Wolverine at the Hellfire Gala

The Hellfire Gala 2022 #1 Review

Written by: Gerry Duggan

Art by: Kris Anka, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli, CF Villa

Coloring by: Rain Beredo, Frank Martin, Matt Willa, Matthew Wilson

Lettering by: VC’s Cory Petit

Design by: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen

Editing by: Lauren Amaro, Jordan D. White

Cyclops and Emma Frost get up close and personal on the cover of the Hellfire Gala.
Marvel’s REAL power couple.

The Hellfire Gala was a crossover event last year where multiple superstar writers came together for a twelve issue crossover. It spanned the breath of the X-Men line and set forth storylines that followed for the year ahead. This year, the Hellfire Fire Gala 2022 has one writer, with a much smaller set of artists. Which is better?

Hard to say, because they serve different purposes. Last year’s event set up storylines that are still paying off right now, which necessitated the crossover. This year they closed out multiple storylines, and set up far fewer. In my opinion, they both have done excellent jobs of what they set out to do. There are somethings they have done better than the other.

With this one story, it feels more consistent, and it has to hit at all times. In that endeavor, it succeeded. There isn’t a dull moment in this jam-packed issue, and it achieves a lot. But sadly, even as jam-packed as it is, its only one issue. There are ton of small interactions that were in the last event that aren’t and can’t be in this issue.

Gambit, Black Widow, Havok, and Iceman show off their Hellfire Gala outfits.
These are all fantastic looks.

I would argue that with the revelation of mutant resurrection that “less is more” does fit here. The conflict was nail-biting throughout, with barely a punch thrown, the one being from Spider-Man. The conversations and the veiled threats made to mutantkind had me at the edge of my seat worried for things that were being promised years from now. The Hellfire Gala of 2021 was good like that too, but not as good as 2022.

At the same time, there were no surprises that competed with Krakoa turning Mars into Arakko. And honestly, the new X-Men roster is no where near as interesting as last years. Not to mention, my faith in how the roster will be used isn’t optimistic since all the characters that left were ones that felt wasted. But the lack of something that wasn’t promised isn’t a negative overall, just in comparison. This issue is still great without a big surprise.

Either way, whichever strategy they use next year, I’m already excited. In terms of which one I’m learning more towards, I think the Hellfire Gala of 2022 might be a bit better overall. What do you think?

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