MULTIPLE MEN, MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS! He’s everywhere you want to be. He’s never not in the office. And his direct reports always fall in line. How does X-CORP meet their nearly impossible quotas with maximum synergy and minimal bandwidth? They’ve got Dr. Jamie Madrox, and he’s the world’s best boss.
With the drama of the Hellfire Gala unveiled and X-Corp’s presence rocked by literal nazis, we get back to business in X-Corp #3 as the company looks to essentially expand their portfolio of interest and branch out into markets outside of pharmaceuticals. It’s time for the mutants to give back to technology as well and it’s up to Dr. Jamie Madrox to make it work.
But not everything goes to plan.
Before we dive into the rather scandalous third issue of the business side of Krakoa it’s safe to say that this is an issue that won’t be winning over any new readers. If the pacing of the launch of X-Corp and filling the board with the right mutants while being surrounded by both legal and superhero drama wasn’t enough to get you excited for more, the technological advancements and Technology TALKS convention will likely not be the outright excitement you were hoping for.
But there is a lot of drama in these pages. The mutants are pushing their scope of what Krakoa can and should be suspiciously far. Sam and Monet on the surface represent a good versus evil approach to transactions but in X-Corp #3 we see that magnified as the two use their mutant influence to push where others wouldn’t stand a chance. This isn’t some group of underdogs trying to go against the grain, we are witnessing X-Corp revolutionize markets and leverage their newfound power within Krakoa to shape the world on a macro scale.
Howard’s intimate character work might not always be as polished as some of the other titles in the X-lineup right now, but the grand scale of X-Corp and shifting organizational motives play into their narrative strengths in an impressive way. While I might be hooked on the notion of what these financial moves and advancements mean not just for mutants and humans but for international relations as well might mean, the scale is also something that could continue to be off-putting to some readers. This is scale as it relates to business sense and its a fascinating exploration of what that means for this unprecedented era for mutants. But it isn’t a world-ending mustache twirling villain type of scale, and it shouldn’t be confused with such a story.
For what it seeks to accomplish, X-Corp #3 pushes the boundaries of not just what the company can be all about but also how they go about it as well. Monet gets into a confrontational meeting that really puts their approach into perspective as she clearly expects pushback from competition but never to the point where she can’t outdo them. When Ms. St. John proves to be more than she can handle with a bit of force of her own, we see Monet unleash her powers in the name of X-Corp as she tries to strong hand her position, but it backfires tremendously.
This causes a chain reaction that exploits the failures found in the first pages of the issue with Madrox set to launch their new Ionosphere tech. Angel’s announcement is botched with Monet missing and Madrox failing, and we see the X-Corp arguably more vulnerable now than ever. This entanglement of storylines is the driving force of the story. With revolutionary pharmaceuticals, advancements in technology previously unheard of and the potential for so much more, we keep finding X-Corp in a place where leveraging this potential isn’t as easy as it may seem. While everything may have changed for mutants because of Krakoa, the outside world sees them as mutants.
Ms. St. Croix says this difficulty they are experiencing is just “business 101” and I can’t help but think how that applies so specifically to humans rather than mutants. Can mutants just waltz into the business world with their superior advancements and expect to be treated the same as say a Steve Jobs? Of course not. The world operates differently when discussing treatment for mutants and in the face of this, we see X-Corp carving their own methods of conducting transactions and defining their own vision of business 101, providing just the intrigue this issue needs.
Though X-Corp #3 is a debatable issue on many fronts, the artistic approach this time from Valentine De Landro isn’t quite as impressive as some of the narrative exploration. It’s certainly not a terrible issue to look at but there isn’t much happening that will blow you away or even make you look at a character differently. The loss of Alberto Foche comes at a time when the series arguably needs its best foot forward. What we see in X-Corp #3 is a standard visual that at the very least fits within the aesthetic of the title and doesn’t harm the story, but it could be improved. Sunny Gho captures some interesting palettes when allowed and Cowles pulls a lot of the heavy lifting with lettering that makes the issue much easier to read than it could have been. The ideas are all there, and they work in the story, but the execution needs to be tightened just a little more.
X-Corp #3 isn’t redefining what the series can do and likely won’t win over any new readers but for me, this is just the type of drama I was hoping for. It’s a macro perspective analysis of corporate decision making in the era of Krakoa and it brings all the tension, uncertainty, highs and lows and consequences of both the business world can deliver.
X-Corp #3 continues the macro perspective analysis of corporate decision making in the era of Krakoa, bringing all the tension, uncertainty, highs and lows and consequences of both the business world can deliver for an enjoyable albeit flawed issue.
X-Corp #3: It’s Business 101
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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