Friday, May 17, 2024

Knights Of X #5 Review: The Road Goes Ever On

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Did things happen in the last issue besides Rachel finally being gay? I don’t remember. But we jump into the final issue of Knights of X and find our captain and her knights in Mercator, the realm overseen by Absolon Mercator. Mr. M, as he is called, is an Omega-level matter manipulator who has pulverized the Siege Perilous and scattered it among the entire realm making the entire land the siege perilous. We also see Roma and Saturnyne aboard dragon Shogo being pursued by Merlyn. 

Knights of X #5 cover

The Knights are still reeling from the apparent death of Gambit after he used the Death card to try to defeat Merlyn. But the tarot card of Death is not a literal death, more of a rebirth. A mysterious floating castle appears and Betsy and Rachel can both sense Remy inside of it. The siege perilous transforms those who come through it, and Remy has been reborn as a castle. Sure, why not. 

Gambit’s castle has a hall of statues that represent him through different timelines. Rachel uses her often-forgotten plot device power known as chronoskimming to tell which one is “their” Gambit. It’s mentioned that Betsy wants to use this as a way to monitor the timelines without needing to remain loyal to the Starlight Citadel. 

Knights of X #5 Rachel chronoskimming
Forgot she could do that, didn’t you?

The castle starts to crumble like a house of cards, one of the cards striking Meggan like a thrown card would. Gambit appears but in his incarnation of the horseman of Death. He battles one-to-one with Betsy and she stabs him in the head with her psychic sword. This causes a psychic manifestation of Sunfire who previously freed Gambit from the role of Death. Rachel contains this psychic fire and the Death version of Gambit burns down into the normal, 616 version of Gambit.

When Gambit awakens as his normal self, Rogue is there and the Krakoan gate to Mercator has been opened with many people flooding through. The splash page of the battle is incredible but seemed like it came out of nowhere, who are they even fighting? Did I miss something? 

Knights of X #5 Betsy stabs Gambit
Talk about a splitting headache

After the battle all of the loose ends are tied up. Jubilee and Shogo are reunited. Mordred and Arthur seemed to have buried the hatchet. Betsy sentences Merlyn to death and wanders off with Rachel to patrol the multiverse with the Captain Britain Corps behind them.

And that’s the end of the book! As I’ve said many times during my reviews of this series the main issue here is pacing. The series was rushed at certain points and had unnecessary pauses at others. I think the cast was too large for the limited run that was guaranteed and frankly if Howard wants to write a Betsy Braddock solo series, they should let her do that instead of dragging along beloved characters to be set dressing. The background characters weren’t given much to do and the last issue was a bit hasty with its conclusions. I understand that the hope was for more issues, but I think the team just bit off more than they could chew.

Overall this series was fun but relatively inconsequential. I’m a bit behind on almost every other X-book right now, so it’s nice to have something that isn’t tied up in Judgement Day and all the Celestial bullshit that I can read without having to worry about the greater Marvel universe. While I do think the Otherworld plots are interesting, I just think that other characters and perhaps other writers would have different stories to tell that I might find more compelling. I love the concept of a magical mutant world but I just don’t think they stuck the landing. We could go back and forth about what might have been done with more issues, but in the end we only have these five. This book I’m sure has its fans and those who hate it and those like me who just find it fun, but I’m probably not going to rush to read it again.

Images via Marvel Comics

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