In which The Black King gets his ass handed to him by an irritable octogenarian.
I have to admit, after the first two issues of this series, I had just about given up on Hickman’s take on this book — luckily he really brought his A-Game to the writing. The villains are both sympathetic, surprising (did I mention that they’re all a bunch of amoral, murderous grannies), and more than competent enough to take down two of the hardest hitters that the X-Men have at their disposal.
I won’t go into much more detail about the plot, but it is a great one. It’s clear that Hick the has his favorites, and these seem to be the only characters whose voices he can handle. No one sounded off in this issue. Jean was more herself than she has ever been (the only Jean there ever was, natch) and I absolutely loved her catty/flirtatious interaction with Emma. I also fell a bit in love with little old Edith when she called The White Queen a skank. Not because I agree with that summation of her character, exactly, but rather because of the absolute ovarian fortitude the move required.
All things considered, this was an intensely fun issue, one which sets us up for some absolutely amazing adventures in the future. And, as always, the trademark Hickman infographics answered some serious questions— such as how, precisely, is a mutant-eating plant surviving without, well, eating anyone? And what, exactly, are soul-sucking villains like Empath and Selene bringing to the table?
Possibly the most annoying thing, for me personally, about this Brave New Dawn, is that there are a few characters who seem to be missing from any of the books. It was nice to see a shot of Nightcrawler’s face and Mystique’s left leg, for example, but neither character was granted any dialogue and, so far, the characters who have had the most screen and script time in X-Men all feature in other series. Seriously, put Nightcrawler somewhere, Marvel. And I don’t mean in a measly little one-shot.
Now, a note on the art. I was considerably more impressed with Yu’s delivery in this issue — possibly because it’s easier to draw a better script. In any case, the line work seemed much less rushed, less sketchy, while maintaining his usual knack for expressions and body language.
I might, personally, doubt that Hickman is capable of treating any character well outside of his few favorites and the ones he invents by himself, but if the series continues largely as it is, it might manage to redeem itself.
Reviewed by Bethany W Pope
This issue is SUCH a dramatic improvement from the first two that it might have sprung from another mind. Trust me. You're going to want to pick this one up.
X-Men #3: The Art of Horticulture, or Why No One Should Mess With Little Old Ladies
Writing - 8.5/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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