish and holds that feeling until the comic book ends. He has created a point of no return and all readers who have been reading the series will come to know that what comes within this comic book is gut-wrenching. Duggan avoids the trope of playing favorites and does what the story demands to happen. While readers might find this unfair, it is likely that the X-Men had this coming for a long time. In other words, the X-Men were forewarned but did not heed that possibility. For those that have read Rogue & Gambit (2023), Destiny knew this would happen, but could not stop it. This event by Duggan shapes the future of X-Men and thereafter. What they will do next is unpredictable, but with the way this story is created, it is going to be a very demoralizing uphill battle for the mutants. Duggan has produced a new beginning but at the cost of so much disaster.
The artwork stands out just as well as the writing with this astonishing one-shot. The reason for this praise is X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 was illustrated by a slew of amazing, versatile, and marvelous artists in the comic book industry. Adam Kubert (Alien, Avengers, Cable), Luciano Vecchio (Young Justice, The Accords, The Avengers), Matteo Lolli (X-Termination, Harley Quinn, A+X), Russell Dauterman (Cyclops, Eternals, Gambit), Javier Pina (Swamp Thing, Wakanda, Secret Six), R.B. Silva (Action Comics, Alien, Champions), Joshua Cassara (Black Panther, Heroes Reborn, King In Black), and Pepe Larraz (Captain Marvel, Empyre: Avengers, Conan the Barbarian) have all gathered to collectively deliver a pivotal shift in X-Men history unseen for the very first time. Every artist listed shares a key contribution to one another throughout the one-shot. The sheer massive talent applied to this event is immaculate. Every so often with some pages and panels, a reader can spot whose art style is being displayed and how sometimes two different artistic expressions blend to make an extraordinary visual. Marvel did not hesitate to bring forth the best of the best in a comic book event that will ripple for some years to come.
Speaking about the best of the best, the coloring of the comic book received veteran possession of clear and stunning quality. X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 is colored by colorists who understand the scope of the comic book and know what needs to be exercised to tell the story. Rain Beredo (Basilisk, Captain America, Carnage Forever), Ceci De La Cruz (Patriotika, Lady Death: Nightmare Symphony, Samurai of Oz), Matthew Wilson (The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Exiles), Erick Arciniega (Carnage, Daredevil, Darkhawk), and Marte Gracia (All-New X-Men, Black Panther, Hellcat) contribute with the upmost breathtaking plethora of coloring that gives the one-shot its glamor. With so many wonderful colorists working together the event of the year for the X-Men leaves a lasting impression of excitement and disheartening emotions hanging in the balance.
Tasked with a heavy, but seismic duty Virtual Calligraphy (Namor, Planet Hulk, Savage Wolverine) accomplishes outstanding work on lettering the confines of the one-shot. Despite the huge presence of artists and colorists, Calligraphy focuses on how their expertise can elevate the overall story. The placement of the letters within the dialogue, captions, and those letters design to simulate sound are added in locations that do not take away from the art of the artists or colorists of the comic book. In fact, Calligraphy’s lettering proves to serve as a pillar that holds the entire framework together. In the same fashion, Phil Noto (Artifacts, Batgirl, Avengers) illustrates a cover that gives readers a tease of what may lie ahead. Noto’s artwork as the cover is one to behold, especially with how Jean and Emma are dressed for the occasion.
For readers interested in wondering what is going on with the X-Men, X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 will not disappoint. This is where the X-Men will take off in the coming future, so be sure to pick this issue up from your local comic book store or online where copies are sold. Don’t miss out on this one.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artists: Adam Kubert, Luciano Vecchio, Matteo Lolli, Russell Dauterman, Javier Pina, R.B. Silva, Joshua Cassara, Pepe Larraz
Color Artists: Rain Beredo, Ceci De La Cruz, Matthew Wilson, Erick Arciniega, Marte Gracia
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment