The last major title in wave 1 of Marvel Now is off to a great start. Brian Wood’s X-Men 3 concludes the storyline that started two issues ago in a satisfying way – with a lot of action utilizing the strong team work the X-Men are known for. This might be my favourite comic of the week.
So far, the adjectiveless X-Men series is an all-female team, yet it still feels exactly like an X-Men book should. The action is split into two parts – the Jean Grey School, with Kitty Pryde leading the students in battle against the school’s hacked danger room protocols, and in Budapest, with the rest of the team facing off against Arkea (a powerful being who can possess and control technology). The story isn’t very deep and neither is the solution, but since it only lasted three issues that’s not a problem.
The character work is where this issue truly shines. The school scenes utilize the X-kids better than Wolverine and the X-Men has for a while – Bling is especially awesome on that front. These scenes also have plenty of humorous dialogue that manages to feel genuine. The team dynamic carries the feeling that the X-Men truly are a family, and that each member cares about each other. Jubilee has some especially interesting development here, dealing with the baby she’s “rescued” and assigned herself to take care of. She only has a few pages, but these pages are used very effectively.
The art is also generally good. There’s a great use of backgrounds and environmental detail that helps move the story along. The page that takes place “Way high up” looks great in particular. Facial expressions are generally well done, from suspicious glances to the fairly emotionless hosts that Arkea is possessing. The only problem is that sometimes characters look bored when they shouldn’t.
If you’re an X-Men fan in general, you should be reading this book. It feels like a classic X-Men story. It’s entertaining, the characterization is spot-on and it’s self-contained. What more could you ask for?
Also, the reason I haven’t commented on The Wolverine is that I haven’t had time to see it yet. The joys of working straight 11 pm shifts.