The first two issues in this series did a very good job at setting up a conflict between two teams of X-men, regarding Ulysses and the Inhumans as a whole. Storm generally supports Ulysses, while Magneto is very much concerned that the prophetic inhuman will use his gifts against mutants. There were a couple surprise team switches, like Nightcrawler joining Magneto, while at the same time, long absent characters are making their long-awaited returns. This issue might just have the most significant returning character yet.
Written by Cullen Bunn, the third issue of the X-Men’s Civil War II tie-in starts with a flashback/forward to Rachel Summers in the post-apocalyptic world she grew up in. It’s transitioned well to the present, where Magneto manages to convince her to join his side, giving them some serious muscle if she chooses to war with the Inhumans in the upcoming X-Men vs. Inhumans event. Rachel’s role in this issue is moderate, just like every other member of the cast. It’s also nice that, unlike in Extraordinary X-Men, Storm is actually acting like a leader.
The way each character is balanced is very impressive. By the end of this issue you’ll understand everyone’s motivations. Even though Rachel and Nightcrawler side with Magneto, they disagree with his more drastic attitude. It’s impressive how Bunn is able to balance everything without this comic feeling overly busy. As the story unfolds, there’s a great conversation between Storm and Medusa of the Inhumans, and a short yet great fight scene between most of each side’s team members.
While the writing in this issue is very good, Andrea Broccardo’s art is just good. The environmental detail is often impressive, whether it’s the light reflecting off the windows, or all the skulls littered on the ground in the flashback to the future. The fight scene makes great use of powers flying around, and a good amount of blood when Old Man Logan and Sabretooth face off, even if that’s only on one panel. On the downside, most characters look younger than they should, especially Magneto and Logan. While you can tell by the facial expressions how each character feels, they usually look more bored than they should. The main exception to this is when both Storm and Medusa get frustrated during their conversation. Also there’s one page where Rachel’s earrings seem to randomly disappear. Jesus Aburtov’s colouring is great though. Everything is very colourful, and there’s great use of reflections and lighting effects.
So far this mini-series is better than any of the X-Men team books on the market right now. There’s a great political and moral debate, where each character’s motivations are clear. The plot moves at a good pace and there’s enough drama to keep this comic emotionally interesting. If the conflict between the X-Men and the Inhumans interests you, then you should be reading this, whether you’re touching the main Civil War II event or not.