Comic Book Reviews (Week July 26, 2023): X-Men Hellfire Gala 2023, Storm Issue 3 & More!

X-Men Hellfire Gala 2023
X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (July 26, 2023). I will be covering X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023, Storm Issue 3, and Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 2!

Let’s begin by talking about the dramatic X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 by writer Gerry Duggan. This mega comic book issue had a lot going on as it ushered in the Fall of X era. Fans have been looking forward to seeing how the latest Hellfire Gala would handle Krakoa being destroyed and the controversial resurrection of Kamala Khan.

X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 opened with Emma Frost and Scott Summers talking about Cerebro recognizing Kamala Khan as a mutant. Apparently, Kamala’s both a mutant and an inhuman. And from the looks of things, Marvel Comics has a lot planned out for her as she tries to make sense of her new identity and becomes a hero for all.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Kamala being considered a mutant. While I get that she was supposed to be originally a mutant, having her become one now feels like the MCU impacting comic book storytelling, and not in a good way. The explanation given for why the Terrigen Mist wasn’t fatal to Kamala was underdeveloped. What do you mean she survived the Terrigen Mist because her X-gene hadn’t manifested yet? Why was Kamala’s X-gene suppressed at her age to begin with?

Also, Kamala figuring out her actual mutant ability is going to be a thing for her. Who wants to bet that her mutant ability will be creating purple energy constructs as she does in the Ms. Marvel live-action series? I have my fingers crossed that the creative team gives her something else power-wise.

Another thing I didn’t like about Kamala’s death and revival was how the creative team decided to have a Muslim character go through the process of resurrection in such a manner. It felt very iffy to me, from a religious viewpoint.

Kamala attending this year’s Hellfire Gala took a turn for the worst when Orchis attacked as soon as the new X-Men team was announced. Fans have been hoping to see a very diverse X-Men team for a while now. And though they got such a team, seeing said team be attacked by Nimrod a second later felt like a cruel joke. Some members of the fandom have also shared that the moment felt like a slap to the face. 

What followed was page after page of the mutants experiencing yet another massacre with some fan-favorite mutants dying or presumed dead during the surprise attack.

Bobby got a moment to shine as he went for Nimrod. I think it was clear Nimrod was going to lose to the Omega-level mutant if the robot hadn’t come prepared. And while Bobby’s no more, the upcoming Astonishing Iceman solo series by writer Steve Orlando makes it obvious Bobby will be okay.

The MVP was definitely Jean Grey as she showcased why she’s in a different league when it comes to Omega-level mutants. I liked seeing her unleash, even though she didn’t go as far as I wanted her to. Orchis was out for blood and seeing Jean be merciful toward them after what they did made me roll my eyes.

Having said that, the way Jean (while dying) manipulated everyone’s mind to help place Firestar as a mole inside Orchis was cool to watch. I would have never guessed someone like Firestar would become such a major player. I’m looking forward to seeing how that particular plot point will develop.

As for Jean’s death… I mean, it’s Jean Grey. The word ‘death’ holds a very different meaning for her.

Also, I have to say that Jean not having a constant telekinetic shield around herself during a major fight came across as forced plot convenience to keep the story moving.

Another plot convenience was Magik not knowing a single teleportation spell even if her mutant power was suppressed. I refuse to believe Magik doesn’t have a countermeasure that relies on magic when losing your mutant ability can easily happen.

In a way, Orchis won because the plot demanded it and not because they had a well-thought-out plan against a bunch of powerful mutants.

Everything came across as yet another excuse to have the mutants be backed against a wall. This isn’t the first time mutant-kind has gone through the threat of extermination. And it sure won’t be the last. Thus, it’s kind of disappointing to see that TPTB over at Marvel can’t really come up with something else for mutants.

Yet again a majority of mutants on Earth have gone missing or presumed dead while a handful of X-Men will create the resistance to fight Orchis. 

I’m interested in seeing Storm’s reaction to the events that transpired during the Hellfire Gala as she already has quite a lot on her plate due to the Civil War with Genesis on Arakko over in X-Men Red.

Coming to Professor X’s role, I don’t know how one can come back after that. The dude really decided to sacrifice the mutant race for humankind. Someone needs to make him realize that, just as it holds true in the real world, you don’t negotiate with bigots and terrorists.

Seeing Charles force countless mutants through the gates made for a very chilling visual.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Storm Issue 3 review
Storm Issue 3 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Storm Issue 3

From writer Ann Nocenti and artist Geraldo Borges, as a Storm fan, the current five-issue miniseries really isn’t doing it for me. While the X-Men have always had dramatic relationship conflicts among team members, I don’t think I have ever seen Wolverine, Rogue, Kitty, and even Storm be so annoying.

In my opinion, Storm’s being too overdramatic about seemingly losing control over her weather powers and the appearance of a new villain named Blowback. Also, her romance with Travis makes no sense. Unless there’s some kind of mind control involved, I don’t know how Travis would have such a hold on Ororo.

I did like seeing Storm ask Charles why he brought her away from Africa while she was still trying to figure out a path for herself. Charles didn’t answer, of course. But hey, at least she brought it up.

As for the tension between Kitty and Ororo, Kitty finally came clean about why she wanted to annoy Ororo by rebelling against her. And while Storm understood where the young mutant was coming from, I liked how she told Kitty to grow up already. There’s a difference between changing your appearance to reflect your inner self and changing your appearance to annoy someone.

Talking about the villainous Blowback, apparently, the creature is Storm or thinks that it’s Storm? I don’t know. The revelation was weird. Blowback seems to be connected to Ororo’s guilt in some manner. So, I’m kind of interested in learning how that plot point will develop in the remaining two issues.   

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Up to you.

Black's Myth Issue 2 review
Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 2 (Image: AHOY Comics)

Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 2

I was provided with a free digital copy of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 2 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

By writer Eric Palicki and artist Wendell Cavalcanti, the second issue of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart spent a lot of time familiarizing readers with the story of King Solomon and how he, apparently, had demons, ifrits, and djinn create the first temple in Jerusalem.

From what I could understand, the book of spells he used was called The Key of Solomon. According to Ben, Rainsford Black sent the book to Strummer for some reason. However, at least twenty pages were missing from the book. To understand why he did so, Strummer and Ben decided to pay Rainsford a visit and they took their new intern Claire along.

Claire overdressing for the meeting got a chuckle out of me. It was a very eager intern thing to do.

In my opinion, it was nice to see Rainsford again just to learn what he had gone through since his last encounter with Strummer and Ben. Of course, he took on a bit more than he could chew when he spent time in Brazil in his pursuit to ride the Mula Sem-Cabeca. I really want Ben and Strummer to solve some globetrotting mystery to see more of the supernatural worldbuilding in Black’s Myth.

Anyway, it’s revealed that Rainsford didn’t send Strummer the book. But the book is connected to Rainsford’s past and a mysterious woman he encountered. And so he hires Strummer and Ben to find the woman and why the book was sent to Strummer in the first place. Apparently, Rainsford’s got a kid, too?

Frankly, I don’t care about Rainsford. But I am interested in getting to learn more about the book, especially due to Claire being a half-demon and Strummer’s girlfriend Carly being attacked.

Strummer not telling Carly about being a werewolf did mess up their relationship after the attack. But I think Carly will understand. I don’t see the two breaking things off so easily. However, having said that, I do think Carly needs to learn how to protect herself because supernatural threats will always be close if she wishes to remain with Strummer.

As for the extra content, both short stories felt timely.

‘Roy G. Biv and the Spectrum of Meh’ by Robert Jeschonek talked about (from my understanding) the importance of individuality. Our differences are what make humanity unique. And certain bigots trying to push everyone into a box or, in certain cases, going to extreme measures such as supporting eugenics and wanting to end queerness is just not it.

‘What I Was Trying to Say’ by Kirk Vanderbeek was a fun little piece about a certain conspiracy theory told via emails by a man named Andrew Purczynski. According to Andrew, the biggest threat to humankind was water. Andrew’s theory involving water, mosquitoes, and the ozone layer really made me wonder what was going on in Vanderbeek’s head. But in a fun way.

And hey! With how strangely the Orcas and other marine life have been acting lately, maybe he’s got the point? Hmmm.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

What did you think of X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023? Which comic books did you read this week?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

Help support independent journalism. Subscribe to our Patreon.

Copyright © The Geekiary

Do not copy our content in whole to other websites. If you are reading this anywhere besides, it has been stolen.
Read our policies before commenting. Be kind to each other.