This is the third issue in Brian Michael Bendis’s X-Men run. The first issue primarily focused on Beast, while the second issue primarily focused on the original five X-Men teenagers arriving into their future. This issue focuses mostly on old Cyclops and those who are travelling with him. It’s a bit odd that each issue so far focuses on a different set of characters.
This issue is good for the most part. There’s a lot of story setup, and it’s always at least entertaining. Cyclops, Magneto and Emma Frost are suffering changes in their mutant powers thanks to the phoenix force, although Magik is more powerful than ever. Some of their characterization feels a bit off though. Magik is fine, and Magneto is in character as well. I’m not entirely sure about Cyclops, but he’s not far off. Emma Frost however is almost unrecognizable in her portrayal here. If she wasn’t named or drawn in diamond form, I would have guessed she was just another new mutant the others were saving.
My biggest complaint however is that we barely see the original five in this comic, even though this series is supposed to be about them. They only appear in one panel, and Cyclops has the only one line of dialogue between them. It’s a great cliff-hanger, but one that you’ll see coming if you read the previous issue. I get that there has to be some build up for the new Uncanny X-Men series coming next month, but does it have to completely overshadow this book’s stars for an entire issue?
The art fares better than the comic. The environmental detail is impressive, from the dark Weapon X ruins to the university protest scene. Cyclops’s malfunctioning eye blasts look good, as to characters’ costumes. I can’t think of any art related complaints.
Despite its problems, this is still a good comic. This series has plenty of promise, and it appears that Bendis’s Uncanny X-Men does as well. There’s still room for improvement though – most notably characterization. Anyone who likes the X-Men should at least check this series out.