Credits: Chris Claremont (writer), Andy Smith (pencils), Cory Hamscher (inks), Wilfredo Quintana (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters)
Summary: The X-Men defeat Perfect Storm’s private guard and confiscate their aircraft. After sneaking into Wakanda, the team invades the palace while Ghost Panther takes ‘Ro on a secret mission. Ziggy Trask is notified of the X-Men’s activity and sends in SHIELD. Havok gains access to Perfect Storm’s encrypted data and sends it to Nick Fury at the mansion. Fury warns the X-Men that another superhero team has arrived in Wakanda. Soon, the Avengers enter. Elsewhere in a secret location, Ghost Panther introduces ‘Ro to Dr. Strange.
Review: The Evil Storm storyline draws that much closer to a conclusion as the team rallies and invades Wakanda. It’s a pretty entertaining, fast-paced issue that has the X-Men beating up bad guys, breaking off into smaller units, sneaking around, almost having a victory, and then forced to face the Avengers in a double-page spread. Andy Smith has come a long way from his ‘90s fill-ins on the X-titles, even if his faces are still occasionally odd, and he handles the action quite well. Cory Hamscher’s inks are a bit tighter and neater than they normally are under Tom Grummett, which I suppose fits Smith’s art, even though I miss more of the McFarlane influence. Looking back, this is one of the better action issues of the series. It doesn’t feel as padded as many of the earlier fight scenes, and the stakes are actually much higher this time. My only complaint would be Ghost Panther’s decision not to reveal her true identity to the X-Men, which doesn’t make any obvious sense. She’s already revealed her identity to ‘Ro, and it’s not as if there’s anything to be gained from keeping the truth from her friends (I’m assuming they would like to know that Storm isn’t truly evil). It comes across as an arbitrary decision made to increase drama, one that doesn’t make sense within the context of the story. Isn’t it cruel of Storm to let her two closest friends, Jean and Kitty, still believe that she’s a ruthless, murderous villain now?